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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Summer Essential #2: FANTASTIC natural sunscreen

After literally years of searching, I've finally found the best sunscreen. And here's why:

1. Regular sunscreen can be dangerous. Three years ago, before our honeymoon, my friend Jessa Blades, a natural beauty consultant and makeup artist, warned me that regular sunscreen often contains dangerous chemicals and harmful toxins that may actually cause cancer. (This article, most recently, made my knees wobble!) Ever since then, Alex and I have worn natural mineral sunscreen, which feel so important, especially since you slather it all over your body (and your children's bodies) everyday.

2. But natural sunscreens look bad. Yes, here's the catch: Natural sunscreens don't really absorb into your skin. You end up covered in sticky lotion, looking white as a ghost; and sunscreen can have flaky residue, which is, needless to say...not attractive. I secretly hate using it, but know it's worth it.

3. And here's the solution! I had almost given up on finding a natural sunscreen that doesn't look terrible, but now I'm thrilled to say I've finally found one!! Josie Maran's Daily Sun Protection is both natural and absorbs beautifully. The lightweight sunscreen also contains argan oil, which makes you look young and glow-y. Alex and Toby will be wearing it this summer, too. I highly, highly, highly recommend it. Find it here.
Here's to a happy, healthy summer! (More summer essentials to come...)

(Top photo by Garance Dore)

105 comments:

Jana Miller said...

Headed over to cosmetic database to check it out! Thanks!
Jana

Megan said...

I had much the same problems and spent a few summers looking extra pasty white, as my sunblock sat on top of my skin.

I recently found Elta MD tinted sunblock and really like it. Good for hyper-reactive skin, no baddie ingredients, and it rates very well in terms of effectiveness.

fawn said...

I got a wake-up call there when my former favorite lipstick scored a 9 on their hazard scale.

lauren | on the park said...

Ha! I was reading each of your numbered reasons and shaking my head in agreement (since I've had all the same thoughts), and when I finally scrolled to #3, I saw we use the same product! Isn't it great? It's the only natural one I've found that's so lightweight. When I'm looking for a more matte finish, I layer this Eminence Organics SPF powder over it: http://us.eminenceorganics.com/Sun-Defense-Minerals_p_9.html

Victoria said...

I'm definitely off to order some now. Thanks.

Joanna Goddard said...

yes, lauren, so glad you like it!! xoxo

Joanna Goddard said...

megan, thanks for the tip!

Jada said...

I feel like we got to be extra careful with lots of beauty products or any skin products these days. I love going to the beach in the summer a lot, so I will def. grab that Josie Maran sunscreen :) Thanks for the tips!

Minestrone Soup For the Teenage Soul

Sunny Rising Leather said...

Was JUST wondering what to do for my fair haired baby, and now your links and info: your blog is such a fantastic resource: thank you!! xoxoxo

CC said...

I'm so glad you shared this. I had ordered a product from Vitacost, natural, but I still saw chemicals in it. I can't wait to try this stuff. I'm going to share this on Google+. :)

Rachael said...

I have been using this product for about a year, and I love it! I, too, was worried about chemical sunscreens and did quite extensive research before finding Josie's daily moisturizer. People with super oily skin might also consider Coola Matte Finish Cucumber mineral sunscreen. I haven't used it, but it sounds great!

AVY said...

And what a pretty girl that was. I try to stay away from the sun, pale is beautiful.


/Avy

http://mymotherfuckedmickjagger.blogspot.com

Vicki ShoppeGirls said...

I live in Australia and i would love to give this one a try. I try and wear sunscreen on my face everyday. Thank you for the recommendation. I think I will share on my blog also.

Sara Morais said...

OH.MY.GOD!! My mouth just fell open when reading that article... I'm really glad you shared this and I am definitely buying this sunscreen.

Hope said...

you know, i hate to tell you this, but i just looked it up on Environmental Working Group's website and it rates (on a scale of 1 to 10) as a 5, with a "High" health concern:

http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/about-the-sunscreens/339454/Josie_Maran_Cosmetics_Argan_Tinted_Moisturizer%2C_SPF_30/

but maybe, for some people, the ease of absorption + the fact that it doesn't make you look like a ghost is worth the lower rating?

myseastoryblog.com said...

it's on my list when i get off island...
now that i think f it, i can't believe i've been using sunscreens full of chemicals!!

by the way, when to parrot cay a couple of weeks ago, remembered you, had such a great time.

xx j

myseastoryblog.com said...

it's on my list when i get off island...
now that i think f it, i can't believe i've been using sunscreens full of chemicals!!

by the way, when to parrot cay a couple of weeks ago, remembered you, had such a great time.

xx j

MK said...

