Looking for a reef-safe sunscreen that uses only zinc oxide as an active ingredient? You’re making a smart choice!
My family has tested over 100 natural mineral sunscreens over the last 10 years, so we know what really works. This brand is pretty good, but in my opinion, if you’re looking for the cleanest ingredients and smoothest application, then head over to my ultimate guide to natural mineral sunscreens and grab one of my top recommended zinc oxide sunscreens instead. My standards are really high though, so this one is still pretty good. 🙂
You can read all the details below to find out why this safe sunscreen brand did not make my top recommended list.
California Baby Summer Blend Sunscreen with Citronella
Ease of Application
EWG rating: 3
Active ingredient(s): titanium dioxide (18%), highly micronized (non-nano)
Nonactive ingredients: Purified Water, Coconut Fatty Acid: Alkybenzoate (Moisturizer), Silicone: Cyclomethicone (Water Repellent), Vegetable Glycerin, Dipolyhydyroxystearate (Works To Emulsify), Candelilla Wax (Protects Against Moisture Loss) Vitamin E (Antioxidant), Coconut Oil Infused W/gardenia Flowers, Squalane (From Olive Oil), Proprietary Essential Oil Blend, Japanese Green Tea (Antioxidant), Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate), Panthenol, Allatoin, Magnesium Stearate, Phospholipid
Antioxidants added: Vitamin E, Japanese Green Tea
Where to purchase: Target, Amazon
Ease of application: + white and creamy, rubs in average
Scent: very pleasant, if you like citronella!
Water resistant? Very!
My experience: We tested the citronella version, which of course had a very specific scent, so I can’t attest to the smell of the rest of their line, but I really like citronella, so this one was a winner. The sunblock itself is very white, thick and creamy. I had already tested other zinc oxide sunblocks and noticed the water beading up, but this one really seems to keep the water away. Check out the demo from my son in the photo below. I didn’t even realize this one has titanium dioxide only until typing this up. I am impressed at its effectiveness and would recommend it especially to people who are allergic to zinc oxide. No one ever burned with California Baby, and we used it often.
Star Feature: California Baby uses only quality essential oils that are sustainably grown. It’s always a bonus to apply one product for both sun and bugs! Gluten and soy free.
One bummer: Titanium dioxide will prevent burns (UVB rays), but it’s not as effective as Zinc oxide to block the UVA rays. They really should be used in combination.
2020 Update: With a new formulation, California Baby Summer Blend moved from 2 to 3 on the EWG chart and got rid of the Vitamin E in its formula.
- Blocks sun and keeps away bugs
- Made with quality essential oils
- Super water resistance
- Does not use zinc oxide at all
- 3 on the EWG
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!