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The Ingredients in Sunscreen Destroying Your Health

Your skin is your largest organ.

It covers and protects everything on your body. How you treat it is incredibly important to your health. However, the skin is one of the most unappreciated organs, and one that I used to totally take for granted, slathering products full of toxic chemicals on it day after day. When I look back at all the different potions I’ve tried, I shake my head in disbelief and wish I would have known better. Not only would I not have developed eczema all over my body and face, but I would have looked a million times better growing up.

One of those products that has always caused me issues – is sunscreen. Every time after a beach vacation or going to the pool, I’d end up with a rash on my face or body. I wondered if I’d eaten something that I was allergic to. Little did I know at the time – the culprit was sunscreen.


The unknown long-term consequences of the chemicals in sunscreen are just starting to be revealed and the results are shockingly horrific, going beyond the common skin rash. Here in the United States, the FDA does not regulate cosmetics as rigorously as pharmaceuticals or food – allowing cosmetic companies to get away with using all types of chemical ingredients that are not used and in some cases banned in other countries. Sounds familiar – eh?

Sunscreen is supposed to protect us from harmful UV radiation from the sun, but as more people use sunscreen, the incidence of skin cancer continues to rise. This fact alone has to make you think – do sunscreens really provide skin cancer protection? Or could the chemicals in them actually be contributing to causing skin cancer?

It gets complicated trying to answer those questions. Some studies have shown that sunscreens do in fact protect us from some types of less threatening forms of skin cancers, but others have found that sunscreens have actually contributed to the risk of some of the worst forms of skin cancers.

So what do you do?

I certainly don’t want to look like a wrinkly old hag when I’m older from laying out in the sun too long without protection – but I also don’t want to increase my cancer risk by using products that could be harmful. Anti-aging is important to me and that’s why I live the way I do – not only do I want to look my best when I’m older, I want to feel my best too.


Below are my favorite sunscreen brands that are rated between 0-2 for their entire line of sun care products and are the safest available. I’ve included the links on where to find these brands online if you can’t find them in stores near you – but most natural food stores and vitamin shops will have one of these options available. 

  1. Raw Elements – The first organic, non-GMO certified sunscreen. (Try the tinted stick for your face – it’s awesome!) I’ve partnered with them to give you discount – Get 20% off with code FOODBABE – don’t forget to put the code in at checkout
  2. Thinkbaby/Thinksport – This is one of the safest brands out there that is great for athletes or anyone who spends a lot of time in the sun. It absorbs easily and stays put. They also have formulas especially for children and babies – including a really easy to use stick that I used for myself recently! I’ve partnered with them to give you a discount – Get 20% off with code FOODBABE – don’t forget to put the code in at checkout
  3. John Masters Organics – SPF 30, only one option available
  4. Seventh Generation – SPF 30, only one option available
  5. Aubrey Organics – SPF 26-45 available, unscented available
  6. Sunology  – Kids, Face and Body Protection – one of my favorites, because it glides in easily
  7. Badger – Certified organic, several different SPFs and option for kids, babies and active people, unscented available
  8. California Baby (Target carries this brand) – Formulated for sensitive skin, SPF 18-30

*Note – Alba and Kiss My Face are two other brands that are safer than most conventional brands. However, you must only choose their mineral based products – for example Alba’s Mineral SPF 30 Unscented and Kiss My Face’s Mineral Lotion SPF 40 are great choices – but other versions in the same brand category may not be as safe.

There are over 1800 products on the market to choose from, making it incredibly confusing and difficult to pick the best and safest brand. Here’s what you need to watch out for:

