After years of trial and burning error, I finally nailed the perfect combination of water resistant sun protection for my very pale skin with non-toxic, mineral sunblock!
I believe very strongly that clean cosmetics are the very best for our health, but in all honesty I’ve certainly gone through my fair share of natural sunblock to figure out what would work for an extended period of time, but not:
- feel like a big greasy mess
- clog pores
- look like a white paint dried unevenly on my skin
Know what I’m sayin’?
Scroll below to see my winning list of reef-friendly (because the sea creatures and our water matter) natural and organic water resistant sun protection for ya’.
When getting tan used to be the goal
As you may have read in my personal story, I grew up in Southern California and until the age of 24 my goal was to be as tan as possible.
Not knowing that the most amount of the aging and cancer-causing sun damage occurs between the ages of 8 and 23 years old.
Nope. Back then we were all slathering on sun accelerators to super charge tanning time. Ugh!
In my younger years, I was like a little fishy at the pool doing fancy made-up dives into the water eating Doritos and PB&J on white bread.
Then as I got older I could be found in the California “beach uniform” of a bikini top and cut-off jean shorts, roller blading down the Strand (you know where the Baywatch Lifeguards rescued people in a completely unrealistic manner, fake boobs bouncing in slow motion, with their makeup strongly and perfectly in place, even after a dramatic water rescue?)
The point is, now I am basically just one big sun damage blob when you look at my skin under a UV light.
Choosing to be pale and protected
To stave off all those (pre-created) signs of sun damage, and to protect my skin going forward, the new goal is to be my natural creamy, glowingly white shade of pale.
Back in the day when I was tanning regularly, kids used to make fun of me saying I looked like Casper (the friendly ghost) and I had way more color in my skin than I do now.
If one thing getting older has taught me, it’s that embracing, rather than fighting what you were born with, is the most beautiful and effortless thing you can do.
Failed attempts to no-burn success
I’ll be honest in the last decade I’ve gotten burned even with I really thought I was being super careful.
Some of it was the fault of the product and some of it was my own forgetfulness that I no longer have a 12-month base tan because I’ve been living where there are cold seasons (over a decade between Milan, NY and now Oregon) with covered skin 75% of the year.
So a couple of weeks ago when I went for a 4-hour float down the Clackamas River with a friend, I was determined not to burn my little, white body or face, I slathered the sunblock on very strategically. And it worked!
Keep in mind:
#1 Using enough sunblock and getting it on evenly in all the places the sun is likely to hit, is key. Most people aren’t getting the full SPF from their product because they aren’t putting on nearly enough.
#2 Water resistant SPF 50 for face and body, plus an SPF lip balm is where it’s at if you have super pale skin like me.
So without further ado here’s the list of what I used that worked to keep my skin from burning at all!
The best natural, water resistant sun protection
(used on body) Vegan
(used on face)
I talked more in detail about these two sunscreens shown above more specifically (and cover other favorite sun protection products for everyday use) in my previous article: BEST NATURAL SUNSCREEN FOR FACE AND BODY
A few more important sun protection tips you might be ignoring
You can actually boost your internal sun protection factor by eating tons of summer berries high in antioxidants which will help cells protect themselves too.
Also remember that wearing clothing and hats to cover your skin, seeking shade and staying out of the sun during peak hours (11am-2pm) will all significantly help the cause of not getting burned.
So what are your favorite natural sunscreens, or ways to protect your skin in the sun? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
Feature photo by Alex Dukhanov