Now in its 10th year, the Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Sunscreens helps us
see the light when it comes to choosing a safe and effective sun care product.
While almost three-fourths of the products analyzed were found to offer inferior sun protection or potentially harmful ingredients such as oxybenzone, it wasn’t all bad news in this year’s report. Mineral sunscreens are on the rise, and top-rated products lived up to their claims by using nontoxic and effective ingredients. Other rising trends include non-GMO formulations and sun-protective clothing.
These nine picks all received a 1 (safest) rating from the EWG.
Tips for choosing the best sunscreen product:
- Choose products using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. They are stable in sunlight, offer a good balance between protection from the two types of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) and don’t often contain potentially harmful additives.
- Understand SPFs. SPF values of more than 50 can be misleading and inaccurate, plus don’t tend to offer superior protection. Plus, the SPF number only indicates UVB protection, not UVA. Look for companies that have taken extra steps to test for UVA protection, beyond the loose FDA standards.
- Don’t rely solely on sunscreen. At the end of the day, a sunscreen can only do so much. Limit time in the sun—and check out UV-protective clothing, which could be your safest best.
Andalou Naturals All-in-One Beauty Balm, Sheer Tint, SPF 30
With well-rounded complexion protection, Andalou’s BB product not only uses minerals to shield from harmful rays but also to lend a subtle, “sun-kissed” tint to skin. Fruit stem cells and superfruits provide an antiaging and brightening boost, too. andalounaturals.com
Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sport Stick Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
Containing 20 percent non-nano zinc oxide and a cocktail of nourishing botanicals to sooth the skin (think avocado oil and cocoa seed butter), this new launch a clear winner in safe sun care, and the EWG rating agrees. babobotanicals.com
Badger Unscented Sunscreen Face Stick, SPF 35
Badger continues to raise the bar for safe sun care, this time focusing on developing effective nontoxic preservatives specifically for mineral sun care. Badger’s line includes products for the whole family; this easy-to-apply face stick contains 22.5 percent zinc oxide for superior active lifestyle protection. badgerbalm.com
California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 30+
A brand that has rightfully earned the trust of moms, California Baby once again delivers on baby-centric safety, according to the EWG. Ideal for little ones, this fragrance-free product offers a comfortable application that is also sting-free for the eyes (moms can use it as a gentle-on-the-complexion option, too). californiababy.com
Goddess Garden Everyday Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
A go-to for anyone seeking daily, no-fuss sun protection, this product contains an efficacious blend of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in a base of soothing aloe leaf juice, shea butter and coconut oil. Plus, it’s organic. A great choice for your body—and the earth. goddessgarden.com
Hampton Sun Sunscreen Lotion for Baby, SPF 45
Another extra-gentle, excellent choice for babies, this product complements its UV-protective mineral blend with soothing chamomile and sunflower oil. hamptonsuncare.com
Jersey Shore Cosmetics Anti-Aging Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 35
Sun protection is your No. 1 defense against aging. But extra protection is a major boon. Top-rated by the EWG for its UV protection, this SKU also contains vitamins E and D3 for antiaging prowess. jerseyshoresun.com
Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30
Tailor-made for an active and beautiful lifestyle: Protect with chemicals, support with plant extracts, antioxidants and vitamins. juicebeauty.com
Mineral Fusion Mineral Sun Stick, SPF 30
Mineral Fusion knows what skin needs—and the company is no stranger to delivering it with carefully crafted mineral formulations. This product starts with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, then gives skin a vitamin and antioxidant boost. mineralfusion.com
Reduce inflammatory process in cells, tissues, and blood vessels, helping to slow aging and reduce risk of long-term disease.
Prevents and repairs oxidative damage to cells caused by free radicals.
Support the body’s resistance to infection and strengthen immune vigilance and response.
Improves mood, memory, and focus.
Reduces risk factors for common degenerative and age-related diseases.