Quick Tips for selecting a safer Sunscreen

by Deena on May 12, 2011

So if you’re anything like me, now that it’s spring you’re spending a lot more time outdoors. Whether it’s little league baseball games, doing yard work around the house, or spending the day out at the lake picnicking with friend, its time to start thinking about sun exposure.

Honestly, we should be thinking about this all year long whenever we’re outside but I know it tends to come to mind more in the spring and summer months.

A few people have asked us whether there is a “best in class” sunscreen to use based on research that we’ve done. To answer your question, yes the Environmental Working Group does a sunscreen test and ranking every year. We are waiting for them to publish their 2011 findings so that we can share them with you. In the meantime however, we have found a few tips regarding sunscreen that we wanted to share with you all.

Quick Tips for selecting a safer sunscreen

  Avoid: Use:
  • Oxybenzone
  • Vitamin A (aka Retinyl Palmitate)
  • Added insect repellent
  • Zinc
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Avobenzone
  • Mexoryl SX
  • Sprays
  •  Powders
  • SPF above 50+
  • Cream


  • Broad Spectrum protection
  • Water resistant
  • SPF 30


>Why should I avoid the ingredients and products listed above?

  • Vitamin A is great for you when you are consuming via a healthy diet, but spreading it on your skin may not be based on recent data. New data has shown that tumors and lesions develop quicker on skin coated in vitamin A creams. (Vitamin A is listed as retinyl palmitate on ingredient labels.)
  • Oxybenzone is a s synthetic estrogen that penetrates the skin and gets into the body.
  • Sunscreens marked SPF 50+ may protect you from getting sunburned but not other types of skin damage. People tend to stay in the sun too long and are less likely to reapply the sunscreen. The FDA has also commented that the numbers are misleading. Stick to products SPF 15-50 and reapply often.
  • Sprays & powders release tiny particles into the air that may not be safe to breathe.

And the safer options?

  • Zinc, Titanium, Avobenzone, or Mexoryl SX all contain ingredients that protect you from harmful UVA radiation and they remain on the skin with little to no penetration into the body


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Comments on this entry are closed.

Heather May 20, 2011 at 6:51 am

Thanks for the info! I never really thought about the ingredients in sunscreen. Just thought it was all good that I was getting something on my skin! I’ll go check out the labels now.

admin May 12, 2011 at 2:10 pm

Happy to do it Sarah! Stay tuned and we’ll post the best in class sunscreens once the testings are completed by EWG

sarah May 12, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Thank you for doing this. So much easier than looking for the info myself 🙂

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