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Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin

Take a look at your sunscreen. What do you see? Bright colors, YES. Flashy logos, YES, but look at the ingredients! Oxybenzone, Octocrylene, Propylparaben, the list goes on. Now you might be thinking to yourself, “what’s the problem?” Clinically this comes down to preference, or in my case, if you’ve experienced allergic reactions to the listed ingredients above. Now, I do not burn, although I used to when I was little (thank’s mommaire for the ghost effect, BOO!), instead I freckle. Thus, sunscreen is very important to me, as I like my peaches and cream complexion, with some frecklage, not a whole face of em’! However, in foundations, especially, I BREAK OUT SO BAD. That is until I took a closer look at what is REALLY in my products! With that being said, today I have for you love’s a comparison between regular drugstore brand sunscreen and organic/natural sunscreen. Enjoy, and hopefully, if you’re experiencing breakouts this can help you narrow down your search for the perfect sunscreen (Credo.com and ewg.org are wonderful websites for this matter).

Mineral VS. Chemical

Mineral sunscreen is DIFFERENT from chemical sunscreen! Allow me to explain. Mineral sunscreens, which are most associated with “natural” and “organic” use ACTIVE mineral ingredients! These include zinc oxide and titanium oxide. On the other hand, chemical sunscreens, which use ingredients such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, and homosalate, contain one or more chemicals! The interesting part is mineral sunscreens BOUNCE sunrays off exposed skin, while chemical sunscreen although they do a good job, ABSORB sunrays. See the difference?

Ingredients to AVOID                  Ingredients to love

  1. Oxybenzone                                    *Zinc Oxide 

  2. Avobenzone                                    *Titanium Oxide

  3. Octisalate

  4. Octocrylene

  5. Homosalate

  6. Octinoxate

Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin
Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin

Take a look at the photo above! To the left is Banana Boat’s “Sport” Performance SPF 30 Sunscreen, while to the right is Juice Beauty’s SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer. I have highlighted stand out ingredients on the left, as well as on the right that I wanted to draw attention too. The “natural” sunscreen contains skin-loving ingredients such as organic aloe, organic vitamin e, algae extract and so on and so forth. Things you can pronounce. On the general sunscreen, you have ingredients thrown in such as none organic aloe leaf juice, Propylparaben (disrupts hormones), a form of dimethicone which disrupts the environment and your skin…the list goes on. Basically not “skin-loving” ingredients. NOW, I am NOT saying that you shouldn’t purchase the Banana Boat sunscreen, but I am saying that if you’re like me, sensitive, it’s time to crack down on what REALLY is in your products! Why would I break out or burn from something that is supposed to be beneficial for my skin? None other than chemicals. Please be noted it’s best to stay away from ANYTHING with fragrance, and if you’re going to be applying something to your FACE, go for OIL FREE!

Check Out The Ingredients

Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin
Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin
Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin
Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin
Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin
Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin
Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin
Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin

When in doubt use baby sunscreen! Fragrance-free, check, and organic ingredients, CHEEECK! If you look at the ingredients list above, you’ll be able to draw your own inferences on what you’d prefer to stick on your body. AGAIN. I am not some person who is overly concerned with their products, but I used to break out SO bad from sunscreen, thus I felt this blog post might help someone in the future!

The Natural Side

        Is natural better? Not always. Some people have allergic reactions to natural ingredients on the daily! For example, peppermint oil, and castor oil don’t agree with my skin, at all. Although you could go to an allergist, which many have recommended for me, I think you should go along with how your body feels and reacts unless you have huge puffy lips and feel like you’re going to pass out…but, that’s a different story. Due to the fact, A TON of ingredients seem to make me hive up, (thus it would not only cause me a headache seeing my skin puff up, it’d just be plain out annoying), I find test and trial to work best! I also find comparing products that work for me, to products that are not suitable for my skin to be perfect in the terms of weeding out “bad” ingredients. Two sunscreens I recommend include Juice Beauty SPF 30 Oil-Free Moisturizer, and try not to laugh Coola FRAGRANCE free Mineral Baby SPF 50 Organic Sunscreen lotion!  Fragrance-free, paraben free, and preservative free beauty is sometimes the way to go ;). Even baby formulas are the way to go at times, hehe! Come to think of it, why as we grow older do we NOT use the “baby” formulas anymore? Same with “baby wipes”. I don’t know about you, but I like to feel CLEAN!

In case you thought you were “safe” from the sun, even with cloudy weather people get sunburns! It’s best to always apply SPF before you leave your home for anti-aging purposes, plumper looking skin, and ahem, a reduced factor of skin cancer. Who wants leathery skin anyway?

Pros to Cons

Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin
Sunscreen 101 for Sensitive Skin


  1. Fewer breakouts

  2. More sun protection

  3. No hormone disrupters

  4. Good for the planet


  1. Can be pricey

  2. Test & trial

  3. Harder to obtain

  4. Smaller Bottles

Price always factors in, but I suppose for me I prefer the quality over quantity. Will you be testing out a new sunscreen come the warmer weather ;)? Let me know in the comments below my loves xoxo.

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