  • Oxybenzone – this is a hormone disrupting chemical which penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream. It is the most popular ingredient in chemical based sunscreens and only blocks UVB ray (sun’s good rays that provide vitamin D production), not UVA which are the most free radical damaging rays.  Avoid any sunscreen that has this chemical at all costs, especially for children.
  • Vitamin A (Retinyl Palmitate) – A 2009 study by U.S. government scientists released by the National Toxicology Program found when this is applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight, it may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions.
  • FragranceSure it may make the product smell nice, but this is a petroleum based product that is linked to organ toxicity and allergies.
  • High SPF – The FDA does not regulate SPF higher than 50 and there’s no scientific proof they work better than lower SPF. Many of the higher SPFs do not provide any additional protection and studies have suggested that users are exposed to as many or more ultraviolet rays as those who use lower-SPF products.
  • Sprays or Powders – Generally speaking, sprays and powders have additional chemicals added to them for performance purposes. These additional chemicals are usually not something you want to be spraying on your body and can be toxic to the lungs. Besides, remember sunscreen is formulated for your skin, not your lungs. Many of the side effects of sprays and powders on the lungs are not tested before being approved.
  • Popular Conventional Brands – Aveeno, Banana Boat, Coppertone Sport, Coppertone Water Babies, Bull Frog, Neutragena, Storebrands (CVS, Rite Aid, Walgreens), Hawaiian Tropic and many other popular brands are rated the worst in terms of safety in the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide. You can use this guide to find out how good or bad the brand you have or want to buy is rated.

How To Choose A Safe Sunscreen:

  • Look for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide based mineral sunscreens, which do not penetrate the skin and provide UVA protection against the sun’s most damaging rays.
  • Choose non-nano products that do not have small particles that can absorb into skin
  • Choose sunscreens that are unscented or use essential oils as fragrance
  • Pick lotion based sunscreens with water resistance
  • Pick broad spectrum sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays
  • Choose sunscreen products that are rated 0-2 in the Environmental Working Group’s Sunscreen Guide.

When it comes to being in the sun, I’m lucky. I tan, don’t burn and don’t completely freak out if I forgot my sunblock – however, because of my olive complexion I have to stay in the sun longer in order to get sufficient Vitamin D. (The lighter your skin color, the faster your absorption of Vitamin D). I wear sunblock at the pool, at the beach and when I’m outdoors for extended periods, but I’ve decided not to wear it everyday.

Using as little as 15 SPF blocks your body’s ability to convert the sun’s rays to Vitamin D by 99%. If you want to increase your chances of avoiding diseases linked to deficiencies in Vitamin D (cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and depression) – you must get sunshine! The sun’s rays are pure wonderful energy your body needs.

Before I go – I want to mention this important fact. The biggest immediate benefit of getting sun a few times a week is the reduction of cravings. When Vitamin D levels are low, the hormone that controls appetite stops working. You eat and eat and eat, and never feel full when this happens. The sun contributes significantly to the daily production of Vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure a few times a week is enough to help prevent deficiencies. Vitamin D also helps boost serotonin levels, your happy hormone, warding off depression which naturally reduces cravings. For me, this is reason enough to let the sun shine in!

If you know someone that might still be buying sunscreen with shady ingredients, please share this post with them, you could have a serious impact on their livelihood!

Thank you for spreading the word to the ones you love.

Food Babe

P.S. These sunscreen deals below are available for Food Babe readers for a limited time only!

Raw Elements Website – The first organic, non-GMO certified sunscreen –Get 20% off with code FOODBABE – don’t forget to put the code in at checkout.

Thinkbaby/Thinksport Website – Great for athletes, children and babies – Get 20% off with code FOODBABE – don’t forget to put the code in at checkout

Sunscreen 2

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603 responses to “The Ingredients in Sunscreen Destroying Your Health

  1. Your article is incorrect because Oxybenzone is an organic compound that contains estrogenic properties, it is not a hormonal disruptor. It does block both UVA/UVB rays. However, when paired with titatium oxide in formulations, the estrogenic endocrine problems come out. It’s not necessarily this ingredient by itself, it’s formulation problems in some sunscreens.

    1. I hope you’re right because I just bought Lancome’s Bienfait UV SPF50+ Facial Sunscreen to wear under my makeup. It came highly recommended to me. I have had 3 surgeries (Moh’s surgery), 1 skin graft, and PDT (photodynamic therapy) in response to my high incidence of basal cell carcinoma. It has not been fun and scares me a lot. My problem is not as much about burning as it is to avoid future skin cancers. I am a redhead with blue eyes, freckles, and very fair skin.

      The Lancome facial sunscreen has the usual 5 ingredients which don’t raise the alarms, except for the oxybenzone (6%). It is not on the list of sunscreens or facial moisturizers found on this site, so I am worried about the hormone impact. I have had a hysterectomy with both ovaries removed 15 years ago, so maybe the potential for harm to me from the oxybenzone is minimal.

