How Solara Suncare is changing the mineral sunscreen game
Happy Summer Solstice! Today on the blog I'm welcoming the hottest day of the year by collaborating with Solara Suncare, a new mineral sunscreen brand that has been featured in Harpers Bazaar and Elle. Founder and mama of 3 Stephanie created Solara after wanting a sun-care brand that was clean and healthy for her family.
"When searching for a healthier options for my family and in support of my own path to healing, I realized SPF (even those labeled mineral, organic, and 'natural') still contained many questionable health and skin disruptive ingredients. Read your lablels." - Stephanie, Founder of Solara Suncare
I'm remising back to my childhood days when I was in Trinidad and thought I was exempt from sunscreen because of my golden-brown skin, only to develop a sun allergy. Yup, I have a sun allergy, and no matter what type of sunscreen I used, it just wasn't helping. A lot of them had fragrances that made my skin super itchy. When I did find a good one, it left my face with white streaks and that was not a pretty sight. Nonetheless, I settled for the white based sunscreen cause it was the only kind on the market that truly helped me.
I'm not the only brown girl with this story. My mom's side of the family has a history of melasma, a skin condition in which darkened spots appear on the face. If not properly cared for, the spots can increase the appearance of wrinkles. But melasma is unfortunately a common skin condition amongst people who live, or have lived in the Caribbean, or any hot climate for that matter. When you live somewhere hot, you think you're exempt from wearing sunscreen, but that totally isn't true... the effects of sun damage will catch up to you.
So you guys know I was really excited to partner with Solara to show you about their products. They sent me three, all wrapped in gorgeous sustainable packaging (HERE FOR THE SUSTAINABILITY!). This is the first Suncare brand that I've tried that is brown girl friendly, YES I SAID WHAT I SAID. So without further adieu, lets break it down.
What is mineral sunscreen?
The short answer is, sunscreen made from minerals like zinc. Compared to chemical sunscreen, mineral sunscreen sits on your skin and prevents the sun's rays from penetrating the barrier. Generally minerals are FDA approved, but specifically the zinc that Solara uses in their line has been approved by various associations such as COSMOS and the Natural Products Association. They do not use nano- zinc, which is featured in a lot of mainstream sunscreens and can be very harmful to your skin. Their zinc is good, as it helps calm eczema and rosacea. (My eczema tends to flare when I use chemical sunscreens, and the pool/beach water doesn't help it).
What's Solara's concept of "mineral"?
By incorporating clean ingredients and their trademarked Plant DFNS, which essentially is a 10 active blend of responsibly sourced plants that are rich in vitamins, antioxidants and omegas, Solara has completely changed the idea of what it means to be a mineral sunscreen in today's day and age. They've carefully considered every ingredient that goes into their products. Their mantra; a product that is meant for your skin should be good for you too. I agree.
Solara has collectively rid their products of 6 common sunscreen offenders:
Silicones and Siloxanes
Synthetics and Fillers
This age defying sunscreen helps fix past damage by enhancing cell repair through the use of copper peptides and probiotic inspired peptides that in turn brighten skin and protect from environmental damage. Additionally it's nourished with their Plant DFNS and hydrates the skin with squalene.
An after-sun serum that replenishes the skin with brightening vitamin c, plumping peptides and Swiss apple stem cells for aging benefits. It also has watermelon and prickly pear, for hydration and brightness. Prickly pear is so good for the skin because its rich in fatty acids, and vitamins E and K. Again great for aging. This supercharged serum also has a vegan compound known as CoQ10 which helps rebuild collagen damaged by the sun, and aloe for an added after sun-care effect. Its literally filled with everything good and natural.
This lip serum comes looks like a lip gloss but its far from the ordinary. Filled with antioxidants and plumping ingredients like ashwaganda and blackberry extract, this hydrating serum will keep your lips hyrdated and juicy all summer long.
Overall Thoughts and Opinions
Thankfully, it's been hot these past couple of days and since we've been in quarantine mode here in upstate NY, I've had more of a chance to be poolside than ever. Giving my new products a go, I applied Time Traveler to my face 15 minutes before hitting the pool and the Pout Protecter at about the same time. Time Traveler's formula was so soft and smooth it quickly absorbed into my face and did not leave any white cast behind...AND the formula itself was white. I was shook honestly, like never have I ever had this experience. It even gave my face a subtle glow. I decided to apply it to my legs to show you guys the glow. You can see it pictured below. Pout Protecter easily glided onto my lips and was so hydrating I didn't need a lip balm. My lips are usually the first to burn and they didn't after using this product. By burning, I mean that my lips get purple. My natural lip color stayed intact all pool time.
After splashing around in the pool for a number of hours, I showered and did my skincare routine as usual. Except for only using night cream, I decided to replenish my skin using the JuiceBoost Serum. The sun drains you. It drains your skin, your water levels, everything. It's important that what you lose you put back in, and Solara has made it easy for you by making this serum. I mixed the serum in with my night cream and my face appeared bright and hydrated all night and in the morning. (You can apply it alone as well, its just as hydrating but for extra hydration you can mix with a moisturizer)
Overall I am very happy with this brand. Not only has Stephanie created something that is clean and sustainable, but it provides women of color a more affordable alternative to sun-care. She has incorporated her products to a wider audience, something that a lot of brands have trouble doing on the first go. Everything you use literally has a good ingredient in it....theres nothing bad about it at all. I finally feel like I found something thats good for sensitive and melanin skin.