Keep It SafeThe 15 Safest Sunscreens

 

Selecting a sunscreen can be overwhelming. The EWG (Environmental Working Group) examined 1700 sunscreen products for efficacy and safety and found 80% of the products to have inferior sun protection or worrisome ingredients. You can learn more by visiting the EWG website. (See the link below) There is a wealth of information to be found there.

I have spent the better part of the past 2 weeks combing through the information at the EWG website and doing additional research to bring you my top 15 recommendations for the safest and most effective sunscreens on the market today. Plus the 4 sunscreens to always AVOID.choose a safer sunscreen

 

 

 

 

Although the EWG considers products with an overall score of 1 or 2 to have a low hazard rating I felt there were plenty of options with a score of 1 (the best rating for safety) and am only recommending these products.

I also chose only products with individual ingredients rated to pose a LOW health concern. (Also the best rating available)

I then looked up the properties of each product and spent some time reading Amazon customer reviews for each product.

The sun care products I am recommending are the cream of the crop. I started with the best of the best recommended by the EWG. Then I looked for mostly all organic products where available with excellent properties and attributes. I then narrowed down my recommendations based on customer reviews.

There were two characteristics that I was especially aware of while researching the products in regard to best customer reviews. The first is spread-ability or ease of rubbing the product onto the skin. Something that can be tricky with a physical sunscreen as opposed to a chemical sunscreen. The second was fragrance which is something to keep in mind when using a healthier sunscreen without all the toxic fragrances. (You can read more about this in the aqua box at the bottom of the page.)

The EWG rated products on the following five factors encompassing overall ingredient safety and product efficacy in providing sun protection:

  • Health hazards associated with listed ingredients based on a review of nearly 60 standard industry, academic, government regulatory and toxicity databases
  • UVB protection (using SPF rating as the indicator of effectiveness);
  • UVA protection (using a standard industry absorbance model);
  • Balance of UVA/UVB protection (using the ratio of UVA absorbance to SPF);
  • Sunscreen stability (how quickly an ingredient breaks down in the sun, using an in-house stability database compiled from published findings of industry and peer-reviewed stability studies).

They then gave each product a Hazard Score as follows:

0-2 Low Hazard

3-6 Moderate Hazard

7-10 High Hazard

The EWG (Environmental Working Group) examined 1700 sunscreen products for efficacy and safety and found 80% of the products to have inferior sun protection or worrisome ingredients.

Of the 433 Sun Care Products that meet the EWG criteria I have narrowed it down to my

Top 15 Best Recommendations.

I made my choices based on the following:

  • Each product I am recommending meets the EWG’s number 1 safest category with a hazard rating of 1 and also has individual ingredients with the lowest rating for health concerns
  • Most of the products are organic
  • Each of the products I am recommending has excellent or good UVA protection and balance of UVA protection based on the ratings of the EWG. In other words the products I am recommending are not only the safest products recommended by the EWG but also the most effective.
  • I picked products that had good water resistance, non-nano zinc, are gentle on sensitive skin and are good for sports. You will even find some that are reef safe.
  • The products I am recommending have high customer reviews.

15 safest suncare

For Excellent Sun Protection the EWG reminds us to also do the following:

Make sure to visit the EWG Website.

There is an absolute wealth of information on how to be safe in the sun.

 

4 Sunscreens to always AVOID:

Spray Sunscreens
Sunscreen with Sky-high SPF
Sunscreen with hormone disruptions
Sunscreens containing Vitamin A

Learn More

Spread-ability & Fragrance

There were some customer comments that I read over and over again which I would like to address. I paid particular attention to these two areas as I selected my top recommendations for you.

The sunscreens that the EWG rates in the low hazard category (which are the only ones I am recommending) are all physical sunscreens as opposed to chemical sunscreens.  Physical sunscreens use a sunblock such as zinc oxide (the thick white stuff) rather then chemicals. Therefore there is a certain consistency that comes with a physical sunscreen. Additionally your safer sunscreens are void of toxic fragrances therefore they often do not smell as wonderful as the familar beach scent many of us have come to expect. That being said, some of the comments I read from less than satisfied customers, I believe were a result of not understanding a physical sunscreen as opposed to a chemical sunscreen.

I read a number of comments about how thick the sunscreens are and some described them as difficult to apply. A physical sunscreen simply is thicker but the trade-off to ditch the chemicals is absolutely worth it in my opinion. The trick to application is to apply smaller amounts at a time and smooth onto the skin before applying more.

Some were unhappy with the way the sunscreen smelled. That is also part of the package with a physical sunscreen that is not loaded with fragrance. Many of the fragrances used today are very toxic. However, I have recommended one sunscreen with a Tangerine & Vanilla scent if you would like something with a beachier fragrance that is still healthy.

The products I selected all received some of the best reviews in these two areas while meeting all the other criteria for safety and efficacy.

 

 

 

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