In a country like South Africa, it is very important that you work to shield your family from the strong sun rays. Sunscreens play an important role here, but while these products are supposed to work to protect our skin, most of what’s out there isn’t any good at all.

The Good

Badger sunscreens have a range of some of the best natural sunscreens on the market. Using the mineral Zinc Oxide as their active ingredient, they consist of certified organic ingredients such as plant oils and beeswax. Because their sunscreens consist only of natural goodness, they are ideal for even the most sensitive of skins.

Two other great natural sunscreen brands are Sunumbra, who use zinc with a combination of interesting ingredients like broccoli sprout extract and Oh Lief.

The Bad

Your average sunscreens, like most commercial products, contain synthetic chemicals that are potentially harmful to your health. Some even say that they can cause an increase of free radicals in the skin, which can damage DNA and develop into cancer. Other side effects can be hormonal disruption.

Another good reason to buy natural is a love of the earth. A recent scientific study showed that several common synthetic sunscreen ingredients can cause harm to certain marine life!

The Ugly

Unfortunately most companies value their bottom line more than the health of their customers, so it is up to you to look out for those ingredients that are potentially harmful.
Here are some of the ingredients organisations like The Environmental Working Group have identified as suspicious;

  • Octocrylene
  • PABA
  • Octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC)
  • Benzophenone-3
  • 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC)
  • Homosalate

Other ingredients to avoid include:

    • PABA: Though uncommon, this ingredient can cause skin reactions in about 40% of people.
    • Benzophenone, homosalate, and octy-methoxycinnamate: These three ingredients have shown estrogenic activity in lab tests and can disrupt hormones.
    • Parabens: In most commercial Padimate-O and Parsol 1789: These have been known to damage DNA when exposed to sunlight.
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Author

Aloha! I'm Carien. I live in South Africa in an area called the Swartland (Black Land). I live on a small holding (Homestead) and I am a full time house wife with one husband (yes, only one), one son, one dog, a few sheep and plenty of chickens. Living as natural as possible is a passion of mine. Inclined to a mostly organic vegetarian diet I tend to post healthy food recipes, green tips and information on natural and organic and natural living.