How Safe is Your Sunblock?

Okay before I get into my topic, I’d like to share this photo I saw years ago that made me realize I need to wear sunscreen every single day.

Below is a photo of a truck driver- one side of his face exposed to the sun everyday, and the other in the shade. This is how much the sun ages/effects your skin.

Okay now, there are 2 common misconceptions of sunscreen:

False. The Skin Cancer Foundation says that clouds block as little as 20% of UV rays — so on a cloudy day, you’re still getting up to 80% of the sun’s harsh effects.

Also false. “The nonprofit Environmental Working Group released its 13th annual Guide to Sunscreens this month and found that two-thirds of sunscreen products either contained chemicals the Food and Drug Administration says could be potentially harmful, or provide inferior protection from the sun (aka is useless).”

[via: EcoWatch]

Out of the 1,400 sunscreen brands they tested- only 400 were stamped safe.

What’s an even more unsettling fact is that some of the most popular brands on the market (ones that I’ve been using since I was little) did not make the cut.

Some of the most common ingredients used in today’s sunblock have been found to have extremely harmful effects on the body.

Things such as: causing hormone disruption, effecting the reproductive system (infertility), harming your liver, and even enhancing the absorption of pesticides in your body.


Uhh.. yeah. Even I- the double check what this thing is made of type of woman– had no idea of this.

I guess I didn’t think sunscreen could be that harmful. But it makes sense- you wear it everyday. And get this- according to the FDA:

Unfortunately, this is the type of country we live in- where the regulations on beauty and skin products are pretty much non-existent. Companies can toss anything in a box and sell it. America puts all the research responsibility on the consumer.

Which is why I wanna pass along my findings to you guys- this is serious stuff here!

I did my research via:, American Academy of Dermatology, Center for Disease Control, and the FDA to get the list of info every person needs while shopping for sunscreen.

At the end of this post I’ve included my personal picks for sunscreens & why.

sun protection

  1. Ingredients you should STAY AWAY from — check if your current sunscreens have these ingredients
  2. Ingredients you should look for
  3. Mineral vs Chemical
  4. Brands that did NOT make the cut
  5. Approved Brands
  6. My Picks & Why

Ingredients You Should Stay Away From

  • Oxybenzone —this is the most toxic*
  • Octinoxate
  • Octocrylene
  • Octisalate
  • Homosalate
  • Avobenzone

Other ingredients you should stay away from:

  • Silicones (like dimethicone) – clogs pores and sometimes leads to skin irritation.
  • Parabens and methylisothiazolinone (MIT)– which can cause neurotoxicity (when toxins accumulate in the neurological tissue of the body and undermine the functioning of the brain and nervous system), allergic reaction, fetal impairment, and hormonal disruption.
  • Synthetic fragrance ingredients (Get fragrance-free)  These toxins have links to headache, nausea, dizziness, skin irritation, and are associated with asthma and even cancer.

[via : OrganicAuthority]

Ingredients You Should Look For

  • Non-nano zinc oxide
  • Non-nano titanium dioxide
  • Organic inactive ingredients
  • Broad-spectrum Under 50 SPF

Chemical Vs Mineral Sunscreens

Products That Received the WORST E.W.G. Testing Scores

(These are just the worst scores- there are TONS of other popular brands that contain the ingredients listed above. Make sure to check your sunblock ingredients on the back before you buy!)

  • Panama Jack Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85
  • Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen, SPF 60+
  • Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 60+
  • Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50 & 85+
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Sunscreen Spray, SPF 30
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen, SPF 70, 85+ & 100+
  • CVS Health Sun Lotion, SPF 60
  • Banana Boat Sport Performance Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100
  • Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
  • Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100
  • Banana Boat SunComfort Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50+
  • Up & Up Sport Sunscreen Spray, SPF 15, 30, & 50
  • Up & Up Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 15, 30, & 50
  • Up & Up Sport Sunscreen Lip Balm, SPF 50
  • Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100
  • Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
  • Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion Spray, SPF 50
  • Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50
  • Coppertone Kids Wet Protect Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50
  • CVS Health Children’s Clear Spray, SPF 50 and 70
  • Equate Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
  • Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Stick Sunscreen/Spray, SPF 70+
  • Up & Up Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50

My Picks & Why

(Click on the photo to take you to the link)


  • water-resistant
  • no white residue
  • moisturizing with: aloe, coconut, and jojoba
  • Cruelty-free
  • Vegan
  • Reef-safe


  • non-greasy
  • no white residue
  • top rating from EWG
  • unscented
  • non-irritating for sensitive and acne-prone skin types
  • made with: organic olive oil, organic lavender, organic jojoba oil, and organic burdock root


  • an everyday moisturizer/goes on smooth
  • pairs well with normal moisturizer and makeup products on top of it
  • key organic ingredients: aloe, lavender, avocado oil, and jojoba.

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sport Stick Sunscreen (Nose, Lips, Ears) – SPF 30

  • Fragrance free
  • Rated a #1 in Safety on EWG
  • Certified organic oils
  • Hypoallergenic and Lightweight
  • Dairy and Soy Free
  • Perfect for Super Sensitive Skin


  • 100% certified natural
  • cruelty-free
  • creamy texture
  • heavy-duty tinted organic sunscreen (made with a whopping 23% non-nano zinc oxide aka it REALLY protects you from rays)
  • packed with skin restorative ingredients like green tea, black tea, coffee bean, hemp seed oil, and sunflower oil
  • The hint of tint comes from the black tea and coffee beans which help to eliminate the standard pasty white appearance left behind by most heavy zinc sunscreens


  • one of the top-rated organic baby sunscreens available
  • 100% natural & organic
  • Organic ingredients include sunflower oil, beeswax, chamomile, calendula, and sea buckthorn oil.
  • cruelty-free


  • one of EWG’s top sunscreens.
  • made with organic beeswax, sunflower, and sesame oil
  • Organic ingredients
  • Cruelty-free

Other Approved/Great Brands:

  • Think baby
  • Alba botanica
  • Babo Botanicals
  • Badger
  • Bare belly organics
  • Beauty by earth
  • Dolphin organics
  • Goddess garden
  • Kabana organic
  • Kiss my face organics
  • Loving naturals
  • Raw elements
  • Soleo organics
  • Thinksport
  • Tropical sands
  • True natural
  • Zeb’s organics
  • Suntegrity
  • Elta MD UV Clear facial

I hope you found this article helpful! If you enjoyed this post, you’d love my [7 Secrets to Sleeping Soundly Post]

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