Sunscreen – nano free vs chemical free

Besides SPF ratings, there are two things to watch out for with sunscreens this summer, to check whether they are chemical free and also whether they are nanoparticle free.

What are nanoparticles?

In laymans terms, the compounds are broken down so finely they are absorbed in to the skin & the blood stream. While this makes for flawless foundations & sunscreens that feel fantastic to wear, many researchers are concerned about the health risks of the use of nanparticles in the cosmetic & sunscreen industry.

What is a chemical free sunscreen?

There are two different ways to effectively manufacture sunscreen. One is by using minerals that reflect UVA & UVB rays, like Zinc Oxide, the other is by using chemical UV absorbers. The first option is considered the safe option.

Can chemical free sunscreen contain nanoparticles?

Absolutely. Zinc Oxide can be broken down in to nanoparticles. Don’t always assume that Zinc Oxide sunscreens are safe.

How do I know which brands of sunscreen are safe?

Friends of the Earth have produced a safe sunscreen guide and have split sunscreens up in to the following categories:-

  • Nano & Chemical Free
  • Nano Free
  • May Use Nano
  • Do use Nano

Some brands of safe sunscreen that are both nano & chemical free that we stock in our own online shop include Invisible Zinc, Wotnot, Soleo Organics. While UV Natural are on the ‘maybe’ list, we know this brand is also nano & chemical free. Visit their official website for clarification.

Download the full Safe Sunscreen Guide from Friends of the Earth HERE



Joanne is the owner & founder of Shop Naturally. She is a Holistic Health Coach and studying the Advanced Diploma of Nutritional Medicine.

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