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Zinc-Based Sunscreens People Love Asking Me About (and why I don’t love them back)

My family has tested over 100 natural mineral sunscreens over the years and inevitably, we’ve found some we just don’t love as much as our list of top recommended mineral sunscreens.

Natural Mineral Sunscreens I've Reviewed That Other People Love, But I Don't

But people ask me about a lot of these brands all. the. time! Many are quite popular and some love them while others are just curious about “popular” zinc-oxide based sunscreens and if they really work. We tried them all…and didn’t feel they deserved a place on the list with our favorites!

At the bottom of the post (skip all the way down) you’ll find all the old formulas we tried that have since been discontinued. If you have an old tube of something and you’re wondering how we ranked it, you might find it on that list.

The Mineral Sunscreen Reviews That Don’t Make the Cut!

This section includes sunblock options that couldn’t quite live up to my high standards, neither for our coveted top recommended tier or even the “other good options.”

They have something wrong, such as:

  • a few more questionable ingredients
  • more pricey than I’d like
  • some feature that didn’t go smoothly like getting a few sunburns or a poor application experience

For example, if a sunscreen resulted in a questionable but tolerable experience with texture or efficacy but the ingredients are solid, a brand might make this list. If it behaved wonderfully but has a preservative like phenoxyethanol, it’s probably over here.

BUT if even more problems ensued or the sunscreen simply wasn’t usable or didn’t work at all, it’s over on the “natural sunscreens that just don’t work” list, if you’re curious!

And you know what? If I saw someone with one of these products, I wouldn’t worry one bit about their health and safety — I’d be proud of them! I might worry a litttttle about their skin safety as far as a slight sunburn for some of these, but overall they’re not bad, much better than what Consumer Reports would like you to believe about natural, reef-safe sunscreens.

Katie’s List of Just OK Zinc-Based Sunscreen Reviews

Natural Sunscreen Review: Best All Natural, Safe Zinc Oxide Sun Protection

Arbonne Baby Care Sunscreen
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Arbonne Baby Care Mineral Sunscreen Review Price Range: $$$$

EWG rating: 1

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): Zinc oxide 14.4%

Other ingredients: water, c12-15 alkyl benzoate, caprylic/capric triglyceride, coco-caprylate, polyglyceryl-2 dipolyhydroxystearate, dicaprylyl carbonate, polyglyceryl-4 isostearate, cetyl dimethicone, glycerin, copernicia cerifera (carnauba) wax, cetyl alcohol, euphorbia cerifera (candelilla) wax, tapioca starch, calendula officinalis flower extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, triethoxycaprylylsilane, tocopheryl acetate, magnesium sulfate, sodium chloride, silica dimethyl silylate, stearic acid, chlorphenesin, phenoxyethanol

Antioxidants added: Calendula extract

Where to purchase: Arbonne

Ease of application: +

Scent: smells lovely!

Water resistant? Rated for 40 minutes

My review: I reviewed Arbonne’s sunscreen a few years back, and I was appalled to find that it was made up of mostly chemical ingredients. Fortunately, they have reformulated, so as long as you buy the correct version, you can get one with only zinc oxide. I start out a little skeptical however, because the percentage of zinc is very low (14.4%) and the water resistance is only rated for 40 minutes, which means it will never be one of my best choices for energetic summer children. The tube itself also doesn’t list other ingredients, which just frustrates me. Why not?

It rubs in acceptably well, about average for zinc-based sunscreens. Once it is completely rubbed in, it is nicely clear. It smells lovely! We used it side-by-side with Tropical Sands SPF 30 on a very long day in hot sun and water, and no burns evident. That’s great news, as I feel confident that it will live up to its spf30 claim.
 
I am very happy that Arbonne has created a mineral-based sunscreen, so if you are working with a rep or at a party, feel confident in purchasing this product… Just be aware that you may need to reapply more often if your family is swimming or sweating.

Pros

  • Rubs in well, clear
  • Smells lovely

Cons

  • Only water resistant for up to 40 minutes
  • Low percent of zinc oxide
  • Tube doesn’t show all ingredients

Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen and Sport Stick
Overall
2.3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Price Range: $$$$

EWG rating: 1 for cream, 4 for stick (although no ingredients are over a 2)

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): non-nano zinc oxide (22%)

Other ingredients: Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract*, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract*, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract*, Natural Fragrance, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Methylcellulose, Nasturtium Officinale Flower/Leaf Extract*, Pueraria Lobata Root Extract*, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil*, Sodium Bicarbonate, Spiraea Ulmaria Flower Extract* , Stearic Acid, Water, Xanthan Gum. *Certified Organic Ingredients

Antioxidants added: sunflower oil, green tea extract (jojoba oil, cocoa butter and Vitamin E in the stick)

Where to purchase: Amazon, Babo Botanicals site (clear zinc, stick)

Ease of application: + nice and creamy, spreads nicely. The stick is VERY thick and hard to apply, made only for small areas like cheeks or lips.

Scent: the fragrance-free lotion just smells like lotion; the stick is kind of strong like the beeswax I guess

Water resistant? The stick is very resistant, even after washing dishes with it on my hand; the lotion actually came off on my finger when wet, so I don’t hold much hope for that one

My experience: I’ve only had these samples in my hands a few days, so we haven’t field-tested them. The stick holds a lot of promise for tough areas like cheekbones, lips, ears, but I would not want to use it all over. It would take forever to rub in. The lotion glides on well, but I’m curious how it would hold up to swimming. As for ingredients, the stick has nicely pure ingredients through and through in my opinion, but the lotion leaves a bit to be desired. It doesn’t have anything that’s been proven to be harmful, but compared to some others that I’ve reviewed that have 100% food-grade or plant-and-mineral-sourced ingredients, I don’t love seeing sodium benzoate and potassium sorbate in there, two preservatives that are sourced naturally but have questionable reputations.

UPDATE 2016: I told you I’d come back to test better! Over the winter the stick formed a really solid kind of “seal” on the top such that the first use I had to throw away ½ centimeter or so. And then it was really gooey and didn’t go one nicely at all. This one doesn’t have lasting power! The cream wintered fine and is still creamy, but it really needs to be rubbed in immediately for best results. It makes streaks if you don’t. I’d say it rubs in exactly like Goddess Garden‘s creams. Plus we had two different instances where we wondered if this one was allowing burns through more quickly than other similar creams. I’m just not sure it’s to be trusted.

UPDATE 2018: We retested the stick, and as long as you buy the oblong version (Super Shield Sport Stick SPF 50) and not the circle, it’s MUCH better. It contains 17% zinc oxide and goes on great, comparable to other “top recommended” sticks we tested.

Pros

  • Good ingredients and water resistance for the stick

Cons

  • Lotion doesn’t seem to be waterproof, has some questionable ingredients, and can go on streaky
  • Stick does not overwinter well and is only made for very small areas

Beauty by Earth
Overall
3.5
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant
  • Effectiveness

Details:

Beauty by Earth Mineral SunscreenPrice Range: $$$$$$$$

EWG rating: 1-2

SPF: 20 and 25

Active ingredient(s): Zinc Oxide (Uncoated Non-nano) 11% in the SPF 20, 14% in SPF 25

Other ingredients: Organic Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Leaf Juice, Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Vegetable Glycerin, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Organic Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Oil, Organic Beeswax, Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Organic Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flower Extract, Organic Vanilla Planifolia (Vanilla) Fruit Extract, Organic Camellia Oleifera (Japanese Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Extract, Magnesium Sulfate, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Pulp Extract, Vanilla Tahitensis (Vanilla) Fruit Extract

Antioxidants added: green tea, rosemary, pomegranate, calendula and more! 🙂

Where to purchase: Amazon, Beauty by Earth

Ease of application: +/- Application is actually pretty tough, as this is a decently thick and white sunscreen. Eventually it rubs in.

Scent: honestly one of the best smelling we’ve ever tried – it’s the first thing people say about this one! Maybe vanilla coconut?

Water resistant? rated to 80 minutes

My experience: Side-by-side test on for kids in high heat direct sun late May, versus Adorable Baby. All four got a little pinkish, sun-kissed and on more than one child I would say Beauty by Earth was slightly worse. Then again that makes sense, because it is a slightly lower SPF. We had the same results the next day, not hugely significant difference in sunburn, but enough that I figure why bother? If there are better options, why use this one?

Leah did get an itchy rash of tiny red dots on her chest and back only on the Beauty by Earth side. This showed up a full day later, so it may not be causation, but it is notable that it was only on half of her body and exactly where her tank top was showing skin. We did not wash the sunscreen off at the end of that that day.

Pros

  • Amazing scent

Cons

  • Lower SPFs
  • Hard to rub in
  • Test subjects burned a little and one broke into rash

Block Island Suncare
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Block Island Natural Mineral Sunscreen Review Price Range: $$$$ (the popup on their site currently has a 15% off your first order coupon)

EWG rating: 1

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (22%), non nano

Other ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Vera Gel) Juice*, Aqua (Deionized Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Oil, Gluconolactone, Glycerin*, Lecithin*, Octyl Palmitate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum, Zemea Propanediol. (*Certified Organic)

Antioxidants added: green tea leaf extract, Vitamin E

Where to purchase: Block Island or Amazon

Ease of application: +/- Average for zinc-based sunblocks

Scent: neutral, not unpleasant

Water resistant? was thinner than the other we were testing – so thin that it came out all over the place! Without beeswax involved, I’m guessing this one struggles in water but we weren’t able to test it swimming yet.

My experience: We received this product at the very end of last summer, so the tests have been all non-swimming. I noticed a bit of white-out drying action when applying to busy, warm kids, although it rubs in pretty clear if you’re fast enough. After a few hours, I wrote down that it feels a bit gummy-ish on the skin, like it’s too thick. Or I was just sweaty. Winking smile

We quickly learned to only open it with the cap on top even though the container is made to be stored standing on its lid. Block Island is very thin and runny! That’s good and bad; it can mean it’s easier to rub in but also harder to control coming out of the tube.