I'm a cancer researcher and spend a lot of time thinking about the things we put on our skin and into our bodies. Unfortunately we have so many things to worry about that we rely on other sources to summarize and translate all the data out there.
That said, while the EWG site brings up some real concerns, the consensus in the field is that sunscreens that contain retinyl palmitate, nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide "protects against squamous cell carcinoma, does not cause vitamin D deficiency/insufficiency in practice and has not been demonstrated to adversely affect the health of humans".

Urban Nester said...

Thanks for the tip! Headed to the store :]

molly
http://alwaysamrsforeverakidd.blogspot.com

Mia said...

I actually stopped using sunscreen for the past few years as I live in Cleveland and don't get a lot of sun exposure. The chemicals in many sunscreens scared me as well. It turns out, not using a ton of sunscreen was helpful for me as I was found to be severely deficient in vitamin D (checked through a blood test) - which causes other health issues.

My doctor said that many people who live in the north or far from the equator tend to have some degree of vitamin D deficiency and recommends at least 15 minutes (longer for me as I'm a darker-skinned Asian/Pacific Islander) of full sun exposure without sunscreen is good for our health! I've now become an advocate for a healthy dose of sunshine (and getting vitamin D levels checked!)

But, when I know that I'll be getting a lot of sun exposure, it's important to be selective about sunscreen! Thank you for sharing this info on natural sunscreens. I just checked out the Mercola sunscreen products (available on Amazon) and they seem to be really good as well. The ingredient list looks very safe. I've yet to try them though. I just bought one for my trip to India in a few weeks, I hope it works!

mosey said...

Thank you for this post! I've been trying out different natural sunscreens since last summer and haven't found anything I love. I'll be sure to give this one a try.

Kelly said...

I'm always on the lookout for a better natural sunscreen. My understanding is that the reason they are white is they have a physical barrier instead of a chemical one.

I was just about to order but I saw that Josie Maran sunscreen gets a 6 on EWGs site. You might want to explore it further.
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/product/339454/Josie_Maran_Cosmetics_Argan_Tinted_Moisturizer%2C_SPF_30/

MissLauraHueto said...

Hi! My mom's a dermatologist, so since I was very little my brother and I have tried out literally every single sunscreen sample she's been given, and I have to say my favourite is one called Heliocare. I don't know if it's available in the States (I'm from Barcelona!), but if it is, I highly recommend it: it smells like heaven and is so light it absorbs itself in a few seconds! :)

Abbey said...

Yes yes yes! I agree and I use Josie Maran's as well. In fact, I started using LOTS of her products because they are all so good for us and the environment and fair trade, etc. Tip: her tinted moisturizer with SPF 30 is a reward for lifetime searchers of a fantastic (in all ways) tinted moisturizer with SPF. So good.

Sara said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I related to the entire thing.

meaghantothemax said...

To be fair, though, a lot of those points are about how sunscreen may alter people's behaviour, such as providing them a false sense of security so that they ultimately spend more time in the sun.

MFree said...

Great post and I've actually been hearing a lot about argan oil lately and all of its benefits. Definitely want to check out this product. Just a quick question. We are also a family of 3 (2 adults plus baby) and how long does one of the spray bottles last you usually.

Thanks!

jaimie said...

I've also been looking for a good mineral sunscreen for a while, but couldn't afford the price of one like the Josie Maran. I started using Alba Botanica's Very Emollient Sunscreen, fragrance free, SPF 30, and it works pretty well. Of course because of the minerals it doesn't absorb as well as most lotions, but I find that if I apply a very thin coat and rub it in really well it sits under my makeup just fine. It's worth a try for anyone scared away from mineral sunscreen by the price -- natural sunscreen really is so important.

laura @ hollywood housewife said...

Great summer tip - thank you! I have heard nothing but good things about the entire Josie Maran line.

sarah-mai said...

Yes! I wear this too...love it!

Nadine said...

