Choosing the right sunscreen is hard! You want to protect your skin in the summer sun, but don't want to apply toxic chemicals to the skin. Sunscreen is a unique body care product since it is applied directly to the skin, in thick layers with frequent reapplications. This guide is inspired by the Environmental Working Group's 2018 Sunscreen Guide. I will highlight 5 of the best sunscreens (in my opinion) for this summer.
There are two types of sunscreens available on the market: mineral and chemical. The most common sunscreens on the market use chemical filters, including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Studies show that some chemical ingredients in sunscreens mimic hormones and can affect human hormone levels. The most worrisome of these chemicals is oxybenzone, which is the active ingredient in over 65% of sunscreens on the market. Oxybenzone is associated with decreased sperm quality, lower testosterone levels, and is present in breast milk when mothers apply oxybenzone-containing products to the skin.
Mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide and tend to have less absorption through the skin. The small amount that is absorbed from the skin do not show any adverse effects on health.
Best Bang for your Buck
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion -- Baby SPF 50, this duals as one of the best for babies as well as one of the more affordable sunscreens without extra additives.
Best High SPF
Sunblocz Baby + Kids Natural Sunscreen -- mineral sunscreen with 50+ SPF protection, excellent UVA protection and good UVA protection in relation to SPF.
Maui Surfer Honey Natural Sunscreen -- mineral sunscreen, SPF 30, water-resistant for 80 minutes, excellent UVA protection and good UVA protection in relation to SPF.
Best for Sensitive Skin
Love Sun Body -- mineral sunscreen, fragrance-free SPF 50 with excellent UVA protection and good UVA protection in relation to SPF.
Best Face Sunscreen
Raw Elements USA -- face stick, SPF 30 with with excellent UVA protection and excellent UVA protection in relation to SPF. This product is a bit pricey, but worth it for use solely on the face.
There are LOTS of great sunscreens out there! This is a smattering of some of the #1 choices on EWG. For more great products, download EWG Healthy Living App.