Search results for sunscreen

how to choose a toxin-free sunscreen

Posted on February 27th, 2012

*this post has been updated in red below

Sunscreens confuse me. They’re full of toxins…should I bother with it at all? Zinc? (oooh, but the nano-particles?!)…You too? Good. I did some scouting, asked experts and here’s what I found…just in time for Australia Day!!

photo via bauhaus

A lot of the sunscreens out there do NOT protect us against harmful UV rays, plus they can contain chemicals that affect our hormones, damage our skin, and sometimes increase the risks of skin cancer. Oh, the tedious, messy, modern-life irony of it all! Today’s post is going to try to get to the bottom of the sunscreens that are purposeful AND harmless.

However, my advice, first and foremost, is:

don’t use sunscreen

Covering up with a hat and clothing, and not staying out in the sun too long, is the best tact. No chemicals, no “stuff” and far more economical. But also (and, yes, I know it goes against how we were raised)…

Getting sun, without sunscreen, is actually good. Better than good actually. Recent studies reveal that people who spend more time outdoors without getting sunburnt, actually decrease their risk of developing melanoma. The benefits of Vitamin D exposure (which can only be reaped without sunscreen) actually protect against many types of cancer; including breast, colon, endometrial, esophageal, ovarian, bladder, gallbladder, gastric, pancreatic, prostate, rectal, and renal cancers, as well as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Indeed, more people die of Vitamin D deficiency-based cancers than from melanoma. I’ve written about it previously here.

Get sun every day, but only for 20-40 minutes at a time and, if you’re in Australia, before 10am and after 5pm.

Just don’t get burnt. (In countries with less harsh sunlight, any time of day is fine for sun…and in fact advisable by many doctors these days.)

I get sun every day. BUT I never stay out sunbaking. AND I stay out of the sun in the middle of the day. I personally wear sunscreen ONLY if I’m outside longer than 20 minutes in the middle of the day…the sun here is just too strong. Plus, I generally find that by eating coconut oil – which has an SPF of four – this protects me. You can read more here. So. If you use sunscreen…

non-nano zinc oxide is best

Sunscreens come in two forms:

  • physical sunscreens, containing either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which form a film on top of the skin that reflects or scatters UV light. 

These are your best option.

  • chemical sunscreens, which absorb UV rays before they can do damage.

The Environmental Protection Agency‘s graph below features chemical and physical sunscreen ingredients, as well as the type and amount of ray protection that they provide and their class. Note how zinc oxide fares.


don’t want zinc? what next?

If you’re going for a chemical sunscreen, you need to know this: Read more

Here’s the beauty products I pack when I travel…

Posted on December 14th, 2016

This year I’ve travelled a lot. And, in fact, for the past three years I’ve lived mostly in transit. And so my “beauty regime” in general is a simple and mobile affair.

My travel case

My travel case. This is everything I use, daily. All of it. Even when not travelling.

A big bunch of you ask me via the socials to share what such a regime looks like and today I’m obliging.

Previously when I’ve done beauty posts The Folk Who Make The Products That I Use have reached out to offer a discount to you guys. I figured I’d do this again, in time for Christmas. Please be aware, however, that the recommendations are genuine – I purchased all products myself and sought discounts for you later. Cool?

PS catch up on my advertising and sponsorship policy.

How I pack my travel beauty kit

I travel very light and this has informed how I “do” beauty in general (since I live light anyway).

  • As a general rule, I work with beauty products with the least number of ingredients, preferably just the one.
  • I don’t fall for “organic” or “natural” labelling. “Organic” can mean only a few of the ingredients were grown and produced organically, not all. You can learn more about this here.
  • You can also learn about what to look out for in beauty products. And how to chose a toxin-free sunscreen.
  • I work with concentrated products – extra strong formulas only requiring small amounts, thus requiring small packaging.
  • I work with stuff that’s multi-purposeful – jojoba oil for cleansing, moisturising, facial scrub and hair control, for instance.
  • I transfer bulk stuff (eg shampoo) into travel bottles that I reuse (I avoid buying travel-size bottles as such…because it’s not a great use of packaging).
  • Everything in my kit can go carry-on (ie is under 100ml), as this is how I often travel.
  • I don’t carry body moisturiser…If things get dry, I use some olive or coconut oil from Air BnB kitchens, etc. At home, I do the same (with my own).
  • As an aside, I use a travel alarm clock. This one above is my second in 21 years. They last a looooong time. I NEVER sleep with my mobile near me.

Read more

Golly! Your nail polish might be making you fat…

Posted on March 29th, 2016

Nail polish. I don’t use it. For the same reasons I avoid conventional beauty products, sun screen and perfume. The stuff is toxic and not necessary. Now, new research claims nail polish can cause weight gain. Good Lord.

Image via

Image via

The recent study, conducted by researchers at Duke University and the Environmental Working Groupg (EWG), tested the urine of 26 women who had recently painted their nails. It found traces of Triphenyl Phosphate (TPHP), in every participant.

What’s TPHP?

TPHP is a chemical commonly used to make plastics and fire retardants in foam furniture. In nail polish it’s used to provide flexibility to the product.

TPHP is a chemical known to disrupt hormone function by mucking with our endocrine system, affecting a variety of vital functions, including reproduction.

Plus, it specifically and significantly interacts with a protein which is central to regulating our metabolism and the production of fat cells.

How does it get into your body?

First off, you inhale it as soon as you open the bottle. But the more remarkable finding of the study is that women who directly applied polish to their nails (as opposed to those who wore gloves and applied the Read more