Our Top Non-Toxic Sunscreens for Summer 2023Because we know you don’t use sunscreen the same way every day, here are some of our favorite non-toxic sunscreen products for summer 2021 – for the beach, the boat, the playground, and the tennis court, too.
RecreationFor your active beach days – because, let’s be honest, if you have kids, the beach is not that relaxing! Love Sun Body Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Fragrance-Free, SPF 30 is a 100% mineral sunscreen with a non-greasy matte finish that uses non-nano Zinc Oxide to provide broad-spectrum protection with at least 80 min water resistance. It’s fragrance-free, reef safe, and safe for use on children and infants. It’s a top scorer for safety on the EWG’s Guide to Sunscreens, too. Badger Sport Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 35 uses clear zinc oxide for an easy-to-apply formula that is lightweight and moisturizing. It provides broad=spectrum UVA/UVB protection, is water-resistant for at least 80 minutes, has no added fragrances, and scores top safety ratings from the EWG.
FaceMineral sunscreens can be drying and irritating, so finding a non-toxic sunscreen that can also keep your face looking and feeling good is a challenge! Suntegrity Impeccable Skin Moisturizing Face Sunscreen Lotion, Tan, SPF 30, has a top EWG safety rating and uses non-nano zinc oxide and melanin to provide Broad Spectrum SPF 30 protection from the UVA/UVB rays as well as blue light protection. The formula can be purchased in a range of skin tints for medium coverage and is free of silicones, oils, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, mineral oils, synthetic dyes, sulfates, PABA, nano-particles & chemical UV absorbers. It’s also fragrance and cruelty-free. If you’re looking for one without tint, Alba Botanica’s Even & Bright Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 15 offers a breathable sunscreen shield without oxybenzone or octinoxate, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, or synthetic fragrances and scored a high rating for safety with the EWG.
KidsAll Good Kid’s Sunscreen Butter Stick, SPF 50+ offers a stick option that is just how it sounds – buttery and moisturizing! This gentle, easy-to-blend formula has UVB/UVA sun protection and organic chamomile to soothe sensitive skin. It’s also got HEV (blue light) protection, so you can swipe it on before your next zoom. Oxybenzone-free and made with Reef-friendly ingredients, this mineral sunscreen is a great option that scores top ratings with the EWG for safety. All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30, is a long-lasting, mineral sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection with non-nano, uncoated zinc oxide and was designated a Top Sunscreen by the Environmental Working Group. It’s designed for an active lifestyle and holds up to sweat and water well. It’s also non-greasy, fragrance-free, and won’t cause eye sting, so it’s great for kids with sensitive skin.
A Great Brand With Something For EveryoneSolara Suncare is committed to protecting and nurturing skin, in their words: “Suncare. Skincare. Always both. Always clean.” Founded by a mom who wanted to create safer products that looked and felt great on her kids’ sensitive skin and without the allergy-triggering chemicals found in conventional sunscreens, Solara offers a broad range of product options including scented and unscented face, body, and lip protectant sunscreens that feature safe, wellness-driven ingredients. Solara is offering our readers 15% off their purchase with code FON15 – we don’t get a commission, we’re just true fans of this awesome brand!
DrugstoreIt’s hard to find nontoxic alternatives at the drugstore, but here are two options that can be easily found when you find you left your sunscreen (or your whole beach bag) at home! Banana Boat Kids Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50+ has a wide stick format, is lightweight, absorbs quickly, and is Reef Friendly (no oxybenzone or octinoxate). Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 is a solid option with good safety ratings from the EWG that’s also an easy-to-locate brand. The formula is 100% mineral active (zinc oxide), hypoallergenic, and water-resistant for at least 80 minutes, and is free of parabens, fragrances, phthalates, dyes, and irritating chemicals.
Don’t Forget: 4 Tips For Avoiding Toxic Sunscreens
1. Be wary of spray sunscreen, but, before you run away, clutching your spray sunscreens to your chest, hear us out! Spray sunscreens create – obviously- a spray, which releases nanoparticles in the air. Even safe mineral products, like titanium dioxide, are not designed to be inhaled and can pose a risk to our lung health. Many of the ingredients used in chemical sunscreens are not safe for our skin and organs and this risk is magnified when inhaled, so they must be handled carefully, particularly on windy days and anywhere around open flames, if used at all.
2. Toxic UV-filters, UVB-filters, and UVB-absorbers like Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, Homosalate. Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, increase the skin’s ability to absorb other potentially toxic chemicals from the environment and can disrupt hormonal function and even cause organ system toxicity. Research has shown that homosalate may be an endocrine and hormone disruptor, and has been shown to increase the absorption of pesticides from our precious coral reefs and marine life to pregnant or breastfeeding women, nursing infants, and anyone who is regularly exposed to large quantities of pesticides.
3. Retinyl Palmitate is a form of vitamin A that’s used as a skin conditioner and an active ingredient in sunscreen products. Oddly enough, retinyl palmitate is a possible carcinogen that responds to light, possibly promoting tumor growth, so it could actually be responsible for causing and accelerating UV-related skin damage. It also has the potential for causing reproductive toxicity.
4. Fragrances – The one word “fragrance” is a blanket term used to designate the presence of what can be hundreds of toxic ingredients. Fragrance chemicals can pass through the skin and enter the bloodstream. They are manufactured from petroleum and coal tar and are classified as carcinogens, hormone disruptors, neurotoxins, skin, and respiratory irritants.Extra-credit: for a deeper dive on these ingredients, check out our Chemical Free Sunscreen Product Guide, and read up on why higher SPFs aren’t better and may give you a false sense of security.