      What is your source of expertise? Again, I hope you are right because I spent $39 and want to use this brand due to the high recommendations of friends. Thx!

      1. Pam, I got this information by looking up the Oxybenzone on Wikipedia where it talks about the organic compound makeup. I also emailed Arbonne’s formulation department (because I use their products they are all plant based) with concerns because the sunscreen carries Oxybenzone and the formulation department let me know that the issues arise when the compound is mixed with titanium oxide (which some sunscreens do). Best of luck!

      2. wikipedia is not a reliable source. i thought we all learned that in middle school. i would only trust research studies.

      3. One of the best and safest products I’ve used is Arbonne’s sunscreen. It is certified organic and has global protection from UVA and UVB rays. I actually tried it on one leg and the one I usually use on the other. What a noticeable difference in the protection as well. Check my website for more details and if you want the ingredient list let me know.

      4. Pam, oxybenzone is also a potential photo-carcinogen, which can mutate into a carcinogen and cause DNA damage by exposure to sunlight. Best to stay away. Retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone are my two top ingredients to stay the hell away from when it comes to protection from UV damage and skin cancer.

      1. Wikipedia is a very useful tool; you just need to be sure the article includes citations and then verify the citations. No different than reading any research paper really; if you don’t verify the sources in ANY study or paper, you are just assuming the author is not making things up.

      2. Using Wikipedia as a source in college was an automatic F. Whether truthful or not, I would not personally take anything posted on Wikipedia as truth as ANYONE can change the content and post a bogus source to back it up. How do I know this? I did it personally to test the theory.

        I’d trust the FoodBabe’s info LONG before I’d trust anything that comes from Wiki.

    2. Oxybenzone is also a potential photo-carcinogen. When exposed to sunlight it can mutate into a carcinogen, like retinyl palmitate.

      1. Remember just because one or two small studies make a claim does not make it true. You want to look for double blind studies and make sure the source is reputable. There has not been reproducible studies that support oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate or nano carcinogenesis. Also look at who is funding the studies you quote and what potential motivations are behind them. For a reliable source check out the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) website. Contact them if you have any questions and need clarification.

        Hope this helps! I’m sticking with the sunscreen and so are all the other people I surgically remove skin cancers from who didn’t use them in the past. Of course genetics also play a role, but sun has proven to be a way bigger carcinogenic factor in terms of skin cancer (UVA for melanoma) and (UVB for basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma). Try reading about that the mutagenic effects of ultraviolet radiation and then make your decision.

      2. This is a reply to Angela (who replied to me, but probably will never get this because there is no reply tab below her comment)
        Angela, thank you for your reply. I lost my father to melanoma in 2008. I left my job and took care of him everyday in his last six weeks. I was there for his last breath. I am passionate about melanoma prevention and have been ever since his first bout with it in the 80’s. If an ingredient is controversial, I’m going to stay away from it since I am at higher risk. I’ve talked with my doctors about this at the NYU Skin Cancer Center (who examine me with microscopes, cameras, and spotlights every six months) and they also agreed that there is no reason to dabble with a controversial ingredient. So I stick with titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as my daily hired bodyguards.

        My decision comes from a place of loss, risk, poring over studies, and conversations with my doctors. Ingredients take a very long time to be proven guilty in the US, I’d rather avoid something that is suspect just for prevention sake.

  2. I have a great sun screen made by Shaklee. I also have a great skin care line and a product to help if you gotburned .
    I’d love to share more info with anyone.

      1. Yes it is in the Enfuselle line of products. Our entire system is less than one of the major brand items for skin care that you find at Macy’s or other retail stores. Here is my website for the info (if this works on here). lamminen dot myshaklee dot com

        Thanks for your question about the name of the product as I completely forgot to mention it!

        Id love to help anyone with questions

    1. Shaklee is an excellent brand. The sunscreen is probably under their Enfuselle cosmetic line. My Mom took the VitaLea supplements as pre-natal vitamins when she was pregnant with me and I’m 40 this year! Our household used the entire product line including the cleaners, vitamins, and cosmetics. Their products are a very high quality, and worth the price!

