We tried all-natural sunscreens because apparently they are way better for you

20th Century Fox

If you’re super into the chemical-free, all natural, organic ~lifestyle~ then you’ve probably heard of mineral sunscreens. If you’re like WHAT’S THAT and also SUNSCREEN (?) then this post is for you.

If you buy your sunscreen in the sunscreen aisle at a drug store, chances are, you’re wearing a chemical sunscreen.

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www.flickr.com

Chemical sunscreens usually have ingredients like oxybenzone and avobenzone listed at the top.

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Neutrogena

Depending on who you ask, at best chemical sunscreens might irritate acne and make your eyes water and at worst will give you cancer and seep into your skin and do weird things to your hormones.

Chemical sunscreens penetrate your skin. In large amount yes, they could become hazardous. However, most studies have shown that it would need to be a HUGE amount of sunscreen to become truly toxic. However, if you don’t want to worry about it at all and like avoiding chemicals at all costs. There’s another option and they’re called:

Mineral Sunscreens

Mineral sunscreens, sometimes referred to as all-natural sunscreens or physical sunscreens, forego chemical sun protection in favor of a physical one, meaning, the sunscreen zits on top of your skin like a shield. Mineral sunscreens are usually formulated with zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. As a bonus, the zinc can also act as an anti-inflammatory agent. Back in the day, Zinc left your face white as a ghost but it’s fairly easy to find a formulation nowadays that blends into your skin without the white residue.

Nobody on the HelloGiggles staff had ever used a mineral based sunblock and so we tested several out for a few weeks to see what all the all-natural hype was about.

Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Defense SPF 30

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Drunk Elephant
“Admittedly, I don’t wear sunscreen all the time. A recent trip to the dermatologist has changed that since she called my freckles “SUN SPOTS” and said I need to start wearing sunscreen daily. When I first tried out the Drunk Elephant sunscreen, I was afraid because it looked super thick like toothpaste, but it went on smoothly and blended well into my skin. I’ve been wearing it underneath my makeup ever since and love it. I’ll definitely be switching to more natural sunscreens like this one.” – Marie Lodi, Staff Writer.

Babo Botanicals Super Shield Sport Stick SPF 50

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Babo Botanicals

“I’m really fair-skinned and burn easily, so I’m always nervous trying a new sunscreen, but I wore this one for a sunny, all-outdoors day at the zoo (because I’m very adult) and didn’t burn or have to reapply. It goes on a little wax-y, which takes some getting used to, but it was really effective, which is the most important thing for me.” Kayleigh Roberts, Deputy Editor.

Nature’s Gate Sport sunscreen SPF 20

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Nature's Gate
“I was excited to try this out since it sounded like there weren’t a lot of “other” things going on inside of it, rather than sheer sunscreen power. I was horribly disappointed. It didn’t go on like I expected, and looked like I had rubbed baby powder all over myself and it wasn’t going to go away. My sister also used it, and it stained her shirt with what looked like a deodorant stain, THE HORROR. I ended up removing it with a damp cloth and put on my regular go-to stuff, simply because I looked ridiculously wearing it. It was a sunscreen fail.” – Rachel Paige, Staff Writer.

Babo Botanicals Sheer Zinc Continuous Spray Sunscreen SPF 30

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Babo Botanicals
“This. Was. Amazing. Normally, either spray-on or normal lotion sunscreen feels sticky and heavy and smells like chemicals, but this product didn’t. It goes on very lightly, literally smells and feels like NOTHING, and works effectively. I’m never going back to a chemical-based sunscreen, ever.” – Gina Vaynshteyn, Senior Editor.

InstaNatural Age-Defying SPF 30 Sunscreen

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InstaNatural
“I have freakishly sensitive skin so I don’t usually put much on it (we’re talking, like, Aveeno only.) So, I fully expected this sunscreen to either make my skin break out or have some kind of allergic reaction. To my really big surprise it did neither of those things – dare I say it even made my skin look clearer!? I don’t know what kind of magical sorcery this stuff has in it, but it’s definitely been enough to convert me to a daily sunscreen-wearer.” – Crystal Ro, Senior Writer.

MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème SPF 50

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MDSolarSciences
“I’ve actually been using this stuff for years and was the one to spear head the staff’s descent into all-natural sunscreen madness. I started using this because I was breaking out like crazy and it was the only thing that didn’t irritate my acne-prone skin. It has a silicone base so I actually use it as a makeup primer as well AND it appears to reduce any inflammation I may have from a breakout. I’m obsessed with this stuff.” -Madison Vanderberg, Senior Editor.

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