What Is Chemical-Free Sun Cream?

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  • Written By: Wanda Marie Thibodeaux
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 21 May 2019
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Chemical-free sun cream is a skin care product designed to provide protection from the harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun using only organic or natural substances. They are supposed to be less irritating and healthier to use, although people with very sensitive skin still need to be mindful of what ingredients manufacturers include. People use these products in place of traditional sun creams and lotions.

The foundation of a chemical-free sun cream typically is one or more naturally-occurring minerals, with zinc oxide and titanium oxide being common. These minerals have the ability to block some ultraviolet radiation, similar to some of the synthetic chemicals used in regular sun creams. The effectiveness of the blocking depends on the exact mineral used and the percentage to which it is included.

In addition to the minerals, a chemical-free sun cream often contains additional plant-derived ingredients. These add additional protection from UV rays, help the skin heal or provide soothing sensations. Aloe vera gel is a common ingredient because it provides a stable base for the minerals and moisturizes. Shea butter, which contains the natural sunscreen cinnamic acid and also moisturizes, is popular as well.


People may have oily, dry, normal or combination skin, and within each category, specific skin concerns such as acne may be present. Thus, similar to regular sunscreens, a manufacturer of a chemical-free sun cream usually creates different formulations that are appropriate for each skin type. Manufacturers achieve this by using particular plants or closely watching the type and percentage of oils included in the cream. Although the natural ingredients might provide some aroma and color to the product, dyes and fragrances typically are not added on purpose, because many dyes and fragrances have a chemical base and irritate the skin.

The primary reason why manufacturers developed chemical-free sun cream is because the chemicals contained in regular sun creams, such as benzophenome, have suspected links to numerous health issues, perhaps the most disconcerting of which is cancer. Taking this into consideration, manufacturers have to be very careful how they use even natural ingredients. For example, titanium oxide must be coated with silica or alumina to be safe, because it otherwise creates free radicals that damage rather than benefit the skin.

Dermatologists and doctors recommend chemical-free sun creams for anyone with very sensitive skin, with some products designed especially for babies and children. These products are also good choices for anyone has sincere concerns about the additives in standard cosmetics and related products; purchasing this type of cream is an easy way to support chemical-free manufacturing. The differing formulas mean that individuals still have to test the products to judge effectiveness and overall satisfaction.



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