  3. •Look for titanium dioxide and zinc oxide based mineral sunscreens, which do not penetrate the skin and provide UVA protection against the sun’s most damaging rays.
    Neutragena for baby and/or sensitive skin as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. But the recent type that has Heloiplex ( I thinks that’s what is called) does not have titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
    I was told that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are physical blockers and lay on top of your skin. The others are not true blockers, but sun screen.
    BTW I have very pale skin and blue eyes with lupus. My best protection is long sleeve shirts and hats.

    1. Hi Connie P – how does the sun effect lupus? I also might have similar issues, light skin, blue eyes and a possible form of RA.

      1. Hi Rachel
        I get a rash on my arms and face. It also make my joints gets sore. I get brain fog more often.

      2. Connie P – can I contact you outside this post . I’m interested in learning more about Lupus / RA from your experience.

      3. Not sun screen related but some have seen great results with a product for internal issues. Its a natural product that is a probiotic BUT ALSO a fungal cleanse which can help kill the candida overgrowth in your body…which candida has been & is being researched more to be linked to a lot of internal/gut/intestinal issues for some. SO many have seen relief by taking it (even with the “brain fog” you mentioned)…It’s called Probio 5, and SO worth giving it a try for those with RA & Lupus. I can send anyone articles or more information if interested.

  4. I live in Arizona and as much as I want to go with one of these products I feel I would get burned. I have very light skin. How about organic unrefined coconut oil? I know it helps sunburn, but not sure how well it works as a sunscreen?

    1. Try Sunbuddy Sunscreen, it is chemically free and offers great protection. It is also an Arizona base company. You can find them at their website

      1. Hello,

        I live in arizona too. we have a very hot summer here always. we are from india basically. can u plz suggest some good and effective sunscreen and moisturising lotion which me and hubby can apply throughout the year here in arizona. also can u suggest some good hair shampoo for me as i am having serious hair loss problem. i am using pantene shampoo and conditioner right now. alo using cetaphil moisturiser right now.plz plz plz reply soon.
        thank you very much in advance.
        u are doing an awesome job food babe. by following your post i have changed a lot and made a lot of changes in our daily life and routine. cheerss!!!


      2. Paypal, Sunbuddy has a moistuirizer in it their solie Ami line is used by some just for that, my mother-in-law uses it before she puts on her makeup, and unlike other brands out there it has no harmful chemicals. You can find that at their website.

      3. Hi Payal. You might want to look into sulfate-free shampoos, like Organix brand, which I have found at a local Walmart. I don’t get dandruff since switching to sulfate-free. It’s a few dollars more expensive, but I have long, medium thick hair, and the bottle lasts me for several months even though I shampoo twice every time I wash my hair.

        I also rotate between that and a cleansing conditioner. I use Wen, which is pricey, but this link provides some more budget-friendly options, which I haven’t tried yet:

        I find that the cleansing conditioner is gentler on my hair, but since my hair gets oily very fast, I need the shampoo to wash out the excess oils every so often. My floors used to be covered with my shedding hair before using the cleansing conditioner, but after adding the cleansing conditioner to my routine, it has lessened significantly, maybe by 80-90%. Take care!

  5. As a fair skinned woman living in a sunny state, I have to call BS on this article. I do not wear sunscreen because I fear wrinkles in old age, I wear sunscreen so I don’t spend the entire summer with continuous second-degree burns. All of your suggested safe options go up to SPF 30. For me that’s the equivalent of wearing nothing at all. So wear sunscreen and *possibly* contract skin cancer later on or suffer all summer only to ruin my skin as well? I know which option I choose.

    1. Sorry, but your statement that wearing SPF 30 is like ‘nothing at all’ is incorrect. SPF 30 blocks 96.7% of UVB rays. You can use SPF 100 to get it to 99%, but the difference in UVB blockage is still only 2.3%. Also, zinc oxide protects against both UVB and UVA rays, so you shouldn’t be getting burnt while using an SPF that contains a significant percentage of this.

