Health In a Minute: Natural Sunscreen & New Habits

Is Natural Sunscreen Right for You?

With countless sunscreen brands on the market today, it can be hard to decide which option is the best for your skin and your lifestyle. Read on to learn more about natural sunscreen and why some people prefer it. 

What Is Natural Sunscreen?

A sunscreen that is “natural” includes active ingredients that are naturally derived from the earth. Natural sunscreens contain the minerals zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as opposed to chemicals like oxybenzone, octinoxate, or avobenzone that are used in synthetic sunscreens.

How Does It Work?

Natural sunscreens create a barrier on your skin to physically block UV rays, whereas synthetic sunscreens work by absorbing them. Natural sunscreens tend to be thicker and more opaque, and typically leave a somewhat visible film over the skin. 

woman applying natural sunscreen

Unlike synthetic sunscreens, natural sunscreens begin working immediately after application because they don’t need to be absorbed into the skin.

Why Do Some People Prefer Natural Sunscreens?

Sensitive skin concerns. People with conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or other conditions that cause sensitive skin may experience discomfort with chemical sunscreens.

Concern about chemicals. The active ingredients in chemical sunscreens have not proven to definitively cause harm to humans, but some people prefer to avoid them.

Skin allergies. Some people are allergic to the active ingredients in chemical sunscreens.

Tips for Forming New Habits

Habits are just patterns of behavior that drive us toward a goal, but what happens when our goals change? It’s easy to set a new goal, but new habits can be tricky. Following these three simple tips can help you build habits that stick. 

1. Stack your odds.

Try “habit stacking” – build a new habit onto an existing habit that you’ve had for a while. This will make the new habit easier to adopt.

Example: If you want to get in the habit of walking every day, take a walk every time you go to get the mail. You’re already headed down the driveway, so adding a lap around the block doesn’t feel like a big change!

2. Start small.

No matter how big a change you want to make, small steps toward your goal are the best way to get there. Set yourself up for success by keeping your goals attainable and slowly raising your expectations. 

Example: Instead of saying you’re going to work out for an hour every day, start with just 10 minutes of exercise. If you can keep going, great! But if you feel sore and need to stop, you still met your goal. 

3. Remember why you’re making the change.

It’s important to ask yourself why you want to form a new habit and be clear about what you want to gain from it. This will help you stay motivated and be intentional. 

Example: You don’t just want to start walking, you want to feel better and have more energy throughout your day. 

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