2018 Practical Face Sunscreen Guide

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Non-Toxic Face Sunscreen

There are a lot of factors to look into when choosing the best face sunscreen.  I use a face sunscreen as part of my UV rays’ protection strategy. While reading this, keep in mind that no sunscreen can protect you 100%.

 

You are about to learn how you can quickly know which face sunscreen is right for you.  I will also share my favorite choices.

 

This year, I included two more options. I read through all your comments to the original post and looked at each ingredient of the sunscreens you asked about, including Hynt Beauty, Think Sport, Elta MD, De Vita, Suntegrity, and Juice Beauty.

 

I bought two new sunscreens for my own use this season.  I also added them to this list of mineral face sunscreens I like. You will find them at the top of the list.  They are at the top of the list because they are the most recent.  I still like my previous recommendations.

 

The reason I did not choose tinted face sunscreens this year is because I now use Crunchi non-toxic mineral foundation.  Crunchi is the only company to my knowledge that uses mineral pigments that are EcoCert certified and that are not made in China. In my opinion, using mineral pigments that are not made in China is very important because of the disproportionate risk of heavy metal contamination (pigments and dyes are expected to contain trace amounts of heavy metals).  You read my review of Crunchi non-toxic makeup brand here.

 

If you think that buying BeautyCounter products is the best way to avoid heavy metals, please read my investigation into them and my recent update here.

 

So what do we want from a face sunscreen?

 

We want it to be safe, meaning that it does not damage our skin or overall health.

 

We want it to be effective, meaning that it has to protect us from both UVA (short-wave ultraviolet-A) and UVB (ultraviolet-B) rays.

 

And we want our face sunscreen to be practical, meaning without a ghostly whitening effect. Nobody wants to look like a ghost unless you are going to a Halloween party.

 

That said, let’s look at sunscreen ingredients.

 

First of all, all active ingredients of sunscreens – UV filters – can be divided into two groups: chemical and mineral.

 

Chemical Face Sunscreen Products

 

Chemical UV filters include the following chemicals: oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, octocrylene, and avobenzone.  According to the Environmental Working Group research, these ingredients are linked to adverse health effects.

 

Oxybenzone: associated with acting like estrogen in the body; altered sperm production in animals; linked with endometriosis in women.

 

Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate): linked with hormone-like activity; reproductive system, thyroid and behavioral alterations in animal studies; may cause skin allergy.

 

Homosalate: linked to estrogen, androgen, and progesterone disruption.

 

Octocrylene: relatively high rates of skin allergy.

 

Avobenzone: relatively high rates of skin allergy

 

Because chemical UV filters either are linked to endocrine disruption or skin allergy or both, I do not recommend them.  In addition, they do not provide as good of a protection as mineral sunscreens.  Please read about that next.

 

Mineral Face Sunscreen Products

 

The sunscreens that I prefer are mineral, which are made with either titanium oxide or zinc oxide or both.

 

There are two types of sun protection we need: UVB (ultraviolet-B) and UVA (short-wave ultraviolet-A rays). UVA radiation does not burn the skin as UVB does. It is sneaky because you can receive dangerous levels of UVA without knowing it. Also, UVA protection is not linked to the SPF value. How convenient! In other words, the higher SPF value does not always mean better UVA protection.

 

SPF simply shows how much time you can spend in the sun without burning your skin. At the same time, UVA radiation is very harmful and maybe even more harmful than UVB because it affects deeper layers of the skin.

 

From racking the EWG Annual Sunscreen Guide for years now, I noticed a pattern that I confirmed from other sources as well. Zinc oxide offers excellent UVA protection while titanium oxide offers only a good or okay UVA protection. Thus, I prefer sunscreens with zinc oxide or a titanium oxide/zinc oxide blend.

 

Whitening Effect – the Balancing Act

 

You might have noticed that mineral sunscreens leave some whitening effect. The reason mineral sunscreens make you look like a ghost is that their particles are bigger (non-nanoparticles) and they sit on top of the skin. The thicker layer you have sitting on your skin, the more protection you have from UVA.