    2. Elizabeth, you may want to check out Solumbra sun protectant clothing. I’ve ordered online through their catalog. They aren’t cheap, but the clothing does last. They have hats, tops, pants, skirts, etc. For men, women, and children. My husband and I each have a water shirt and I have 2 beach coverups (both long and short). They really work!

    3. According to the dermatologists any sunscreen above SPF 50 isn’t going to give you any more protection. SPF 30 protects against about 97% of harmful rays, SPF 50 about 99%, so I wouldn’t say SPF 30 is nothing. You just have to make sure you reapply it no more than 60-80 minutes after initial application… and that’s for any sunscreen.

    4. I am with you, I swear by 100 SPF. I am in the sunshine state and have had experience with lower SPF sunscreens and burn to a crisp if I use them. I find my own experience a lot more accurate than the “studies”. We have trusted studies before and it has killed people. Do what is right for you.

  6. Hi, does anyone have a recommendation for a daily facial moisturizer with sunscreen in it? I have had trouble over the past finding something that doesn’t cause me to break out. Thanks!

    1. Back to basics log cabin, they make a custom made fresh to order sunscreen facial lotion thats 100% natural. Just ask! I found them on

    2. A good natural moisturizer with SPF 30 is by DeVita. It’s their solar protective moisturizer. It’s not as pasty as some all natural products.

    3. Rodan and Fields. . . all of their am moisturizers contain SPF – products are created by dermatologists and they always talk about the importance of sunscreen.

    4. I have friends in the business and they have all recommended Lancome’s Bienfait UV 50+ Broad Spectrum facial sunscreen for wear under makeup. I just got some this weekend and I love it! It has an amazing texture that does not gum up or lay on top of the skin. It almost has the feel of a primer/serum and works nicely with makeup. I’ve had basal cell carcinoma 3 times (Moh’s surgery), plus a skin graft for BSS. This is my new arsenal against any more damage. BTW, it is oil free and safe for all skin types, even sensitive skin like mine. Must be shaken well before applying. $39 at Macy’s.

      1. Randi, I love Arbonne’s RE9 Advanced skin moisturizer. I have been saved from having my face being burned several times using just their moisturizer. I love that it’s all botanically based.

    5. I use Cotz Face. It was recommended by my dermatologist and I have really liked it.

    6. My Dermotologist suggested MDSolarSciences, a few years back, and I love this product.
      I have Rosecea, and am extremely sensitive, to many products.
      I use this as a Daily Moisturizer/Sunscreen (and, will first use Vanicreme Moisturizing Sin Cream for Sensitive Skin).
      The MDSolarSciences, glides on like velvet…, many times my face gets very dry.
      Also, you don’t want anything w/Paraben or Avobezone, I your face.
      My Father had malignant Melanoma, so at an early age, I learned the dangers of the Sun.
      Please feel free to contact me, if you need any other suggestions

  7. hi, does anyone have a recommendation for a facial moisturizer with sunscreen in it? I have tried several in the past and they all cause me to breakout eventually. Thanks!

    1. CeraVe AM
      Aveen Positively radiant

      If you have very sensitive skin Vanicream SPF 30 is good.

  8. Being a Metastasized Melanoma survivor of stage IV Melanoma I cannot stress the importance enough of being wise about being in the sun and especially for fair skinned people staying out of the sun for extended periods of time and wearing the least toxic sorts sunscreen when in the sun. Avoiding being burnt bij the sun up until you are 18 years old is essential. It is true that when young if you If get burnt before you are 12 it raises your chances of getting Melanoma by at least 60%!! Please take it form me… It is serious business what the sun can do to you and maybe even what they say sunscreen can do as well. I was burnt quite often as a child as I always turned red first when in the sun even though I wore sunscreen. My worst burn was on the top of my right shoulder when I was about 10 and that is also the first place I found my first tumor. This can’t be a coincidence. I am totally into using the very safest form of sunscreen available if you are in the sun… as I am also into eating as pure as possible. But I still believe that preventing the sunburn is the most essential no matter what you do. Take it for me who is lucky to still be here. Please take it very seriously. I am lucky I am one of the 4% of Metastasized Melanoma survivors at this stage. Thank you so much for helping make us all more aware of things about the food we eat and other products we use as I am sure that the additives and pesticides we all consume are part of the reason there is more cancer…

