Which sunscreen is the safest?

super safe sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen is meant to protect you from the harmful effects of the sun however some sunscreens can create a different issue that is causing damage on your skin. The ingredient that makes a sunscreen can come as a mineral or a chemical, each one protects your skin in a different way.

Products with chemical filters usually have these listed in the ingredient list (these are the most common sunscreens found in drug stores):

  • oxybenzone
  • avobenzone
  • octisalate
  • octocrylene
  • homosalate octinoxate

Products with mineral filters usually have these listed in the ingredient list:

  • zinc oxide
  • titanium dioxide

Oxybenzone is an ingredient you want to avoid. It penetrates your skin easily which can cause allergic reactions, is a known hormone disruptor and also produces free radicals (which damage cells) when exposed to sunlight.

Retinyl Palmitate is a controversial ingredient. There are articles that mention it having to do with cancer and tumors. Here are a couple links that explain both sides:
http://www.sunscreensafety.info/retinyl-palmitate/
http://www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/report/the-problem-with-vitamin-a/

This is a great link for the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list that should be applied to all cosmetics.

On top of the ingredient list, here are a few other things to look out for:

  1. You want to make sure it says “broad spectrum protection” (means the sunscreen has been proved to protect against both UVA and UVB rays).
  2.  Avoid sunscreen sprays. Not enough sunscreen makes it onto the skin, and that the spray may be inhaled into the lungs.
  3. Buy fragrance-free products. Scents bring more unnecessary chemicals and potential allergens to the mix.
  4. Buy SPF 15-30. Research indicates that an SPF higher than 30 is mostly marketing.

Picking a sunscreen that doesn’t put unnecessary chemicals into your skin, protects from sun damage and doesn’t feel like your wearing a mask isn’t easy. I’ve done some research and curated a list of products I have used or would use. It’s a small list, but I’m being picky ;) (in order of price)

1. Skinceuticals Sheer Physical Uv Defense SPF 30
$24.37
EWG Rating

 

2. iS Clinical Eclipse SPF 50+ Sunscreen
$31.04
EWG Rating

 

3. Consonant The Perfect Sunscreen (currently what I use, doesn’t say Broad Spectrum on the bottle in the photo but I confirmed with Consonant that it protects against UVA and UVB rays)
$45.00
EWG Rating

 

4. Soleil Toujours Moisturizer, SPF 20
$55.00
EWG Rating

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Sarah T