Let's talk about suncream

Jess Henshall

There seems to be a lot of debate happening about the harmful effects of chemical filled suncream,  the results of which can be both overwhelming and unclear. So although conclusive research might not be readily available, here at Archie’s we strongly believe that making the easy switch from chemical filled suncream to a natural one can only be a good choice, both for our skin, and for the environment.

What should I look for in a suncream?

The simplest answer to this is to start by looking for recognisable ingredients, such as coconut oil, shea butter and olive oil, and then look to choose an organic suncream. This eliminates a vast majority of harmful chemicals, as the standard of the ingredients must be of a natural, higher quality for it to claim its organic status. Also, by choosing an organic suncream, the ingredients are more likely to be gentler on the skin, avoiding irritating issues such as eczema, but make sure to check what the label says, as some will be for more sensitive skin types. Tip: if testers are available, make sure to do a swatch test to check for any allergic reaction, before you cover your whole body in it. 

How can using a natural suncream help the environment?

Whenever we wear suncream, the residue on our skin has to go somewhere. When we’re at the beach or in the shower, invariably that suncream ends up being washed off in the water, meaning if we use one which is isn’t made from natural ingredients, those chemicals end up in the ocean, potentially harming our environment. It’s a safer bet to choose a natural and organic suncream, as it eliminates the risk of nasty chemicals being released into the environment.  

What factor should I choose?

One of the key things with suncream is to reapply it regularly, so for lots of people a lower SPF could be beneficial. This is because when we apply a higher SPF, for example factor 50, we assume we’re then protected for longer as it has a higher SPF. However in doing so, patches of the skin which may have been missed are then exposed to strong UV for a longer period, damaging the skin more than if we use a lower factor, but apply it more regularly. The trick really is to just be conscious about how much exposure we’re giving our skin, and be mindful about regular reapplication.  

What brands should I choose?

Here at Archie’s, we stock lots of different suncreams across the two stores. Here is a list of some of our favourites brands we stock, however if you can’t see one of these products on our shelves, one of our lovely team members will be more than happy to see if we can get one in for you, as both stores stock slightly different products. 

  • Yaoh
  • Green People
  • Aloe Vera
  • Pure Nuff Stuff
  • Jason
  • Organii
  • Lavera
  • Shade