Sun Safety 2013: Best Sunscreens and Those to Avoid

Sun Safety 2013: Best Sunscreens and Those to Avoid

Alisa Opar
Published: 05/22/2013

Photo: Ralph Daily/Flickr

Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner, and that means backyard barbeques and trips to the beach. As you gear up to head outside, remember to take sunburn precautions. Nothing spoils the holiday fun like red, blistered, painful skin. 

 

A few tips from the EPA and FDA. Limit your time in the sun, especially from 10-2 when UV rays are strongest. Cover up whenever possible. Use water resistant sunscreen when swimming or exerting yourself. And this one is key: REAPPLY. Specifically, the EPA recommends:

 

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of 15 or higher. Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out into the sun (or as directed by the manufacturer) to give it time to absorb into your skin. Apply it generously and regularly—about 1 ounce every 2 hours—and more often if you are swimming or perspiring.

 

As for choosing a sunscreen, once again the folks at the Environmental Working Group have done the heavy lifting. Their 184 top-rated beach and sport sunscreens are below; on EWG’s website you’ll find lots more info and ratings for many, many more products—including moisturizers, lip balm, and makeup with SPF—as well as their free app.  

 

Before the good stuff, here are eight sunscreen no-nos from EWG:

  1. No spray sunscreens: It’s easy to miss spots, and there are concerns about inhaling the product.
  2. No super-high SPFs: They give a false sense of security, which can lead to fewer re-applications, which increases risk of exposure to damaging UVA rays. Avoid anything higher than SPF 50+.
  3. No oxybenzone: A UV-filter, this chemical is an endocrine disruptor that might contribute to adverse health effects—more research is needed.
  4. No loose powder sunscreens: These often contain zinc or titanium, which can be harmful if inhaled.
  5. No retinyl palmitate: Studies show that on sun-exposed skin, this form of Vitamin A may speed development of skin tumors and lesions.
  6. No combined sunscreen/bug repellents: There’s some evidence that combining sunscreens and repellents leads to increased skin absorption of the repellent ingredients.
  7. No sunscreen towelettes: It’s questionable whether these products result in enough sunscreen on your skin to ensure protection.
  8. No tanning oils: EWG says, “Tanning oils are simply a bad idea. They promote risky behavior, encouraging users seek out intense sunshine that results in skin damage and increased risk of developing skin cancer.”

 

Now, on to the top-rated beach and sport sunscreens. All earned a ‘1’ or a ‘2’ from EWG, which scores products on a on a scale of 1 to 10: 0-2 is low hazard; 3-6 is moderate hazard; 7-10 is high hazard.
 

Absolutely Natural

Absolutely Natural KIDS Sunscreen, SPF 30

Absolutely Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

Alba Botanica

Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Kids Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30

Alba Botanica Natural Very Emollient Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30

 

All Terrain

All Terrain AquaSport Face Stick, SPF 28

All Terrain AquaSport Lotion, SPF 30

All Terrain KidSport Face Stick, SPF 28

All Terrain KidSport Lotion, SPF 30

All Terrain TerraSport Face Stick, SPF 28

All Terrain TerraSport Lotion, SPF 30

 

ARCONA

ARCONA Reozone 40 Protect, SPF 40

 

Aubrey Organics

Aubrey Organics Natrual Sun Sport Stick Sunscreen, SPF 30+

Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Saving Face Sunscreen, SPF 15

Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Sunscreen for Active Lifestyles, Tropical, SPF 30

Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Sunscreen, Green Tea, SPF 30+

Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Sunscreen, Sensitive Skin/Children, Unscented, SPF 30+

 

Ava Anderson Non Toxic

Ava Anderson Non Toxic, SPF 30+

 

Aveeno

Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Face Stick, SPF 50

 

Babo Botanicals

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sport Stick, SPF 30

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

BabyGanics

BabyGanics Cover-Up Baby Pure Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50+

BabyGanics Cover-Up Baby Sunscreen, SPF 50+

 

Badger

Badger All-Season Face Stick, SPF 35

Badger Aloe Vera Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 16

Badger Aloe Vera Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30

Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream, SPF 30

Badger Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30

Badger Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, Lavender, SPF 34

Badger Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 34

Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, SPF 30

Badger Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30

Badger Sport Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 35

Badger Sunscreen Cream, Lavender, SPF 18

Badger Sunscreen Cream, Lavender, SPF 30

Badger Sunscreen Cream, Unscented, SPF 30

 

BALM! Baby

BALM! Baby SUN! Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

Beauty Without Cruelty

Beauty Without Cruelty Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

Beyond Coastal

Beyond Coastal Active Broad Spectrum Face Stick, SPF 30

Beyond Coastal Active Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 34

Beyond Coastal Kids Natural Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 30

Beyond Coastal Natural Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 30

Beyond Coastal Natural Lip & Face Broad Spectrum Screen, SPF 31

 

Blue Lizard

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+

Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Sensitive, SPF 30+

 

BurnOut

BurnOut Eco-Sensitive Clean and Clear Sunscreen, SPF 30

BurnOut Kids Physical Sunscreen, SPF 30

BurnOut Ocean Tested Physical Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

Burt’s Bees

Burt's Bees Baby Bee Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30

 

Butterbean

Butterbean Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

California Baby

California Baby Everyday/Year-Round Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+

California Baby Super Sensitive Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 18

California Baby Everyday/Year-Round Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 30+

California Baby Summer Blend Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 30+

California Baby Super Sensitive Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+

California Baby Super Sensitive Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+

 

Celadon Road

Celadon Road Sunscreen, SPF 20

Celadon Road Tinted Sunscreen, SPF 22

 

Celtic Complexion

Celtic Complexion Organic Sunscreen, SPF 20

 

CeraVe

CeraVe Body Lotion Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 30

CeraVe Broad Spectrum Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30

CeraVe Face Lotion Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

Climb On!

