It’s no secret that the sun provides all sorts of health benefits, including helping our bodies manufacture vital vitamin D. With beach season right around the corner, though, many people are looking for the best sunscreens to cut their risk of sun overexposure, sunburns and possibly skin cancer.
The issue? All sunscreens are not created equally. In fact, a spring report from Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that 72 percent of sunscreens tested contain harmful ingredients or inadequate sun protection. This is EWG’s 10th annual Guide to Sunscreens report, and the results show that while there have been major improvements over the last decade, the vast majority of sunscreens available for purchase in the U.S. still contain toxic chemicals or fail to offer enough protection against ultraviolet rays.
It’s important to note that there is no perfect sunscreen. Many contain harmful chemicals, and even mineral-based ones often contain nanoparticles, minute ingredients that can cross the blood-brain barrier and also harm aquatic life. (1) EWG rated 750 sunscreens, more than 500 SPF-labeled moisturizers and 100 lip products based on safety and how well they actually worked, helping consumers find (while not perfect) better options. So what are the best sunscreens out there? Let’s take a look.
The Best Sunscreens
Safer Sunscreens — 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 Creme Sunscreen, SPF 30
- Sunology Natural Sunscreen, Face, SPF 50
- Thinksport Sunscreen, SPF 50+
Safer Sunscreens — 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+
Safer Sunscreens — Kid-Friendly
- 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
Toxic Sunscreens to Avoid
EWG focused even more closely on children’s sunscreens this year, in part because children are more susceptible to certain toxic chemicals during development and because blistering sunburns early in life can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer down the line. While other brands received low scores, EWG specifically called out the following brands because they earned the worst scores.
Worst Sunscreens for Kids
- Banana Boat Kids Max Protect & Play Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
- Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick, SPF 55
- The Coppertone Sunscreen Continuous Spray, Kids, SPF 70
- Coppertone Sunscreen Lotion Kids, SPF 70+
- The 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
How useful was this post?
Click on a star to rate it!
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Thanks for your feedback!