Thanks so much! Husband and I were looking for something like this to keep us safe and healthy. Thanks for your advice, just bought it. xo!
N

Jaclyn said...

so jealous that we are heading into winter here in Australia, will live vicariously through you in your essentails guide!

Ashley said...

I agree...sunscreens NEVER absorb into my skin. Is this stuff good for the babies too?

Kate said...

I am always on the lookout for natural, really good sunscreens, so thank you for this! It can get very hot here in New Zealand :)

Kate {Something Fabulous}
http://thesomethingfabulous.blogspot.com

{BESO HANDBAGS GIVEAWAY ON MY BLOG!}

Katie:: Grow.Cook.Sew. said...

In Australia almost everyone I know uses 'Invisible Zinc' -Its a natural sunscreen and while the body sunscreen is quite thick they have a product called 'tinted daywear' for the face that gives you the nicest healthy glow and provides 30+ protection. Almost every woman I know wears this product daily..

http://www.invisiblezinc.com/

nicole said...

i've been using this for a few weeks and agree, it's hands down the best natural sunscreen i've ever used, and i've used them all...

Ms. Scotch said...

I've used Sun by Alba Botanicals for years and it's great- not overly oily and definitely works!

Sarah said...

I'm a huge fan of California Baby sunscreen. My 3 year old daughter and I both have extremely sensitive (and fair, easily sunburnt) skin and we tolerate the California Baby sunscreen very well. It rubs in just fine, if you just spend a few extra seconds to rub it in and give yourself at least a few minutes to absorb it before getting into the water.

Zoë said...

http://www.greenbeaver.com/body/sunscreens/sunscreen-86.html I have a newborn baby and a friend recommended this product to us. It's organic and chemical-free... I don't know if it's 100% safe but it definitely seems safer than chemical-laden store brands. It's non-whitnening, affordable and smells lovely.

tara polly said...

THANK YOU! the white-as-a-ghost vs laden-with-harmful-chemicals issue was weighing heavily on me.

Shawnee said...

THANK YOU for posting this!! MANY people believe that sunscreen is good for you - to help prevent cancer, but i know better thanks to my mom!! i never wear sunscreen because it is NOT good for you. i will have to look up this natural sunscreen!
i just believe in moderation of the sunlight and protecting yourself with a hat/sunglasses/clothing! a little sun IS good for you though:)

xoxo

Jess G said...

Thank you for this post! I was JUST on ewg.org and Amazon looking for non-toxic products for hair and skin.

I really think you should do a post about all of the harmful chemicals in our daily products (shampoo for starters). Your readers will really listen up to you!

.aubrey c. said...

I had no idea about cancer and sunscreen! :[ thats so awful!

http://gandacummings.blogspot.com

figwittage said...

Unfortunately, Josie Maran doesn't impress me that much. She's greener than most, yes, but there are greener products. Check out Badger Balm sunscreen products (some of the safest on the market!) 100% Pure also has great tinted moisturisers, but aren't on the Skin Deep website yet. xx

Anonymous said...

Be careful with EWG - please question the scientific background of the authors and the quality of the studies they're citing. Or, at least compare their recommendations to the AAD's: http://www.aad.org/media-resources/stats-and-facts/prevention-and-care/sunscreens.

From http://activistcash.com/organization_overview.cfm/o/113-environmental-working-group:

" EWG has a history of passing shady “science” off as solid facts. Their main talent isn’t research, it’s duping reporters into credulously transcribing their “findings.” A nonprofit organization that has learned how to turn public panic into a stream of hefty donations, the Environmental Working Group has no problem ginning up outrage that causes families needless worry and does incalculable damage to honest industries. Hyperbole, it seems, is big business – last year the EWG raised more than $6 million. In July 2010, the Environmental Working Group released a sunscreen guide; in it, they argued that certain chemicals that are commonly used within sunscreen solutions are dangerous carcinogens and should be avoided. Their bad guy du jour was retinyl palmitate. As Joe Schwarcz, director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society pointed out in the Montreal Gazette, “better known as vitamin A, retinol plays an important role in maintaining normal skin function. When added to creams or lotions, it can reduce the appearance of fine lines, giving the skin a more youthful appearance.” Since it’s not stable, it is turned into retinyl palmitate, which enhances collagen formation and increases cell division.