Climb On! Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30

Consonant Skincare

Consonant Skincare The Perfect Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

COOLA

COOLA Suncare Baby Moisturizer Mineral Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 50

COOLA Suncare Plant UV Body Moisturizer Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30

COOLA Suncare Sport Moisturizer Classic Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 45

COOLA Suncare Sport Moisturizer Mineral Sunscreen, Citrus Mimosa, SPF 35

 

Coppertone

Coppertone Faces Sensitive Skin Suncreen Lotion, SPF 50

Coppertone Kids Pure & Simple Lotion, SPF 50

Coppertone Sensitive Skin Suncreen Lotion, SPF 50

Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50

 

Coral Safe

Coral Safe Broad Spectrum Face Stick, SPF 30

Coral Safe Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 30

Coral Safe Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 50

 

CVS

CVS Baby Sun Lotion Broad Spectrum Sunscreen, SPF 50

 

Daisy Blue Naturals

Daisy Blue Naturals Sun Lotion, SPF 15

 

Dolphin Organics

Dolphin Organics Naturals Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 32

 

Dr. Robin for Kids

Dr. Robin for Kids All Natural Chemical-Free Sunscreen, SPF 30+

 

ECO Logical Skin Care

ECO logical skin care Baby All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30+

ECO logical skin care Body All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+        

ECO logical skin care Face All Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+

 

Elementary Herbs

Elemental Herbs Kids Sunscreen, SPF 30+

Elemental Herbs Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30+

Elemental Herbs Sunstick Zinc Sunscreen, Coconut, SPF 30

Elemental Herbs Sunstick Zinc Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30

 

EltaMD

EltaMD UV Physical Tinted Chemical-Free Sunscreen, SPF 41

EltaMD UV Shield Oil-Free Sunscreen, SPF 45

 

Episencial

Episencial Sunscreen, SPF 35

 

Fallene

CoTZ Face Sunscreen for Lighter Skin Tones, SPF 40

CoTZ Face Sunscreen for Natural Skin Tones, SPF 40

CoTZ Pediatric Sunscreen, SPF 40

CoTZ Pure The Healthier Sunscreen, SPF 30

CoTZ Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 40

 

Goddess Garden

Goddess Garden Sunny Baby Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30

Goddess Garden Sunny Body Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30

Goddess Garden Sunny Face Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30

Goddess Garden Sunny Kid's Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

Green Babies

Green Babies Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Sweetly Scented with Tangerine Essential

Green Babies Zinc Oxide Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30

 

Green Screen

Green Screen D Organic Sunscreen, SPF 35

Green Screen Organic Sunscreen, Bronze, SPF 32

Green Screen Organic Sunscreen, Neutral, SPF 32

Green Screen Organic Sunscreen, Nude, SPF 32

Green Screen Organic Sunscreen, Original, SPF 31

Green Screen Organic Sunscreen, Peach, SPF 32

 

HeadHunter

HeadHunter Suncare War Paint, White, SPF 30

 

Healing-Scents

Healing-Scents Live Long Mineral Based Sunscreen, SPF 25

 

Jason Natural Cosmetics

Jason Pure Natural Sun Mineral Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

Jersey Kids

Jersey Kids All Natural All Green Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

Jersey Shore Sun

Jersey Shore Sun Sans Tan Pure White Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 35

 

John Masters Organics

john masters organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30

 

KINeSYS

KINeSYS Sunscreen Ointment with Pure Zinc Oxide, SPF 30

 

Kiss My Face

Kiss My Face Kids Natural Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30

Kiss My Face Kids White Sun Stick, SPF 30

Kiss My Face Natural Mineral Sunscreen with Hydresia, SPF 40

 

La Roche-Posay

La Roche-Posay Anthelios 40 Sunscreen Cream, SPF 40

La Roche-Posay Anthelios Water Resistant Sunscreen Cream, SPF 15

 

Lavanila Laboratories

Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Baby Block, SPF 40

Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Sun Screen Body Cream, SPF 30

Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Sun Screen Face Cream, SPF 40

 

Lemongrass Spa

Lemongrass Spa Sport Sunscreen Stick, Natural Vanilla, SPF 30

Lemongrass Spa Sport Sunscreen Stick, Unscented, SPF 30

Lemongrass Spa Sport Sunscreen Stick,Tinted, Natural Vanilla, SPF 30

Lemongrass Spa Sunscreen Sport Natural Mineral Formula Lotion, SPF 30

 

Marie Veronique Organics

Marie Veronique Organics Kid Safe Screen, SPF 25