The sunscreen aisle- why not just go with the cheap one?!

There is a great article by the TIMES that sums up all of the recent debate at beaches - certain sunscreens aren't allowed because the chemicals kill off the reef and marine life. 

If those chemicals are killing marine life - what the heck is it doing when its absorbed into our skin!? Like you - I'm overwhelmed by the amount of choices (of pretty much any product). How do you know what's good for you - or "safe"? Isn't everything "natural" these days???

The term "natural" isn't regulated ๐Ÿ˜ฌ

Lead - is natural.

I'll cut to the chase - give you my fave pics on sunscreen you can feel safe putting on your fam - and getting out into the sun. 

So this is my number one pick - its super concentrated, realitivley inexpensive- and they let you know EXACTLY what's in it. It protects against UVA & UVB, and really works. This is actually the one I use on my son. PLUS it doesn't sting his eyes. 

Check out my fave fam sunscreen here!

This brand I am a new fan of - you'll notice the SPF isn't 75 or 100 like you may have been used to seeing. The FDA recommends 15+ 

A higher SPF does not mean a higher quality sunscreen. 

30 SPF is just fine- it just means you will need to re-apply (which isn't a bad thing, especially if you're in the water! Check it out HERE!

COOLA is an organic sunblock favorite. The brand's latest, a lightweight, 100% mineral sunscreen sprays on white, but dries to a sheer, dry touch. In other words, it's great for all skin types and skin tones. They've taken care to ensure they have fragrance-free options too. As is the standard for COOLA, their proprietary formula is oxybenzone free. Check it out HERE!

Weightless, matte-finish mist protects your face while keeping makeup looking fresh all day. This advanced formula includes both cucumber and aloe vera extracts to help soothe and refresh skin, and hyaluronic acid, known to bind moisture and help soften, tone and rehydrate skin. Reduce the appearance of pores, fine lines and wrinkles, and protect your skin from the sunโ€™s harmful UV rays with broad-spectrum SPF 30 protection. 

Check it out HERE!

According to here is the short on some of the common chemicals found in your sunscreens and why they're concerning:

Oxybenzone โ€“ in addition to high rates of skin allergies, it acts like estrogen in the body, alters sperm production in animals and has been associated with endometriosis in women. It penetrates through the skin and studies have found it present in motherโ€™s milk of nursing mothers.

Octinoxate (otherwise called Octylmethoxycinnamate) โ€“ moderate skin allergies are connected, in addition to alteration of hormone activity, reproductive issues, and thyroid and behavioral alterations in animal studies.

Homosalate โ€“ disrupts natural hormones โ€“ estrogen, androgen and progesterone.

As for other (inactive) ingredients commonly found in toxic sunscreen, here are a few of the most common ones:

PABA โ€“ becoming less commonly used in sunscreen and skincare products after it was found to cause photo sensitivity and allergic reactions including rash and sores. PABA also stains clothing.

Retinyl Palmitate โ€“ studies suggest that this ingredient commonly found in toxic sunscreen may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight. For more information, check out this article from the EWG.

Parabens โ€“ these commonly used preservatives, (commonly butyl-, ethyl-, methyl-, and propyl-) are associated with both acute and chronic side effects. They can induce allergic reactions, hormone disruption, developmental and reproductive toxicity.

My Oops...

So I actually fell victim to the whole marketing trap. I LOVE Sun Bum sunscreen. I love the way it looks, I love the way it smells, I love the way it sprays on- I felt like for the most part it did a really good job. Well- here's what I found out....

According to

 "This well packaged sunscreen is marketed to kids and adults and looks very nice. The ingredients are far from good. They use only chemical and toxic sunscreen active ingredients and the inactive ingredients also leave something to be desired. Just one read through their ingredients list and you are lucky to find one ingredient that you have heard of: Avobenzone 3.00%, Homosalate 5.00%, Octisalate 3.00%, Octocrylene 2.75%, Oxybenzone 4.00%. , behenyl alcohol, bht, butyloctyl salicylate, caprylyl methicone, dimethicone, dimethyl capramide, disodium edta, ethylhexyl stearate, ethylhexylglycerin, fragrance, glyceryl stearate, methylisothiazolinone, peg-100 stearate, polyaminopropyl biguanide, polyester-8, silica, sodium polyacrylate, styrene/acrylates copolymer, tocopheryl acetate, trideceth-6, trimethyl siloxysilicate, vp/hexadecene copolyme."

11 Worst Spray Sunscreens

These sunscreens are aerosol sprays with SPFs above 50+ and the harmful additives oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.

Banana Boat Clear UltraMist Ultra Defense MAX Skin Protect

Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110

Coppertone Sport High Performance AccuSpray Sunscreen, SPF 70

Coppertone Sport High Performance Clear Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100+

CVS Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100

CVS Sheer Mist Spray Sunscreen, SPF 70

CVS Sport Clear Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100+

CVS Wet & Dry Sunscreen Spray, SPF 85

Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunscreen Body Mist, SPF 70

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70

Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray, SPF 85+

12 Worst Sunscreen Lotions

These sunscreen lotions claim SPFs above 50+ and contain oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate.

Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100

Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100

Coppertone Sport High Performance Sunscreen, SPF 75

Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55

Coppertone Ultra Guard Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+

CVS Sport Sunstick Sunscreen, SPF 55

CVS Sun Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 100

CVS Sun Lotion Sunscreen, SPF 70

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Daily Liquid Sunscreen, SPF 70

NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60

NO-AD Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85

Ocean Potion Protect & Nourish Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70

๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ I hope you got something out of this! ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ

๐Ÿ’•I hope this made your decision easier - and gave you a little consumer knowledge!! ๐Ÿ’•

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