 

The advantages of nano zinc oxide are that it does not cause a whitening effect and it protects from UVB rays better than non-nano zinc oxide.   Keep in mind also that non-nano minerals can’t be 100% nano and will have some percentage of nanoparticles. (source)

 

If you have heard about nanoparticles causing DNA damage, you might be freaking out right now. Don’t!

 

Yes, there was a concern that nanoparticles (<100 nm) can penetrate the skin and damage the DNA. There are no conclusive studies though.

 

In fact, this year the EWG came to a conclusion that nanoparticles are not a reason to stress out about. They either do not get absorbed or the absorption rate is less than 0.01 percent of either non-nano or nano zinc that has entered the bloodstream. The study could not determine if the zinc in the bloodstream was insoluble nanoparticles. Therefore European regulators concluded it was most likely zinc ions, which would not pose any health risk (source).  Notice that the conclusion was made by a European regulator who I trust a little better.

 

As for the effects of nanoparticles on marine life, the long story short is that we don’t know much about it.

 

I still prefer non-nano mineral sunscreens but I am not as concerned as I have been before if that claim is truthful. It is hard to track that stuff due to non-existing regulations.

 

Other Ingredients in Face Sunscreen Products

 

What makes it more complicated to pick a perfect face sunscreen is that roughly 75% of total sunscreen composition is made up of inactive ingredients. And they have to be good, too, right? There should not be any irritating, potentially harmful, pore-clogging ingredients, and the preservation system should be sufficient.

 

With this said, without further ado, let me provide you with a list of face sunscreens I like.

Mineral Face Sunscreen

Kari Gran Three Sixty Five SPF 28, 30 ml, $48

  

Active Ingredient: 17% non-nano zinc oxide

 

Inactive ingredients: non-gmo rubus ideaus (red raspberry seed) oil, non-gmo prunus domestica (french plum seed) oil, organic macadamia ternifolia (macadamia nut seed) oil, non-gmo aleurites moluccana (kukui seed) oil, organic persea gratissima (avocado) oil, organic simmondsia chinensis (jojoba seed) , oil, organic beeswax, tocopherol (non-gmo vitamin e from sunflower).

 

My thoughts: It contains a number of nourishing and healing plant oils.  There is only one emulsifier (something that binds water and oils), organic beeswax, which means that it may separate.  Accordingly, you will have to shake it well before applying, especially when you first open it.  Emulsifiers may be a source of irritation for sensitive skin so the absence of those moisturizers makes this face sunscreen perfect for those with sensitive skin.  This product is made without water, which means that no preservatives are needed, which can be another source of concern.  All in all, I think this is a perfect face sunscreen for sensitive skin.

 

The whitening effect is minimum.

 

Due to the absence of water and emulsifiers, its consistency is close to facial oils.  My skin is on the dry side, so it is good for me, and I don’t have to use a moisturizer first.  If your skin is oily, you might find it greasy though.  I put on this face sunscreen, let it dry, and follow up with Crunchi primer and foundation.  I am able to achieve a slight dewy effect using this non-toxic sunscreen under a Crunchi foundation.

 

And lastly, I love the fact that it is packaged in glass – less environmental pollution.

 

Where to buy:  Kari Gran website (I do not get any credit for your purchases there), Credo Beauty(a retailer selling safer skin care and cosmetic products), Amazon

 

Juice Beauty SPF 30 Mineral Moisturizer Sheer, 2 oz, $32

  

Active Ingredient: 20% non-nano zinc oxide

 

Inactive ingredients:  Pyrus malus (organic apple juice)*, cocos nucifera (organic coconut oil)*, vitis vinifera (organic white grape juice)*, aloe barbadensis (organic aloe leaf juice)*, caprylic/capric triglyceride, sorbitan stearate, ricinus communis (castor seed oil), polyglyceryl-10 laurate, magnesium sulfate, helianthus annuus (organic sunflower seed oil)*, simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba seed oil)*, tocopherol (Vitamin E), sodium hyaluronate (vegetable hyaluronic acid), phenethyl alcohol, ethylhexylglycerin, citrus reticulata (mandarin) & citrus aurantium (petitgrain) pure essential oils *certified organic ingredient