Ultimately no matter how it rubs in, I can’t put this on on the most recommended list because it uses a synthetic preservative (sodium benzoate) and a few other not-as-natural ingredients. It’s still highly rated by EWG, so if you’ve got nothing else that works, it’s a great choice, but it remains in this section for me.

Star Feature: Reef safe, vegan, and able to go on an airplane (the size is correct). Cute little containers. Smile

Pros

  • Thin formula is easy to rub in
  • Airplane-friendly tube size

Cons

  • Very thin and runny, hard to control coming out of tube
  • Uses synthetic preservative
  • No beeswax

California Baby Summer Blend Sunscreen with Citronella
Overall
3.7
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

California Baby Summer Blend Sunscreen Review Price Range: $$$$

EWG rating: 3

SPF: 30+

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.

Pros

  • Blocks sun and keeps away bugs
  • Made with quality essential oils
  • Super water resistance

Cons

  • Does not use zinc oxide at all
  • 3 on the EWG

Dr. Mercola Healthy Skin Natural Sunscreen with Astaxanthin
Overall
3.7
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Dr. Mercola Healthy Skin Natural Sunscreen Review Price Range: $$$$

EWG rating: 1 (old formuation, but Mercola explains every ingredient here if you’re interested)

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (20%), non nano particles

Other ingredients: Aloe barbadensis leaf juice, Water, Sunflower Oil, Lecithin, Cetearyl alcohol, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Glycerin, Jojoba Oil, Shea butter, Camellia sinensis leaf extract, coconut oil, Gluconolactone Potassium Sorbate, Xanthan gum, Punica granatum fruit extract, Tocopheryl, Raspberry Seed Oil, Astaxanthin, Eucalyptus globulus leaf oil.

Antioxidants added: Astaxanthin, and that one is HUGE for sun protection!

Where to purchase: Mercola online, Amazon

Ease of application: +

Scent: quite pleasant and sunscreen-y, be careful if you’re sensitive to eucalyptus

Water resistant? Certainly isn’t visible on the skin at all, does not make water bead up, and in fact, it seemed to float right away when immersed in water. ??? BUT I must say that I tested a pre-2017 formulation so quite honestly, I’m not sure any of my experience applies to the new sunscreen!

My experience: I do love that this sunscreen comes in such big bottles and doesn’t cost very much. In fact, it’s really great except that I worry how long it will last in the water. I don’t have any proof one way or the other on this brand, but it sure looks like it comes right off.

The flip side of the “waterproof” issue is “how well does it rub in,” which is truly excellent. For running around the neighborhood (and slathering on visiting neighbors), this is one of my picks for sure.

The good news? The ingredients in this version are soooo much better than the 2017 version which had Vitamin A, a huge no-no for suncare products, and now Mercola has added raspberry seed oil and Astaxanthin, two powerhouses for sun protection. I can’t wait to get my hands on some to see if it still rubs in well!

Star Feature: Low cost, reef safe, rubs in great.

Pros

  • Super easy application
  • Less expensive option in big bottles

Cons

  • Not sure about water resistance

Goddess Garden: Kid's Spray, Baby, and Kid's Cream
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Price Range: $$$$$$$$ (creams); $$$$ (stick)

EWG rating: 1 (baby), 2 (kids), 3 (kid’s spray). The spray sunscreen (NOT continuous spray) has a few ingredients rated 4-6 at EWG, but I think it might be unfairly labeled with a higher number simply because it’s a spray, but it’s not aerosolized. EWG’s rating system ranks the same ingredient as more dangerous when it’s a spray, but the site still says the particles of minerals are >100 NM, which is good.

SPF: 30+

Active ingredient(s): titanium dioxide (6-7%), zinc oxide (6%) in kids, zinc oxide (20%) in baby, non nano particles all around

Other ingredients: Aloe Vera, Glycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Stearate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Glyceryl Undecylenate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Helianthus Annus (Sunflower) Oil, Iron Oxide, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Lecithin, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum Certified Organic

Antioxidants added: Vitamin E, green tea and more

Where to purchase: Goddess Garden online, Amazon, Herbspro (kids, continuous spray, SPF30), Well.ca for Canada

Ease of application: +/- depends on style, see below

Scent: kids = very light lavender; baby = unscented

Water resistant? The baby version could still be seen after a full hour of swimming; the others state “water resistant” on them, but I couldn’t be as sure as they blend in better.

My experience: We’ve been around and around on this one as to whether we’d recommend it or not. UPDATE: demoted to this section from “recommends” July 2013. Too many questions about the size of the particles, although I think this is still a good product. There are just plenty of good ones that I’m more sure about. The kids versions are both fairly creamy (the website says they use a “sheer zinc oxide” but assures us it’s non-nano), and I admit that when it got warm this spring (2012) I grabbed the Goddess Garden spray first because of ease of use. There’s no easy way to pack the bottle for long travel (see photo above), but oh my – one hand grab and squirt is great! You do still have to rub the lotion IN with your hand, unlike some of the spray style chemical sunscreens.

The baby version, unfortunately, was extremely hard to rub in. Not just that it stays white, but it got very clumpy and cakey, really quite yucky on the skin. All of the bottles/tubes have stayed emulsified and nice over the winter, so I think I’d still recommend the spray particularly, just for its convenience. Realize that as with ALL zinc-based creams, you’re still going to have a harder time making it actually disappear than a chemical screen. Lots of people love Goddess Garden, and it always surprises me – but perhaps they’re slowly improving? Is that possible?

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

Star Feature: Great list: reef safe, vegan, gluten-free, non-nano particles, organic ingredients, run by moms who care! The baby sunscreen has good intentions with the ingredients: only zinc oxide, no nut oils, unscented – but it just doesn’t rub in well.

Pros

  • Vegan, gluten-free, organic
  • Spray option that isn’t aerosol
  • Most rub in well

Cons

  • Baby formula doesn’t rub in
  • Questions about size of particles
  • Kids has titanium dioxide

Natural Tone Sunscreen
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Natural Tone SunscreenPrice Range: $$$$ | Also available in the UK for ~£20.00

EWG rating: not in database

SPF: 15

Active ingredient(s): Titanium Dioxide 5.0%, Zinc Oxide 2.0%

Other Ingredients: Organic Aloe (Vera) Barbadensis Leaf Juice Extract, Natural Fractionated Coconut Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Glyceryl Monostearate, Sorbitan Ester, Vegetable Glycerin, Cetyl Alcohol, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Emollient Esters, Organic Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Organic Rosa Canina (Rose Hips) Fruit Oil, Organic Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Organic Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract, Organic Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Organic Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Organic Arnica Montana (Flower) Extract, Organic Lycium Barbarum (Gogi Berry) Fruit Extract, Organic Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Seed Oil, Organic Passiflora Edulis Seed (Passion Fruit) Oil, Organic Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Fruit Oil, Caprylic Acid, Propanediol (All Natural), Lauric Acid, Fragrance

Antioxidants added: Coconut Oil, Rose Hip Oil, Vitamin E, Green Tea Extract

Where to purchase: Amazon, also available in the UK

Water Resistance: Up to 40 minutes

My review: Natural Tone has multiple SPF options, and somehow I accidentally ordered SPF 15, which meant I didn’t reach for this one as often since I would not be comparing apples to apples with most of my lotions being SPF 30.

It goes on nicely, very clear with no clumping or white streaks, and I’m sure it’s adequate. The smell is pleasant, a bit tropical or citrusy? It does have titanium dioxide, so it cannot go in my top recommended tier, but my daughter chose it as one of the few she packed for summer camp, so that’s a pretty high recommendation from all that we have available!

This brand is available in the UK, so if you are in England and have a hard time sourcing other brands, I would recommend this one!

Update 2020: The ingredients have changed recently, and since “fragrance” is basically a catch-all which means there’s no transparency, it could be any number of thousands of things. I had to move Natural Tone down a level on my recommendations because of it. 

Pros

  • Clear, without clumping or white streaks
  • Lots of antioxidants
  • Available in the UK

Cons

  • Has titanium dioxide
  • SPF 15 (although also available in 30)
  • “Fragrance” is sketchy

Original Sprout Face & Body SPF 27
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Original Sprout SunscreenPrice Range: $$$$

EWG rating: 2

SPF: 27

Active ingredient(s): Zinc Oxide 10%, non nano

Antioxidants added: raspberry and rosemary extract

Other ingredients: Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Cetearyl Glucoside, Cetearyl Alcohol, Vegetable Glycerin, Polyglyceryl-10 Laurate, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Fruit Extracts of Pyrus Malus (Apple), Prunus Armeniaca (Apricot), Vanilla Planifolia, Dipteryx Odorata Seed, Ananas Sativus (Pineapple), Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Lonicera Japonica (Japanese Honeysuckle), Extracts of Organic Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary), Organic Arnica Montana Flower, Organic Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit, Organic Calendula Officinalis Flower, Organic Vaccinium Macrocarpon (Cranberry) Fruit, Polysilicone-15, Citric Acid, Glyceryl Isostearate, Polyhydroxy Stearic Acid, Sodium Phytate, Xanthan Gum

Where to purchase: Amazon or Original Sprout site

Ease of application: + goes on very smoothly

Scent: tropical vanilla (the kids like it)

Water resistant? Not sure – tube doesn’t claim to

My experience: This cream goes on very smoothly and wintered well in the closet. In one experience, it protected arms from burning better than another brand with a 32 SPF.

My review: I want to love this one because I have nothing bad to say about it, but nonetheless it slides into “other recommended” for two reasons: (1) I’m not confident about how well it stays on in the water and don’t see beeswax to reassure me in the ingredients. (2) I worry about the low percentage of zinc oxide (10%). I usually see fully double that, and if application isn’t perfect (i.e. too thin) people could end up with far less protection than they’re hoping.

I also prefer ingredients that I can pronounce and know I have better options.

