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Mineral Sunscreen Review: Max & Madeleine Sun Stick

Looking for a reef-safe sunscreen that uses only zinc oxide as an active ingredient? You may want to keep looking!

Safe Natural Mineral Sunscreens that are just awful. Over 100 brands tested by one family.

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.

Max & Madeleine Sun Stick



Price: 2019 price estimate for the stick: $$$$

EWG rating: not in database

SPF: Stick 30, Cream

Active ingredient(s): 

    • Stick: Zinc Oxide 20% (Non-nanoparticle)
    • Cream: 25% non-nano Zinc Oxide


Other ingredients: 

      • Stick: Simmondsia chinensis (Jojoba Seed) Oil, Cera alba (Beeswax), Sesame indicum (Sesame Seed) Oil, Copernicia cerifera (Carnauba) Wax, Persea americana (Avocado) Oil, Theobroma cacao (Cocoa) Seed Butter, Cocos nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Tapioca Starch, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Mauritia flexuosa (Buriti) Fruit Oil, Non GMO Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
  • Cream: Eldorado Springs Artesian Water, Certified Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Certified Organic Jojoba Oil, Vegetable Glycerine, Organic Shea Butter, Vegetable Emulsifying Wax NF (cetearyl alcohol & polysorbate 60 from COCONUT!!), Vegetable Vitamin E (non-gmo from sunflower seeds)

Antioxidants added: Jojoba Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, Cocoa Seed Butter, Coconut Oil, Vitamin E

Where to purchase: Max & Madeleine: stick, cream

My review: This stick had ok performance the first year, going on clear enough when warm, and one that I would grab to put on the kids regularly. However, when it’s a little chilly, it’s like it doesn’t even come off on your skin (and other sticks on the same day behaved fine). I started to question coverage. Then over the winter it became so solid it was impossible to apply at all, so since there are so many other good sticks available, I just don’t recommend investing in it.

See for yourself in this video on Facebook demonstrating 8 of the sticks in this review!

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!

Have you tried this sunscreen? Was your experience similar to mine?

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.