I often say what you put in your body is far more important for your skin than what you put on your face.
But there’s one exception: SUNSCREEN
Spending time in the sun is healing and healthy, thanks to the natural dose of vitamin D it provides. But that only requires 15-20 minutes a day and without any sunscreen. Prolonged exposure without any protection can cause premature aging, brown spots, skin discoloration, and skin cancer.
Wearing sunscreen is a must. Unfortunately not all sunscreens are created equal. Many contain harmful chemicals that won’t do our health or beauty any favors.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has studied sunscreens since 2007 and recently compiled an updated list on the best and worst sunscreens for you. You can read about their criteria here.
Here are six tips to remember when choosing a sunscreen:
- A higher SPF isn’t always the answer. Studies have shown that the difference between a sunscreen with SPF 50 and SPF 100 are negligible. (source)
- Avoid sunscreen with vitamin A additives, listed as retinyl palmitate, as studies have shown that it may speed the growth of cancerous tumors. (source)
- Look for sunscreens with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide (source)
- The ideal sunscreen should protect from harmful UVB rays, but also provide protection against the lower energy UVA rays. (source)
- Avoid sprays, as they pose an inhalation risk and are difficult to apply correctly. (source)
- Stay away from sunscreens that contain the allergen and hormone-disrupting chemical oxybenzone. (source)
Although there is no perfect sunscreen, there are some that are safer than others.
Here are the top five sunscreens in each category from EWG:
Safer Sunscreens — Beach & Sport
- All Terrain AquaSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- All Good Unscented Sunstick, SPF 30
- Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
- Babyganics Pure Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50+
- Badger Sport Sunscreen Cream, Unscented, SPF 35
Safer Sunscreens — Moisturizers
- Andalou Naturals All in One Beauty Balm, Sheer Tint, SPF 30
- Badger Damascus Rose Face Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 25
- bareMinerals Prep Step Mineral Shield Daily Prep Lotion, SPF 50
- Block Island Organics Natural Face Moisturizer, SPF 30
- Keys Care KPRO Moisturizer with Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Safer Sunscreens — Kid-Friendly
- Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
- All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 33
- All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- ATTITUDE Little Ones 100% Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
- Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, SPF 30
For a natural sunscreen option for sensitive skin, here’s a recipe you can make at home.
To healthy skin and enjoying time in the sun,