Pros

  • Goes on smoothly

Cons

  • Low percentage of zinc oxide
  • Not waterproof (?)

Primal Life Organics Sun-Up Ultra Sun Protection
Overall
4
  • Ease of Application
  • Water Resistant
  • Clean Ingredients

Details:

Price Range: $$$$

SPF: Not tested

EWG Rating: 1

Where to Buy: Primal Life Organics site

Ingredients: Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Pure Filtered Beeswax*, Avocado Oil*, Non-nano Zinc Oxide, Extra Virgin Olive Oil*, Virgin Coconut Oil*, Vitamin E Oil*, Carrot Seed*, Lavender*, Myrrh*, Sandalwood* (*certified organic)

Antioxidants added: raspberry seed oil, avocado oil, vitamin E

Scent: We have an unscented stick from Primal Life Organics, so it doesn’t smell like much, maybe just a little earthy like clay.

Ease of Application: This stick rubbed in pretty well and surprisingly clear, although it looks so white. We didn’t think it would rub in as well as it did. I did make one note that because it is a stick, we probably don’t use enough on our bodies, because it just takes longer to rub it in.

Water Resistance: Definitely water beads up with this one.

My Experience: We had one time at the beach when my husband did a poor job applying all of his sunscreen. On the arm he tested with Primal Life Organics, he missed a strip of skin – and that strip totally burned. So good news: we know Primal Life Organics works to prevent burns. We also found that it beat one of our other brands in a side-by-side test. So I feel confident saying that it works — although we did also see a bit of pink on one of our testers.

Star Feature: If you like having a stick, this one has a wider diameter than many, so you can cover more ground in less time.

My Review: I’m still up in the air on this. Although initial reviews show that it rubbed in really well, later in the summer, it seemed far too thick to apply anywhere but the face. And I noted that even there it is not rubbing in well. I think that it’s just more sensitive than other brands. It was in a hot car, which is just to be expected sometimes. And that made it get thick and a little off on its texture, like little balls on the skin. After the winter passed, a few millimeters across the entire top completely solidified and I had to peel it off and throw it away. Underneath, the lotion was okay and pretty much rubbed in. But it definitely made this brand harder to manage.

Pros

  • Stick is wide
  • Prevents burns
  • Very clean ingredients

Cons

  • Difficult to apply to large areas
  • Thickened over time and did not overwinter well

Pronounce Skinshade (formerly Scratch Mommy)
Overall
4
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Pronounce Skin Shade Mineral SunscreenPrice Range: $$$$ (ability to buy 2.3 to 16 ounces with cheaper price per ounce at bigger sizes)

EWG rating: not rated

SPF: 20

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (25%), non-nano, non-micronized

Other ingredients: Coconut Oil (certified organic), Shea Butter (certified organic), Beeswax (certified organic), Almond Oil (certified organic), Vitamin E (non-GMO soy source)

Antioxidants added: Vitamin E

Where to purchase: Pronounce Skincare

Ease of application: +/- Average for zinc-based sunblocks

Scent: neutral, a little talc-y

Water resistant? most likely!

My experience: Since Scratch Mommy just rebranded to become Pronounce, the packaging has completely changed (which means what I had to say about it getting messy while in the swim bag doesn’t apply) and I also see that although my tub has apricot oil, the new formula uses almond oil.

Sooooo…I’m not sure everything I have to say will be accurate anymore. Here goes nothing anyway:

It does go on a little bit greasy, although it rubs in well. Over the winter (stored inside) it separated the tiniest bit, but really almost not noticeable unless you’re me and you’re reviewing this stuff minutely.

Ultimately because the price point is higher than some others, I won’t put it in my top recommended list, but it is a good product and has super super clean ingredients. (I also like the deodorant over there!)

UPDATE 6/13/16: The Scratch Mommy version we were testing failed multiple times at preventing burns in side-by-side tests. Other options consistently caused less burn or no burn.

Star Feature: Made by hand by a mom who wants to treat your family to the finest of ingredients, just like she does for hers. Organic ingredients!

Pros

  • Organic ingredients

Cons

  • Did not prevent burns well
  • A little greasy

Purple Prairie SunStick and SunStuff
Overall
3.3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Purple Prairie Botanicals SunStick Mineral Sun Protection Review Price Range: $$$$

EWG rating: both 1

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): micronized zinc oxide (20%)

Other ingredients: aqua(water), organic cold pressed olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) kosher vegetable glycerin, organic cocos nucifera (coconut), behentrimonium methosulfate, cetyl alcohol, butylene glycol organic, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), organic theobroma cacao (cocoa butter), organic jojoba oil, rosemary extract

Antioxidants added: rosemary extract, jojoba oil

Where to purchase: Purple Prairie

Ease of application: +/- a stick is so handy for faces and we love that, but it doesn’t rub in superbly; the cream does a nice job rubbing in

Scent: not so great; my son doesn’t like it on his face

Water resistant? Yes! With the stick, water beads up on the face and you can visibly scratch some off even after swimming. I’m pretty sure it’s the beeswax that is the secret ingredient for that. The jury is out on the water resistance of the sun stuff…but even the bottle doesn’t claim to be water resistant.

My experience: I personally appreciate the stick as awesome for faces, but a bit tedious for entire bodies. If you’ve got guys who don’t want to touch each other’s skin, however, a stick would be a great option! No one burned using the Purple Prairie products.

Other products: Purple Prairie also makes a lip balm with SPF, but it was so white that I couldn’t even bear it!

Star Feature: The ingredients are mainly organic and meet the rigid standards for safety in the coral reefs of Mexico.

Pros

  • Organic ingredients
  • Test subjects didn’t burn

Cons

  • Stick didn’t rub in well
  • Scent is “not great”
  • Cream is not water resistant

Sol Kid Kare Sunscreen by Caribbean Sol
Overall
4
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Sol Kid Kare Sunscreen Review

2020 UPDATE: Caribbean Sol’s Kid Kare has been reformulated to a non-nano zinc oxide only formula (no titanium dioxide). We have not tried this formula yet.

UPDATE: Demoted because of the nano-particles.

Price Range: $$$$

EWG rating: 2

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): micronized zinc oxide (3.5%), titanium dioxide (9%)

Inactive ingredients: Organic aloe vera (barbadensis leaf) extract, glyceryl (vegetable based) stearate, safflower oil, fractionated coconut oil, glycerin (sugar base), ricinus communis oil, thobroma cacao (cocoa) seed butter, tocopheryl acetate (vitamin E), camellia sinensis (green tea) extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) extract, sorbate (food grade), green coffee bean extract (coffee arabica been extract), cucumber extract (cucumus sativus extract).

Antioxidants added: Vitamin E, wild pansy, hibiscus and green coffee

Where to purchase: Amazon, Carribbean Sol site [2022: Kid Kare is currently out of stock in all places, but the regular SPF30 and SPF15 sunscreens have very similar ingredients and are made with non-nano zinc oxide. Buy on Amazon or the Caribbean Solutions site.]

Ease of application: + rubs in quite well because of the very small zinc (18-30 nanometers).

Scent: Fresh and citrusy

Water resistant? It was still in my daughter’s ear after 6 hours of swimming and beach play!

My experience: Everyone reapplied with Sol Kid while we spent 6 hours at the beach, and it seemed to do a great job. It really is easy to put on, and there is something to be said about having a nice, big bottle that didn’t cost you an arm and a leg. At least for us, we’re more likely to put on an appropriate amount and not skimp and make it too thin. The Caribbean Solutions website claims that they do not use nano technology and that the minerals are simply micronized, but it is mostly accepted that a nano particle is anything less than 100 nm. Nanotechnology is still a fairly new field and tough to decipher.

Star Feature: Specially formulated for children and balanced with skin healthy plant compounds and lots of antioxidants. It goes on fairly clear.

Pros

  • 100% biodegradable
  • Goes on fairly clear and easily
  • Less expensive option

Cons

  • Uses micronized zinc and titanium dioxide

thinksport SPF 50+
Overall
3.2
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.

Note: See the top tier for thinkbaby – they are different!

Price: 2020 price estimate: $$$$$$$$

EWG rating: 1

SPF: 50+

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (20%), non nano

Other ingredients: Purified Water, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Capric Caprylic Triglycerides, Sorbitan Stearate (Coconut Based), Pine Wood Resin, Vegetable Glycerin, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt), Sunflower Oil, Jojoba Oil, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Tocopherols (Vitamin E), Olive Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil, Cranberry Seed Oil, Hyaluronic Acid (Made From Vegetable), Papaya

Antioxidants added: cranberry and raspberry seed oils, Vitamin E

Where to purchase: Amazon, Mighty Nest, Well.ca for Canada, Think site, HerbsPro

Ease of application: +/- Average for zinc-based sunblocks

Scent: lightly citrus

Water resistant? Seems to do fairly well

My experience: The texture of thinksport is very standard, exactly what you expect from a sunscreen I’d say. At first I thought it wasn’t rubbing in well at all, but after a minute it really did well, only about a 1-2 on the “ghostly” scale of 1-10. Winking smile It’s not greasy at all.

I really like the light citrus scent personally.

On the water test, it seemed to bead up, but was still no. 3 out of 4 of the batch of new brands from 2014 that I was testing all at once. I would guess it would do fine while swimming, but we didn’t get warm enough weather to test that yet (I’ll update this post if we learn any differently as the summer wear on…I mean, begins).

As for ingredients, I’m a bit disappointed. I had to look up a ton of them!

The capric/caprylic triglycerides might be fractionated coconut oil or might be “glycerin and caprylic acids,” is rated a 1 at EWG but with limited data. It is approved for use in food, as is sorbitan stearate, another ingredient. Caprylic acid is a fatty acid from milk or coconut oil. Those sound fine, but I’m not super thrilled with dimethicone, a silicon-based polymer rated 3 at EWG. Three is okay, but pushing it. I couldn’t find any data on polyglercerol-10 laruate and am starting to wonder if it’s misspelled.

