I grew up wearing sunscreen. It was part of our summer ritual as soon as school ended. We are pale and live in Michigan so all winter we are stuck inside work and school, then swarm the beaches of small lakes and promptly get sunburned. Even with regular sunscreen use we usually burned an area a year. I have a vivid memory of helping my best friend’s little sister with aloe on her beet red back because she played in the sprinkler without sunscreen on.
In my early 20’s, biking and walking all over Chicago, I stopped using sunscreen as I was naturally outside all the time, slowly increasing my sun exposure and building up a light tan as the seasons changed. I purchased a zinc based sunscreen stick to apply over my newly healed tattoos, but once it ran out I never thought to get more. I was learning a lot about the ingredients of the products I put on my body through the Skin Deep database and had already begun to green my toothpaste, deodorant and menstrual products.
When I moved to Denver, I was warned to wear sunscreen due to the higher altitude. I found I didn’t need it and over the two summers I lived there I never burned, not even my nose or bald head. This might be in part due to my darker French skin, my dad and I tan very well while my mom and brother have a lighter skin that burns more easily. But also, being outside year round is a big factor. This isn’t possible for everyone so thankfully there are safe alternatives to the mainstream sunscreens I grew up with.
Poofy Organics carries THE Sunscreen and THE Sunscreen Stick that have ingredients that are safe and organic. There are even explanations of what ingredients to avoid and what the ingredients in their products do, so I won’t reiterate that here. Something that I see a lot of people do is apply sunscreen incorrectly. No matter the type, it needs to be applied at least 20 minutes before going outside in order to be effective. It needs a chance to be absorbed into your skin (yep, the carcinogens and other toxins in mainstream sunscreen get absorbed and enter your bloodstream). If by chance, you do get a sunburn, there is Poofy’s Organic After Sun Spray to help soothe and heal.
Maybe you aren’t really into label reading yet, it’s a process and I understand because I’m there too. There are other reasons to switch to natural sunscreens, like the dying coral reefs. Though I don’t live anywhere near an ocean, all water is connected. If the toxins in the products we use are effecting coral it likely is effecting local plant life, and on up the food chain. The higher up the food chain an animal is, the higher the concentration of heavy metals and toxic chemicals… hmm, who’s at the top of the food chain?