 

My thoughts: I love how light and non-greasy this face sunscreen is.  Because it has water and typical emulsifiers, it has the texture of a typical lotion. It goes on very white at first but it dissipates quickly.  I use a light and absorbent Blissoma moisturizer (my favorite Blissoma moisturizers are Awake, Lift, or Smooth A+ Correcting Serum for the time when I have a few breakouts) first, then the Juice Beauty mineral moisturizer, then Crunchi primer and foundation.  I wait for each layer to dry first before applying next, which happens quite quickly.  Here is my selfie wearing these products.

 

Mineral Face Sunscreen

 

Because this mineral face sunscreen has water, antibacterial preservatives have to be used.  First of all, I am so glad that the company honestly lists them (not every company does that, unfortunately).

 

The preservatives used in this mineral face sunscreen are phenethyl alcohol and ethylhexylglycerin.  The Environmental Working Group rates it only 1 (on a scale from 1 to 10), but marks ‘irritation’ as a high concern.  So for some time, I tried to stay away from it. Recently, I took time to dive deeper into this concern because ethylhexylglycerin has become such a popular preservative in products whose other ingredients I like.

 

I am glad that it does not have any links to cancer risks and endocrine disruption, which is a huge plus.  In animal and human studies, the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Panel found it to be a mild irritant in undiluted form and not a sensitizer at a concentration of 50% (I do not have information how much is used in the Juice Beauty sunscreen, but according to my knowledge of how skincare products are made, it should way lower than that).

 

Because the Cosmetic Ingredient Panel is not an independent organization, but rather is industry-sponsored, I always do my best to look into independent studies.

 

In the medical literature, there are a few cases described where people became allergic to ethylhexylglycerin. Some of those people had unhealthy and sensitive skin to begin with.  Because of its popularity, there have been more reported cases of allergic contact dermatitis.  As a result, in 2017, the American Society of Contact Dermatitis added it to its core allergen series along with sodium benzoate and lavender.  Sodium benzoate is another common preservative found in plant-based and natural cosmetics,

 

The American Society of Contact Dermatitis lists ethylhexylglycerin and sodium benzoate as allergens at concentrations of 5%.

 

I have studied probably all preservatives available out there for skincare product formulators to use and have consulted with product formulators on preservatives (learn more about super bad preservatives here).  Based on my knowledge of other choices for preservatives, I added ethylhexylglycerin to my approved list of preservatives.

 

If you have a skin reaction to this effective face sunscreen, discontinue using it and let us know in the comments.

 

In conclusion, I decided to use this sunscreen and include it in this mineral face sunscreen guide  So far I have not had any problems with it and like the way it feels on my skin.

 

Where to buy:  Juice Beauty (make sure to choose ‘sheer’ option), Credo Beauty (a retailer selling safer skin care and cosmetic products), Amazon

 

Annmarie Sun Love – Natural Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 20, 2 oz, $39.95

 

Active Ingredient: 15% non-nano zinc oxide

 

Inactive ingredients: *Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil; *Cera alba (beeswax); *Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil; *Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil; *Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil; Titanium dioxide, Mica, Iron oxide, Yellow iron oxide, Brown iron oxide, Zinc oxide; Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn berry) extract; *Mauritia flexuosa (buriti) fruit oil; Lavandula angustifolia (lavender) oil; *Theobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter

 

*Organic or wildcrafted

 

My thoughts: To deal with the whitening effect, they added mineral pigments such as mica, iron oxide, yellow iron oxide, and brown iron oxide to create a tint. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you probably know that I am concerned about possible heavy metal contamination in mineral pigments. However, I believe the topical application of pigments with trace amounts of heavy metals within the FDA guidelines is okay. My concern is more about a possible inadvertent disproportionately high heavy metals contamination, the risk of which can be avoided if the companies buy their pigments from a trusted US or European supplier or better yet if the company sends the pigments they buy to an independent lab for testing. However, to test every batch might be cost prohibitive for small businesses. So far, I have not found a company who would be willing to back up their claims of pigment testing.