The ingredients are a bit of a mystery in another way, since this one on Amazon looks like the right tube but has a ton of different ingredients, and the ingredients on this one are quite a bit closer but still not exactly matching my tube.

Star Feature: The texture is nice…

Pros

  • Good texture
  • Nice citrus scent

Cons

  • Potentially unsafe ingredients
  • Confusing labels

TropicSport SPF30 Sunscreen
Overall
3.7
  • Ease of Application
  • Water Resistant
  • Clean Ingredients

Details:

TropicSport SPF30 Sunscreen Review Price Range: $$$$

SPF: 30

EWG Rating: 4

Active ingredients: Titanium dioxide (4.5%), non-nano Zinc oxide (8.7%)

Inactive ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alcohol, Steareth-2, VP/Hexadecene Copolymer, Steareth-21, Dimethicone, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Pleiogynium Timoriense Fruit Extract, Podocarpus Elatus Fruit Extract, Terminalia Ferdinandiana Fruit Extract, Adansonia Digitata Seed Oil, Astrocaryum Tucuma Seed Butter, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Alumina, Stearic Acid, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Propanediol, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Xanthan Gum, Caprylyl Glycol, Fragrance (Parfum)

Antioxidants added: podocarpus elatus (plum pine) fruit extract, terminalia ferdinandiana (Kakadu plum) fruit extract, aloe vera, macademia oil

Where to purchase: TropicSport site, Amazon

Scent: Everyone in the family loves the way this smells. So yummy!

Ease of Application: + TropicSport rubs in really smoothly and is a pleasure to use.

Water Resistance: According to their site, they have passed the U.S. FDA 80-minute resistance test as well as the Australian 240-minute one!

My Experience: We definitely saw this brand be effective in the sun to protect from burns. We used it extensively all summer, but we were so busy we didn’t take very many notes.

Star Feature: Beyond TropicSport’s exceptional rubbing-in ability, I would say their travel size is such a cute container and even comes with a carabiner. So if you are doing something like whitewater rafting, where you really want to keep your sunscreen attached on you or on a bag and not lost, this is such a fun and unique container to use.

My Review: The whole family was impressed with how well TropicSport rubs in and the cute little container. We called it the turtle sunscreen all summer and many of us would gravitate toward it. I would definitely recommend this brand, although because of the titanium dioxide and “fragrance” I can’t put it in the top tier. “Fragrance” without any explanation is a problem, because 1000s of ingredients can be hidden under there, so it’s just kind of a red flag that the brand *may* not be being forthright in all disclosures. Bummer!

Pros

  • Rubs in clear and super well
  • Amazing scent

Cons

  • EWG 4 rating

TruKid Sunny Days Mineral Sunscreen
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

TruKid Sunny Days Mineral Sunscreen Review Price Range: ~$$$$

UPDATE 4/2012: demoted for too many ingredients, including phenoxyethanol (see comments for more information). UPDATE 2013: The ingredients have been considerably cleaned up! I’d love to test the new TruKid; I have a feeling it would pop up into the “recommended” list with its new ingredients.

EWG rating: 2

SPF: 30+

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (20%), non-nano (200 micron sized)

Other ingredients: Purified water Aloe barbadensis leaf juice Capric caprylic triglycerides (coconut) Sorbitan stearate (vegetable) Polyglyceryl-4 isostearate Hexyl laurate Cetyl dimethicone (sand) Dimethicone Castor oil Magnesium sulfate (epsom salt) Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil Cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract Camellia sinesis (green tea) oil Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Punica granatum extract (pomegranate juice) Hyaluronic acid Ethylhexlglycerin (vegetable) Polymaminopropyl biguanide TruKid proprietary scent blend

Antioxidants added: Vitamin E, green tea

Where to purchase: Amazon, TruKid online

Ease of application: + creamy, rubs in well, does not separate in the tube

Scent: One of my son’s favorites, smells like oranges

Water resistant? Not sure – it doesn’t claim to be and doesn’t bead up like some others. UPDATE: TruKid does sell a sport version that is “very water resistant.”

My experience: TruKid kind of flew under the radar as one that was unremarkable other than its pleasant scent. It was so easy to put on and never drew our attention by looking odd or allowing a burn, so I guess it’s a winner by default! UPDATE: My only trouble with the product is the plethora of ingredients, many of them sounding chemical-ish although still a “1” at EWG, and the owner explains every single ingredient, where it comes from and what it’s for right here. 2012: The tube is still easy to use and remains a favorite scent!

Star Feature: Started by a mom concerned for her kids, TruKid stays up on safe ingredients and even took Vitamin A right out of their product when its safety was questioned. Gluten-free product, which can be a big deal! They also have fun shampoo, conditioner and body wash that my kids love and offer a good compromise option between conventional SLS-based shampoos and castile soap. Customer service is prompt, too!

Pros

  • Mom-started company with concern for safe ingredients
  • Great scent!

Cons

  • Long ingredient list
  • Original formula is not waterproof

Vanicream for Sensitive Skin
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

2022 UPDATE: Vanicream sunscreens have been reformulated with just zinc oxide. I hope to test the new formulation but I haven’t yet. If you have, let me know your thoughts!

Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Price Range: $$$$

EWG rating: 3

SPF: 60

Active ingredient(s): titanium dioxide (7.5%), zinc oxide (7.5%) , nano particles (<100 nm according to EWG)

Other ingredients: C20-40 Alcohols, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetyl PEG/PPG-10/1 Dimethicone, Cocoglycerides, Dicaprylyl Carbonate, Dimethicone, 1,2 Hexanediol, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Magnesium Chloride, Octadecene, PEG-30 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Pentylene Glycol, Phenyl Trimethicone, Purified Water, Silica, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Squalane, Stearyl Dimethicone, Tridecyl Salicylate, Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Ubiquinone (coenzyme Q10)

Antioxidants added: Vitamin E

Where to purchase: Amazon, Vanicream site

Ease of application: + very creamy

Scent: smells like sunscreen

Water resistant? Not sure (claims water resistance up to 80 minutes)

My experience: Whenever I read ingredients and can’t pronounce or recognize at least half, I sort of glaze over. I just think, “Why bother with this one when there are so many truly natural brands available?”

However, somehow this is the ONLY mineral sunblock I’ve seen that lists a rating of SPF over 30, so I can say I’m very happy that at least the active ingredients are not chemicals. It was listed as the very favorite of a friend who tested a handful of creams, who said it was “so creamy” and rubbed in the best of those she tried.

Star Feature: I suppose if you’ve got someone who just won’t wear anything that’s labeled below a 50, this is a great safer option.

Pros

  • Very creamy, easy to apply
  • SPF over 30

Cons

  • Ingredients are unpronounceable and unrecognizable

Natural Sunscreen Review: Best All Natural, Safe Zinc Oxide Sun Protection

The Jury is Out For These Mineral Suncreens…

I either didn’t have time to conduct a proper test or ran into a problem (like a sunburn) that hasn’t been replicated, but makes me nervous about recommending the products here. Some on this list are the “okay” products that I neither recommend nor suggest to avoid.

Anarres Natural Health Lotions
Overall
3.7
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Anarres Natural Health Lotions Review Elemental Protection Lotion $$$$
Shea Intensive Healing Lotion $$$$
Cocoa Light Lotion $$$$

EWG rating: all at 2

SPF: 15

Active ingredient(s): Cocoa butter, avocado butter and coconut oil are naturally SPF 15

Other ingredients: filtered water aqua, rose hydrosol Rosa damascene, apricot kernel oil Prunus armeniaca, avocado oil Persea americana, natural cocoa butter** Theobroma cacao seed, coconut oil Cocos nucifera, vegetable emulsifying wax NF, grapefruit seed extract (Citrus grandis in vegetable glycerine). **Fair Trade Certified/Compliant

Where to purchase: only from Anarres Natural Health

Ease of application: + creamy lotions that sink right in

Scent: neutral to nice, depending on the lotion

Water resistant? Not meant to be

My experience: These lotions are just lovely. Creamy, not greasy, very easy to apply, and they really feel like they get into the skin and moisturize without seeming too thick.

Star Feature: The totally natural, balanced and certified safe and sustainable ingredients are second to none. This is the only product I reviewed that comes in metal or glass containers! A very green option!

Pros

  • Comes in metal or glass
  • Totally natural ingredients

Cons

  • Not waterproof
  • No zinc oxide

Anarres Natural Health Safe Sun Protection Cream
Overall
2.3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Anarres Natural Health Safe Sun Protection Cream Review Price: $$$$

EWG rating: ?

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (10%), large particles, not even micronized

Other ingredients: water aqua, ** ***sunflower seed Helianthus annus oil, zinc oxide, *cocoa Theobroma cacao seed butter, ** ***beeswax Cera alba, sodium borate, natural vitamin E mixed tocopherols, grapefruit seed extract Citrus grandis in glycerine. *Fair Trade Certified **Organically grown ***Local Ontario

Antioxidants added: Vitamin E, grapefruit seed extract (certificate of purity, not from China)

Where to purchase: only from Anarres Natural Health

Ease of application: – The cream separated into thin liquid and a pile of sediment and was difficult to apply (see photo below)

Scent: unpleasant

Water resistant? Not at all

My experience: I tested the sun protection cream on one half of my body with no sunblock of any kind on the other half. This wasn’t a smart idea, because I was about to be in the sun for 6 hours on the beach. It seemed like the sun cream might have been coming off in the water, but then after I air-dried, I could still see a white film and water droplets would bead up on my arm, so I hoped I was still protected. The strange result of this bad experiment was that I burned on the side with the lotion and not much on the side with nothing. To Anarres’ credit, the creamed side was turned toward the sun and the unprotected side was covered a bit while my daughter slept, but only with a very thin sarong, and I tried to even it out by covering the sun-creamed side as well and then facing the opposite way while in the water. I have no idea what went wrong! I wish I had more time to test the product before the review, but I will continue to check it out and update this review if necessary.

