Blog PostAll About Sunscreen

May 16, 20180

We were almost stood up by summer… but it seems like the best (and shortest) of the Canadian seasons has finally arrived. And with it: glorious sun! Here’s a rundown of the safest slathers for bare-skinned basking – aka, our mineral sunscreen FAQ.



What is UV Radiation?

Ultra-Violet (UV) radiation is a type of energy that comes from the sun, and is located just outside of our visible spectrum – just past violet, which is why it’s called ultra-violet. When it was first discovered at the beginning of the 19th century, the scientists who discovered UV radiation referred to it as “Chemical Rays” because it was observed to be highly chemically reactive – as in your skin, when you get a sunburn. There are many different types of UV radiation, but for the purposes of this blog post, we’re most concerned with UV-B (burn causing) and UV-A (skin penetrating, skin damaging, melanoma and cancer causing).


How does sunscreen protect people from UV Radiation?

There are two basic types of sunscreen: chemical and mineral. Chemical Sunscreen contains chemicals that are absorbed into the skin, where they in turn absorb dangerous UV rays and convert them into heat. Mineral sunscreen contains minerals that block and reflect dangerous UV rays. The Sweet Potato only sells mineral sunscreen.


Why don’t you sell Chemical Sunscreen?

We don’t sell chemical sunscreen for a few reasons:

(1) We stay away from introducing synthetic chemicals into our skin

(2) The synthetic chemicals in chemical sunscreen can cause/contribute to skin irritation, eczema and/or hormone disruption

(3) Some of the synthetic chemicals in chemical sunscreen have been shown to harm the environment. Hawaii is in the process of passing a law that would prohibit certain sunscreens from being sold or used on the island, because those chemicals have been shown to cause coral bleaching and disrupt marine life!


What’s in mineral sunscreen?

Mineral sunscreens are literally made of minerals, like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which reflect the dangerous UV rays. Nothing is absorbing into the skin, and there are no synthetic chemical reactions occuring inside your skin; you’re just blocking dangerous UV rays – but with minerals instead of clothing. It’s like covering yourself in mud, but much cleaner and nicer.


How do you properly and safely use mineral sunscreen?

The first answer is to read and follow the directions! If you grew up (like we did) with chemical sunscreen, you might not be doing all the right things with our mineral sunscreens. In general, you want to always shake the container well before every use, to make sure that the active ingredients are well dispersed; make sure that you’ve got an even film covering all your exposed skin; and reapply every two hours (as well as immediately after sweating, swimming, etc).


Which is better, lotion or spray?

Honestly, whatever feels better. The most important thing about sunscreen to actually use it – so if you or your kids finds one type of sunscreen uncomfortable, try other types until you find one that will get used!


What’s the best sunscreen you sell?

That really depends on who is using it and for what. While all of the mineral sunscreen we sell is safe, effective, and verified by Health Canada to offer broad spectrum protection, some are formulated for specific purposes:

One of the most popular ones for babies is Badger Baby Sunscreen, which is great because while it has very few ingredients and includes chamomile, which helps to sooth babies’ sensitive skin!


Also very popular is Green Beaver, which comes in a spray or lotion. It’s a Canadian company that was founded by a husband-and-wife team who were frustrated that they couldn’t find clean, healthy products for their family to use! As well, it’s certified ECOCERT and vegan!


Another popular one is Derma E Oil-Free Face Lotion, which has a non-greasy finish. This one is specially formulated to protect your face from sun damage.


Whatever your preference, we’d love to help you find the sun protection you need! Come in and see us, and keep watching our flyer for sweet deals on sweet skin protection!

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