Safer Sun Care (with video Webinar)

Is safer sun exposure possible? Contrary to scare tactics, sun is good for you. Exposure itself doesn’t increase risk of cancer, and has many benefits from balancing hormones with circadian rhythm to increasing Vitamin D.

Getting burned is what IS bad and increases risk of cancer, which is also increased by factors such as: moles, family history, fair complexion or red hair, smoking, chemical exposure, Vitamin D deficiency, weakened immune system, sunburns as a child.

You can reduce risk by avoiding excessive sun exposure that causes burn, wearing UV protective clothing, hats, sunglasses, and leverage shade or scheduling activities when sun is not at peak times (when the rays are at their strongest) and wearing sunscreen – but what kind?!


  • Your sunscreen has an expiration date – make sure to check it!
  • Beautycounter’s sunscreen meetings the requirements for HSA/FSA reimbursement?
  • With mineral sunscreens you need to shake well, apply often
  • Sun Protection Factor (SPF) tells you how long the sun’s UVB rays would take to redden your skin compared to the amount of time without sunscreen. Since SFP 30 blocks 97% and SPF 50 blocks only 1% more at 98%, proper application has more impact to sun damage reduction than a SPF higher than 30 does.


from Skincancer.Org:

Regular daily use of SPF 15 sunscreen can reduce your risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma by about 40 percent, and lower your melanoma risk by 50 percent.

Helps prevent premature skin aging caused by the sun, including wrinkles, sagging and age spots.

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor. The number tells you how long the sun’s UVB rays would take to redden your skin if you apply the sunscreen exactly as directed compared with the amount of time without sunscreen. So, SPF 30 would take you 30 times longer to burn than if you used no sunscreen.

Choosing a sunscreen: What to look for:

Broad spectrum: Protects your skin from both UVA and UVB rays.

SPF 15: Ideal for every day, occasional exposure, like walking your dog, or driving to work. 

SPF 30 or higher: Necessary for extended outdoor activities. 

What percentage of UV rays are blocked by SPF

  • SPF 15 blocks about 93 percent of all UVB rays
  • SPF 30 filters out 97 percent
  • SPF 50 filters only 1% more, 98 percent

Even when it’s cloudy, up to 80 percent of the sun’s UV radiation reaches the earth. Going unprotected on an overcast day can lead to skin damage.


I am not a medical professional, please always discuss with yours if you have health concerns

Chemical Sunscreen

  • Absorbs UV radiation into your skin and the chemical bonds break down rays and release them as heat.
  • Oybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate

Known risks

These chemicals intentionally absorb into the skin, enter the bloodstream, and can potentially:

  • Interact and disrupt human sex hormones (infertility) or thyroid hormones
  • Increase chance of cancer (yes, for the product you’re using to avoid it!)
  • Cause skin and eye irritation and allergies
  • Increase pigmentation (make brown spots darker because of increased generated heat)

Physical Mineral sunscreen

Physically creates a barrier on the skin to reflect and block rays from penetrating into your skin

  • Zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide
  • These minerals are independently beneficial for skin (speeds wound healing, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory).

Known risks

  • Low quality products may contain contaminated heavy metals and nanoparticles.

What does the Government say?

  • In a huge, rare recent announcement, FDA published the findings from a study that chemical sunscreens do in fact absorb into the body at high percentages, and they’re not sure what it’s doing to us. [read article here]
  • Subsequently, the FDA has proposed new regulation to make sure sunscreen is safe and effective, but can’t do anything about it right now.
  • CNN reported that based on the new FDA proposal, the majority of sunscreens would flunk their standards.
  • We already know chemical-based sunscreens kill the coral reef, which is why Hawaii banned them. [read article here]


  1. UVB: these are the burning rays linked to skin cancer.
  2. UVA: aging rays. These penetrate deeper into the skin causing free radical damage which can lead to wrinkles and age spots on skin.
  3. Blue Light: increases oxidants and induces oxidative stress preferentially in mitochondria (oxidizing accelerates aging) rays. Think light from all of our smart devices and blue light in the atmosphere; the latest research suggests it may damage skin proteins and lipids and cause as much skin-aging effects as UVA & UVB (including affecting skin elasticity, wrinkles, and hyper-pigmentation).

Tips for using Mineral/Physical Sunscreen:

  • Application is more important than SPF number; follow instructions of quantity and timing to cover every area to be exposed in the sun.
  • UVA and blue light (aging rays) penetrate glass and clouds; always wear sunscreen!
  • Reapply every 2 hours, or after exiting the water. Apply 15 minutes before getting into the water and not while sweating.
  • Rub in sunscreen lotion, stick or spray fully into the skin.


Many sunscreens will advertise themselves as mineral sunscreens, but also add chemical filters because it makes the product less expensive to manufacture. And most “aloe” products have a ton of harmful additives. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is!  


Beautycounter is a market-leader in the safest and most effective sunscreens. The mineral-based non-nano formula has added antioxidants to nourish the skin while physically blocking the sun’s harmful rays, UVA/UVB and blue light.

Things that make Beautycounter’s Sunscreen special:

  1. Contains all the good stuff (zinc oxid, titanium dioxide, lutein) to nourish skin with nutrients and antioxidants.
  2. Lightweight mineral broad spectrum formula protects across ALL THREE harmful sun rays. They use minerals to physically block damage as well as antioxidant-rich orange California Poppy, which contains carotenoid-rich Letein to block blue light.
  3. Beautyconter’s formula is carefully sourced and tested 3 times for safety.
  4. Countersun is non-nano, ensuring your skin barrier keeps the formula on your skin – not in it.
  5. Beautycounter’s award-winning mist is the only non-nano non-aerosol non-propellant mineral spray lotion, it uses bag-on-valve technology. No potentially harmful propellant chemicals are sprayed into the atmosphere or onto skin, making it safer for the earth.
  6. This sheer formula goes on white but then blends into the skin, and now comes in tinted formula to provide coverage and even skin tone!
  7. It’s reef safe! Beautycounter supported Hawaii in passing their chemical sunscreen ban.


  • I recommend the stick for above the shoulders, I find that the waxy formula resists sweat better and is especially good for little hands.
  • The lotion and mist (an air-compressed spray of the lotion, no propellants!) are best for body application – make sure to shake well and rub in!
  • Follow the instructions on reapplication. Because it’s not absorbed into the blood stream, like chemical SPF, it has to be ON the skin to physically block the sun. If active and sweating or swimming, we reapply hourly (each pool break). If it’s just a normal day with moderate sun, Dew Skin alone with one application is all my skin needs.



Checkout these two podcasts (free in iTunes or listen through your web browser)

The Whole View Podcast, ep 301: Sunscreen, Sun Exposure & Sunburns
The Whole View Podcast ep 302: Is Blue Light Harmful and What Should I Do?


Want to try Countersun? E-mail me HERE and simply ask – happy to send your way!


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