With the months getting hotter most of us want to protect our skin, however most consumers don’t know that there are distinct differences and benefits between sunblock and sunscreen. It could be very challenging to find the right products with the overwhelming choices of sun protection out there. We want you to have a safe summer so we are going to help you with the lingo you need to know for better healthier non-toxic protection.

SPF - Lingo

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor and is used to roughly estimate the amount of UV radiation it takes to burn your skin under the sun. You can determine how long you can protect yourself and when you need to reapply based on how long it takes for your skin to burn without protection and the SPF. For example, if the SPF is 30, and if your skin starts to burn in 15 minutes without any sunblock or sunscreen, then you just multiply it to find out how long your skin will stay protected with the sunscreen. So, 30×15=450 minutes of protection this is about 7.5 hours.

UVA / UVB / UVC - Lingo

Let talk about Ultra Violet Radiation of relatively long wavelengths, these are your UVB, UVA and UVC.  UVB stands for Ultra Violet “B” which stands for ‘Burning’. These rays penetrate the upper layers of the skin known as the epidermis and causes the skin to burn.  UVA stands for Ultra Violet “A” which stands for ‘Aging’.

These rays penetrate deeper through the epidermis into the lower layers of skin known as the dermis. UVA rays are the cause of visible signs of aging such as wrinkles, hyperpigmentation (sun spots) and loss of elasticity. UVC rays are the shortest rays that are blocked by the ozone and are are deadly, so lets hope the ozone never completely goes away!

SUNBLOCK – Physical

A sunblock’s primary job is to protect you from the UVB rays. Although from a legal standpoint, the word "sunblock" is no longer supposed to be used – the U.S. Food and Drug administration (FDA) only allows the term "sunscreen" to be used. Commonly "sunblock" provides a physical block; refers to a mineral sunscreen protection such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide natural occurring minerals from the earth in their non-nano form safe for everyone including babies. These mineral are highly effective in protecting against both UVA and UVB rays, the types of UV radiation that cause sunburn and skin cancer. Sunblocks often appear white on the skin and are more beneficial for preventing sunburns, so if you know you’re going to be under the sun all day, it’s best to use a sunblock as you don’t have to keep reapplying. You also do not need to apply mineral sunscreen 30 minutes before venturing out in the sun as you do with a chemical sunscreen. As soon as you apply it, it’s effective. Our Antioxidant Mineral Foundation is an effective mineral sunblock with great coverage that provides SPF 20 which literally sticks to the skin and stays on all day, it’s even waterproof perfect to even go swimming with.


SUNCREEN – Chemical

Sunscreen can penetrate your skin and work chemically. The chemical ingredients in some sunscreens have been found in blood and even human breast milk. Sunscreen typically acts as a filter with so many problematic nasties such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate.  Many of these nasties have been found to affect and disrupt normal hormone balance, and cause skin allergies. Oxygenzone has found to be the most common and the worst in terms of health issues. A major drawback of these sunscreen ingredients is that they often break down after several hours of exposure to sunlight, which means you need to reapply them. Many sunscreens contain toxic ingredients or endocrine disrupting chemicals that in many cases can actually promote skin cancer growth and free radical production in the body.

In fact, in the years since sunscreen use began, skin cancer rates have actually risen, and a 2007 document from the FDA stated that: “The FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer”  In fact, many reports show that most sunscreens actually raise skin cancer risk

To make it even worse chemical sunscreens wash off our bodies when we swim in the ocean and then trigger a reaction in coral that causes it to bleach out and die. Sunscreen on one person might not seem like a lot, but when you add up all the peeps worldwide hitting the beach, it comes out to an estimated 4,000 - 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen sliding off swimmers' bodies each year. Word of advice I always give my customers if you don’t know what it is and you can’t pronounce it why put it on your skin. A major drawback of these sunscreen ingredients is that they often break down after several hours of exposure to sunlight, which means you need to reapply them.

A Common Sense Approach to Sun

In most cases, my approach to sun exposure is to get adequate daily exposure as we need natural vitamin D, without getting close to the point of burning. Since most of us don’t work outside these days, it actually takes effort to get daily sun, rather than to avoid it. I certainly don’t slather on the coral-destroying sunscreen in the off chance I might encounter a few stray rays of sunlight, and in fact, I welcome it! 

Benefits of natural ingredients for DIY sunscreen

Try having fun and make your own sunscreen this summer. We have included natural sunscreen ingredients for DYI sunscreen. Depending on how much you use of each ingredient you can get the amount of SPF desired. 

1) Zinc Oxide - SPF 2-20 depending on how much is used

Zinc oxide is a white, powdery mineral that offers several important benefits for the skin for protecting it from the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV rays penetrate the skin and damage tissue, speeding up the aging process and drying the skin out.

2) Avocado Oil – SPF 2-8

Avocado oil offers mild sun protection thanks to its bounty of mono-saturated fats, which, when applied topically, actually form a protective layer over the skin to reduce UV ray absorption.

3) Coconut Oil - SPF 2-8

Coconut oil is a multi-purpose oil that’s just great to have around the house when you need it for anything—be it cooking, bathing, washing your hair, or protecting your skin from the sun. Apply coconut oil topically after your morning shower, and before you go out in the sun. You can also apply it to your hair to protect your locks from sun damage.

4) Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 35 -40

The strongest natural sun protection comes from carrot seed oil. This vegetable oil offers the top amount of SPF (40 in fact). Plus, it’s also boasts antiseptic properties to protect skin abrasions from infection.

5) Almond Oil – SPF 5

Rich source of vitamin E, which means if you want softer, younger looking skin, almond oil may just be the secret to your soft and supple glow.

6) Raspberry Seed Oil - SPF 25-50

A close second to carrot seed oil,  raspberry seed oil boasts an SPF of 30, which means it’s not only high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, it will offer sun protection while banishing the traces of stretch marks.

7) Jojoba Oil – SPF 4

Jojoba oil is often used in natural body washes and bath oils to treat dry, flaky skin. It’s these medicinal benefits that make it safe and useful as a skin moisturizer. When it comes to sun protection, however, jojoba oil contains myristic acid, a type of tetradecanoic acid or saturated fatty acid that offers mild sun protection.

8) Macadamia Nut Oil – SPF 6

Used widely among Australians, macadamia nut oil is rather rich in a few natural SPF ingredients—namely phosphorus, potassium, Vitamin E, and a UV-protecting compound called cinnamic acid.

9) Wheatgerm Oil – SPF 20

Wheatgerm oil delivers a whopping 20 when it comes to SPF. It’s also rich in Vitamin E, producing adequate antioxidants to repair previous sun and skin damage.

10) Shea Butter - SPF 4-6

Shea butter is a great natural ingredient because it acts as a moisturizer and gives a nice glow to the skin. It helps make the skin supple leaving skin smooth and beautiful.

Stay healthy and beautiful naturally. 


Georgina Tzavaras

June 1, 2017






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