It’s almost another long weekend and you’ll be spending more time outdoors; don’t forget the sunscreen!


Sunscreen has gotten a bad rap in recent years for its chemical composition, which has many people seeking out healthier alternatives. You may be wondering, what makes terra20’s selection different from what you will find in your typical department store? And is it really necessary?



1. YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A CHEMIST TO READ THE INGREDIENTS: If you have sensitive skin, avoid products that contain oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate.

Oxybenzone – Oxybenzone is found in 80 per cent of chemical sunscreens. The EWG recommends that consumers avoid oxybenzone because it can penetrate the skin, cause allergic skin reactions and may disrupt hormones (Calafat 2008, Rodriguez 2006, Krause 2012).

Retinyl Palmitate – Retinyl palmitate, a form of Vitamin A, is an antioxidant added to many sunscreens and cosmetics. Sunscreens containing Vitamin A may irritate the skin and increase photosensitivity. Due to concerns about developmental and reproductive toxicity as well as biochemical or cellular level changes, there are serious concerns about this chemical.



2. READ THE LABEL: Check the label to see that the product offers UVA and UVB protection (or “broad spectrum protection”).

Man Reading Label in Grocery Store

OK – that’s not sunscreen, but it’s a great start!

Anyone can be damaged by the sun’s rays. UVB rays are the main cause for burns as it affects the epidermis, the top layer of the skin, and can also cause eye damage. UVA rays are the main cause of premature aging as it weakens collagen and elastin fibers, creating wrinkles and sagging skin.



3. SPF MATTERS: Be aware that SPF protection does not increase proportionally with an increased SPF number. An SPF of 15 absorbs 93 per cent and an SPF of 30 absorbs 97 per cent. The Canadian Dermatology Association advises Canadians to opt at least SPF 30. cap: even you, shirtless rooftop guy.

Shirtless man applying suntan lotion

Even you, shirtless rooftop guy.



4. IF YOU THINK YOU SHOULD REAPPLY, YOU SHOULD REAPPLY: Reapply your sunscreen every two hours and after swimming or sweating.

Stingray Girl

Especially if you’re swimming AND sweating.



5. LOTIONS ARE BEST: Opt for lotions over sprays, as lotions provide more even coverage. cap: lotion usually looks like this.

suntan or sunblock lotions packages

Lotions > Sprays



6. MODERATION: Limit your time in the sun (particularly at midday), wear a hat and cover up.

Straw Mexican Sombrero on white background

Hat recommendation: festive sombrero.



7. PARENTS BEWARE: Keep babies six months and younger out of the sun – cover them up and opt for shady spots to sit or picnic. Keep kids and children out of the midday sun to prevent burns. As Health Canada points out, studies show that people who suffered severe sunburns in childhood are at greater risk of developing skin cancer.