Sunscreen Safety

Who is looking forward to long summer days by the pool or at the beach or lake? mmm, ME!

A self-professed sun worshiper, I know just about everything there is so know about enjoying the sun safely — and to be honest, I know all about living dangerously with the sun; sans sunscreen, baby oil tanning sessions as a teenager, and beach days with that good old Tropicana 8 SPF! I was a brave little babe back in the day.

Even with the sun’s dangerous rays, you can be sure we won’t be avoiding it this summer! I got smart about sun protection as I got older — especially for my face and chest.

Did you know that an estimated 90% of the signs of aging are caused by the sun? and that more people are diagnosed with skin cancer each year in the U.S. than all other cancers combined?

I’ve got some exciting news and tons of information to share with you today on safer sunscreen and sun exposure.

Now that I’m more knowledgeable on healthy and harmful sun exposure, I wanted to pass along some of this info to you all. And there are TWO new product launches this week! (scroll if you can’t wait!)

So Many Rays

Broad-spectrum chemical and mineral sunscreens both provide broad-spectrum protection which means they protect against UVA and UVB rays. Beautycounter goes the extra step by also protecting from Blue Light – another type of ray that damages cellular DNA and leads to aging and cancer.

  • UVA = Aging Rays These are present all year round. Penetrates glass and clouds and deeper into the skin to cause free-radical damage that contribute to premature aging.
  • UVB = Burning Rays These are the primary causes of sunburn, easier to recognize as we can see and feel the damage as it occurs.

Higher than SPF 30 is unnecessary + a marketing ploy

  • SPF 15 – Blocks 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30 – Blocks 97% of UVB rays
  • SPF 50 – Blocks 98% of UVB rays

There is no such thing as Waterproof Sunscreen

There is a difference between water-resistant and waterproof (no sunscreen is technically waterproof so beware of that labeling). All sunscreens that resist removal while in water are specifically labeled water-resistant (40 or 80 minutes).

Chemicals vs. Minerals and how they protect us

Chemical sunscreens filter the sun (and are skin irritants, linked to hormone disruption as well as the destruction of our coral reef ecosystem). You’ll see them on labels in the form of: oxybenzone, avobenzone, and octinoxate most commonly.

Mineral sunscreens reflect the sun. The safest forms are non-nano zinc oxide and non-nano titanium dioxide. When searching for mineral sunscreen, ensure it says NON-NANO. The particle size matters here as larger particles are easily inhaled and can damage the lungs.

There is absolutely no additional benefit to using chemical sunscreens… they are linked to health and environmental harm as well as skin allergies.

Skip ’em this summer for a simple solution with the Countersun Mineral Sunscreen line.

Sunscreen Green-washing is Everywhere, Especially the Baby Products

Beware of green-washing in the sunscreen industry! The following products contain chemical sunscreen filters as well as a slew of other harmful chemicals. Don’t be fooled by their packaging claims, marketing or product design.

  • SuperGoop! sunscreen gets the “Clean Seal” at Sephora yet it contains 4 different chemical sunscreen filters.
  • Babyganics Baby Sunscreen contains chemical sunscreen in addition to mineral sunscreen (but not the non-nano recommended form).
  • Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen contains zinc oxide (but not the non-nano form) and toluene-based BHT among other questionable ingredients.
  • Neutrogena Dry Touch SPF100 sunscreen isn’t necessarily green-washing but it’s the one my mom used for years… and it contains FIVE chemical sunscreen filters! Plus… SPF100 provides negligible additional protection. It’s simply a marketing tactic to get unaware consumers to buy into higher SPF being “better for them”.
  • Goddess Garden Spray Sunscreen does not contain the non-nano version of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It’s particularly vital for these ingredients to be in the non-nano form in a mist application as they can be easily inhaled when sprayed near the body and face.


Beautycounter’s Countersun line is formulated without gluten and now contains FIVE products meeting all your sun safety and after sun needs.

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF30

(Allure Best of Beauty Winner) 3-ounce and 6.7-ounce available

I love this body sunscreen – it provides excellent protection (I’ve never gotten a burn while using it – same for my extended family) and rubs in clear on light to medium-deep skin tones.
Bonus: It rubs in much easier and is less greasy/oily than Badger brand as well which we used to use before we switched to Beautycounter.

Countersun Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF30

(TSA-friendly 3oz and 6oz available)

Sunscreen mist provides a quick application and easier to rub-in consistency. I prefer to still spray this product in my hands and rub it quickly into my arms, legs and chest. Much less waste than spraying onto the body and inevitably missing! Great choice for kids who can’t sit still when you need a quick application. Reapply every 80 minutes when sweating or in the water or after towel drying.

P.S. This is an aerosol-free mist… no chemical air propellants needed in this innovative, environmentally-friendly packaging design! Yes, I’ve traveled on an airplane with it too.

Countersun Mineral Face Stick Sunscreen SPF30

My husband and I love this face stick because we use it as a body stick, really. Quick reapplication or a quick couple swipes before a hike or bike ride and we are good to go. I keep a couple in all our hiking gear and my purse.

NEW! Countersun Mineral Tinted Sunscreen Mist SPF30

Who knew tinted body sunscreen is a thing? I didn’t until Beautycounter launched this new product and holy cow it SMELLS GOOD! Think: jasmine, coconut, vanilla, orange, ylang-ylang. Since this is a tinted product, I recommend spraying into hands and rubbing into skin to prevent the particles from getting on your bathing suit or clothing. It’ll wash off in the laundry if it does, but this is an easy way to avoid that issue.

NEW! Countersun Aftersun Cooling Gel

Well… have you ever turned over a bottle of drugstore “aloe” gel and looked at the ingredients? Aloe is WAY down the list and those products also contain harmful PEGs and Fragrance. If you’re prone to over-exposure, grab this real aloe gel that also contains sea kelp to relieve and moisturize skin. It also has the naturally-derived Monoi scent like the new Tinted Sunscreen!

Want an SPF Day Lotion too?

Grab the Dew Skin Tinted Moisturizer (SPF20). I use this instead of foundation on summer morning when I know I will be driving a lot or walking outside. It’s important to keep my face protected throughout my day! It provides light coverage, hydration and a slightly glow-y finish to skin. You can mix it into your foundation to get the benefits of additional coverage plus SPF! It’s also now an option in the 20% off Flawless in Five!

Let me know if you have questions! Which sunscreen are you currently using? I would love to hear!