Star Feature: Comes in a glass container, certified safe and fair trade ingredients.

Anarres Sun Protection Cream separation

Pros

  • Glass container
  • Safe and fair trade ingredients from a small company

Cons

  • Allowed burns in test
  • Totally separated product was hard to apply

Keys Solar RX Broad Spectrum Sunblock
Overall
2.7
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Keys Solar RX Mineral Sunscreen Review Price Range: $$$$

EWG rating: 1

SPF: 30+

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (18%), uncoated nano particles

Other ingredients: Shea Butter 10%, Avocado Oil, Carrot Seed Oil, Black Cumin Oil, Essential Oil Blend, Purified Water, Vegetable Glycerin, Vegatable Wax, Rosemary Extract

Antioxidants added: ?

Where to purchase: Keys website, Amazon, and independent seller Angela Regali

Ease of application: +/- creamy, but rubs in about average for a zinc-based block; I like the applicator pump

Scent: great – smells like oranges!

Water resistant? Not at all, and it doesn’t claim to be

My experience: Keys Soap was the first zinc block we tested, and my 2-year-old daughter ended up with red bumps on her arms afterwards. It may have simply been as a result of her first exposure to the sun for an extended period this year, or an initial reaction to the zinc, but it never happened again with this or any zinc product. I’m not crazy about any sunscreen that isn’t water resistant, because we’re either going to be sweating or swimming if we’re in need of a sunscreen. It visibly ran down my friend’s skin as he sweated playing volleyball.

Star Feature: “Our nano-zinc oxide (ZnO) is uncoated to provide healing therapies associated with zinc oxide. The uncoated zinc has also proven to be anti-bacterial and antimicrobial and can reduce redness, rosacea, age spots and melasma.”

Other products: I got to test all sorts of little samples from Keys Soap, and I do love them all! They have great healing lotion for eczema and after sun, a bug itch spray that helped my son sleep when the mosquito bites were keeping him awake, and even shampoo and conditioner with zero chemicals. I use about 4 drops of the shampoo on my kids’ heads, and it all smells yummy like oranges.

Natural Sunscreen Review: Best All Natural, Safe Zinc Oxide Sun Protection

Keys Soap on the left, Miessence on the right. The difference is striking! Can you see the the Keys is actually dripping down the skin just from sweat?

Pros

  • Great scent
  • Unique applicator pump

Cons

  • Not water resistant
  • Cause one child to break out in red bumps


Discontinued Mineral Sunscreens We’ve Reviewed

AllTerrain KidSport Spray SPF 30
Overall
3.7
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

DISCONTINUED (only available in cream now)

Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Price: 2019 price estimate: $$$$

EWG rating: 3

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (19%) *their website says “non-nano, uncoated” as does Amazon, but the EWG rates this product a “3” because of the zinc oxide size at “>100 nm” – ???

Antioxidants added: sunflower oil, grapefruit seed extract

Where to purchase: Amazon

Ease of application: + very thin so glides right on

Scent: neutral

Water resistant? Very promising – water really beaded up with this lotion, even after shaving with soap and water!

My experience: Just because it’s a spray, don’t expect the convenience of the old aerosol sprays from the chemical sunscreens. This bottle has a one squirt at a time cap, and it is quite thin and runny, so I don’t know that you’d want to put very much on before rubbing it in or it would be running all over the place.

To put on faces, we learned to squirt it right into our palms (because it runs through the fingers a bit) and use the other hand to dip and apply to the face.

Once you rub it in, it disappears completely and quickly, which is great. It’s a little greasy, but really not bad (and that comes in handy with the “water resistant” task). It’s completely transparent without rubbing the skin to death, so it’s actually very nice for faces because of that, in comparison with many zinc oxide based creams.

The unscented part means that it smells like plain lotion or fats, not all that attractive, but not terrible.

As for the ingredients, there are a few I had to look up to see what they were, which irks me. I’d rather everything be recognizable, but I think I’m willing to forgive the methylcellulose, rated zero at EWG with quite good data to go on, and maybe even caprylyl glycol, which is rated zero but with very limited data, only 20 studies. From jojoba oil to cucumber and sea kelp extract, the other ingredients seem very natural and well thought-out.

Star Feature: The spray definitely rations portions well since you can’t have an overzealous squirt and a full ounce comes out in your hand like a tube. Transparency cannot be underestimated here! Love that!

The only reason All Terrain is not in the “recommends” section is the price, mostly, and a tiny bit that I worry people wouldn’t use enough with the small squirt volume. It could easily pop back up there soon.

UPDATE 5/27/14: Oh no! After about 5-6 uses, we discovered that the squirt top gave out completely. I’d say it’s clogged in my non-expert opinion, and I couldn’t get it to start up again by fiddling with it. That’s a deal breaker in my book…and some reviews on Amazon cited the same problem.

All Terrain Kid Sport spray sunscreen sm

This is how thin All Terrain’s spray is…

Pros

  • Thin and transparent
  • Good water resistance

Cons

  • Unsure on whether zinc is non-nano
  • Cap breaks easily
  • So runny it can be hard to apply
Babytime! by Episencial
Overall
3.3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

2022: No longer available.

Babytime! by Episencial Sunscreen Review Price: 2020 price estimate: $$$$$$$$

EWG rating: 1

SPF: 35

Active ingredient(s): Titanium Dioxide (Sunscreen) (11%), Zinc Oxide (Sunscreen) (5.5%)

Other ingredients: Water (aqua), Caprylic Capric Triglycerides, Ethylhexyl (Octyl) Palmitate, (C12-C15) Alkyl Benzoate, Isopropyl Palmitate (Palm Oil), Cetearyl Alcohol (Plant Derived), Glycerin (Plant Derived), CetearylGlucoside, Acrylates Copolymer, Acrylates/C12-22 Alkylmethacrylate Copolymer, Glyceryl Stearate Se, Aloe Barbadensis (Aloe Vera) Flower Extract, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Xanthan Gum (Natural Thickener), Triethoxycaprylylsilane, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Isostearic Acid, Camellia Sinensis (Organic Green Tea) Extract, Carthamus Tinctorius (Organic Safflower) Seed Oil, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Extract, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Oil

Antioxidants added: avocado oil, green tea, sunflower extract

Where to purchase: Babytime USA, Amazon

Ease of application: – This cream really struggles to rub in, and despite my best efforts I can still see stark white. As I am attempting to rub it in, it feels like it’s drying before I can achieve my goal. We initially thought it went on very smooth, until I tried to put it on my own face. So maybe for very pale skin? We decided it looks more white than thinkbaby.

Scent: citrus-y yet somehow neutral

Water resistant? rated to 80 minutes

My experience: While it smells great and my children love that, and it’s not greasy at all, between the difficulty rubbing in and the high titanium dioxide and low zinc oxide percentage, this one has to be in a not-so-great category. We also saw it allow some burns on my children.

Pros

  • Great scent
  • Not greasy

Cons

  • Difficult to rub in
  • Allowed some burns

Liquid Aloha™ from A Wholesome Home™
Overall
4.8
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant
  • Effectiveness

Details:

Liquid Aloha SunscreenPrice: 2021 price estimate: $$$$


EWG rating: not in database


SPF: unrated, but I would guess 35+ based on experience


Active ingredient(s): Non-Nano Zinc Oxide


Other ingredients: Virgin Butyrospermum Parkii Shea Butter, Virgin Cocos Nucifera Coconut Oil, Helianthus Annuus Sunflower Oil, Cera Alba Beeswax, Vegetable Glycerin, Red Raspberry Seed Oil, Sunflower Lecithin, Lactobacillus Ferment Leucidal Liquid, AMTicide Coconut, Green Tea Extract, Vanilla Extract and Coconut Extract, Helichrysum Italicum Oil and Algae Source


Antioxidants added: green tea, red raspberry seed oil, sunflower oil and more


Where to purchase: A Wholesome Home’s Etsy Shop


Ease of application: + so smooth and creamy, and it rubs in very clear with less work than some of the other brands. It resulted in a slight sheen on my face a few times, but I never noticed that anywhere else. I often grabbed this tub especially for myself when we were running off somewhere. The only negative side I could even think of to list is that you might look a little shiny…that seems to be the trade-off if you’re not going to look white, you’ll be a little greasy or shiny. Scent: It smells nice, a bit earthy and not fruity at all, but it makes me feel crunchy and natural.


Water resistant? Adequate and more (but not listed officially on packaging)


My experience: I really love this little tub of “mineral skin protection” from a small home based business out of California. This brand was going to be in my top recommended category until I learned more about FDA regulations and realized it doesn’t have the drug facts box. That simply means that it is unregulated, which is why it is not titled a sunscreen officially.


I was intrigued to hear a friend testing out the sunscreens with us say, “I liked the feel but it made me nervous.” She felt that it looked a little too homemade, and perhaps she was on to something.


Star Feature: Easy application and “perfection” ingredients


My review: I’m bummed that this brand can’t be in the top tier because of FDA regs! However, if you trust my own testing, I will say that I used this one a lot in a lot of sun, and I even left one shoulder completely unprotected one day just to make sure it worked. I would vouch for its efficacy as my unprotected shoulder got quite pink, while the A Wholesome Home side remained perfectly unaffected. I would take this on vacation as my only lotion, which is a pretty good litmus test to know if something we’ve tested is very good! If you are looking for a very clear protection option, this gets a very high mark from me. And while you’re ordering, grab “Da Balm Diggity™” too, our new favorite balm for after sun care and pink cheeks!


UPDATE 6/25/21: The Wholesome Home Etsy shop hasn’t been open since December 2019, citing “growing pains.” We wish them the best and hope to see Liquid Aloha back in production!