 

With this said, Annmarie buys their pigments from a trusted US supplier and they even showed me pigment documentation that reflects that heavy metals are within the FDA guidelines.

 

I tried their old formula of the face sunscreen when they had water in it and as a result, had to have a preservative. It worked okay for me.   There was a whitening effect and the tint blended with my skin tone. It is probably hard to say whether you will like the tint for your particular skin tone. But the good news is that you can purchase a sample for $5 with no shipping charge, which comes with a $5 coupon. Good deal, huh?

 

Where to buy: Annmarie website

 

By Valenti Organics Choco-Coco White Solid Solar Screen (sunscreen) SPF30+, 4 oz, $15

 

Active Ingredients: non-nano Zinc Oxide – 8%, sunscreen grade non-nano Titanium Dioxide – 10%

 

Inactive Ingredients: Organic Coconut (Cocos Nucifera) Oil, Organic Virgin Coconut (Cocos Nucifera)Oil, Organic Shea (Butyrospermum Parkii) Butter, Organic Cocoa (Theobroma Cacao) Butter, Organic Carnauba (Copernica Cerifera) Oil.

 

My thoughts: Unfortunately, I have not had a chance to try this product so as I can’t say how much whitening effect it leaves. If you have tried it, please share your feedback with us. I wanted to include it because I had recommended By Valenti Organics skincare products before and some of you asked me about this sunscreen. The inactive ingredients are all organic and pure. Ms. Valenti strikes me as a person of integrity and who is passionate about doing the right thing.

 

Where to buy: By Valenti Organics website

 

Badger Balm Tinted Sunscreen – SPF30 Unscented Cream, 2.9 oz, $15.99

 

Active Ingredients: Non-Nano, Uncoated Zinc Oxide 18.75%

 

Inactive Ingredients: *Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, *Cera Alba (Beeswax), Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), *Hippophae Rhamnoides (Seabuckthorn) Fruit Extract, Iron Oxides (C.I. 77492, C.I. 77499) (and) Jojoba Esters.

*=Certified Organic

 

My Notes: I tried it on vacation in Hawaii where I needed something more protective from both UVA and UVB rays. The tint was lighter than my skin tone so my face looked like I chose a bad foundation. But it was still a much better option than the un-tinted one. I wanted to include it because the botanical ingredients are organic and good for your skin, it is effective, and it may work for you as well. There are lots of Amazon reviews you can read through to figure out if it is worth a try. Like the majority of companies, they do not test their pigments for heavy metals but buy them from trusted European suppliers.

 

Where to buy: Badger Balm website or Amazon

 

Hana Organic Skincare Everyday Crème (with 15 SPF), 15 ml, $38

 

Active Ingredients: 12% non-nano zinc oxide

 

Inactive Ingredients: *rose, *calendula & *lavender-infused *apricot oil; *jojoba & *rosehip seed oils; *cocoa butter; aloe vera gel; *rose hydrosol; pure filtered beeswax; non-nano zinc oxide; *vegetable glycerin; vitamin E; Leucidal liquid SF ECOCERT; *geranium & *lavender essential oils 

 

My comments: This is my favorite for everyday use! The whitening effect dissipates after a few minutes, and it is very moisturizing. The texture is like a traditional crème that I know many of you like. It is easy to apply. Because there is water in the composition, a preservative has to be used. The common difficulty with traditional crèmes is that that they have to contain water and preservatives. Those preservatives are often a source of skin irritation or even endocrine disruption. I love Karen’s (the owner and formulator) choice of a preservative, Leucidal Liquid, which consists of isolated peptides secreted by the bacteria during the fermentation process of radishes with Leuconostoc kimchi.  Leucidal® Liquid is accepted by Ecocert as an ingredient in certified organic cosmetics.  Because the SPF is only 15, when I know that I will be exposed to the sun for longer than 2 hours, I wear a hat.