The EWG based its report on laboratory experiments showing that mice exposed to ultraviolet light while having retinyl palmitate applied to their skin developed tumors more quickly than mice that didn’t. The only problem, as Dr. Schwarcz points out, is that the study has not been peer reviewed, no sunscreen lotion consists solely (or even primarily) of retinyl palmitate, and another study from 2009 on hamsters concluded the exact opposite of what the new study shows. (Make that “the only three problems.”) Indeed, the New York-based Skin Cancer Foundation disputed the report’s findings and, according to the Palm Beach Post, is worried that “consumers confused about the report might stop using sunscreens.” This is a legitimate concern, since over-exposure to sunlight is a well-known cause of skin cancer.

The Skin Cancer Foundation and Dr. Schwarcz weren’t the only ones to express concern. The Orange County Register reported that “Dr. Matt Goodman, a dermatologist in the melanoma program at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, says the Environmental Working Group’s claims on retinyl palmitate are suspect because they rely on research done on mice. … ‘This leads me to conclude that risk is extremely low, if nonexistent.’”

ali said...

goodguide.com is a great resource to find out if a product is actually as "natural" or safe as it promotes. the josie maran product scored only a 6. better than most, but there are cvs sunscreens that score higher!
http://www.goodguide.com/products/385340-josie-maran-protect-daily

Monica of BeautyParler.ca said...

I'm curious to try Josie's products. She does have great products overall so not surprised.

Photographer Brad said...

This is great. Will I actually buy 24 sunscreen is the question. Also, is regular sunscreen really all that bad for you?

Here in Dallas we see our share of intense sun, so I have a vested interest.

Caz said...

Thank you for your very informative comment 'anonymous' - in this internet day and age it's so easy to come across all kinds of studies and information and it makes it so hard for people to know what information they should listen to and ignore.

I don't think there's any problem using a natural sunscreen but I do worry about people saying they don't use it at all! Melanoma is a very scary thing - it's the most common cancer in people aged 15-44 in Australia.

As I work indoors I don't wear sunscreen every day and I'd rather take the small risk that a sunscreen has a tiny amount of a chemical, than take the risk of getting skin cancer.

Kelsey said...

Oh wow funny that is JUST what I use!!! Guy at Sephora recommended it to me. I love it.

Anne said...

Thank you so much, this is the product I have been looking for! Now fingers crossed that I will be able to find it in Europe.

fräuleinelse said...

Hello from Germany!

What about Nano-technology in this Cream? This is also very dangerous especially for kids!!

In Germany we only have two or three creams which are mineral AND don`t have nanoparticle.

http://www.eco-cosmetics.com/de/eco-serie.html

Liebe Grüße
nadine

dianasaur said...

i dont know if it is a california thing but i never wear sunscreen (aaaah!) i havent used it ever unless my mom forced me when i was super young (like when i was ten)... is that horrible? the sun is bright here a lot and i always get checked at the doc to see if im fine and i am... im not even like super dark skinned but for some reason i feel immune. my face make up (bare essentials) has built in spf and i wear lip stuff that has a protection but otherwise its not even a thought for me to use spf at all... eeek

Fiona said...

I use La Roche-Posay Anthelios cream on my face. I love it.

nicolebrown44 said...

Awesome post! thanks for the advice. Will be buying this stuff!

Dr Kate Wolin said...

I'm a cancer epidemiologist (prevention researcher) at Washington University in St Louis & Siteman Cancer Center. I'd like to thank MK and anonymous for pointing out a couple concerns with your post. The internet is democratic and that means there is as much bad advice as there is good (maybe more). And just about anyone can find a study to support what they want to say (sadly there is lots of biased flawed science out there). The concerns IARC raised with sunscreen are not that it is inherently bad, but that people misuse it (don't apply enough of it or apply it often enough) and that mistakenly gives the impression in the data, if you don't account for it, that sunscreen users have higher skin cancer rates (because those people stay out in the sun longer and are thus more likely to burn). It is absolutely true that sunscreen shouldn't be our ONLY sun protection strategy (and this is why countries with high rates of skin cancer, like Australia, advocate a multi-modal approach through campaigns like Slip! Slop! Slap!). So rather than advocating a particular brand of sunscreen (and there is no good human study data showing rates of skin cancer use are higher in sunscreen users or users of a particular type), we should be advocating that our kids (and adults) all wear hats that provide broad coverage (remember baseball hats don't cover your ears or neck), have playgrounds that are shaded and that we rethink the types of bathing suits we wear at the pool/beach to provide more coverage.

