Did you know that 90% of visible skin aging is caused by sun damage? If you want to keep your skin youthful and protected then it would make sense to wear sunscreen, right? Yes, but then studies indicate that sunscreens can be harmful in several ways, from causing harm to our own bodies (for example, endocrine disruption) to harming the wildlife in our oceans. What are we to do with this conflicting information? Read on for SPF education that will help you keep your skin safe in the sun.

There are 2 kinds of light rays from the sun that affect our skin: UVA and UVB rays. What's the difference between them? UVA are long-wavelength rays that penetrate the deeper layers of the skin and are the main cause of skin aging. UVB are shorter, mid-range wavelength rays that tan and burn the surface layers of the skin. Think UVA=Aging and UVB=Burning.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The number following it indicates how long you can stay in the sun without burning. For example, Starflower's SeaFlower SPF 15 will allow 1/15th of UVB rays into your skin, which means it will block about 94% of the UVB rays. Any product labeled "Broad Spectrum" will also protect you from UVA rays. Depending on the UV index, it takes about 4-10 minutes on average for the skin to start burning from the sun without protection. Sun damage occurs before we can actually see it, taking hours to appear on the skin. It is recommended to re-apply sunscreen every 1 hour of exposure to the sun, and especially after swimming and sweating. But keep in mind, re-application does not prolong the amount of time you can stay in the sun, only boosts the first application's effectiveness. Ideal times of extended sun exposure are before 11 am and after 5 pm DST (summer hours). If you go to the beach say from 11 am to 5 pm bring a beach umbrella so that you have some shade to protect your skin. Starflower Sun Products contain "broad-spectrum protection" with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

It is important to avoid sunscreen products with the following ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxiate. These can possibly cause disruptions to hormones and cause skin allergies. In addition to this, the particular ingredient oxybenzone has been shown to cause coral bleaching, which is what happens when the coral reefs are stripped of their nutrients and turn them white, as well as disrupting other ocean wildlife.

Let's go over some natural ways we can heal sunburns and nourish our skin after some time in the sun:

Aloe Vera is a beach bag essential, everyone's go-to for any sunburn emergency. There's a good reason why, too. It contains 75 active compounds that help give it protective properties against radiation from the sun due to an antioxidant protein called metallothionein, including the wound-healing hormones called auxins and gibberellins.

Witch hazel is also another staple when it comes to healing a number of skin ailments. It contains chemicals called “tannins” which, when applied directly to the skin, can help reduce swelling and repair damaged skin.

Marshmallow Root is soothing and emollient to the skin, containing biogenic stimulators to heal, regenerate and tone the skin.

Vitamin E regenerates and heals, a blessing for burned skin with its anti-scarring properties.

Starflower's SPF Sun Crèmes contain natural non-nano titanium dioxide & non-nano zinc oxide minerals for sunscreen that reflect UV radiation. Why choose mineral sunscreens? These are considered safer than conventional sunscreens and are less irritating to the skin. Zinc oxide is also a critical mineral nutrient that you're likely to find in vitamin supplements and improves wound healing. In addition, they also contain Burdock and Echinacea to help prevent sunburn, as well as Chamomile, Lavender, Geranium, Myrrh, and Frankincense essential oils to soothe, tone and protect skin from sun exposure and burn. Starflower's sun protection products blended from biodynamic herbs and essential oils will vitalize your skin without the chemical compounds found in most sunscreen products. Our sunscreens will hydrate, vitalize, and detoxify your skin while preventing the potentially harmful effects of sun exposure.

Rose Gold Toner and Herbal Skin Bracer contain emollient Comfrey, Marshmallow Root and organic Aloe Vera juice that contain those biogenic stimulators previously mentioned. Rose Gold Face Crème is a healing and super soothing crème, ideal for traumatized skin in special need of repair. These products are great after sun exposure to soothe and relieve the redness of sunburned skin.


Now you can spend some time in the sunshine and soak up the rays without worrying about ruining your lovely skin. Enjoy the outdoors!