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E's Essential Summer Items - Part 1 :: Zinc Sunscreens by Elemental Herbs

We first told you about Elemental Herbs last year when S tried and fell in love with All Good Goop. Today I'm telling you about some other great products made by this local {to me} company that will be sure to get you through the summer months safely.

In the wake of heightened SPF regulations in Europe - banning the use of sunscreens that do not meet certain SPF requirements - we are soon going to be without some of our favorite non-chemical sunscreens like Dr. Hauschka and Weleda. Luckily, my top two sunscreen picks from last year are not under these regulations, so their production will not be affected. I've also found another line of sunscreen that meets up to Fig+Sage standards so I'm adding them to my list of recommendations for covering up this summer.

Elemental Herbs has released a reformulated and completely pure sunscreen line-up to use on the whole family, and they come sans nano-particles, artificial preservatives, chemical UV absorbers (or anything questionable for that matter!)

Ingredients: Each ingredient in these sunscreens have been carefully chosen for their moisturizing and protective qualities. Using 25% Zinc Oxide to physically block UVA and UVB rays, these sunscreens contain one of the highest percentages of the sunscreens we have reviewed. They provide broad spectrum protection from the sun and with other ingredients like green tea leaves and rose hips - they not only protect your skin from damage, but rejuvenate and heal it at the same time. Elemental Herbs prioritizes organic ingredients and fair trade ingredients when possible.

Value: This isn't the cheapest sunscreen that you can find but it's one of the purest. As always, you get what you pay for. One ounce of this product will cost you about $9. We are hoping they will offer a bigger size soon, but for now that's the only size it is available in.

Fragrance: All of the sunscreens are unscented, so they can be used on people with the most sensitive skin - including babies under 6 months of age!

Consistency: Even the front label will remind you that this stuff needs to be kneaded before application, which is the case with a lot of truly natural sunscreens. The consistency is thin so application is really easy {even with a squirmy toddler resisting every stroke.} It is water resistant - so go ahead and stretch your fins, but it's recommended that you reapply every 2 hours for maximum protection from the sun.

Bottom-line: This is the only sunscreen that I have used with a tint to it, and I LOVE it because it counteracts the chalky look that's characteristic of most mineral sunscreens. What's even better is that they offer 3 different formulations to choose from - SPF 20 Kid's, SPF 22 Tinted and Sport SPF 20. {Here's a little secret for you though, the kid's and the Sport SPF 20 are the same formulation, so no need to buy two different ones for the parents and kiddos.} Don't be deceived by the lower SPF ratings either - what you really need to look at to determine the amount of sun protection is the percentage of zinc in a sunscreen, and this one definitely tops the charts at 25%. Reapplying a high-percentage mineral sunscreen every 2 hours is a much better way to ensure true effectiveness against sun damage.

It is still my opinion that the issue of sun protection is all about moderation. Many of us are severely deficient in Vitamin D, which is produced by our bodies when we allow it to be exposed to both UVA/UVB rays from the sunshine. Of course, there are times when covering up with a safe and pure sunscreen is the smartest choice. Stay tuned for some more great summer essentials as we head into this glorious sunny, buggy, muggy and FUN time of year!

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