Pros

  • Rubs in clear
  • Earthy scent
  • “Perfect” ingredient list

Cons

  • Not FDA regulated
  • Can look a little shiny

Trader Joe’s Mineral Sunscreen Stick (only!)
Overall
4.8
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Ease of Application
  • Water Resistant
  • Effectiveness

Details:

trader joe's mineral sunscreen stickPrice Range: $$$$$$$$

Where to Purchase: Trader Joe’s (no longer available online; uncertain about in stores) or Amazon

Very Important Note: Trader Joe’s also has a cream and a spray and BOTH are to be avoided. They are not mineral-based, but totally conventional. 🙁

SPF: 50

EWG Rating: not rated

Active Ingredient(s): 22% non-nano zinc oxide

Other Ingredients: Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Beeswax, Bisabolol, Butyrospermum Parkii (shea) Butter, Cocos Nucifera (coconut) Oil, Copernicia Cerifera (carnauba) Wax, Euphorbia Cerifera (candelilla) Wax, Octyldodecanol, Persea Gratissima (avocado) Oil, Theobroma Cacao (cocoa) Seed Butter, Tocopheryl Acetate.

Antioxidants Added: avocado oil, cocoa butter (I wish there were more though!)

Ease of Application: + You can see where it goes on but then it rubs in magnificently. Hard to believe this is SPF 50 and 22% zinc! See for yourself in this video on Facebook demonstrating 8 of the sticks in this review!

Scent: Incredibly neutral, perhaps a note of the cocoa butter. Mmmmm.

Water Resistant? rated 80 minutes

My Experience: No burns noted on this one and we love it!

Star Feature: compact size and smooth, clear rubbing in.

My Review: 
I grabbed this on a whim well in our local store, after assessing the ingredients and finding them to be completely satisfactory. It rubs in very well, albeit perhaps a bit greasy. Again, sometimes greasy or shiny is the trade-off if you don’t want to look white. I found myself grabbing it often throughout the summer, especially for children’s faces, because I knew I could trust it to go on so easily.

My husband also gave this stick high marks, saying that it went on well and didn’t allow him to burn.

This would be a great stick to pick up while in your local store, but I wouldn’t seek it out online or anything – simply because the other TJ’s products are NO good at all, and because the ingredients aren’t anything special — just nothing terrible either.

Pros

  • rubs in surprisingly well
  • compact size

Cons

  • a bit greasy

Adorable Baby Sunscreen
Overall
4.9
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant
  • Effectiveness

Details:

2022 UPDATE: Adorable Baby has been reformulated, and I haven’t tested the new formula.

This sunscreen has been rebranded – we tried and disliked Loving Naturals sunscreen as seen below. It has been discontinued, but the new “Adorable Baby” formula fared much better.

Adorable Baby SunscreenSPF: 30+

EWG Rating: 1

Active ingredient: zinc oxide (24.7%) uncoated/non-nano

Other ingredients: Grape Seed Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides (from Coconut Oil), Organic Beeswax, Organic Lavender Oil, Organic Cocoa Butter, Organic Shea Butter, Stearic Acid (from Palm Oil), Purified Water

Antioxidants added: sunflower oil

Where to purchase: Amazon, Loving Naturals site

Ease of applicationThis formula is so different from any others. Although it does have a very high percentage of zinc oxide, and it’s non nano-sized, it rubs in so perfectly clear and the lotion itself is tinted yellow like it’s made of olive oil, not like any other zinc lotion. It’s a bit shiny/greasy, but I will take that over a white sheen any day. It’s amazing how well this one rubs in!

Scent: almost neutral, beginning to smell like old oil after a winter ?

Water resistant? yes, beeswax works

My experience: Because it seems so clear, I wasn’t sure if it would be effective. Over multiple tests however, including in Florida, we had zero burn incidents. This brand may struggle to take in families with older children because of its name, but I would get over that quickly if I were you. I thought about all my reviewed options and think that Adorable Baby might be the best for non-white complexions, or Earthley if one did not worry about missing out on the zinc. The Original Review For the Old Formula:

Price: 2017 price estimate: ~$10-$12 (2.7 oz.) ~$14-$16 (5 oz.) ~$3-4/ounce

EWG rating: 1

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (24.8%), no nano particles

Other ingredients: Grape Seed Oil, Organic Sunflower Oil, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides (derived from Coconut Oil), Soy Wax (Non-GMO), Organic Olive Oil, Organic Plum Kernel Oil, Organic Sesame Oil, Candelilla Wax, Organic Hemp Seed Oil, Organic Macadamia Nut Oil, Organic Cocoa (Fair Trade), Organic Green Tea, Vitamin E Oil

Antioxidants added: Vitamin E, green tea

Where to purchase: Amazon, online retailers and some small stores

Ease of application: +/- rather thin and goes on white, separates in tube

Scent: smells like clay, not so pleasant

Water resistant? Not sure

My experience: UPDATE 2012: Although I love the ingredients and origins of Loving Naturals, my husband said I have to demote it. Once we got the larger bottle to test in late summer 2011, we realized that it goes on extremely pasty. He was appalled as to how white his face became and actually had to use soap to get it off before he would leave the bathroom. Now, months later, the sunscreen is so thick that I can’t really shake it up, but it has separated into a bit of liquid that needs to be incorporated back in. I no longer recommend! Original review: This was a small sample, so it had limited testing. It is a bit tinted, thus it doesn’t make people look quite so ghostly, but it’s still a bit tricky to rub in.

Star Feature: Very low EWG rating and reasonably priced, founded by parents and a responsibly-run company that discloses EVERY ingredient and source.

UPDATE 2011: Gluten-free! This is a big deal, as gluten-free sunscreens and sunblocks can be hard to find. I also have an appreciation for the emphasis on organic and non-GMO ingredients.

Pros

  • Rubs in clear
  • Clean ingredients
  • Gluten free

Cons

  • somewhat greasy
  • smelled strange after sitting for a while

Alba Botanical Very Emollient Mineral Protection Sunblock
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

DISCONTINUED (in this formulation)

Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Price: 2019 price estimate: $$$$

EWG rating: 2

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (12%), non nano, titanium dioxide (1%)

Other ingredients: Aqua (water), aloe barbadensis leaf juice, caprylic/capric triglyceride, dimethicone, ethylhexyl palmitate, sorbitan sesquioleate, glycerin, butyrospermum parkii (shea butter), helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, polyglyceryl-3 ricinoleate, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, calendula officinalis flower extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, magnesium sulfate, silica, sodium chloride, tocopheryl acetate, benzyl alcohol, …

Antioxidants added: Vitamin E, grapeseed oil

Where to purchase: Amazon

Ease of application: +/- Fairly standard for mineral sunblocks, separates slightly in the tube

Scent: Yum! (Aloe Vanilla scent)

Water resistant? Not sure, but it claims to be

My experience: The box arrived while I was finishing up this post! Alba Minerals is slightly tinted, so the pale-skinned look is reduced a bit. It went on well and the kids were excited (still!) to try a new sunscreen. “Just put it on half, Mom,” my son said when I opened the box. [I do have to say that Lucky Vitamins uses too much packaging for one little tube of sunscreen! Why such a big box?] In spite of the no. 2 rating, there is one ingredient rated at a 6. I’m not sure how to feel about this one! The price, on the other hand, is quite nice.

Star Feature: UPDATE: We enjoyed the Alba the rest of the summer, and it’s one of my son’s ultimate favorites because it smells so good. However, I let it freeze in the van during the winter, killing any further testing. Sorry about that! For a sunscreen you might be able to find in a regular store, this is an excellent frugal option. No parabens.

Pros

  • Low priced option
  • Great scent

Cons

  • One ingredient rated a 6 by EWG
  • Some separation in tube

Marie Veronique Organics Safe Screen

Details:

DISCONTINUED
Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Price: 2019 price estimate: $$$$

EWG rating: 1

SPF: 25+

Active ingredient(s): non-nano zinc oxide (20%)

Other ingredients: Camellia sinensis (green tea) infusion, Simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) oil, Prunus Armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, Limnanthes alba (meadowfoam) seed oil, Helianthus annuus (sunflower) oil, vegetable glycerin, Rubus idaeus (red raspberry) seed oil, mixed tocopherols, non-GMO sunflower lecithin phospholipids, potassium polysorbate, allantoin, xanthan gum, mica, Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) oil, Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) oleoresin, Rosa rubiginosa (rosehip) seed oil, polyaminopropyl biguanide, leuconostoc/radish root ferment filtrate, pearl powder, iron oxides. Essential oils: Daucus carota (carrot) seed, Cistus ladanifer (cistus), Helichrysum italicum (helichrysum)

Antioxidants added: Vitamin E, green and white tea and more

Where to purchase: Marie Veronique online

Ease of application: +/- rubs in with some difficulty

Scent: an odd cross between makeup-y and woodsy, maybe floral. Light scent.

Water resistant? At first I thought it didn’t seem water resistant at all, perhaps because the bottle doesn’t claim to be. It does bead up water a little bit, however. I wouldn’t expect it to stay on very long, though.

My experience: Although the ingredients are nice, I have too many reservations about the container with this one. It’s metal and a squirt top, but you still have to rub in the lotion, and it it ever gets clogged, there’s no way to squeeze out the remaining product.

Star Feature: For some, a squirt top is a great enough feature!

Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Additional product note: I received a few samples of MV’s facial line, a tinted moisturizing cream with SPF. I admit I’ve used it as foundation a number of times, and I’m pretty happy with it. It becomes nicely matte and rubs in well. So if you’re looking for makeup…keep Marie on the short list! (The “light” is very, very light, not for suntanned faces.)