 

Where to buy: Hana Organic Skincare website

 

So what is next?

 

All in all, finding a perfect face sunscreen is a bit tricky. A physical barrier is still important even if you wear a sunscreen. I am glad that I found these options for you.

 

If you used any of these mineral sunscreens, please share your experiences so we can help each other out.

 

If you think the sunscreen you use follows the guidelines I outlined here, please let us know what the sunscreen is in the comments. Or simply tell us which out of these suncreens you would like to try.  Don’t be a stranger!  Remember your input makes a huge difference.

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41 Responses

  1. Emilia

    Hi, Irina, I am so glad you reviewed sunscreens. I’ve been looking for a good, physical sunscreen without titanium dioxide for a while. I liked the texture of SkinCeuticals but it contains titanium dioxide 🙁 I tried Marie Veronique and loved the concept and REALLY wanted to love it but it didn’t apply well. It dried off way too fast for an even application and it had a yellowish tint. The one that I found and currently use and like is called Suntegrity SPF 30 without parabens, nano-particles and other nasties.They have tinted versions and a non-tinted. The tinted version was too yellowish for my skin tone so I got the non-tinted. It is a face sunscreen and a primer. It still has a slight whitish cast right after the application but it goes away after 10 min. Check out that brand and see what you think about it.

  2. Angela

    Great post. Our whole family uses ABC sunscreen from Arbonne ( toxic chemical free)and we do love how well it works on our fair skin… it does take some good rubbing in…but I don’t mind. I was actually wondering about other sunscreens that have ” bug repellent” in them. Are they just adding essential oils to help ward off pests and does it work?

  3. Stephanie

    Why did this not come out 2 days earlier?? 🙂 I just placed an order to try Juice Beauty CC Cream. It’s SPF 30, non-nano Zinc Oxide 20%. I was going to get the tinted moisturizer (BB cream), but decided to add the anti-aging. 🙂
    Will definitely try Hana (Badger is just so hard to blend) depending how Juice Beauty performs or if the ingredients aren’t the best. EWG has it as an overall 1, with all ingredients a 1 or 2 and only 2 with no data (polyglyceryl-10 laurate and petitgrain oil).

    Thanks again for all you do!

    Active Ingredient:
    Zinc Oxide 20%
    Inactive Ingredients:
    Aloe barbadensis (organic aloe juice)*,
    cocos nucifera (organic coconut oil)*,
    pyrus malus (organic apple juice)*,
    vitis vinifera (organic white grape juice)*,
    caprylic/capric triglyceride†,
    sorbitan stearate,
    ricinus communis (castor seed oil),
    polyglyceryl-10 laurate,
    magnesium sulfate,
    helianthus annuus (organic sunflower seed oil)*,
    simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba seed oil)*,
    tocopherol (Vitamin E),
    magnesium ascorbyl phosphate (Vitamin C),
    sodium hyaluronate†,
    malus domestica (apple fruit cell culture extract),
    vitis vinifera (grape fruit cell extract),
    citrus medica limonum (lemon leaf cell extract),
    iron oxides,
    phenethyl alcohol,
    ethylhexylglycerin†,
    citrus reticulata (mandarin oil),
    citrus aurantium (petitgrain oil).
    † = plant derived
    * = Certified organic ingredient

    • Emilia

      Stephanie, I actually forgot about Juice Beauty sunscreen. I used it for a few years, the non-tinted version and I kind of liked it. It also goes a bit white (just like any physical sunscreen would) but it did not irritate my reactive skin or make me break out. The ingredients are also pretty “clean”. The way I used to apply the non-tinted version was by mixing it w a bit of Dr. Hauschka bronzer (just a few drops). Then I would wait about 10 min and blot the residue and forget about it 🙂 I hope you like it. If I was to rate it, I would say that was my second favorite after my current choice Suntegrity.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi, Stephanie: I think polyglyceryl-10 laurate and petitgrain oi are okay. I am not a huge fan of ethylhexylglycerin as it is linked with skin irritation in the Skin Deep. To be fair, I have used products with this ingredient and did not experience any problems. This product is also formulated with multiple goals in mind, which can be too hard to fulfill. For instance, there is sodium hyaluronate, which is an anti-aging igredient that, in my opinion, should be used as a separate product and consciously so you do not face its side effects. As far as I know, products with sodium hyaluronate should be applied on the damp skin. I personally still like Hana better, again just by looking at the ingredients. But again, it is just my opinion and I have not even tried Juice Beauty. Let me know how you like it, if you use it. Let me know what you think. ~Irina

