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You Need These Natural Sunscreens in Your Beach Bag
We all know you're supposed to protect your skin when you go outside. (It's so important to Ree Drummond, who's advocated for sun protection ever since she had a basal cell carcinoma removed from her neck when she was 30.) But why choose natural sunscreen over other kinds? While chemical sunscreens penetrate your skin's surface and absorb UV rays, generally the best natural sunscreens (including Ree's fave!) sit on top of your skin to block the rays entirely. This means they're less likely to irritate sensitive skin—plus they'll work right away, whereas you typically have to wait at least 30 minutes before catching some rays with the chemical kind.
The most common active ingredients in natural sunscreen, also known as physical or mineral sunscreen, are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. "These ingredients are safer for you than those found in chemical sunscreens because they aren't absorbed into the body," says Dr. Purvisha Patel, MD, a Tennessee-based dermatologist and the founder of Visha Skincare. Even the FDA has proposed stricter regulations that would only recognize zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as safe ingredients. Natural sunscreens have environmental benefits, too: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide don't contribute to coral reef bleaching like many chemical ones do.
With all these things going for it, why isn't natural sunscreen more popular? Well, the same minerals that protect your skin can make natural sunscreens thicker and cause them to leave behind a whitish cast. In most cases, a slight white tinge is unavoidable if you choose to use mineral sunscreen, but thankfully the 20 in this gallery, including sunscreen for your face and moisturizers with SPF, won't have that problem. Once you've got your sun protection sorted, give your skin some extra attention with the best anti-aging creams, facial cleansers, and lotions for dry skin.
No white residue here!