This BeautyCounter sunscreen mist review is not about making Countersun look good while making every other brand of spray-on sunscreens look bad. Instead, it’s about pointing out the scientifically proven risks and dangers of chemicals found inside traditional sunscreen sprays. On top of that I will demonstrate – using science – how the BeautyCounter sunscreen spray is different.
Before diving into the deep end where I give my reasons for choosing the Countersun Mist, let me back up a bit and tell you…
My Countersun Story!
Up until a few years ago I was in the dark about sunscreen safety. The only information-references I had about sunscreen were my mom hounding me to slather on sunscreen every hour while on the beach, or from conversations I had with family and friends.
Needless to say I didn’t know a whole lot about it and the importance of researching the chemicals I put on my skin never crossed my mind either. And why would it? The sunscreen companies surely had my well being in mind, no?
Well, when I became a mother, I did what my mom had done to me: I slathered my son with whatever the cheapest store-bought sunscreen happened to be. Yikes!
As he got older, spray sunscreen quickly became my favorite as I could spray him while he was literally trying to escape. The saying “spray and pray” took on a whole new and literal meaning for me, hah!
Then one hot summer day as I was once again spraying him, he turned around and directly inhaled the spray. He started gasping, then coughing. Oh boy, what had I done?
Luckily he was totally fine just a few seconds later, but the mommy guilt set in. What had he all just inhaled? More importantly, what exactly had I been spraying him with – religiously I might add – all this time?
This mistake had been a total accident on my part, and despite feeling horrible about it to this day, I now feel relieved. Why? Because if it had not happened, I would have never thought to research the safety of sunscreen spray and would still be spraying myself and the kids with who knows what.
I most certainly would never have found or joined the amazing BeautyCounter movement and would very likely never have heard about them either. I most definitely would not be using or recommending the Countersun Mist spray today and that – in my opinion – would have been the biggest mistake.
Things to Consider About Sunscreen Sprays
Once I started researching the ingredients found in most store-bought sunscreen sprays, I swore off all spray on sunscreen. I’ve obviously changed my mind since then but only because of me finding the BeautyCounter Countersun Mist.
Even so, there are still a few important things to keep in mind using sunscreen spray.
#1.) Risk of Inhalation
First thing to consider is the risk of inhalation. Think about all the chemical-ingredients in most sunscreen sprays (more on that later) and then think about inhaling those into your lungs. Even safer mineral based sunscreens can be harmful when inhaled.
The average person never considers this risk and sprays their sunscreen like they would hair spray (which is also extremely toxic). They just spray all over without much thought. I can think of countless examples of being at a pool or the beach and watching someone spray sunscreen as it wafts into the air and over to everyone nearby and their open drinks.
I never noticed this until I had researched the extensive list of ingredients used in sunscreen sprays and how potentially toxic (and hormone disrupting) they are. It makes me cringe just thinking that I was the one always forcing my family to put it on before leaving the house.
#2.) Reading the Instructions
Most people have no idea that there are instructions and precautions involved in applying spray sunscreen. It is just sunscreen for crying out loud. Should be self-explanatory right?
Well it isn’t. In fact, the only reason most sunscreen spray manufacturers get away with putting some of the chemical-ingredients in their sunscreen sprays is because they put “labels” and “instructions” on the back of the spray-bottle. Even if no one reads any of it, they have legally protected themselves.
For example: did you know you aren’t supposed to apply spray sunscreen around other people? Or when it’s windy? Did you know you are supposed to hold the nozzle close to your skin and then rub it in?
Isn’t the whole point of a spray for the convenience of not having to rub it in? That’s definitely what I thought as I chased a 2 year old around trying to protect him from the sun.
#3.) Potential Dangers of Ingredients
Although last on this short list, I consider this to be the most critical point: KNOW what you’re putting on your body. By that I mean… know the potential side-effects of the ingredients contained within your sunscreen spray.
To give you an idea, most (if not all) store-bought sunscreen sprays contain a whopping 7 – 8 questionable chemical ingredients. Here is an example of a handful of them:
- Aerosol – It’s used to pressurize many things like perfume, hairspray, and sunscreen. Yet has been linked to host of problems with occasional exposure and things like asthma, lung cancer, cardiovascular problems, and even early death with chronic exposure. It’s so bad that the Cancer Council of Australia recommends against it’s use.
