School’s out, the sun’s beaming and the weather is warm which can only mean one thing: summer is here! It’s a great time to get your natural dose of vitamin D and while it’s tempting to go outside sunscreen-free, the dangers of overexposure to the sun are far too great. But is just using any ol’ sunscreen enough? Unfortunately not. Conventional sunscreens are filled with harmful chemicals and ingredients that can wreak havoc on your health, with many of the chemical UV filters capable of mimicking hormones or causing skin allergies. The most controversial is oxybenzone, which is added to nearly 70 percent of the non-mineral sunscreens in the Environmental Working Group’s 2016 sunscreen database. The EWG’s annual database is essential to review in order to make sure you’re choosing a brand that isn’t doing more harm than good. Of their 2016 list, we’ve provided you with 9 that have a Skin Deep score* of one and an SPF of at least 30 for a variety of lifestyle needs.
(*A Skin Deep score is a two-part score—a hazard score, from 1-10 that reflects known and suspected hazards of ingredients, and a data availability rating that reflects the number of scientific studies in the published scientific literature along with the number included in the Skin Deep database. The best Skin Deep scores are a combination of a low hazard rating AND fair or better data availability.)
This all-purpose sunscreen has a high percentage of zinc oxide and a simple ingredient list you can actually decipher, unlike many of the popular brands on the market. With a smooth base including olive oil, jojoba oil and shea butter, it goes on easily and evenly to ensure all-over protection. Biodegradable and safe enough for babies, you won’t have any qualms about applying this U.S. made product.
EWG RATING: 1, lowest hazard. PRICE: $20.00 for 2 oz. ($9.50/oz.)
This eco-friendly and safe-for-kids sunscreen is made with certified organic green tea and rose hip, providing your skin with beneficial antioxidants, while the jojoba and extra-virgin olive oils moisturize the skin. Made with a zinc oxide formulation, it will leave little residue, which is especially helpful for those with darker skin tones.
EWG RATING: 1, lowest hazard. PRICE: $15.99 for 3 oz. ($5.33/oz.)
Want to wade in the water all day? This is among the best water-resistant sunscreen. Made with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, it’s water resistant for up to 80 minutes. It’s also noncomedogenic, so it won’t clog your pores.
EWG RATING: 1, lowest hazard. PRICE: $14.99 for 2 oz. ($7.50/oz.)
On a budget but want a sunscreen that’s good for the earth and your skin? This sunscreen is your best bet, as it’s made with fair-trade, organic ingredients. Coconut oil is the main ingredient, giving it a naturally sensational smell and creamy texture. The zinc oxide makes it great for immediate sun protection that you don’t need to let soak in before making a splash in the pool.
EWG RATING: 1, lowest hazard. PRICE: $21.00 for 7 oz. ($3.00/oz.)
Are you the sporty type? Whether your aim is beach volleyball, surfing, or a long run, this water-resistant sunscreen is great for protecting your skin even when you’re sweaty.
EWG RATING: 1, lowest hazard. PRICE: $12.99 for 3 oz. ($4.33/oz.)
This mineral-based sunscreen is specifically formulated for sensitive skin, making it a great option for anyone with allergies or other sensitivities. Plus, it’s vegan, gluten-free and biodegradable.
EWG RATING: 1, lowest hazard. PRICE: $23.99 for 3.4 oz. ($7.35/oz.)
Making a point to keep it organic? This sunscreen contains only USDA-certified organic ingredients, including sunflower oil, green and black teas, coffee, hemp seed oil, cocoa butter, mango butter and vitamin E. EWG says it provides a good balance of UVA protection in relation to the SPF as well.
EWG RATING: 1, lowest hazard. PRICE: $18.99/3 oz. ($6.33/oz.)
When you’re planning a long day outside, on the boat, at the beach or in your garden, it’s important to have sunscreen that will last you a long time. This product is great if you need something for those intense sun exposure days, offering broad-spectrum UV coverage thanks to zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. It’s also coral reef-friendly and biodegradable, too!
EWG RATING: 1, lowest hazard. PRICE: $19.95 for 5.4 oz. ($3.69/oz.)
Want to combat dry skin while protecting yourself from harmful UV rays? This biodegradable, coral reef-friendly option is your go-to. It only has five ingredients, including zinc oxide and vitamin E, and provides water and sweat protection for up to 40 minutes.
EWG RATING: 1, lowest hazard. PRICE: $15.99 for 2.9 oz. ($5.51/oz.)
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