Looking for a reef-safe sunscreen that uses only zinc oxide as an active ingredient? You may want to keep looking!
With over 100 natural mineral sunscreens tested by my family of six in the past 10 years, we’ve had our share of miserable failures. White out? Paint drying? Sticky, chalky, makes you look like an alabaster statue or Casper the ghost?
I will tell you this: it’s entirely possible to find a zinc oxide sunscreen that is reef safe, really works, and goes on smoothly.
This brand is not one of them.
Read the full review below to find out all of its transgressions, and then be sure to go to my ultimate guide to natural mineral sunscreens to find a safe sunscreen that really works.
Blue Lizard Australian Suncream (Sensitive & Baby)
Ease of Application
EWG rating: 2
Active ingredient(s): titanium dioxide (5%), zinc oxide (6-10%), micronized zinc
Antioxidants added: Vitamin E
Other ingredients: Beeswax, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl Dimethicone and/or Cetyl Dimethicone Copolyol, Chlorphenesin, Disodium EDTA, Ethyhexyl Palmitate, Ethyhexyl Stearate, Hexyl Laurate, Hydrogenerated Castor Oil, Methyl Glucose Dioleate, Octododecyl Neopentanoate, PEG-7 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, phenoxyethanol, Polyglyceryl-4 Isostearate, Propanediol, Purified Water, Sorbitan Oleate, Stearic Acid, Tocopheryl Acteate, Trimethylated Silica/Dimethicone, VP Hexadecene Copolymer
Ease of application: +/- white, quite thick, average spreadability for a physical sunblock
Water resistant? Yes
My experience: Blue Lizard was nearly the only sunblock that allowed a burn more than once. To its credit, we were outside literally all day and on the water. Each kid had a re-application, but they wore only Blue Lizard because I just had a little sample that I couldn’t close and wanted to use it all in one day. The second time, my husband had Soleo on one half and got slightly burnt on the Blue Lizard half only.
I’m unimpressed with the ingredients as a whole–even their baby formula has parabens and some other questionable ingredients, in spite of the “2” EWG status–and would not recommend Blue Lizard.
UPDATE 2017: EWG rating is now a 1 (down from 2) and the parabens have been removed, hooray! I have not tested the new formulation.
Note: Blue Lizard also makes sport sunscreens using chemical UV absorbents.
Star Feature: Bottle turns colors in UV light so you know when you need to apply. Tested according to strict Australian standards.
- EWG rating of 1 in updated formula
- Tested to high Australian standards
- Thick with average spreadability
Wondering if this one is the very best natural sunscreen for your family?
I organized alllll the sunscreens we reviewed in each one’s recommendation category – one page, at-a-glance to find out what is safe to buy AND works! Print it or save to your phone for reference!
The guide also includes answers to questions people ask me all the time:
- Which brand rubs in the clearest?
- What’s the best for all day outdoor sports?
- How do I save money on natural sunscreens?
- What looks good on ladies’ faces?
- Is there an option that is FAST to apply to wiggly kids?
I’ll send a copy to your email so you can see it right away and find it again later!