Pros

  • Non-nano zinc oxide
  • Many antioxidants and great ingredients

Cons

  • Difficult to rub in
  • Not very water resistant
  • Squirt top presents issues

Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Green Tea Protective Sunscreen

Details:

DISCONTINUED
Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Price: 2017 price estimate: ~$5-$7 (4 oz.) less than ~$1.50-$2/ounce
EWG rating: 3
SPF: 25
Active ingredient(s): Padimate O (PABA ester) (8%), titanium dioxide (10%)
Antioxidants added: Vitamin E and C, green tea
Ease of application: – Very thick and goopy, a bit greasy but spreads well( see photo below)
Scent: excellent; my son LOVES this one
Water resistant? Yes, visible barrier against water
My experience: The texture is a bit like clay and very thick, and the cream does separate in the tube, which makes it harder to apply. Although my son would choose it every time based solely on scent, I’m not so sure about the ingredients and would choose one of the other sunblocks first every time. The price, however, is nice.
Katie’s thoughts: Rated at 3, although Padimate O (PABA ester) is listed as one of EWG’s three FDA-approved sunscreen ingredients that have “highest concern for human exposure and toxicity.” The ingredient independently is rated a “5” in safety. I don’t understand why I’d want to use this option when others are available, unless I was allergic to zinc oxide.


ECO Logical Skin Care: Baby, Body and Face Sunblocks

Details:

DISCONTINUED
HUGE Natural Sunscreen Review (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Price: 2017 price estimate: ~$13-$15 (1.8 oz. face) OR ~$13-$18 (3.5 oz. baby) OR ~$19-21 (5.3 oz. body)
EWG rating: 1 for all formulas (listed under “eco skin care” not “eco logical”)
SPF: 30+
Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (22%) non-nano
Antioxidants added: green tea extract and grape seed oil
Ease of application: + Our whole family really likes this product and how well it goes on. It’s very thick, which is actually kind of nice, but it rubs in quite nicely.
Scent: fairly neutral, although son doesn’t love it, probably because it has no added fragrances.
Water resistant? Yes! Water beads up visibly so nicely, and it definitely stays on a long time in the water.
My experience: When I emailed ECO logical to ask for a sample for summer 2011, they replied “hold the presses!” They assured me I would love the product. Skeptical of such claims, of course, I was still happy to have a company work with me so readily. Well. ECO logical is by far my favorite brand of this summer’s field. The baby version seems expensive in comparison, so I’d go with the “body” for everyone myself. I highly recommend ECO. UPDATE 2012: I learned why the baby version is more expensive – there are 3 pricey ingredients added: avocado and carrot oils for the delicate infant skin, and frankincense, a natural skin antiseptic. Some moms even use the baby Eco on diaper rashes.
Star Feature: the company is very committed to education, community, sustainability – ECO stands for “Environmentally Conscious Origins.” Plus, their product is great! UPDATE 2012: “ECO was named the exclusive sunscreen of The Surfrider Foundation (surfrider.org) a globally recognized advocate for marine and beach ecology (over 50,000 members worldwide!). We believe so strongly in their mission that we’ve pledged to donate up to 3% of our net revenues to support them.” Wow, I’m liking this company more and more!


Radiantly You All Natural Sunscreen

Details:

Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.

Price: 2017 price estimate: ~$19.50 (8 oz.) ~$2.43/ounce
EWG rating: not rated
SPF: 25-30
Active ingredient(s): non-nano zinc oxide
Antioxidants added: raspberry seed oil, jojoba oil
Where to purchase: Holly Lomelino
Ease of application: +/- VERY thick, but rubs in fairly well and nearly clear
Scent: yummy, tropical maybe?
Water resistant? Promising – some beading up in water
My experience: We had no burning with this one in Florida but one minor burn on the same busy kid Butterbean burned on at the pool (Radiantly You might have been a bit worse). Whether that speaks to its efficacy, water resistance failure or simply too long in the sun with too much water, I can’t say.

Overall we’d give it a B+ on “rubbing in” and the ingredients and scent are fantastic.

However, after a few months in storage the RY lotion was chunky and gritty. It still rubbed in okay but didn’t look great. Sometimes the uber-natural products get that way because they don’t use synthetic emulsifiers, but it looks kind of gross.

Star Feature: Fantastically clean ingredients and a nearly clear rub-in make this a good option, and the price makes it great!


Ava Anderson Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30

Details:

Natural Sunscreen Review: Best All Natural, Safe Zinc Oxide Sun Protection
Price: 2019 price estimate: $$$$$$$$
EWG rating: 1
SPF: 30
Active ingredient(s): non-nano zinc oxide (23%)
Antioxidants added: olive oil, cocoa butter, jojoba oil
Where to purchase: Lisa Jousma’s Ava Anderson store (Link no longer available)
Ease of application: + exactly the consistency you’d imagine with a conventional lotion, although a little thin after a few months in storage. Takes some rubbing to avoid the Casper look, but doable. Seems like a little goes a long way.
Scent: fairly neutral
Water resistant? Maybe? Doesn’t seem to bead up like other lotions, but we had no burns after lots of swimming. The beeswax should contribute some water resistance.
My experience: A little whiteness on the skin is par for the course for well-made zinc creams, so it’s just to be expected. Ava’s tube quickly became a go-to choice because it was easy to squirt and apply to children, and we had zero sunburns with it on a Florida trip with lots of pool time.

It’s a bit shiny after a while, and on one test subject, we noticed the cream building up to a white stripe in the inner elbow. That may mean that it’s water resistant enough to stay on and show up later or that it scootches around on the skin a bit – good or bad?

After storage, the cream definitely separated, but it wasn’t difficult to squeeze it back into a nice lotion. (The tube does say “knead well before using” – shaking doesn’t cut it.)

Star Feature: Ease of application is important, and the super simple 100% recognizable ingredients from an up-standing company make me happy.

Ava Anderson closed her doors, and the company was supposedly bought out by Pure Haven Essentials. See my review of their new formula.


Neutral Skin & Hair Mineral Sunscreen

Details:

Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Price: 2017 price estimate: ~$12-17 (8 oz.) ~$1.50-2.50/ounce
EWG rating: not rated
SPF: 33
Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (25%), non nano
Antioxidants added: ?
Where to purchase: Amazon
Ease of application: +/- Average for zinc-based sunblocks

Scent: neutral
Water resistant? Likely. Plenty of beading up of water.
My experience: Neutral created a nice, thick lotion that is nearly very easy to rub in, just takes a little effort. If it’s greasy at all, you’ll barely notice.

In a lot of ways, there’s nothing remarkable about this lotion…which actually turns out to be a good thing. It doesn’t smell bad, it rubs in fine, it stays on in water, and it doesn’t do anything weird. Nothing much to report is great in this case!

As for ingredients, the list is very short, which is good and bad. There are two inactive ingredients that are totally natural: coconut oil and beeswax. Then there are 3 that made me research what they are:
* Polyhydroxystearic acid (widely used in conventional cosmetics, no data at EWG, but it has not been detected in human tissue or urine, although it’s unclear if testing has been done or just limited data. Source)
* Triethoxycaprylylsilane (no data at EWG)
* C12-C15 alkyl benzoate (rated 1 at EWG, very safe, but based on limited data. That data say it’s likely not a concern to the environment or human health.)

So that’s a little less natural than I’d prefer, and I’m unsure about there being no antioxidants added that I can tell, but overall, I think this brand did a nice job formulating and is in the running for sure.

Star Feature: Huge size in the field for a tiny price! This one is a great budget option. I would use it on my kids hands down.

The ONLY reason this product is not in the “recommends” section is because I’m unsure of the antioxidant ingredient(s). It’s so close, a month of good experience with it or a breath might push it back up there.


Soleo Organics All Natural Sunscreen

Details:

Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Price: 2017 price estimate: ~$13-$15 (1.4 oz.), ~$19-$21 (2.8 oz.), ~$31-$33 (5.3 oz.) ~$6-7.50/ounce
EWG rating: 1 (old formulation; not rated for anything newer)

SPF: 30+
Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (22.3%)
Other ingredients: Vitis vinifera Seed Oil (Grapeseed), Helianthus Annus Seed Oil (sunflower), Capric/caprylic triglyceride, Vegetable oils, Candelilla cera, Cera alba (Beeswax), Macadamia ternifolia Seed Oil, Theobroma grandiflorum Seed Butter, Camillia sinensis Leaf Extract (Green Tea), Anthemis nobilis Flower Extract (Roman Chamomile), Lecithin, Carthamus tinctorius Seed Oil (Safflower), Cucumis sativus Fruit extract (Cucumber), Tocopheryl Acetate
Antioxidants added: green tea extract, Vitamin E
Where to purchase: Acacia Organics, Amazon, online retailers
Ease of application: + Creamy like a conventional sunscreen, rubbed in fairly well
Scent: neutral
Water resistant? very
My experience: My husband had a little burning on the side opposite Soleo with another SPF 30 sunblock, so we’re very pleased with its effectiveness. My son wore it in and out of the water, through toweling off and eating dinner, and then 3 full hours after the first application we could still see the water beading up on his arms when he jumped back in the lake. Impressive! If sustainably sourced, organic ingredients are very important to you, the price premium may be worth it.

UPDATE: Strange, but after a year, the tube smells a little rancid. It also separated in the tube after a year in storage so much so that I couldn’t possibly knead it enough or shake it to get the product to be usable. Pure liquid oil kept coming out the dispenser opening. Since the product doesn’t seem to be able to last more than one season, I rescind my previous good recommendation.
Star Feature: Packaging and container made from 100% recyclable material. Ingredients 100% natural, organic, environmentally safe. Water resistant up to 3 hours. Plus, the rating is a ONE. That’s awesome.


SVO Sport UV Lotion (formerly Sea Val)

Details:

Sun VibesPrice: 2017 price estimate: ~$19-$20 (4 oz.) ~5/ounce
EWG rating: not rated
SPF: 30
Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide, non nano
Antioxidants added: Vitamin E
Where to purchase:Sea-Val
Ease of application: + rubs in well, slightly greasy though
Scent: neutral
Water resistant? Most likely!
My experience: I just got this tub this spring so I haven’t had many opportunities to use it. It reminds me a lot of both the Scratch Mommy/Pronounce tub and the Butterbean tub (the old version). The ingredients are very pure and it doesn’t do a Casper the Friendly Ghost look (unless the 4yo is left to his own devices to rub it in…and choose his quantity). #oops

The consistency is very thick and greasy, but it does rub in OK as long as you take the time to rub it in. If the toddler is trying to run away the whole time, you end up with Streaky-McPhee. 😉

We did have some question on this one about efficacy – in a side-by-side test, we felt that the skin was slightly more pink on this side. But it was only one test! Inconclusive evidence.