Here's the randomized controlled trial (the gold standard in medical research) published in a peer reviewed journal (the gold standard of vetting scientific research) showing sunscreen use reduced melanoma by 50%. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21135266 That means people who used sunscreen had HALF the rate of melanoma as those who didn't (not a higher rate as you suggest).

And here is where the Australian cancer group that is similar to our American Cancer Society or National Cancer Institute debunks the sunscreen myth: http://www.cancerwa.asn.au/resources/cancermyths/sunscreen-cancer-myth

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

Joanna, thank you for these recommendations! I have to tell you I am so grateful for your post a year ago about natural sunscreens. I am naturally very fair and after cancer and several years of chemo as a teen, I was suddenly very allergic to sunscreen, and I could not figure out what it was or how to fix it. I tried tons of different kinds of sunscreens (baby sunscreen, organic sunscreen, etc). When I saw your post about natural sunscreens last year, I scooped up some of the products you recommended and they were amazing. No allergic reaction, no sunburn, just great natural coverage. I seriously feel I owe you my vacations now, it has made such a difference.
Anyway, I will definitely check out the Josie Maran, too, especially if you recommend it. Thank you for always having such thoughtful, well-edited, and on-point product recommendations.

Amber said...

Joanna,
Thank you so much for posting this product line, I wanted to switch to all natural products that are Vegan and NOT animal tested and this line is all that and more, I am looking on their website now for makeup and love the selections. Thank you again :)
Amber
http://livealittlesunshine.blogspot.com/

Maggie said...

Is this post sponsored?

Anna Claire said...

I actually use Josie Maran's daily moisturizer with SPF 40+ and love it. It's a bit pricey, but I've found it actually lasts a long time. I was thinking about the sunscreen for myself and my son (and husband) this summer.

It's so fascinating reading all the comments on what is good, bad, better, worse, about different sunscreens and the websites that claim to rate them. I'd always thought EWG was a great idea, but it's disconcerting to think that they aren't basing all of their ratings on peer-reviewed research, the gold standard. Anybody can do a trial and present their findings as gospel truth.

Being a concerned consumer is EXTREMELY difficult...

nicole said...

josie maran is a total green washer and uses nano technology and lots of pseudo natural ingredients. in a nut shell - she's a phony. petrochemicals and silicone are simply not natural or safe and i would never use her products on my children. raw elements makes an excellent natural sunscreen, as does erbaviva.

Lauren Ashley said...

I'm always on the hunt for a good, safe, sunscreen - I've tried a few of Josie's other products and thought they were really nice. I might give this a go as well. Thanks!

Bryn said...

At work I address a lot of the concerns above regarding natural, clean & organic sunscreens. Our top 2 picks for sunscreens are Aubrey Organics and MyChelle Dermaceutical. Their product lines have some of the cleanest items on the market that include sunscreens. Everyone can believe what they want to believe about skin care and chemicals, but we should all do our part to educate ourselves!

Sarah Carlson said...

I'm have kind of fair, skin that burns pretty easily after a sever sunburn years ago. My dermatologist says your skin has a kind of memory so it will freak out after a bad burn. Ever since then, I use sunscreen all the time! Even in winter, my moisturizer has it. This looks great!

Anna said...

If you want to protect coral reefs, you should always go for an organic sunscreen.

acp said...

hi- my husband is a dermatologist and just beware- there is a lot of false information about the "dangers" of sunscreen on the internet. our family uses and loves the brand vanicream!

Sarah said...

It's such a challenge to sift through all of the conflicting information about sunscreen, isn't it? Three years ago, my sister-in-law died at the age of 47 of stage 4 melanoma. It was heartbreaking and terrifying, and skin cancer is very real and potentially very deadly. As a fair skinned woman with a very fair skinned child, I have agonized over the best way to protect myself and my child from skin cancer. We do our best to use physical blockers like sleeves and hats, but even then, (especially in our harsh Colorado sun) we sunburn quickly without sunscreen. We use natural sunscreens most of the time, but settling on any one brand has been nearly impossible because it feels like each article I read scares me away from whatever I've most recently been using/feeling good about using.

It would be nice to have more definitive, honest research out there, but for now, it's a huge challenge to feel good about using any sunscreen product out there. Sigh....

