Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte Edition
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Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreen

Summer has arrived, and we are fortunate to have the most beautiful beaches in Florida, and these crowded beaches also mean a massive use of sunscreen. This is needed to protect your skin from the damage of the sun’s rays, but most beach-goers use chemical sunscreen which is convenient but also unsafe.

Chemical SPF contains chemicals that are absorbed into your skin and bloodstream, as recently reported by the FDA, to filter and absorb UV rays. Once in the bloodstream, these chemicals can affect breast milk, impair the liver, generate free radicals and mimic hormones that disrupt endocrine system. Oxybenzone and octinoxate are the most toxic and dangerous, both to humans and to marine life and coral reefs.

By contrast, mineral sunscreens contain two earth minerals—zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Some natural brands contain only zinc oxide which is a broad-spectrum sunscreen, but the combination of the two ingredients offer superior UVA and UVB protection. They are safe and healing to the skin and non-toxic to ocean ecosystems. The downside of mineral sunscreens is they leave a white, pasty residue on your skin, and are more expensive than chemical products.

Both chemical and natural SPF block the production of vitamin D which naturally occurs when your skin is exposed to sunlight. Depending on your skin type and health history, enjoy the sunshine in the morning and late afternoon to avoid the peak UV hours. If you must remain outdoors during the hottest hours of the day, wear a protective white or light-colored swim shirt, wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses and apply sunscreen liberally on any exposed skin. Elysian Fields carries Absolutely Natural Sunscreen which is reef safe and made here in Florida.

Location: 1273 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. For more information, call 941-361-3006 or visit


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