  4. Hannah

    It is very important to remember that the SPF listed is based upon using one ounce of sunscreen. Yes, one ounce it what we are supposed to be applying and I’m always shocked by how few people know this.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi, Hannah: thank you for bringing this up. It is one ounce per exposed areas of the body, which might not very clear. I think a better way to say it is 2mg/cm2, which would be roughly 0.25 teaspoon per 0.155 squared inch. Yes, it is a lot of sunscreens. ~Irina

  5. Elena

    Hi Irina! Can you let me know your thoughts regarding the sun prep SPF 30 from hynt beauty ? Here are the ingredients:
    Active Ingredient: Titanium Dioxide 9%

    Ingredients: Aloe Vera Gel (Purified Water & Aloe Vera Barbadensis), Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Oil*, Krameria Triandra (Rhatany) Root Extract* , Hyaluronic Acid (plant derived), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract*, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Oryza Sativa (Rice Bran) Oil*, Laminaria Algae Extract*, Comfrey Root*, Dexapanthenol, Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed) Extract*, Glycrrhiza Glabra (Licorice Root) Extract*, Sodium PCA, Squalane (Plant Derived), Allantoin (Plant Derived), Leucidal Liquid (Radish Root Natural Preservative), Tocopherol Linoleate/Oleate (Vitamin E), Wild Pansy Extract*, Pycnogenol (Pine Bark Extract), Riboflavin Root Extracts, Alpha Bisabolol (Chamomile)*, Plantain, Beta glucan

    • Irina Webb

      Thank for this, Elena! If it meets my standards, you will see it in the next edition of the Safer Face Sunscreen Guide. Thanks! ~Irina

  6. PJ

    Thank you, Irina. You have guided me well on my quest to live a less chemical life. After switching to mineral sunscreen, I have tried Badger’s tinted sunscreen that you recommend, Think Sport Everyday Face tinted sunscreen, and Elta MD SPF 41 tinted sunscreen. Badger, though I trust and regularly use their other products, I found to be fairly thick and difficult to blend in, but I like the feel and tint of the Think Sport and Elta MD. Based on ewg ratings, I prefer Thinksport and use it daily. Would you have any further insight either of these? Also, I have friends who are fans of the Arbonne sunscreen, but I’ve not been so sure. Any thoughts?

    • Irina Webb

      Thank you, PJ, for sharing this helpful information. I will definitely take a look at these brands in more detail when I am updating this post next time. You are right about Arbonne. Thank you. ~Irina

  7. Beverly Villarreal

    Hi Irina,
    I’ve actually been going without sunscreens because of the chemicals in them, so I was happy to see your research. I got the $5 sampler from AnnMarie’s for the SunLove. I was surprised at how greasy it felt, plus the tint was too light and still looked “ghostly.” Then I read in Southern Living’s Ask Dr. Molly (veterinarian) column that “Pet-specific brands of sunscreen are available, but many products made for humans are okay for pets–except ones containing zinc oxide, which is toxic if ingested.” My dog loves to lick any bare skin she can find, so now it seems I won’t be able to use zinc oxide-based sunscreens. Just wanted to make this known to others who have pets that lick their skin.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi, Beverly: It is nice to hear from you again! How have you been? And I am sorry that you did not like Annmarie sunscreen. I don’t understand why Dr. Molly thinks that titanium oxide or even endocrine-disrupting chemicals are okay for dogs to ingest but not zinc oxide. Did she provide any reason or sources to support her statement? What brand are you using now? Thank you, again! And if you are reading this comment and any products I have listed in this post work for you, please let us know, too. I highly appreciate that! ~Irina