Christine said...

thanks for the tip! i'll definitely try this out!

www.helloclee.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

To the person who recommended "goodguide.com".. I would not trust them one bit. They ranked awful and dangerous sunscreen (such as coppertone spray mist) as a "top sunscreen". I don't know who they are trying to fool but that stuff contains lots of bad chemicals. And to the person that snubbed EWG's credibility: I don't know much about their organization but vitaminA in the form of retinol is carcinogenic if you are expose to it in excess. This is true of many "antioxidants" that are isolated and then taken in excess.

Anyway, I'm glad someone finally brought up the importance of using mineral sunscreen. Chemical sunscreen is everywhere and it's a health hazard. It's unfortunate that they don't remove it from the market and come up with safer alternatives.

Caroline, No. said...

Happily I live in the UK and never see any sun. When I do have to use these products I find them so chemical - I can't believe anything that hurts your eyes and irritates skin so much can be good for you. Why not just cover up more?

Shannon Hughes said...

Anonymous- I am glad that Joanna recommends some of these products. I consider it similar to word-of-mouth. Obviously you always have to do you own research, but at least she has some suggestions! I have been looking for an all-natural sunscreen for a while now so I will checkout cosmetic database and see what I can find! But this post got me thinking!

maticki said...

I just got a new 100% natural one that also contains argan oil and it is called Earth Line and it is made in Holland. really happy about it. So far have only found think, sticky non absorbing natural sunscreen

confused said...

Can you clarify something about the product? Your post and the link to Sephora's page shows the facial product as "Protect Daily Sun Protection, Argan Oil Infused." I went to Sephora and got "Argan Daily Moisturizer" with 40+. Are they different or the same? I'd rather have one that is just sunscreen and not moisturizer + sunscreen but I can't seem to find your "Protect" product except on Sephora's webpage. Josie Maran's own page doesn't have it. I'm confused... thanks!

Lauren said...

I think it's great if you want to recommend a product that you love, but I really wish you wouldn't link to the EWG. That article is very misleading--just read the comments from the experts above. Also, a problem I have with Josie Maran's sunscreen is that the body version is $24 for 4 oz. Given that it takes a full ounce of sunscreen to properly protect your body when you'll be in the sun, that means you'll only get 4 uses (not counting reapplications) from it, and it will cost $6 each time. Yikes.

Odile said...

I just had an appointment with Jessa the other day. She is so supportive and lovely and helpful and she is incredibly knowledgeable! I really recommend that you all look her up and look into the different workshops (individual and group) that she offers!
http://www.bladesnaturalbeauty.com/services

Kim said...

Hi Jo (and all),

Here is a really good blog by beauty chemists that discusses the organisation you listed: http://thebeautybrains.com/2011/10/19/do-cosmetics-really-cause-cancer/. I've always found their work to be very honest and balanced (ie. they claim that although the components of traditional sunscreen has been shown to be safe by FDA trials, there is no way to be sure).

Ultimately, whatever works for you and your family- if you prefer natural sunscreen, go for it! But do be wary of the claims that natural is inherently better.

Best Wishes,
Kim

Jo said...

Thanks for recommending Josie Maran's sunscreen... I have been meaning to try it, and with your good reviews, I think I must! :)

Jen said...

Hi Jo! Have you ever posted about goodguide.com? I'm not sure if you've heard of it but it's a great site to find these types of products. You can even create a personal filter based on the things that are most important to you (i.e. free of known &/or possibly harmful toxins, cruelty free, etc). It looks like Josie Maran's products which are rated have very high health ratings, though there isn't data for the environment or society filters. I'm hopeful that if people know this site exists they'll start using it, because it's a great way for people to shop responsibly :)

dagmara said...

I use these both and I love them. I have combo skin. I wanted to try Neutrogena's Pure&Free but I read on beautypedia that it is not entirely chemical free. I also recommend:
BareMinerals Ready SPF15 Touch Up Veil powder in translucent and BareMinerals Advanced Protection SPF 20 Moisturizer (comes in tinted and non tinted versions).
For body and kids I use Dr Robin chemical free sunscreen.

dagmara said...

