Practical ways to live better on less.
With summer just around the corner, now is the time to stock up on plenty of sunscreen. Most traditional sunscreens contain harmful chemicals. The active ingredients used to filter out the rays often cause skin irritation and can possibly disrupt hormones, according to the Environmental Working Group. According to EWG, oxybenzone is especially dangerous, and unfortunately, found in over 80% of chemical sunscreens.
On the EWG website, you can look up a list of the safest sunscreens on the market. Most of the products on the list are mineral sunscreens which sit on top of the skin, rather than being absorbed. Most use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide which are only minimal hazards. You can find these products at Whole Foods and other natural health food stores, and also on Amazon (the cheaper route).
The problem with natural sunscreens is that not only are they pricier, they are also inconveniently only available in small sizes (usually 4oz only – I have only seen a few at 8oz). Unfortunately, you lose money by having to purchase multiple bottles repeatedly rather than buying a cheaper larger sized bottle. However, to me, it is worth it to pay a little more for the healthier product. If you search online you may be able to find a deal. I have done a bit of research on the best prices available for my favorite brands.
My Top Mineral Based Sunscreen Picks
Coopertone Water Babies Pure and Simple SPF 50 comes in one of the larger sizes (80z) and it works really well. I have never gotten burnt while using this products. It tends to go on a bit whiter than other zinc based products, however, it works really well for summer beach/waterpark days. There is a deal on 2 bottles for only $15, which is an excellent value!
Vanicream Sport Sunscreen SPF 35 is another excellent choice. Although a bit more pricey than Coopertone, the product contains micronized zinc oxide and octinoxate, which lead to a more transparent finish. This sunblock doesn’t leave me looking ghostly with a white cast on my skin, making it ideal for everyday use. It holds up well during exercise and in the water. The 2 pack deal for $25 is pretty good for this brand.
Solbar Zinc SPF 38 is probably my favorite of the 3. Like Vanicream, it also contains transparent zinc oxide. I like this product because it glides on smooth, doesn’t show any white whatsoever, and lasts all day. I can use it on my face too without breaking out. This 3 pack deal for $32 is great for a transparent, natural sunscreen.
What are some of your favorite natural sunscreen brands? Do you think it is worth the extra cost to avoid the chemicals found in traditional physical sunblocks? Share your thoughts in the comments below!