  8. Beverly Villarreal

    Yes, I didn’t understand why the vet thought other chemicals were OK to ingest. I didn’t know if you had heard of any of this before and maybe knew otherwise on the zinc oxide. I was totally unaware of pet sunscreens and was surprised she said human sunscreens were OK to use, given they usually tell you not to use human shampoos to bathe your dog with! I will have to research the zinc oxide toxicity claim for dogs and see what there is to it. I currently don’t use sunscreen on a regular basis; I stopped using them a few years ago when I heard that the chemicals actually increase the risk of sun cancer, and that sunscreens can interfere with the sunlight creating vitamin D for our bodies. I’m not sure about the validity of either of those claims , but decided to go without. I’m not someone who hangs out at the pool or beach, but I do like to work in the yard and have been known to set up a large patio umbrella over an area I’m weeding if it’s in the sun too much 🙂

  9. Beverly Villarreal

    Hi Irina,

    I found some good info at https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/zinc-poisoning-toxicity-in-pets. Surprisingly, quite a few items commonly present in households contain zinc, such as:
    “Skin creams (diaper rash cream, protective ointments, sunscreens, etc.), shampoos, deodorants, vitamins, and over-the-counter cold remedies and lozenges
    U.S. pennies (pennies minted after 1982 are 97.5% zinc)
    Metal nuts, bolts, board game pieces, zippers, toys, jewelry, staples, galvanized metal items, and other common metal items (some of these may contain large amounts of zinc)”

    The takeaway basically for how much zinc is toxic or poisonous to pets:
    “It all depends on the pet’s size, the form of zinc ingested, and how much was ingested. Certain forms of zinc are more readily absorbed by the body than others. For instance, ingestion of a zinc oxide cream may only cause stomach upset, whereas ingestion of even one penny can cause life-threatening toxicity.

    If your pet ingests a topical cream containing zinc, you may not need to worry unless it was ingested multiple times or in large amounts. However, certain types of topical medications (e.g., skin cancer or psoriasis treatments) can be very dangerous – or even deadly – to pets. Call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline if you’re ever unsure.”

  10. Beverly Villarreal

    So based on the information about toxicity to pets, for me personally, I would be comfortable wearing a zinc oxide-based sunscreen as long as I kept my bare parts away from my dog, who is about 70 lbs. If she gets in a lick or two, it probably won’t be harmful to her. Hopefully the smell won’t be appealing enough to her to encourage her to lick, and I will need to shower it off when I no longer need to be wearing it.

  11. Kristi T

    Irina, thanks so much for this article. I learned a lot, and am happy to find out that my current sunscreen meets the standards! I use Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30+ by De Vita, made with zinc oxide. It goes on very thin and nearly invisible. Highly recommended!

  12. Martie

    I have been using and loving the Badger Sunscreens so far, but it does leave my skin oily and I am afraid it is making me break out, so I was wondering what your opinion is on Suntegrity Skincare 5 in 1 Tinted Moisturizing face sunscreen? You get it in 4 different shades… Here are the ingredients:

    Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Capric Caprylic Triglycerides (Coconut Oil Extract), Water (Aqua), Sorbitan Stearate (Plant Derived), Glyceryl Stearate (Plant Derived), Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate (Plant Derived), Hexyl Laurate (Plant Derived), Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Seed Oil, Cetyl Dimethicone (Mineral Derived), Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), Helianthus Annuus (Organic Sunflower) Seed Oil, Cucumis Sativus (Organic Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Astaxanthin (Algae Source), Hyaluronic Acid (Plant Derived), Chlorella Emersonii (Red Algae) Extract, Camellia Sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Extract, Punica Granatum (Organic Pomegranate) Seed Oil, Polyaminopropyl Biguanide*, Ethylhexylglycerin*, Iron Oxide

    * Paraben-Free Preservative

    I know you are not a fan of Ethylhexylglycerin, but it is marked as a safer preservative choice on your preservative cheat sheet.

