3 safe mineral sunscreens available in india

Even the best of the brands claiming to be natural and eco-conscious are either using chemical UV filters that are harmful to the human health and get washed into the water bodies posing a threat to the aquatic ecosystem, or using potentially harmful chemicals that are detrimental to the human health in their mineral sunscreens.

– TEAM TGM

No matter what you may have heard or seen online, there’s no doubt that if you want to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays, sunscreen is vital! Sunscreen acts as a skin protector. It forms a barrier to block out the sun’s rays which are responsible for many issues like sunburn, premature ageing, irregular pigmentation and even cancer. While there’s no question as to whether or not you need sunscreen, however, it is important to switch from chemical to physical/mineral sunscreens. So, what’s the difference between the two? Scroll down to find out.

CHEMICAL VS PHYSICAL SUNSCREENS 

What Is Chemical Sunscreen?

Chemical sunscreens refer to formulas that create a chemical filter between the skin and harmful UV rays. They are packed with ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate that are responsible for the absorption of UV radiation in the epidermis which is then converted into heat and later dispelled from the skin.

Even though the FDA is still working on gathering more information on the potential risks of chemical sunscreens, there are a good number of studies that prove that most of the above-mentioned ingredients are endocrine disruptors. This means that these chemicals tend to imitate hormones in the body when absorbed into the skin. This results in many health issues and even affects one’s metabolism and the reproductive system.

WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THESE CHEMICALS? HERE YOU GO.

A new study first conducted in Moscow and published in the Chemosphere Journal, that’s now being cited in the United States found avobenzone can break down when exposed to a combination of light and chlorinated water, such as in a swimming pool and it can degrade into some very harmful compounds, some of which are known to cause cancer.

Because many chemical sunscreen companies still use avobenzone for UVA protection, they then have to add not-so-safe chemicals like octocrylene to make it work longer than 30 minutes. Octocrylene helps stabilize avobenzone, which is good, but it is a known endocrine disruptor that also releases free radicals. Not good. Skin sample tests showed there were more free radicals when using octocrylene than skin exposed to the sun with no sunscreen at all. And remember, free radicals, also known as reactive oxygen species (ROS), can damage skin cells and increase the risk for cancer and other health issues.

Oxybenzone is another health hazard you want out of your sunscreens. Read more here.

If this wasn’t scary enough, it doesn’t end there. Chemical sunscreens are also known to cause allergic reactions in people with sensitive skin. It may even worsen pre-existing skin conditions like melasma and rosacea.

What Is Mineral Sunscreen?

All sunscreens are not bad, so there’s no excuse for you to skip it. Mineral sunscreens are the ideal choice cause unlike chemical sunscreens, they act as reflectors. While chemical sunscreens absorb the sun’s UV rays within 20 to 30 minutes, mineral sunscreens, on the other hand, are a bit different. They offer immediate protection by creating a protective barrier on the skin’s surface. This barrier reflects the harmful UV rays, without letting them come into contact with the epidermis.

Mineral or physical sunscreen ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are physical blockers that are recognized as safe and effective by the FDA. Since mineral sunscreens don’t contain any harmful chemicals, they are safe for children and those with sensitive skin.

Other benefits of switching to mineral sunscreens are:

  • They are less likely to aggravate acne as compared to chemical sunscreens.

  • These formulations are clear and light on the skin.

  • You can also use mineral sunscreens along with makeup.

SAFE MINERAL SUNSCREENS TO INVEST IN

Even though chemical sunscreens are still popular and some are even deemed safe to use by experts, we at TGM believe that the ingredients we use on our skin also play a huge part in keeping the body safe and healthy. Therefore, we recommend using mineral sunscreens as they provide sun protection without any of the harmful chemicals.

  • JUST HERBS – Nosun Moisturising Sun Protection Gel

One of the most common problems people face with sunscreen is the undesirable white cast. Here’s where Nosun Jojoba-Wheatgerm Moisturising Sun Protection Gel comes to the rescue. This sunscreen is lightweight and broad-spectrum so you needn’t worry about sun damage or that greasy, sticky feel after application. Aside from sun protection, you can also achieve nourished skin as this sunscreen is enriched with natural ingredients. 

Suitable for oily/combination skin 

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  • JUICY CHEMISTRY – Camellia & Red Raspberry Certified Natural Sunscreen

We all know how unbearable our Indian summers can be and finding the right sunscreen can be a tedious task. If you want something that not only reduces moisture loss but also strengthens the skin barrier, give this board spectrum, natural sunscreen a try. Since it contains non – nanotized zinc oxide, it doesn’t pose a threat to coral reef. It is also enriched with organic components like sunflower oil, shea butter and Hemp seed oil, which help keep the skin soft and also neutralize oxidative stress. 

Suitable for everyday use for All Skin Types

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  • SOULTREE – Sun Protection Cream SPF 30 with Aloe & Green Tea

This Ayurvedic Sun Protection Cream is made with natural ingredients such as Aloe, Green Tea Extract and Olive Oil. It protects skin from harmful effects of the Sun with completely natural non-nanonized broad spectrum sunscreens like Zinc oxide & Titanium di-oxide, enriched with Cold pressed oil like almond, Coconut and Olive oil that prevents sunburn, premature ageing, wrinkles. It works on minimising the harmful effects of UV rays. While Aloe Vera soothes and hydrates the skin, other ingredients such as Vitamin E extract, Sunflower Oil, Coconut Oil, Almond Oil and Carrot Seed Oil enhance the skin texture with their antioxidant properties.

Suitable for Dry to Normal Skin

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OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHILE PICKING A SUNSCREEN

Pay Close Attention To The Ingredients

Use mineral sunscreens that have only zinc and titanium dioxide. Keep away from brands that use the term “mineral-based”. Some brands that claim to be mineral-based may have other chemicals mixed in their sunscreens. If you want to make sure that it is 100% mineral, check the “active ingredients” section. 

Water-resistance

Many sunscreens claim to be water-resistant even when they aren’t. For a sunscreen to be water-resistant it has to go through the 40-80 minute test. If it is not water-resistant, the sunscreen can wash off when it comes in contact with water or sweat. Non-water-resistant mineral sunscreens are great for when you’re running errands or just stepping out of the house for a walk. If you’re going to the beach or pool or even engaging in outdoor exercises or activities, make sure to opt for water-resistant sunscreen. 

Broad-Spectrum 

This is important, as it means that the sunscreen blocks both UVA and UVB rays. All of the above-mentioned sunscreens are broad-spectrum.

Even if the active ingredients are mineral, make sure that the formula is not otherwise loaded with toxic ingredients. Red flags include anything ending in -paraben, pthalates, sodium laureth sulfate, and fragrance. 

No matter what you read online, there’s no doubt that sunscreens play a vital role in protecting your skin when chosen consciously. 

A heartfelt note by team TGM

We get so many DM’s on Instagram asking for a good clean sunscreen recommendation and it aches to tell you that everytime we search through the available options in India, we are disappointed with the ingredients brands use in the formulations.

Even the best of the brands claiming to be natural and eco-conscious are either using chemical UV filters that are harmful to the human health and get washed into the water bodies posing a threat to the aquatic ecosystem, or using potentially harmful chemicals that are detrimental to the human health in their mineral sunscreens.

After taking a glance at almost all the brands (and their ingredient lists) claiming to be “natural”, “nontoxic” and “sustainable”, we have found these mineral sunscreens that are truly natural, clean and safe to use.

We truly wish and hope to see more Indian brands with cleaner, mindful products in the future, so consumers don’t have to compromise on their health while choosing their everyday essentials.


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