Summer sun care

Natural and ‘free from’ suncare products aren’t always the easiest personal care products to find on the high street, but some are available in specialist stores, and many more online. Here, Alex Gazzola rounds up of some of the brands and products which may be worth exploring.

Summer has arrived and, presuming it doesn’t disappear as suddenly as it has appeared, you’ll almost certainly be needing some suncare products for the weeks ahead!

Due to the unpredictability of the British weather and the difficulty in arranging the usual SkinsMatter standard of month-long ‘tried and tested’ reviews when it comes to suncare products, we can only offer a round-up of brands and products which you may find of interest. Although we’ve not seen or tried most of these products, we are familiar with other products from the brands featured, and are sure that they are worth taking a closer look at for your summer and suncare needs. 

The excellent Jason Skincare has a six-strong range of sunblock products, which include at SPF 20, 35 and 45, for family, kids, face and sporting activity. They also have a ‘Quit Bugging Me!’ natural insect repellent – which could well come in handy if you’re off to hotter climes. Prices are very reasonable, usually below the £10 mark, and all products are free from parabens, petrochemicals, oxybenzone, and phthalates.

Salcura – who performed so well in our inaugural Free From Skincare Awards in 2012 with their products for problem skin conditions – have two very interesting products: their Dermasun Burn Relief (£14.99, 100ml), and DermaSun Allergy Relief (£14.99, 100ml), ideal for dealing with irritated and inflamed skin prone to prickly heat or photo-allergic reactions. Both have the star ingredient of sea buckthorn oil to soothe irritation. All Salcura products are free from peroxides, hormones, steroids, parabens and alcohols.

Lovea is a range of nine-products which includes sunscreens up to SPF 50 for face, body and for children. It also includes tanning oils and self tan lotions. The entire range is certified organic by Ecocert so it does not contain parabens or nanoparticles. The UV filters are mineral based so they reflect UV light before it hits the skin. Prices between £8-18. Free from parabens, phenoxyethanol, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, methoxycinnamate, silicones, EDTA and nano-particles. Free also from all fragrance allergens except d-limonene and linalool.

As you’d expect, Green People have an extensive range of suncare products, which contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory ingredients with skin vitamins A, C and E (green tea, olive, avocado and rosemary extract) to help support the skin's immune system and protect against cell damage. The range includes sun lotion, after sun, hydrating mist, haircare protection products, with options for kids, including fragrance-free, and trial size options as well. All products are free from sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate, parabens, lanolin, phthalates, propylene glycol, alcohol (ethyl alcohol, ethanol), artificial fragrances, irritating emulsifiers, PABA-sunscreen, petrochemicals, colourants, urea, DEA, TEA or PEGs.

sunSun spray, sun cream and after sun are among the products in Lavera’s range of suncare products, described as “100% natural and organic mineral sun protection”, and including kids’ products too. Free from parabens, petroleum and synthetic ingredients. Products are mostly priced within the £8-12 mark.

Pevonia have a range of products too, including Hydrating Sunscreen SPF30 (£35, 150ml) and a handy Safe Sun Face and Body Pack (£45) boasting a selection of four products. Strong free-from properties include no mineral oil, parabens, urea, formaldehyde, PABA, synthetic dyes, artificial fragrances, hydroquinone, octyl palmitate, SD alcohol and urocanic acid.

MacUrth is a new-to-us brand, offering two products – Organic Sun Cream Factor 15 (£11.95), and Factor 30 (£12.95). The ingredients seem very simple – water, plant based chemical filter, coconut oil products, apricot kernel oil, mineral filter: titanium dioxide, moisturising aloe vera juice, citrus, rosemary herbal extract – and appear free of key food allergens.

Bareskin Beauty have an Antioxidant Sun Protection Serum (£17, 100ml) which nourishes and protects with a 100% natural, mineral sunscreen that reflects both UVA and UVB rays – allowing you to develop a golden tan safely. It is free from parabens, phthalates, nano-particles and key food allergens. It uses coconut-based preservative and also contains beeswax.

French brand Melvita have a PROSUN High Protection Sunscreen at SPF30 (£19, 40ml) and SPF50 (£20, 40ml). They have been formulated with 100% mineral filters, and are free from nanoparticles and chemical sunscreens. They contain cupuacu butter, buriti oil and argan oil.

Bentley Organic’s very affordable summer offering – a recent launch, in fact – is the SunSoothe Aftersun Lotion (£6.42, 250ml), which is a blend  of organic aloe, shea butter and vitamin E to help repair skin and chamomile and apricot kernel oil to calm, nourish and moisturise sun kissed skin. Certified by the “Soil Association” and is free from parabens, petrochemicals, benzoates, phenoxyethanol, alcohol and artificial fragrance.

Blue Labelle – who offer 100% natural botanical skincare – have a soothing and moisturising Aftersun Oil (£15, 100ml), which contains nothing but pure oils of sweet almond, rosehip, lavender, chamomile and eucalyptus – which offer naturally occurring antioxidants, vitamins, and omega oils.

Jane Iredale impressed us with the originality of their Lip and Cheek Stain in the Free From Skincare Awards – taking home a bronze in the Make-up category – and they offer another unique skincare product in suncare, the Powder-Me SPF Dry Sunscreen (£35, 17.5g), for use on the body, face and scalp for UVA and UVB protection at SPF30, and available in three shades, transluscent, tanned and golden. We’re also happy to see statements the products are free from wheat and vegan (therefore free from dairy) on the JI site. Additionally, products are free from fragrance and chemical dyes.

For a small brand, Pure Nuff Stuff have a strong selection of suncare products, including Sun Cream SPF20, Natural Tanning Cream and Bronzing Lotion. We really like that you can buy samples of some of the products for 50p! Prices otherwise are roughly in the £10-15 range. Free from parabens, petrochemicals, gluten, and animal ingredients.

And finally, but by no means least, Neal’s Yard Remedies, who won best brand in this year’s awards, have a nine-strong range of suncare and holiday products, including Sun Protection SPF15 lip balm and aloe vera after sun. All NYR products are free from parabens, silicones, phthalates, GMO, mineral oils, EDTA, synthetic fragrances/colours.  

kids in pool

First published in July 2013


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