Spending time in the sun feels good—especially after a long, cold winter—but there’s no question about it: the suns rays are harmful and will damage skin.

While the message is clear that sunscreen is a must, consumers must be careful in choosing protection that is clean and safe for both your body and the environment.

The Science of Sun Exposure

When light hits the skin, it creates fragments, called “free radicals”, that attach themselves to important cellular proteins and DNA, ultimately causing collagen damage. Skin darkening or turning red signals an inflammatory response at the cellular level, often times resulting in uneven pigmentation, dark spots, wrinkles, and sometimes even, skin cancer. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, an estimated one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.

A (Safe) Place in the Sun

Though there are thousands of sunscreen options available, not all are effective in providing complete, broad-spectrum protection, and many contain potentially toxic ingredients. To take the guesswork out of the shopping process, MyChelle recommends a sunscreen that features mineral protection, is non-nano certified, offers SPF and antioxidant protection, and is eco-friendly and marine safe.

Mineral Protection

Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are naturally occurring mineral particles that physically reflect UV rays off the skin, creating a protective barrier between your skin and the sun. These ingredients provide stronger, safer, and faster sun protection than ‘chemical’ sunscreens that are created in the lab to absorb UV rays (Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octisalate, Mexoryl, Homsalate, and Octinoxate are the most common) and which tend to be significantly more irritating to skin with the potential to cause allergic reactions.

Non-Nano Certified

Using a 100% mineral-based sunscreen is important; however, not all are created equal. Some contain nanoparticles that are potentially toxic to human tissue and cells. Although the FDA does not have an official regulation for nanoparticles, MyChelle follows the EU definition of Non-Nano as ‘the primary particle size is greater than 100nm’. All MyChelle sun protection products are certified Non-Nano through two independent labs.

SPF + Antioxidant Protection

To boost protection from dangerous infrared radiation (53% of solar light), you need multi-layered protection—SPF plus the added security of antioxidants. In combination, mineral sunscreens and free radical-fighting antioxidants help stop the cascade of chemical reactions occurring at the cellular level.

Reef Safe

It’s estimated that 4,000 to 6,000 tons of sunscreen are washed up onto coral reef areas every year, devastating the coral reefs and the marine life that inhabit these underwater ecosystems. MyChelle avoids formulating any sun protection product with marine-toxic chemicals, such as Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, and instead uses clean, non-toxic ingredients to protect the health and wellbeing of the environment and all its living creatures.

Selecting the perfect sunscreen for your skin requires time and careful consideration, but there’s no question, it is worth the investment. When in doubt (or short on time!), consult the EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens for their recommendations on sun protection that meets stringent ingredient and marketing standards.

If you have additional questions or would like to connect with a MyChelle esthetician to learn more about the MyChelle sun care collection, please email or call 1.800.447.2076.