Everyone needs protection from the sun but how you choose to protect yourself could be creating more harm to you and the environment. It would be great to give everyone a shopping list at to where to find and buy the right sunscreen but with our international guest list that is a bit tough. What we can do is let you know what you are looking for in a natural sunscreen and what to think about when choosing your next biogradable sunscreen
Why use a biodegrable sun screen?
Sun Screens are lotions that we use to protect our skin for the burning rays of the sun. What manufactures have created are chemically heavy lotions that keep the sun away but create damage to our bodies and the environments where we use screen. The ocean or any body of water is the first place that gets damaged from manufactured sunscreens.
But how do you enjoy the sun & protect your skin, your body and the environment?
Look for the following ingredients in a sunscreen:
- Zinc oxide, or similar minerals, like titanium oxide as its primary ingredient.
- Bees wax, plant oils or butters (from nuts)
- Shea butter can be synthetically produced so check if that is the case
If you live in the US or Canada, your local health food store or Whole Foods grocery store has a variety of products to choose from. Read the label, ask some questions and make your choice. In Tulum we are huge fans of the natural Mayatan products (sunscreen, bug repellant, lotions) that can be purchased in town at Mixik or in the local drug store. It is made locally and uses a great combination of oils and butters to protect you from the sun. As we say, just in cases……bring some with you and pick up some extra when you are here!
Physically cover yourself up for the best eco-sunscreen!
When we think of protecting ourselves from the sun the first option is lotion, but you can also protect yourself with clothing and hats. Now that sort of kills the whole idea of walking the beach in a little (if any) bikini. That has been resolved with a large brimmed hat! The large brimmed hat which is stylish, sexy and provides protection lets us itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini wearers still have sun protection and not have to overdress on the beach.
Find you fashion and work protection into it! It can be done and we see it all the time!I fa bathing suit is not part of your beach gear find other accessories that will protect you from the sun, a hat, an umbrella, a super cool hat and scarf! be creative as physical protection is the best sustainable protection against the sun! The plastic lady is not attractive but the hat, it rocks!
What to do if you do get too much sun!!??
It happens, and people get too much sun. Additionally, you skin can get a bit of damage just from being in the sun for longer than it is used to. So what environmentally friendly products can you use to take care of the environment and your skin.
1. Aloe Vera – there are aloe vera plants every where in Mexico. Just ask a local resident or hotel for one leaf of their plant, open the leaf (watch the spikes on the side of the leaf) and spread that gel everywhere. It is cool, it is healthy and it will repair your skin from sun damage and rehydrate your skin.
2. Peppermint oil, calendula oil or St. John’s Wort extract helps reduce body heat and promote a healthy inflammatory response when you are in a warm enviroment that causes your body to overheat.
3. Vitamin E oil, avocado oil or diluted lavender essential oil promotes healing on damaged skin.
4. Cucumber juice or rosewater is soothing. (local pharmacies have rose water, and cucumbers…they are everywhere!)
Our word of advice. Bring your sun supplies with you. It is great to buy locally and we encourage that, but supplies run out and would be a drag not to have the sunscreen of you choice. Playa del Carmen has an essential oil store if you want to purchase these items locally, but really, bring it all with you. FInd your fashion and buy it at home and if you find additional items while you are here, buy it as well. YOu can never have enough lotions, hats, oils or butters! Really you can’t.