It’s summer and unfortunately I am one of those people who burns like crazy, but who LOVES being in the sun. And being outdoors is totally part of the M.U.D. Lifestyle. I have extremely fair skin and if I’m not careful can easily get severe sunburn. Since turning towards a Paleo lifestyle 2 1/2 years ago and becoming aware of not just what is in our food, but also in our everyday products, sunscreen has been one of those products where it’s hard to find something that not only works but also doesn’t leave you chalky and looking like more of a ghost than you already are.
Throughout the past 2 1/2 years we have tried MANY mineral sunscreens and none seemed to meet the high expectations that we had, until we found the new Pacifica All Mineral Sunscreen in Target while on vacation this past May. My husband and I don’t usually buy this type of product from a big box store. We usually do a ton of research online and either purchase from an online vendor or from an all-natural organic store. But, Pacifica’s sunscreen caught our eye.
First off, the packaging is beautiful, but that’s besides the point. It is after all about the actual product itself and not packaging. What first caught my eye were the following words: “All Mineral”, “Probiotic”, “Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB”,
When I’m looking for a good sunscreen I always look for the words mineral and Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB. I think MindBodyGreen.com does a great job of giving a basic description of what a mineral sunscreen is vs. a traditional sunscreen:
“Most traditional sunscreens use a cocktail of chemicals that absorb into the skin and scatter the sun’s rays to prevent burning. Mineral sunscreens use natural titanium and zinc that act like a mirror to simply reflect rays away.”
I don’t know about you, but I definitely do not want to use a “cocktail of chemicals” on my body. After all, the skin is not only our largest organ, but it also absorbs everything we put onto it. Whatever we put onto our skin eventually makes it’s way into our bloodstream. That is why it’s so important to only use natural products on our skin. Not only are mineral sunscreens natural, they are also super gentle on the skin and naturally provide broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection from the sun. I urge you to check out the website above for more great reasons to use mineral sunscreens.
Making sure that your sunscreen is broad spectrum UVA/UVB is super important, and understanding why you need this type of protection is even more important. As the Mayo Clinic explains:
“There are two types of UV light that can harm your skin — UVA and UVB. A broad-spectrum, or full-spectrum, sunscreen protects you from both.
UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, causing wrinkling and age spots. UVB rays can burn your skin. Too much exposure to UVA or UVB rays can cause skin cancer. The best sunscreen offers protection from all UV light.”
Now, “Probiotic” is not usually something that you come across with a sunscreen and I thought it was intriguing. Probiotics are amazing for your body. They are the “good” bacteria your body needs to function at it’s optimal best. You can get wonderful probiotics by eating yogurt and lacto-fermented vegetables. Probiotics are great for your intestinal health, but how can they help your skin? I decided to do a quick google search. Pacifica’s founder, Brook Harvey-Taylor explains the use of probiotics in the sunscreen in the following way:
“Probiotics (and of course ours are vegan) are said to bring back the good bacteria to your skin to promote skin health and vitality.”
Further research also shows that using probiotics topically on your skin can, “target and prevent skin concerns like aging, acne, rosacea and more.” [https://www.bioelements.com/blog/oily-skin/topical-probiotics-for-skin]
So, already I’m seeing that this product looks like it’d be wonderful for my skin. The next thing I always do is look at the list of ingredients. Ingredients are listed by how much is in a product. So, although I look at all the ingredients I make sure to look at the first five in particular.
Now just a quick note on ingredients. Living a natural lifestyle you always hear that you should look for and only buy products that contain ingredients that you can actually pronounce. That’s fine and everything when it comes to food, but beauty products are a little different. By law, no matter how natural the product is, the ingredient must be written out in it’s proper scientific name. Although the ingredient list looks unpronounceable and scary, as you do research you will see that these are actually natural products that you can easily identify and pronounce. For example, if you come across the ingredient Pyridoxine it will leave you scratching your head. But you know what that actually is? It’s the scientific name for B6! So, don’t let the name scare you when it comes to beauty products and do your research. You’ll be surprised what you learn.
The sunscreen’s active ingredient is Zinc Oxide 12.0% which makes it a mineral sunscreen. The first five inactive ingredients in Pacifica’s All Mineral Sunscreen are:
Bentonite, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Caffeine, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol
Out of all those words I recognize Bentonite and Caffeine. The next thing I do is pull up EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database [http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/]. Living the M.U.D. Lifestyle, EWG will become your best friend because it helps you quickly and easily see how safe an ingredient or product is. Usually I would just type in the product name, but seeing as this sunscreen is brand new this year, it is not yet in EWG’s database, so the next best thing is to enter each ingredient separately. Every product on EWG is rated on a numerical scale 1 and higher. A rating of a 1 or 2 is the best rating you can get. The higher the rating gets, the less safe the product or ingredient is. Here is what my research from EWG and google showed me:
Bentonite is a clay. It’s a natural product and is safety rated anywhere from a 1-2 on EWG’s database.
Butyloctyl Salicylate is an ester of Salicylate Acid which can be obtained from the bark of a willow tree. It is rated a 1 on EWG’s database.
Caffeine is rated a 1 on EWG’s database. I know this seems like a weird product to be in a sunscreen but it is great for the skin and has been shown to have antioxidant and moisturizing properties for skin that is exposed to UV light.
Caprylhydroxamic Acid is also known as Octanohydroxamic Acid. It is an amino acid derived from coconut oil. It is also rated a 1 on EWG.
Caprylyl Glycol “is an alcohol derived from caprylic acid—a natural fatty acid found in the milk of some mammals, as well as palm and coconut oils.” [https://www.soaptheearth.com/faq-info/caprylyl-glycol/]. It can “also help increase the shelf life of a product by increasing the antimicrobial activity of other preservatives..” [ibid]. There is all sorts of research showing that glycols are not good for you, but there are many different types of glycol and Caprylyl Glycol is a safe glycol that is rated a 1 on EWG. The above link also provides you with wonderful information about Caprylyl Glycol.
The first five ingredients all rate between a 1 and 2 on EWG which shows me that I have a wonderful product in my hands. The rest of the ingredients further down on the list all rate a 1-2 on EWG as well. The most troubling ingredient is the second to last one which is Parfum (natural), but seeing as this is the second to last ingredient there is so little of this ingredient in it that I’m not worried. I can safely say that Pacifica’s Sunscreen is a highly rated product with a safety rating of 1-2. I was so surprised to find such a high quality product at a big box store and it was only $15.99!
So, what did I think of this product after using it? I LOVED IT!!!! It didn’t turn my skin chalky. My skin felt so soft and moisturized. It provided excellent sun protection for my super fair skin. I didn’t burn. It was easy to apply (it’s a spray) and reapply. It felt lightweight on my skin. It smelled AMAZING!!! Oh and did I mention it’s also vegan and cruelty free?!?!?! How awesome is that?!?!?! I highly recommend this product.
This product is exclusive at Target stores, so stop by today and check it out! Pacifica also offers a range of other products, but this is the only product of theirs I have tried so far. This is my own personal review and I have not received any compensation for it.
Product: Pacifica All Mineral Continuous Sunscreen Spray SPF 30 Protect & Hydrate
Safety Rating: 1-2
Would I Recommend This Product: Yes!!! Highly!!!
Brand’s Website: http://www.pacificabeauty.com