Sunscreen versus Sunblock. How to get your, “Burn Off.” Naturally.


Let’s face it, over the past few years, there have been a multitude of dire warnings about the risk of skin cancer. It has been drilled into our heads that exposure to the the sun is a bad thing, a sure-fire way of developing this potentially deadly disease. Did you know that your skin is the largest organ on the human body? On average, a healthy adult has eight pounds of of skin with a surface area of 22 square feet. Skin covers, insulates and regulates temperature. Without it, we would evaporate. Now that puts things into perspective, doesn’t it?

I grew up in the day when tanning was the normal summertime activity. My friends and I would grab a towel, slather our skin with Coppertone and comb a bit of lemon juice through our hair. We would lay out for hours next to the nearest body of water or even the roof. Anything to get us nearer to the sun and its burning UVA/UVB rays. It was an innocent time, long before we worried about the hole in the ozone and the potential damage our skin we would one day face.

But as all good things, those days have come to an end. Today we are aware of the risk of skin cancers and the effects of premature aging caused by over exposure to the sun. It is a fact, that skin cancers are the most common cancers affecting the population today with over 3.5 million people diagnosed yearly with some form of the disease. Melanoma is the deadliest of all skin cancers because of its ability to spread rapidly to other organs.

Let me play devil’s advocate for a moment, isn’t some sun exposure good for you? According to the Archives of Internal Medicine, the risk of heart disease is doubled in the population with the lowest amounts of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is produced by the skin’s exposure to the sun and is a necessary element in the production of calcium, a mineral essential to bone and heart health.  So if too much sun raises our risk of skin cancer but too little gives us heart disease, what’s is a gal or guy to do? 

Here on the farm, I live a active outdoor lifestyle. My working hours are spent outside with plenty of exposure to sun, wind, rain and snow. That being said, the older I get, I understand the need to protect my skin from over exposure to nature’s harsh elements. It is the main reason, I became involved in the development of my Bee Queen natural skin care line.  The restorative effects of Manuka Honey are widely recognized and I wanted a product to counteract the effects of constant exposure to the enviroment that is oftentimes Kansas weather. You know the old saying, if you don’t like the weather, wait about twenty minutes and it will change. That is Kansas!

A personal skin cancer scare was another reason, I started looking to natural alternatives. Last spring I had two pre-cancerous spots burned off, one on my nose, another on the back of my arm. It was a wake-up call and I began to take the health of my skin more seriously. 

Like most people, I wore sunscreen on a regular basis, especially on my face. But, I developed a problem with breakouts and became frustrated even after purchasing high-end, expensive products. I was convinced that parabens (an ingredient used to preserve skin care products) was adding to my problems. And forget about reading the ingredient list on the back of the product container. What’s with all these chemicals I cannot pronounce much less understand?

Again, I began to look for a natural alternative. And Voila‘, The Bee Queen All-Natural Sun Reflective Cream  was born!

 This rich cream is made from the same ingredient deck as The Bee Queen Organic Manuka Honey Lotion with the added  sun-blocking effect of zinc oxide and the sun-refective ability of coconut oil. 


The Bee Queen’s formulation is a zinc product that goes on clear due to a process of simple encapsulation which allows for zinc to reflect more light and keeps the zinc from reacting with other ingredients within the formula. The zinc particles in this formula have NOT been micronized nor have they been coated. The particles in The Bee Queen formula are 0.2 micron size and larger. This is important as some studies have shown that  nano particles can be absorbed into the skin. Uncoated zinc oxide is therapeutic for the skin and effectively blocks both UVA,UVB rays.

So what about SPF? If I use a sunscreen with a 100 SPF, surely I will be be protected all day. Well, that is not necessarily true. SPF or Sun Protection Factor is the ability of a product to protect the skin from UVB rays. And to calculate the necessary protection needed for your particular skin, you take the average amount of time it takes your skin to redden and then mulitply it by the SPF rating. So if your skin reddens within 15 minutes of exposure, in theory you can stay out in the sun 15 times longer with a SPF rating of 15(which is the miminum rating recomended) without burning.

But there is a problem with SPF ratings which are very decieving. The scale of protection goes as such:

  • SPF rating of 15 blocks out 93 % of harmful UVB rays
  • SPF rating of 30 blocks out 97% of harmful UVB rays
  • SPF of 50 blocks our 98% of harmful UVB rays.

Starting to get the picture? In reality, buying a high SPF of 100 offers no more protection than SPF of 30. And what about UVA rays which can be just as damaging to the skin? Most experts recomend a broad spectrum approach which is where an ingredient like zinc oxide comes into effect. Remember that Sunblock(zinc containing products) prevent UVA/UVB rays from penetrating your skin whereas Sunscreens create a chemical reaction that when applied to your skin to prevent the penetration of UVB rays. Which is why you should apply sunscreen according to the designated manufacturers time well ahead of sun exposure.

A recent study in Consumer Reports revealed that many SPF ratings were not only inaccurate but misleading in their claims.

Irregardless of the product used on your skin, repapplication and a broad spectrum approach is essential. Most products recomend reapplication every two hours. We feel reapplication should be done every 2 hours as well. 

The Bee Queen All Natural Sun-Reflective Cream has not been SPF rated but has an approximate range between 18-24. It is not waterproof and should be reapplied after swimming and or profuse sweating. I use this formula as an everyday skin cream and wear it comfortably under my make-up as well. It is paraben and fragrance free. Some notice the light scent of coocnut oil. It is super emollient with the same softening effect as The Bee Queen Organic Manuka Honey Lotion.

I hope you will visit our product page and consider trying our sun-reflective cream today. And while you are there, take a look at our other fine Manuka Honey products. And remember to Nuture Your Skin, it’s the only skin you will ever have!

Have a Bee-rific Day!


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