Maureen’s Favorite Reef Safe & Skin Safe SPF

Maureen’s Favorite Reef Safe & Skin Safe SPF

With all the sunscreen and many iterations of moisturizers with SPF, it can be quite confusing knowing what products are safe for your skin, but also safe for the environment. When choosing a sunscreen, there are a lot of things to consider. Number one is safety, and making sure the ingredients are FDA compliant. Other considerations are environmental footprint, what the brand relies on for UV protection, if it’s chemical, physical or both.

Personal preferences are also a factor to consider when choosing a proper SPF. Is the weight and texture right for you? Is it non-comedogenic? Is it tinted, water proof, and good for sensitive skin? It is important to weigh these factors because if you do not like to wear the product, you will not get the protection you need to avoid damage to your skin. 

Skin cancer is the most common cancer in America. One out of five Americans are affected and will develop in their lifetime. As most already know, excessive sun exposure that is unprotected elevates the risk of developing skin cancer. One of the more aggressive skin cancers increases by 80% if you sustain more than five or more blistering sunburns between the ages of 15 and 20. So, here is a breakdown and a few tips for SPF selection.

First, understand the ingredients. There are two types of SPF, and two ways it can protect you from UV damage. There are chemical ingredients which absorb, and physical ingredients which block. Chemical sunscreens usually rub in easier and feel better on the skin. The downside to a lot of chemical SPF is the damage that it can have on the environment. Some ingredients to avoid that have been proven to have negative effects on the environment are oxybenzone and octinoxate, which harm coral reefs. Some people also worry about the harmful effects to humans when using these chemicals. However, more studies need to be done in order to determine these concerns as valid. 

Physical blockers, on the other hand, rely on zinc oxide and titanium to shield you from the sun’s UV rays. The downside is that most physical sunscreens are thicker and heavier on the skin. This can sometimes lead to clogged pores and more skin congestion worn daily. Once you have determined which type is best for you, you’ll want to confirm the level of protection needed. I recommend always using an SPF 30 +. This is also the standard that most dermatologists suggest as a minimum. 

Now on to personal preference do you want tinted, oil-free? Is your skin sensitive to fragrance or specific ingredients? I prefer always selecting fragrance free products, but in America, consumers like things to smell good and therefore, many great products with excellent ingredients do add fragrance. Whatever your preference is on formulations, make sure to research and read labels. Also, don’t forget to use SPF on our lips and ears. We often forget these sensitive areas and when left exposed, they can be at risk for cancers.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Isdin Eryfotona Broad Spectrum 50 +: This is an astonishing multitasking mineral sunscreen that protects and has DNA enzymes to repair damage when activated by UV light. Yes, this is a high tech winner!
  • SkynBar TZ40: Another favorite is the SkynBar TZ40 broad spectrum SPF, especially for sensitive skin. It contains no fragrance and its main ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are both great sun-protecting ingredients.
  • Mesoesthetic SPF: Probably one of my favorite summer sunscreens right now is the Mesoesthetic Dermatological SPF 50 +. This new generation SPF provides the highest level of protection against UVA and UVB damage. It includes anti-inflammatory ingredients to smooth and heal the skin. They also make an SPF 100 for the lips and eyes. LOVE!!!