I’ve talked about some of my favourite natural sunscreens in a few other posts, but thought I would consolidate the information to make it easier to decide what to get and where to get it (physical stores are ones that I have visited in Edmonton).
UPDATE: A few things to consider when choosing a sunscreen that’s right for you:
1. Spray vs Cream.
Spray sunscreens tend to be a lighter consistency. Cream sunscreens tend to give you longer-lasting coverage. The caveat with spray sunscreens is not to spray it directly all over yourself – spray it into your hand and then apply it (especially to your face). I believe that spray sunscreens get a worse rating on EWG (Environmental Working Group)’s database because of the possibility of inhaling it.
What “oxide” is the main ingredient?
Natural sunscreens use titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide to block UV rays. There has been some controversy of late about titanium dioxide, so if you’re wary of it, stick to sunscreens that only have zinc oxide.
My natural sunscreen picks:
#1. Goddess Garden.
Goddess Garden is a brand of natural and organic sunscreens for adults, kids, and babies. They’re made with pure minerals, and zinc oxide, offering natural sun protection. Goddess Garden’s Continuous Spray was highlighted in Ecoholic Adria Vasil’s column, getting a 4/5 rating from her (and she’s tough to please!). I love that the spray is a very light application, and it is reef-safe (so you can go snorkelling or scuba diving with this stuff on, and not worry about it affecting the beautiful reef-life!). *Update: The continuous spray contains titanium dioxide. EWG rating: 3 (likely due to the spray factor). For a formula without titanium dioxide, try Goddess Garden Sunny Baby Natural Sunscreen in a cream form. EWG rating: 1 (lower score is better).
Where to buy:
#2. Green Beaver.
My other favourite for putting on my daughter is the sunscreen spray by Green Beaver. It is a liquid formula spray that is super easy to apply and isn’t thick and goopy like many natural sunscreens can be. It also doesn’t leave a smear of white residue behind. Love it! I spray it on my hands and rub it on my daughter’s skin. *Update (May 30, 2014) This formula only contains zinc oxide. Not listed in EWG database.
Where to buy:
- online at well.ca
- London Drugs
- Planet Organic
Badger Balm sunscreens are well-known as one of the safest sunscreens to use on kids and babies (even recommended in my daycare’s manual!). When my daughter was still pre-toddler, I used the Baby Sunscreen, which is a cream. Because it is a cream, it takes more effort to rub on to your skin than the other 2 liquid formulas I have listed above. However, because it is thicker, it also stays on for longer. So if it’s a super hot day and my daughter is likely to get sweaty, or wet at a spray park – I don’t need to re-apply as often. *Update (May 30, 2014) This formula only contains zinc oxide. EWG rating: 1 (lower score is better)
Where to buy:
Babo Botanicals: They carry sunscreen sticks and lotions that have only zinc oxide as the active ingredient. They have formulas for extra-sensitive skin as well. EWG rating: 1 (lower score is better). Available online in the US at amazon.com or at the Babo Botanicals website, and in Canada at amazon.ca: Babo Botanicals Sunscreen – Clear Zinc – SPF 30 – 3 fl oz.
Sunscreens seen at Planet Organic (photo taken July 23, 2013):
For many more sunscreen brands, check out EWG (Environmental Working Group) and their Guide to Sunscreens (some Canadian brands are not listed, however).
If you’re looking specifically for facial sunscreens, check out my picks here.
So pick one and apply liberally – it will definitely make a difference in the health of your skin and your kids’ skin!
What’s your favourite natural sunscreen?
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