    1. If you are into healthy living and a chemical free lifestyle as I am, you might be interested in knowing about something called “Black salve” or bloodroot. I have used it myself as well as my family and friends, over and over to get rid of skin cancers and moles. It basically hunts down the root of the cancer and totally devours it with little or NO SCARRING!! AT first it will leave a crater in your skin and I swear that within 2 days that crater will replenish 98 % with fresh new skin!!! and within a week it will be completely filled in… It is just another amazing plant source that God gave us as our creator to heal us!!! Of course there are skeptics but those of us that have the wisdom of what is going on with our food supply etc. should know that there is ALWAYS someone to knock a natural simple solution.

      1. hi there Lonnie, thank you for the information. Even though I don’t have any slin cancer on my skin I am very happy to know about this. i can also no pass the word on to others it may help!

      2. Black salve is banned by the FDA, destroys living tissue, can cause serious damage and scarring, and it’s considered to be a fake cancer cure. Avoid this quackery at all cost!!

      3. Karoline. Of COURSE black salve is banned by the FDA. There are a lot of things that are banned by the FDA that are effective and there are a lot of thing approved by the FDA that are quackery. People buy these ‘FDA approved quackery products’ every day! It depends on who has the biggest bribe money for the FDA. haha! Cancer is BIG BUSINESS and if people are able to treat themselves, then the pharmaceutical companies wouldn’t be making a killing off of people like me and Lonnie…and you if you would not believe everything that the FDA spews out. I have used the black salve and it is totally a miracle salve. If you put it on an ordinary lesion that is not cancerous, it won’t do anything! I’ve done ‘the test’, but if you put it on one that is cancerous, it will eat deep into the layers of skin until it has eaten all the cancer out without destroying the good tissue around it. And as Lonnie said, within a few week, you’ll never even know it was there! If you haven’t used it, don’t try to dissuade people from using it, and it’s evident that you have not, or you would know that it is NOT quackery.

  9. Just on the topic of nanoparticles… In case anyone was wondering, the EWG does not presently advise against using sunscreens with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide nanoparticles, as “there is no evidence that [they] penetrate skin in any significant quantities.” Though they do call for an urgent assessment of their environmental impact, along with the other sunscreen ingredients.

    & Thanks a lot for making this post! It got me started on researching this topic : ).

  10. What about Goddess Garden? They have what seems to be like an excellent SPF 30 for children!

  11. I have a wonderful sunscreen for kiddos and one for adults that is 100% healthy and does NOT contain any harmful chemicals/parabens!!!! It is Arbonne!!! I am running a wonderful special all April ~ contact me for details 🙂

  12. Babyganics looks good! And I got it at Target. Mineral based, no fragrances, nano particles, or parabens! 🙂

  13. hi there – i’ve been researching the product i used on my daughter last year, babyganics spf 50 – and it seems okay – doesn’t have any of the things you say to watch out for – would love to hear what you think 🙂

  14. TIZO is an AMAZING brand for sunscreen. It’s pricey but worth it, made out of minerals and free from chemicals, but it is mainly for the face. I can only find it at the dermatologist office. Highly recommend.

  15. I would love your opinion on Melaleuca’s products. The ones I’ve researched are toxin-free and don’t contain any carcinogens or dangerous chemicals. I just checked out the ingredients list on their sun screen too and looks good to me.

  16. I enjoyed reading this article after trying to find a safe sunscreen in the grocery store. I was recently introduced to beautycounter and they have a kids sunblock that I’ve been using for the whole family. It feels great and goes on well and kids didn’t get any sunburns or chemicals spread on their skin. Made me feel so good!!

  17. Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging
    on websites I stumbleupon every day. It’s always interesting to read articles from other authors and use something from their sites.

  18. Have you researched any of California Baby’s other products? I was curious if they are a good brand or just another company that displays itself as natural and organic, but still contains harmful ingredients.
    Also, do you have an article regarding safe insect (particularly mosquito) repellants?
    I know you can make your own, but I don’t have the time or energy to tinker around until I find the right recipe. It’s one of those things that a small bottle will last me a year, so it’s easier to just buy it….but how do I know which one is the “right” one??