- Oxybenzone – It’s known to penetrate skin, disrupt hormones, cause serious reproductive issues, cause skin allergies, and traces of it is now even found in marine life (largely as a result of people putting it on before taking a plunge). New studies also find that it is bleaching and destroying our coral reefs. It is so bad that places like Hawaii, Key West (Florida), and the island of Palau will be banning all sunscreen containing Oxybenzone by 2021.
- Octinoxate – It’s absorbed rapidly through skin. Studies find that it even makes it’s way into human urine, blood and breast milk. It is an endocrine disruptor that mimics estrogen and can disrupt thyroid function. It has also been linked to endocrine disruption, reproductive and developmental toxicity, and organ system toxicity.
- Homosalate – It penetrates skin and is antagonistic towards estrogen, androgen and progesterone.
- Octisalate – It too penetrates skin and has been linked to skin allergies.
- Octocrylene – Also penetrates skin and has been linked to serious cases of skin allergies.
- Avobenzone – Although limited skin penetration, it too has been linked to skin allergies.
Not sure what is more disturbing: the thought of spraying these ingredients on our body without second thought or companies out there bottling it up for profit despite knowing it’s bad for human use.
Either way, you won’t catch me buying or using anything but the Countersun Mist spray in the foreseeable future.
Why I Chose the BeautyCounter Sunscreen Mist
As mentioned earlier, I had stopped using spray sunscreen all together after accidentally spraying my son in the mouth. That was even before I learned about the potential risks and dangers of many of the chemical-ingredients found in sunscreen sprays.
I stuck with sunscreen lotions and continued educating myself on the many different sunscreens out there. Sadly, to my finding they all contained a combination of the same questionable chemicals.
When my research brought me to BeautyCounter, I immediately fell in love with the safest sunscreen lotion I ever came across: the Countersun sunscreen lotion.
BeautyCounter did not have the sunscreen spray yet at that time. When they launched the Countersun line of products in May of 2018, they introduced not only the sunscreen mist, but the sunscreen stick as well.
Countersun Mist Launch: My First Reaction
Due to my personal experiences and research on sunscreen sprays, my first reaction was “Meh!!!” when BeautyCounter announced the launch of their sunscreen spray.
But the thought of having a safe sunscreen spray intrigued me enough to dig into it more, and here is what ultimately sold me on it:
First, it’s a mineral sunscreen spray. That addressed my first concern of not containing chemicals like oxybenzone or octinoxate, which – as pointed out earlier – are toxic to our bodies and harmful to the environment – especially coral reefs.
Next, the main active ingredient is non-nano zinc oxide. When creating all their sunscreens Beautycounter chose to use non-nano zinc – which has larger particles than zinc oxide – preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
When I found out that this helps lower the respiratory dangers presented by others sprays, I began to consider using it.
The final deciding factor was learning the Countersun mist spray is air powered and not aerosol powered.
Countersun Mist Cons
Although the Countersun Mist is one of the safest (if not THE safest) sunscreen sprays on the market according to it’s EWG (Environmental Working Group) rating of a 3, there still are a few cons.
- First, it’s still a spray. Taking precautions to avoid inhalation are still necessary when using this product. It does have an angled stream, which helps it spray more in the intended direction than aerosols. It’s technically not a point against the product, but rather against the nature of how sunscreen sprays work.
- Another con is that the nozzle can get clogged. I’m guessing it is because of the thickness of mineral formulas but I find it works just fine again as soon as I clean the nozzle.
- The last con is you cannot ship this product by air because its air powered (meaning the bottle is pressurized by air instead of aerosols). It can not be shipped in the cargo area of an aircraft because it is not pressure controlled, so BeautyCounter uses ground-shipping… which from my experience isn’t all that much slower!
With that said, if you are flying somewhere, you CAN take the travel size bottle with you in your carry on because the aircraft cabin is pressure controlled.
Even with the above cons (I had to stretch to find them – I know), I still choose to use the Beautycounter Countersun Mist as my go-to beach sunblock. It lives up to the EWG ingredient safety standard and is effective in protecting me from the sun.
On top of that, it maintains the convenience of a spray-on sunscreen that does not include the long list of unsafe chemicals found in most other sunscreen sprays.
I truly was a skeptic when BeautyCounter announced the Countersun Mist spray back in May of 2018, but was converted back to using sunscreen spray when I researched and finally ordered it. I now feel at ease spraying sunscreen on my kiddos again as they are trying to escape my motherly protection.
As far as waiting for it to arrive due to shipping restrictions, to me – the peace of mind it provides – is worth the wait.