For those of you posting about The Josie Maran sunscreen on EWG's site, that's a different one entirely. That one is a chemical sunscreen forumla
http://www.sephora.com/tinted-moisturizer-P218743?om_mmc=esv103465-GG&om_kwpur=107057550&ppc_crid=9871197617&esvcid=S1335453595_ADOGOB_AGI1142793_CRE9871197617_TID107057550_RFDd3d3Lmdvb2dsZS5jYQ%3d%3d

dagmara said...

I have also tried the Green Beaver chemical free sunblock but I found it super greasy. I would never put it on my face. It feels like vaseline because of the sunflower oil in it which gives it some water resistant properties. I know this is OT.

Lisa Michelle Turner said...

Ever tried vanicream? Even more hypo-allergenic!! They sell a spf60 at my Walgreens and maybe every Walgreens? Vanicream.com

Gabrielle said...

I am glad to see all the comments on here bringing some sense to this discussion as I was really disappointed in this post. It is very alarmist and chemophobic.

I say this as someone who has a graduate chemistry degree, and is married to a cancer researcher with a graduate biochemistry degree.

Thank you to the person who mentioned that natural does not equal safe. Equally synthetic does not equal toxic/unsafe. Sometimes synthetic can be better for the environment and better for health (i.e. when it is easier to produce a very pure synthetic compound than use a naturally derived one with many and unknown impurities). Every chemical - and no these sunscreens are NOT "chemical free" because they contain chemicals - needs to be evaluated on an individual basis not just given a blanket recommendation based on whether it is synthetic or naturally derived.

With sunscreens we are personally not concerned about nanoparticles or chemical sunscreens absorbing into our skin and causing cancer. As at this stage we do not believe their is sufficient peer reviewed research showing this.

We are personally more concerned about choosing a product that is above all effective, and then is not environmentally damaging in its production or once it washes off our bodies into the ocean/lake/river or household wastewater (remembering protection of aquatic organisms). However, even with the naturally derived/mineral sunscreens you have to weigh up the environmental cost of mining against the petrochemical industry (for synthetic based sunscreens).

We choose to use MyChelle Dermaceuticals Sun Shield, which although I completely agree with all the concerns posted regarding the reliability of the EWG database, it gets a 2 on there. It also does not leave a really obvious white mask on the skin. However, the important thing to remember about these mineral sunscreens is that they are a physical barrier on the skin. So you do need to apply them with some whiteness so that they actually work. If you choose to use one that is not nanoparticles then you with get more whiteness as the particles will be larger. It is not safer to apply it in a thiner coat, as then you are reducing the physical barrier and will not achieve the advertised SPF.

Our sun protection strategies in order of preference are to seek shade between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm when UV rays are the most intense, then wear sunglasses, hats, appropriate clothing (UPF clothing, long sleeves, not white and thin cotton layers), and sunscreen on exposed parts.


As an overall response to these summer recommendation posts it would have been more interesting if you could have provided a number of items in each category, rather than just one.

Gabrielle said...

Thank you to Bryn for the Aubrey Organics recommendation (along with Mychelle, which we already use). I am going to check it out.

Looking at the ingredients lists of the Josie Maran, Aubrey Organics and Mychelle, they all could contain palm oil derived ingredients. For example: Mychelle (Dicaprylyl Ether), Josie Maran (Ethylhexyl (Octyl) Palmitate), Aubrey Organics (glyceryl stearate). Although they can come from one or two other sources. Only Mychelle states its possible sources (coconut or palm kernal), and the others do not state any sources. With all the impacts associated with palm oil production, palm oil derived ingredients are good to avoid if possible.

This is just another way that it is important to always check every chemical individually and not just assume something is good because its 'natural'.

Someone mentioned in a comment that Josie Maran green washes, and from a look at website they do. For example, I do not like how on their ingredients list they put "**Natural Ingredient" after everything to make it seem fine. When that tells you nothing about how it was obtained from the source natural product (could be an environmentally damaging process, could be synthetically altered after its isolated) or if it is a good source material to use in the first place. As a contrast, Mychelle just put in brackets the source material, which is a more honest way to present it.

Katrine - make it and fake it said...

OH MY, after readingthis i feel like i might freak out.. i have just gotten in the routine of adding sunscreen every day! But now this?? is it better to just dont then if you dont have the natural kind??

love K

Pixie said...

Thanks for this! I am very pale and burn easily and have been trying natural sunscreens for the past few years. I keep hoping to find something that feels good, smells good and works. I will def have to try these.