      1. Most of Babyganics products fall between the 1-4 ratings on EWG skin deep database. Personally I am not a huge fan of the line, many contain fragrance, lots of extra ingredients and just don’t work very well (for my family), but they are not a bad choice when shopping at Target.

      2. There is no fragrance in babyganics. The EWG does not even list this lotion on its site. I know, I checked. On the good guide website the mineral based lotion is rated a 10 out of 10 for health so it must be good. The site is pretty strict about ingredients. Two very good brands to go for are badger and aubrey.

    1. Check out the vinegar of the four thieves at the Bulk Herb Store. I haven’t tried it myself, but it sounds very effective. Good luck.

  19. I’ve used the California baby in the past, it’s very thick and hard to rub into the skin. Does anyone know if any of these others are a little lighter and easier to apply?

  20. Suntegrity! Natural sunscreen, face and body, it’s AMAZING! Every friend I’ve introduced to this product has loved it. Founder created in honor of her Mom who had melanoma.

  21. seventh generation sunscreen has been discontinued. I am in need of a sunscreen for my son who is anaphylactic to tree nuts (not coconut) most seeds (not sunflower) and peanuts and egg. Vanicream products seem to be safest as far as allergies go.

    1. You can still get Seventh Generation products on I just ordered some today.

  22. Does anyone know if the Burts Bees sunscreen sticks are “safe”? I heard they had them this summer & I usually buy their products. I always thought their products were great.

  23. Wow! I can’t believe what I am seeing those unsafe sunscreen brands. I will share this with my older daughter to use safe sunscreen brands for my 7 years old grandson. He is very white boy who loves swimming, playing baseball games and play in the playground with a beautiful sun. Thanks Vani! 🙂

  24. My seven year old son had the same experience. I thought he was getting a heat rash and was told to make sure I use more sunscreen and it turned out that the sunscreen was the culprit. It ruined our last day of our Hawaii vacation we couldn’t take him outdoors at all :(. Thank you so much for recommending alternatives! I will be checking them out for sure!!

  25. You realize thus considerably on the subject of this topic, made me for my part consider it from a lot of various angles. Its like women and men don’t seem to be fascinated except it’s one thing to accomplish with Woman gaga! Your personal stuffs excellent. All the time maintain it up!

  26. Hi Vani,
    Thank you for sharing about the ingredients in sunscreens which can impact people’s health. Oxybenzone in particular has made news headlines being ACDS’ 2014’s allergen of the year.
    I wanted to comment on the end of your post. You mentioned feeling lucky that you tan and don’t burn and the lighter skin color, the faster the vit d absorption.
    I want to clarify for readers that this is your own opinion and unfortunately its a myth.
    Burning from UV exposure is what you see and feel as a result of UVB, the effects of UVA cannot be seen or felt but it doesn’t mean you’re not being exposed to longer wavelength penetrating rays. This is why broad spectrum sunscreens are recommended.
    Re Vit D, I think people should look for multiple sources of Vit D and not just sunlight alone. Yes, dark skinned ppl synthesize less Vit D but Vit D synthesis from sunlight is variable for diff ppl. It is unlikely that dark skinned ppl will synthsize enough vit d from sunlightso they shouldnt use that as their only source, elderly ppl have reduced capacity for synthesizing vit d from sun, and depending on the time of year and location, there isn’t enough UVR to produce vit D.
    Lastly, certain individuals cannot take sunlight exposure due to medical conditions or medications they are on. Lupus pts must include sunlight avoidance in their illness management otherwise the exposure can worsen their lupus symptoms.
    Having adequate Vit D is important but sunlight exposure shouldnt be the primary source.

  27. Does anyone know if Alba Botanica is safe to use? It is a fragrance free SPF 30 lotion. In the ingredients is the titanium dioxide, but it also contains much more ingredients.

  28. I appreciate this artical very much. I work in the med spa industry (10 years) and educate the importance of sunscreen everyday. However, I disagree about powder and think you are missing a few points.
    From an anti againg standpoint, look for the physical sunscreens (zinc, titanium dioxides) because it reflects light, diffuses light and keeps the skin cool. Thus, preventing free radical damage such as wrinkles, sun spots and heat rash.
    I prefer colorescience SPF powder. It states to avoid using on infants because of the chance of getting into the lungs, however I use it on my kids because I can get a consistent pattern of protection, avoid burning eyes and heat rash. It also has the Skin Cancer Foundation seal of approval.
    The MOST important thing about sunscreen is TO RE-APPLY!!

