Last modified: August 2, 2019
Richard Honaker M.D.View Full Profile
Beach season is just around the corner and people are searching for the best sunscreens that are non-toxic and safe for the entire family to minimize their risk of sunburns, sun overexposure, and skin cancer.
The problem is that sunscreens are not created equally, not all are non-toxic and safe for your family. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) actually discovered that 72 percent of the sunscreens tested consists of harmful ingredients or has insufficient sun protection.
There’s no perfect sunscreen. Not all products meet the standard of being non-toxic and safe for the entire family. Most have harmful chemicals, and even the mineral-based ones have nanoparticles. These are tiny ingredients that can cross the blood-brain barrier. These can also be harmful to aquatic life.
Out of the 750 sunscreens that EWG has rated, more than 500 placed SPF labels on moisturizers and 100 lip products were labelled based on safety and how effective they are. It helps consumers find the better options. The following are the best sunscreens out there that are non-toxic and safe for the entire family.
Safe and Non-toxic Family Sunscreens for Beach & Sport
- All Terrain AquaSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- All Good Unscented Sunstick, SPF 30
- Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen Lotion, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
- Babyganics Pure Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50+
- Badger Sport Sunscreen Cream, Unscented, SPF 35
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Sensitive, SPF 30+
- MDSolarSciences Mineral Crème Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Sunology Natural Sunscreen, Face, SPF 50
- Thinksport Sunscreen, SPF 50+
Safe and Non-toxic Family Sunscreens for Moisturizers
- Andalou Naturals All in One Beauty Balm, Sheer Tint, SPF 30
- Badger Damascus Rose Face Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 25
- bareMinerals Prep Step Mineral Shield Daily Prep Lotion, SPF 50
- Block Island Organics Natural Face Moisturizer, SPF 30
- Keys Care KPRO Moisturizer with Sunscreen, SPF 30+
- Juice Beauty Mineral Moisturizer, Sheer, SPF 30
- Suntegrity Skincare 5 in 1 Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Thinksport Every Day Face Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Safe and Non-toxic Family Sunscreens for Kids
- Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
- All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 33
- All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- ATTITUDE Little Ones 100% Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
- Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, SPF 30
- Bare Belly Organics Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Belly Buttons & Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+
- BurnOut Kids Physical Sunscreen, SPF 35
- California Baby Super Sensitive Sunscreen, SPF 30+
- COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Sunscreen Unscented Moisturizer, SPF 50
- Goddess Garden Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Hampton Sun Sunscreen Lotion For Baby, SPF 45
- Jersey Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- Kiss My Face Organics Kids Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Nurture My Body Baby Organic Sunscreen, SPF 32
- Sunology Natural Sunscreen, Kids, SPF 50
Avoid These Toxic Sunscreens
EWG focused more on children’s sunscreens mainly because kids are more susceptible to specific toxic chemicals during development and especially because sunburn blisters on kids could lead to an increased risk of skin cancer further along. The following brands are the ones who had the worst scores and don’t appear to be non-toxic and safe for the entire family.
Inferior and Unfavorable Sunscreens for Kids
- Banana Boat Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
- Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
- Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray, Kids, SPF 70
- Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Kids, SPF 70+
- Coppertone Foaming Lotion Sunscreen Kids Wacky Foam, SPF 70+
- Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+
- CVS Baby Sunstick Sunscreen SPF 55
- CVS Kids Wet & Dry Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+
- Equate Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
- Hampton Sun Continuous Mist Sunscreen For Kids, SPF 70
- Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+
- Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 70+
- Up & Up Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
Crucial Discoveries in EWG’s Sunscreen Report
Below are the reasons why most sunscreens failed in the non-toxic and safe for the whole family criteria.
- Almost half of the sunscreen products sold in the US won’t pass the more strict standards in Europe since they don’t filter sufficient amount of UVA rays.
- Retinyl palmitate is an atnti-aging antioxidant that can cause skin tumors and lesions when sunlight reaches it. 16 percent of beach and sport sunscreens, 14 percent of moisturizers with SPF, and 10 percent of lip products have this component.
- Almost 30 percent of sunscreens tested were sprays. And these pose inhalation risk and are actually difficult to apply correctly.
- Oxybenzone is an allergen and hormone-disrupting chemical and 70 percent of non-mineral sunscreens contain this particular chemical.
Have your vitamin D levels checked at your health care provider if you usually avoid the sun. A huge number of the population has become deficient because of sunscreens and staying indoors most of the time.
Related: 13 Beauty Tips for Summer Skin Care
Avoid Too Much Sun Without Using Sunscreen
You can get plenty of vitamin D and still protect yourself from burns without resorting to sunscreens. Receiving some sun exposure is important for your health because it aids your body to create vitamin D.
Sitting under the sun unexposed for around 10 minutes aids your body to create approximately 10,000 units of natural vitamin D. It is obviously the best option, but you can also get vitamin D through supplements or foods packed with vitamin D.
It’s important to have sufficient amounts of vitamin D because vitamin D deficiency has been associated with certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, arthritis, depression, osteoporosis and many other illnesses.
Only consider sunscreen as your last resort so you can prevent sunburns. There’s actually no clear evidence that by using sunscreens skin cancer can be prevented. Just avoid overexposure during peak sunlight hours. Use sunglasses and sun-protective hats and clothing to minimize your risk of burns without applying sunscreen.
Every family who plans to go to the beach this summer are looking for safe and non-toxic sunscreens for everybody’s skin protection. Since not all sunscreens are created equally, it’s best to do some research and check some reviews like the EWG report.
This will help you identify which are the safe and non-toxic ones that won’t be bad for your family. Also try to avoid using sunscreen unless you’ll be under the sun during peak sunlight hours. Try to use sunglasses and other sun-protective clothing and accessories. This way, you won’t have to worry about which is safe and non-toxic that will be good for your family.
Now that you’ve seen lists of which to avoid and which are non-toxic and safe for your family, remember to be on the lookout for other new brands that could also be non-toxic and safe for the whole family. Always check the label for the components of every product. Avoid oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. Avoid sprays too.
All that’s left for you to do is to enjoy your summer vacations with your friends and family. Always stay on the safe side to avoid any unwanted circumstances or accidents. Go for the natural and non-toxic products to keep a healthy lifestyle.
Richard A. Honaker, M.D. — Chief Medical Advisor at YourDoctors.Online
For Dr. Honaker’s professional profile, please visit Best Docs Network!
Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.