    Please let me know what you think Irina, I would really appreciate it.

    • Irina Webb

      Martie:

      I will consider including this product when I update this post. This is so good that you are asking. I will be updating the preservative cheat sheet, too. Sorry, I wish I could just do it at once. 🙂 ~Irina

  13. Julia E

    The Hana Organic Skincare Everyday Crème is heavenly!! I’m thrilled to have ordered it and will sure be trying their other products! Thank you for sharing it with us! 🙂

    • Irina Webb

      Thank you, Julia, for taking time to provide your positive feedback. That is so helpful. What do you like about it the most? ~Irina

  14. Jessica Espinosa

    Hello Irina 🙂 Summer is soon approaching and I’m going to be on the lookout for a healthier sunscreen for my face. Any updates on this post? Thank you very much for your time!

    • Irina Webb

      Thank you for reminding, Jessica. I will do my best to get to it as soon as I can. Is there a specific face sunscreen you are looking into? ~Irina

  15. Jessica Espinosa

    Hello Irina,
    Thank you for your response!
    These are the sunscreens that some of the other ladies in the previous comments were in question about. Maybe one of these sunscreens listed below meet your criteria and standards. I appreciate your time in researching these products to help so many people. I’m looking forward to your next edition of the Safer Face Sunscreen Guide! Take Care! Thank you.

    1) Suntegrity – “5 in 1” Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen – Tinted, Light (comes in different shades)

    2) EltaMD Facial Sunscreens

    3) Devita – Daily Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30

    4) Hynt Beauty – Sun Prep Broad Spectrum SPF 25

    • Irina Webb

      Thank you so much, Jessica. I am working on it. I purchased 2 new moisturizers with SPF and can’t wait to share my findings. ~Irina

      • Jessica Espinosa

        Thank you Irina 🙏🏼 for your research and updating your Sunscreen Guide!! You are such a sweet lady for working on this so quickly. Right in time for this hot weather!

  16. Stacey Finney

    Hi Irina
    I often use Badger Sunscreen but I notice this year EWG has a tiny bar under the cancer category. Should I be concerned about that?
    Thanks

    • Irina Webb

      I believe it is the best rating you can get. I have not seen any sunscreens with no concerns. We should always look at the alternatives to know if we are making the best decision. And in this case, the alternatives are way worse. 🙂 Does it help? ~Irina

  17. Loriann Deangelis

    Thank you Irina, Sunscreen is on my list of things to buy. Since I had the reaction the PPD in the organic hair dye my skin is very sensitive to the sun as well as many chemicals out there on the market. Being of Italian heritage this is new to me as I was able to tolerate the sun better than others. Last year I broke out in hives from the sun! I need to be very careful on what I use on my skin because I am now have cross sensitivity to many other chemicals that I never even thought twice about. Especially PABA. Your findings are much appreciated!!

  18. Amy

    Hi Irina,

    I’m wondering if you have looked at Devita Face Sunscreen spf 30. It goes on so nice and not white at all. It’s almost too good to be true. Ive been using it for a while since it’s rubs on so easily.

    • Irina Webb

      Hi, Amy: I could not find any preservatives listed. And when I contacted them, they were not very helpful. ~Irina

  19. Natalie

    Hi Irina! What did you decide about Suntegrity – I just bought that one based on Mommy Board suggestion.

      • Daisy

        As a darker skin tone, pigmented physical sunscreens are a must – no amount of time or rubbing removes the white tint. I’d love if you included your reviews of those in future years (I understand the reason you did not this year) because it would be so helpful. And hopefully your reviews of tinted sunscreens and the attention it gets will spur action for companies to go EcoCert made in the US or Europe! For me, I am using Sunintegrity 5 in 1 tinted because it’s the safest non-whitening sunblock I’ve been able to find that doesn’t turn me pinkish white. I’d love to hear from you or others on their view or other suggestions specifically for darker toned people.

  20. Daisy

    Ps I bought Crunchi based on your recommendation! Thank you for enlightening us on the brand and product!

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