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March 24, 2024 4 min read

Hi Go For Zero family! 

As we transition into the beautiful autumn season here in Australia, it's important to remember that sun protection is a year-round necessity. While the days may be getting shorter and the weather cooler, the sun's harmful UV rays can still damage our skin. Today, we're diving into the world of natural and chemical sunscreens to help you make an informed decision for your family and the planet.

The Top 3 Differences Between Natural and Chemical Sunscreens

Firstly, let’s break down the top 3 difference when it comes to natural vs. chemical sunscreens:

  1. Ingredients: Natural sunscreens, also known as physical or mineral sunscreens, rely on active ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. These minerals sit on the surface of the skin, reflecting and scattering UV rays. Chemical sunscreens, on the other hand, use synthetic compounds such as oxybenzone and octinoxate that absorb into the skin and convert UV rays into heat. 

  2. How They Work: Natural sunscreens create a physical barrier on the skin's surface and start protecting you immediately upon application. Chemical sunscreens need about 15-30 minutes after application to become effective, as they need time to absorb into the skin and interact with UV rays.

  3. Environmental Impact: Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients that can harm coral reefs and marine life. When these ingredients wash off into the ocean, they can contribute to coral bleaching and disrupt the delicate balance of marine ecosystems. Natural sunscreens, made with safe ingredients like zinc oxide are much gentler on the environment and do not pose the same risks to marine life.

Ingredients to Avoid in Mainstream Sunscreens

Some common chemical sunscreen ingredients that have raised concerns include:

  • Oxybenzone & Octinoxate: These ingredients are readily absorbed by the skin and have been linked to potential hormone disruption in humans. They are also harmful to coral reefs and other marine life. Did you know places like Hawaii have banned banned sunscreens containing these chemical active ingredients? Common Australia!
  • Homosalate: Found in many sunscreens and skincare products, homosalate raises some concern as a potential hormone disruptor. Additionally, homosalate exposure could increase pesticide absorption in the body. No thank you...
  • Octocrylene: While further research is needed, there is concern about the body’s ability to absorb octocrylene, which could be found in blood, urine and breast milk. It can also produce free radicals when exposed to the sun, leading to premature aging.
  • Avobenzone: This effective UVA filter has recently raised some concerns. People may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions (like my daughter) to this ingredient and it is also know to harm our coral reef.

More research is needed, but the chemical industry can't keep using that as an excuse. We are not waiting around. At Go For Zero, we research all ingredients and have found effective natural alternatives.

The Benefits of Natural Ingredients in Go For Zero's Sunscreens

We proudly offer effective, natural, mineral-based sunscreens made with nourishing ingredients. Zinc oxide provides broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays, while being gentle on sensitive skin and less likely to clog pores.

Our sunscreens are enriched with skin-loving botanicals like green tea extract, raspberry seed oil, and vitamin E to soothe and hydrate your skin while shielding it from the sun.

We've researched and tested the best natural sunscreens from Australian brands that prioritise both human health and the environment:

  1. Sunbutter: Founded by marine biologists, Sunbutter offers plastic-free, reef-safe sunscreens for the whole family. Enriched with zinc oxide, coconut oil, and vitamin E, their non-greasy formula comes in an eco-friendly metal tin.
  2. Sunslayer: Sunslayer's innovative sunscreen is a luxurious, ocean-friendly 4-in-1 formula. It moisturises, primes, and delivers vitamin E while providing zinc-only mineral protection. Fragrance-free and alcohol-free, it's suitable for all skin types and comes in a recyclable tube.
  3. Winki Zinc: Winki Zinc's natural mineral sunscreen is perfect for sensitive skin, babies, and expectant mothers. Made with vitamin E, castor oil, and coconut oil, this vegan, cruelty-free, and palm oil-free formula comes in a plastic-free recyclable aluminium tube.

These natural sunscreens offer the perfect combination of skin protection, nourishment, and eco-friendliness. By choosing these brands, you're not only taking care of your skin but also supporting Australian made brands that prioritise the health of our planet and oceans.

A Word of Wisdom for Sun Lovers

Do you need to wear sunscreen on a cloudy day? Yes, even on cloudy or cool autumn days, up to 80% of UV rays can still reach your skin. Make sun protection a daily habit, just like brushing your teeth! Apply sunscreen generously to all exposed areas before heading outdoors, and reapply every 2 hours or after swimming or excessive sweating.

Making the switch to natural sunscreen is a small change that can have a big impact on your health and our planet. At Go For Zero, we believe in supporting brands that care, so you can feel good about the choices you make for your family, all year round.

With love,

Ellie and The Go For Zero Team x

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