    1. I use Green Beaver and like the way it applies (doesn’t turn me white). However, it receives a rating of 5 on the “Think Dirty” app so I will look for an alternative with a better rating.

  29. Hi!

    Do you have any suggestions for an everyday all over body lotion that contains SPF?

    I love your site! Thank you for all the great information!

  30. Does anyone know if any of the sunscreens on Vani’s list are non comedongenic? I use Neutragena Clear Face and it doesn’t break me out. Any other I have tried does. Suggestions about the ones on her list?

  31. I disagree with notion that titanium dioxide is OK for skin. Titanium dioxide is photo catalyst and carcinogenic (slightly ?) !

  32. Does anyone know about the 100% Pure products? This is the statement on their website: ‘100% Pure-no synthetic chemicals, chemical preservatives, artificial fragrances, artificial colors, harsh detergents or any other unhealthy toxins.’

    I don’t know enough about their products to make a decision but it sure seems safe. Their SPF lotion lists these as ingredients:

    Organic Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Rgania Spinosa Kernel (Argan) Oil, Rosa Canina Seed (Rosehip Oil) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Extracts of: Euphorbia Cerifera Cera (Candelilla Wax), Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf*, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf, Origanum Vulgar (Oregano), Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme), Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit Seed) Seed, Hydrastis Canadensis (Goldenseal), Lonicera Caprifolium (Japanese Honeysuckle) and Cinnamomum Zeylanicum Bark (Cinnamon) Active Ingredients: 20.8 % Zinc Oxide * Certified Organic

    I am about to move to Texas from Ohio and I really need a good sunscreen that I can trust!
    Thank you! 🙂

    1. Hi Elizabeth,
      You should also check out Beautycounter. Our company is all about truth and transparency and educating the consumer on what to look for (and stay away from!) in products. We also offer a line of personal care products and our sunscreen is on the EWG’s sunscreen guide for 2014 🙂

  33. Hi Food Babe!

    Thanks for this info. I shared it with the group because we have enough to deal with without adding additional chemicals.

    You’re awesome as usual!

  34. As a holistic nurse it kills me when I see Mothers slathering these compounds on their babies and children.
    Thank you for your continued successful work at the most important things.

  35. Hey there! There is an Alba sunscreen on sale – I am posting the label – is this one safe? Aqua (Water), Cetearyl Alcohol, Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Dimethicone, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glyceryl Stearate SE, Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice (1), Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract (1), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (1), Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract (1), Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower Extract (1), Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Cetearyl Olivate, Polysorbate 60, Silica, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Sorbitan Olivate, Tocopheryl Acetate , Xanthan Gum, Alcohol (1), Benzyl Alcohol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Benzoate. (1)Certified Organic Ingredient

  36. What about Ava Anderson non toxic sunscreen? EWG rated it one of the top safest sunscreens on the market!

  37. Everything I’ve read says to not use sunscreen on babies under 6 months. Is that still true with these more natural sunscreens?
    I am due in a few weeks, and wondering if I should be using a natural sunscreen on my baby for the rest of the summer or not. (Of course either way I will try and keep him completely in the shade, if possible.)

  38. What about Honest brand sunscreen? I’ve seen it listed as a good option but it didn’t make the cut for you? Thanks!

  39. “… and only blocks UVB ray (sun’s good rays that provide vitamin D production), not UVA which are the most free radical damaging rays”

    Lots of problems with this statement. UBV is NOT a “good” ray, it actually has a shorter wavelength than UVA and is thus more damaging. Not sure what you mean by “free radical damaging”. Free radicals do the damaging, not the other way around. And I don’t think that term really applies to EM energy, but rather molecules that it may hit, like CFCs.

    1. I was going to comment on the same statement. Before the public reads this article and feels like they are now experts on the subject, much more information needs to be given to them. Just like the statement above, it’s not true. I treat hundreds of skin cancers in a given year.
      Like every product on the market you must know what you are buying and if the brand is okay.

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