I recently had the extreme privilege and pleasure of sneaking a quick trip down to the sunny South. Like many people, this was our first vacation since Covid cancelled life, and none of us at the store have had a chance to take any of our new sun-care products out for a spin in such an extreme situation. Ontario summers are hot and humid, but don’t hold a candle to a proper beach vacation. Don’t get me wrong, the sun exposure here can be tough on the skin as well, but I’m sure we’d all agree that visiting the equator is a great way to put your sunscreen to the test. 

 I should preface my comments on sun care products with some background to give the full picture here. I hate sunscreen. Completely hate it. I grew up in a generation and in a social group that it just wasn’t done. Kids ran wild, shoeless, filthy, and sunscreen free. We occasionally got a token swipe of Coppertone while visiting my grandparents in Florida, but otherwise, this skin didn’t see a lick of sunscreen until I was LATE into my teens. (My mother will likely kill me for outing her on these parenting decisions, but I digress.) When on the rare occasion I did put it on, it always felt greasy, smelt horrible, and quite literally stung my skin (especially those made specifically for face). Of course, by mid day it was always melting into my eyes, creating a whole other unpleasant situation. Needless to say, I have not been a fan. 

Like many things in life, age changed my thinking on this. As I got older it dawned on me that not only is skin cancer quite serious, too much sun exposure would leave me looking like “an old leather handbag” much sooner than I’d like. Both concepts that terrified my newly 30 self. So here it is; my very honest thoughts. 

 Salt & Stone Natural Mineral Sunscreen- 50 SPF: 

 This is quite a luxurious lotion for a sunscreen. Thick and creamy, it feels more like a heavy body butter. It rubs in so well; no “ghost” like qualities! They do claim the product is water-resistant and do recommend reapplying after swimming, but I found water pretty much beaded right off. I still felt very well protected after a swim, not like it had washed off after five minutes. I’m excited about this feature for the summer here at home because I feel I often sweat off most natural sunscreens when I’m out gardening or playing with the kids (which I bet most of us can relate to!). Also, we have a pool here at home, and I’m thrilled to know this will hold up on the kids when they’re in and out of the water as well. Even though it’s not specifically for children, most often natural sunscreens are safe for all ages. 

 For whatever reason, I’m that sort of person that gets tanned by even thinking about going into the sun. It’s not uncommon for me to be dark, dark brown by the end of May. After using this during my time down South, I’ve got a mild glow going on, but you wouldn’t really know that I had been away. So, it’s quite effective! 

 Salt & Stone Tinted Sunscreen Stick- 50 SPF:

This is my ALL TIME favourite sunscreen. We did have it in store last summer and I’ve been in love ever since. It’s not sticky or greasy. It’s a bit tinted to avoid going on white and chalky like some sunscreens. The stick format is perfect for fast, clean-hand application. It’s the first sunscreen I’ve used that doesn’t irritate my face or set off my rosacea. I use it on my kids frequently with no skin irritation and no “alligator wrestling” to put it on, which is a big Mom-Win in my books. Again, like the lotion, it does a bang-up job of limiting sun exposure on my face and keeping sun damage at bay. 

 Attitude After Sun Melt-In Gel: 

This is an absolutely beautiful product! Cool, and silky to apply. Smells amazing. For a light cream, it’s super hydrating. I felt like my skin was smooth and “plump” feeling (if that makes sense at all) and not scaly which is what I usually feel like after a day of sun and sunscreen. I’ve actually taken to using this on the daily here at home. It feels so fresh and cool to go to bed with these hot nights we’ve been having. It also has a top rating on the Environmental Working Group

I didn’t get a sun burn while we were away, because clearly I was using a super effective sunscreen. My partner did get burnt though (he claims he was out in the sun far too long, I think it’s because he was using up some old “un-clean” sunscreen we had here at home, so we’ve agreed to disagree there). I fired this on his back and shoulders and he said it was instant relief and I thought calmed the redness down right away. Also, he generally starts to peel a few days after a burn and with a few applications of this the peeling was really minimal! All in all, this is a must have product for this summer. 

These are some of the amazing natural sun care products we carry. 
Check out the complete collection here

We’ve had a few comments over the last little while about these products being in plastic containers, which is certainly something to be concerned about. We do our best to source plastic free packaging wherever possible, but it can be challenging! Some companies have been able to come up with some alternatives; Salt & Stone is made from 70% post consumer plastic where necessary or sugar cane products. For all the packaging options that are not compostable or recyclable, we have brought in Terracycle and Pact recycling receptacles for customer use. These are great options for hard-to-recycle products. Check out our website here for more details on what’s recyclable at Unwrapped.  

By Jessica Moynes

Written by Unwrapped Kawartha