I think ECO FORMULA 30+ is the best natural mineral zinc oxide sunscreen for you if you're a highly athletic outdoor enthusiast and serious about wanting a 100% natural, eco-conscious sun screen. It's rated in category #1 by the Environmental Working Group and that means that you can't find a more environmentally friendly, all natural product, period.
Raw Elements Eco Formula is a high performance sunscreen that binds tenaciously to your skin. It contains a serious 23% non-nano zinc oxide so you KNOW you're protected when you wear it. I use it gardening when I expect to be rubbing off my sunscreen taking my gardening gloves on and off and crawl around in the dirt and shrubbery. I need something that will stay put through it all and Raw Elements does. At the end of the day I actually have to scrub it off my skin it stays on that well. It's also my new favorite for the back of my hands and neck when I swim laps at 12 noon, which is my favorite time to swim AND a really bad time to be out in the direct sun (the rest of me is covered by a full body swim suit).
• 30+ SPF
• Broad spectrum protection
• Biodegradable and reef safe!
• Safe for all ages
• Never runs or stings eyes
• Water resistant to 80 minutes
As a performance driven sunscreen, you can trust that this product is very water resistant, quite possibly even beyond the usual 80 minutes (but you still need to reapply as directed by the FDA). It is also so gentle and moisturizing that it's perfect for the sensitive skin of little kids! The Eco Formula is made with a thick base that binds well to skin and will require some effort to rub it in for an almost clear application on your skin. The effort it's worth it because you'll know that you're well protected by an entirely natural product that's used by surfers and other really active outdoor water sports athletes (and seriously sweaty gardening dermatologists)!
Dr. Cynthia Bailey Wants You To Know These Important Facts About Sunscreen
It's my opinion that zinc oxide is the best sunscreen ingredient for broad spectrum UVA and UVB sun protection.
Zinc oxide, and its cousin titanium dioxide, are considered mineral sunscreens (and are also called physical sunscreens). When applied to your skin these mineral/physical sunscreens sit on top of your skin and bounce off the UV rays just like bouncing a ball off of a wall. They provide non-irritating, hypoallergenic broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection that you can trust. Nano technology made it possible for mineral sunscreen to be applied invisibly to your skin. New zinc oxide technology has made it possible for even non-nano zinc oxide products to create nearly invisible protection too.
Mineral sunscreens are the only sunscreens that I trust and recommend. That's because the other type of sunscreens, called chemical sun screens (and also confusingly also called ‘organic' sunscreens!), actually absorb into the top of your skin and block the sun rays with a chemical reaction that occurs within your skin itself. The reaction creates a little heat, which make you feel even hotter in the sun. More importantly, it breaks down the chemical sunscreen ingredients so that they aren't there to protect you anymore. Thus, your skin steadily runs out of the chemical sunscreens when you're in the sun.
The mineral sunscreens on the other hand last longer on your skin because the UV rays don't break them down like this. They're also more stable in the sunscreen bottle than ‘chemical' sunscreens, which break down while they sit on the bottle waiting for you to buy them and use them.
Of the mineral sunscreen ingredients, I recommend only zinc oxide and not titanium dioxide because it rubs onto your skin better and gives better broad spectrum protection.
Remember, harmful and aging UV sun rays come through most windows. You need to apply sunscreen to the all exposed areas of your skin every day even if you don't plan to spend time outdoors. Applying a mineral zinc oxide sunscreen should be part of your daily skin care routine!
Cynthia Bailey, MD
Dr. Bailey Skin Care
425 South Main St