Anonymous said...

Another FABULOUS sunscreen that I found on the same website is this:http://www.devitaskincare.com/store/solar-protective-moisturizer-spf-30-p-17534.html. I can NOT believe it's lack of a sunscreen scent and lack of a sunscreen feel. I've never used anything like it.

Sara Wetmore said...

Thanks so much for posting about this, Joanna! I've been looking for a healthy sunscreen for a few years that doesn't leave a solid white film all over my body! It's scary to know what's in the products we use every day. I recently read "No More Dirty Looks" which is a book all about the chemicals that are in our beauty products and skin care. It's really gross, and hard to believe that it's legal. It's worth checking out. Have a great weekend!

Caroline said...

Joanna--
This looks great--thanks. I will definitely use it on my face this summer. However, if you are looking for something equally absorbent/easy to apply and less $$$ for a toddler, I have a product for you: All Terrain KidSport Spray. It only uses Zinc Oxide and is very water resistant. I spray it on my almost 3 year old and she helps me rub it in. It also absorbs really easily. You could also spray it into your hand and have Toby doused in the stuff in a matter of minutes. Happy summer.

laura fox gill said...

I'm starting to think I should just stick to pale skin and make the most of it--big hats and parasols!

Like a Vagabond said...

Very nice!
Let me know when you find some for those of us on a student's budget. ;)

Stilista said...

Have you ever tried Eminence Organic Sun Defense SPF 30? I've been using it on my entire family for a few years now. I'm allergic to most sunscreens and not this one. I have four children (age 8,6,4, and 1), it is fast and easy to put on and it's waterproof! I buy it color 0 which is translucent so the whole family can use it!

http://www.buynaturalskincare.com/eminence-mineral-sunscreen.php

Sarah said...

Hi Joanna,

I just got this and am loving it so far - thanks for the tip! I wondered what face cream you use with it though? I usually use a combination face cream / SPF...

Thanks!
Sarah

lynne said...

Great discussion! I'd never even thought about which sunscreens to buy, thinking all were pretty much the same. Glad to read which one you've liked, and the other recommendations/info. within the comments. Really would never have thought about any of this if I hadn't read your post so thank you!

Jessica said...

Oh no, no, no. Josie puts 'natural' on her products, but they are certainly not so. The Protect 40+ for instance is rife with silicone. She may not use parabens - but that's about all I can say. It's unfortunate, but there is no oversight on the cosmetics industry and they can say pretty much whatever they want. Josie may be a beautiful woman, and I imagine her heart is in the right place (?), but her products have plenty, plenty of bad stuff in them.

sports handicapping software said...

Wonderful post. If only I'd of come across something as wise and straightforward when I was starting out! See you at the reading!

Beach UV Umbrella said...

For me washing my face daily is the key way to remove dirt and grime, and often ensures clear skin or you can use those topical vitamins, copper peptide, UV Blocker umbrellas as long you can cover your and stuffs like that.

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Mike Carter said...

Thanks for sharing this! I have been using what I think is the best natural sunscreen. I would prefer not to breathe in the chemicals of the unnatural products because I have always heard that using a natural formula is better. I hope Mother Nature is kind this weekend and we'll have some nice weather!

Heather said...

Good to know! I use DeVita face moisturizer with SPF30 and I love it. It doesn't feel like anything, not even lotion. I feel like I finally found the one!

Sean Carter said...

it surprised me how good natural sunscreen could be but not only does it keep your skin healthy it really provided some of the best sun protection I've seen. Mother nature really knows what shes doing!

Margo McCann said...

I have begun doing a lot of research on all natural sunscreen. I have read that sometimes the chemicals in sunscreen can be more harmful than the sun. Thanks for the post...I know it will help me in my search for a good sun repellent.

John Decker said...

These sunscreens seem like great options. I think all natural suntan lotion is the best option these days. It does not harm you skin and blocks the uv-rays as well. I think the Best Natural Sunscreen are the ones with zinc oxide. All natural sunscreen is also a great product for young children and baby's. There skin is much more sensitive so these products would be perfect for them.

Clarissa Brooks said...

After I learned about all the chemicals in sunscreen and the potential harm they could cause I started using natural sunscreen and am very happy with it. The one I use is still water resistant and has a SPF of 50 which is well needed for my pale skin.

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