Note that the packaging and title of the product I linked to are actually very different from the sample I have, which is in a metal container. But it’s the website on the container, and the ingredients are exactly the same, in the same order.

Star Feature: I can tell the ingredients are each specifically well-chosen!


Glacier Creme Tropical

Details:

DISCONTINUED
Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Price: 2017 price estimate: ~$18-$20 (4 oz.) ~$4-$4.50/ounce
EWG rating: *not rated*
SPF: 20
Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (10%),
Antioxidants added: White and green tea extract
Ease of application: + goes on smoothly
Scent: neutral
Water resistant? Tough to say. There’s no beading up with this product, nor does it scratch off the skin after a few minutes in the water. However, my husband didn’t burn after swimming.
My experience: We like this sunscreen and are happy it doesn’t have chemical sunscreens in it, but the list of ingredients still has so many unpronounceable items on it that with all the other choices, it doesn’t seem worth our time. At least it doesn’t have parabens or fragrances to worry about.
Star Feature: If a clear finish is important to you, this product will give you what you want. The SPF is only 20, though, and it does act differently from other SPF 30s.


Sweetsation Therapy Sun*Si'Belle Organic Triple Action Moisturizer

Details:

DISCONTINUED
(and Sun ‘n’ Fun Organic Baby)
Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply. Price: 2017 price estimate: ~$47-$49 (3.5 oz.) ~$21-$23 (3.5 oz. – baby) ~$6-14/ounce
EWG rating: 2
SPF: 30+
Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (6.5%), titanium dioxide (2.5%)
Antioxidants added: Vitamin E and more
Where to purchase: online retailers
Ease of application: Very simple, creamy and brown (baby)
Scent: Mmmm, smells like chocolate! (baby); smells flowery and almost powdery, definitely a female scent (sunsi’belle)
Water resistant? Not sure
My experience: I just had a little sample of these two options, so I admit I didn’t test it as thoroughly as some of the others. The scents are fabulous and they’re very creamy and easy to apply. They rub in well and form a visible barrier, and no one who used it got burned. My sister-in-law liked it a lot! For our family, the high cost would be a bit prohibitive, however.
Star Feature: Sun*Si’Belle helps prevent skin breakouts on face, and who can argue with a product that smells like chocolate? 🙂


Annmarie Skin Care
Annmarie Skin Care Sun Love Sunscreen

Product Name: Sun Love - Natural Sunscreen

Product Description:

{NOTE} This sunscreen is currently out of stock and is being reformulated. I hope when the new formula is released it's as great as it was when I tried it in 2018!

SPF: 20

EWG rating: 1-2

Active ingredient: Zinc oxide (15%)

Other ingredients: *Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, *Cera alba (beeswax), *Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil, *Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, *Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, Mineral oxides [Titanium dioxide, Mica, Iron oxide, Yellow iron oxide, Brown iron oxide, Zinc oxide], CO2 extract [Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn berry)], *Mauritia flexuosa (buriti) fruit oil, Essential oils [*Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Theobroma cacao (cacao absolute)]. *Organically grown or wildcrafted

Brand: Annmarie Skin Care

Availability: SoldOut

Overall
4.3
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Ease of Application
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Annmarie Skin Care Sun Love SunscreenPrice Range: $$$$

Where to purchase: Amazon or Annmarie Gianni

NOTE: This sunscreen is currently out of stock and is being reformulated. I hope when the new formula is released it’s as great as it was when I tried it in 2018!

SPF: 20

EWG Rating: 1-2

Active Ingredient: Zinc oxide (15%)

Other Ingredients: *Helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, *Cera alba (beeswax), *Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin) seed oil, *Cannabis sativa (hemp) seed oil, *Olea europaea (olive) fruit oil, Mineral oxides [Titanium dioxide, Mica, Iron oxide, Yellow iron oxide, Brown iron oxide, Zinc oxide], CO2 extract [Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn berry)], *Mauritia flexuosa (buriti) fruit oil, Essential oils [*Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Theobroma cacao (cacao absolute)]. *Organically grown or wildcrafted

My Experience:

I had the opportunity to try Annmarie Skincare’s sunscreen near the end of the summer 2018. I know the company has a deep commitment to quality ingredients, no synthetics, because I met the owner and her husband. They are very genuine people and were frustrated that Hint sunscreen, with 100% chemical actives, was being spotlighted at a supposedly natural health conference we were both at.

The company’s mission is to help you obtain and keep beautiful skin, and it’s very pricey so this is definitely not a sunscreen to buy to slather all over the whole family. But as a facial sunscreen, it has just vaulted itself into my absolute top spot. This tinted lotion goes on so light, it’s like no other tinted formula I’ve tried!! Honest. Wild. Beautiful. It smells lovely, a bit earthy and herbally, and while it provides great coverage, you can hardly see it. It goes on so smoothly! While you are ordering, grab the facial wash too – the peppermint scent is such a happy pick-me-up. 🙂

Pros

  • smells incredible
  • goes on smooth
  • quality ingredients

Cons

  • pricey

Max & Madeleine Sun Stick

Details:

DISCONTINUED

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!


Bare Belly Organics SPF 30 Tub, SPF 34 Body Stick, SPF 34 Face Stick
Overall
3.8
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant
  • Effectiveness

Details:

2020 Update: DISCONTINUED

bare belly organics natural sunscreen reviewPrice: 2019 price estimate: $$$$ (stick and tub) $$$$ (face stick)

EWG rating: 1

SPF: 30-34

Active ingredient(s): non-nano uncoated zinc oxide (15-25%)

Antioxidants added: Vitamin E

Other ingredients: Organic Shea Butter, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sesame Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Avocado Oil, Organic Beeswax – the same in both tub and stick – must just be more beeswax in the stick??

Where to purchase: Amazon: body stick, set of all 3

Ease of application: +/- Average for zinc-based sunblocks – tubs are always very easy to apply quickly, and we love sticks for faces (BUT I read and would agree that people using sticks tend to not apply a thick enough layer on their body – it just takes too long!)

Scent: neutral, almost unpleasant

Water resistant? Probably with the beeswax, more testing needed.

My experience: The tub arrived very gritty and often separated a lot. I could shake it but did not go “all in” and just stir it. So it’s ok. It unfortunately has a track record of allowing some light burns, so although I love the ingredients, I can’t put it up in the “recommends” list. If you don’t have very light skin, this still might be a good choice.

The stick actually protected an arm for 6 hours at a picnic better than another brand at SPF 32, but because of the typical not-applying-enough problem, I don’t recommend sticks for body use. The face stick is just too expensive per ounce! I would use the body stick on faces personally and highly recommend that.

Pros

  • Super clean, organic ingredients

Cons

  • Gritty texture to tub
  • Allowed burns
  • Almost unpleasant scent

Miessence Organics Reflect Outdoor Balm
Overall
4
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant
  • Effectiveness

Details:

2021 UPDATE: DISCONTINUED

Over SIXTY Natural Sunscreen Reviews (updated every year) - Which One is Right For You? Find the very safest that won't make you look like Casper the Friendly Ghost or be super annoying to apply.Price: 2020 price estimate: ~ $$$$

EWG rating: 1 or 2 (old formula, not updated yet)

SPF: 15, but independently rated at 29.5 Not sure about that – can’t find SPF rating anymore! Australian product

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (used to be 29.5% but percentage not listed anymore)

Antioxidants added: natural vitamin E, carrot seed and rosemary extracts

Other ingredients: organic olea europae (olive) fruit oil, organic butyrospermum parkii (shea) fruit butter, organic unrefined cera alba (beeswax), mixed tocopherols (natural Vitamin E), organic copernicia prunifera (carnauba) wax, natural coconut extract, parfum (proprietary blend of botanical extracts), organic simmondsia chinensis (jojoba) seed oil, organic rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, daucus carota (carrot) seed extract.

Where to purchase: Miessence Store

Ease of application: +/- This product is very thick and pasty (see photo up in description of review), but does it ever stay on when wet!

Scent: smells like clay, neutral

Water resistant? Very!

My experience: Although the product is difficult to rub in, you get rewards in water resistance. All my husband’s friends were impressed with how it held up as they sweated playing volleyball (see photo below). We had some incidences of light sunburns with the product, but usually only after towel drying and forgetting to reapply (lesson learned!). It also made clear white streaks around the burn on my sister-in-law when she applied it unevenly, so that’s a pretty clear indication that it works to protect from the sun. I’m a fan of the product overall, and if organic and sustainable ingredients are important to you, Miessence is a great option.

Star Feature: Super certified ingredients, carbon neutral and other community-minded goals.

Natural Sunscreen Review: Best All Natural, Safe Zinc Oxide Sun Protection

It’s almost hard to believe how well Miessence repels water. The product was applied on skin already wet with sweat, and the photo was taken after about a half an hour, obviously after more sweating.

Pros

  • SUPER water resistant

Cons

  • thick and pasty
  • hard to rub in

Bare Market SheaScreen
Overall
4
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Price: 2020 price estimate: $$$$

EWG rating: unrated

SPF: ~30

Active ingredient(s): non-nano zinc oxide

Antioxidants added: [this is the full inactive ingredients list since it’s not always on the website] Beeswax, Shea Butter, Coconut oil, Avocado oil, Vitamin E, Aloe Vera, and Pure Lavender Essential oil

Where to purchase: Bare Market (only sold May-October)

Ease of application: + exactly the consistency you’d imagine with a conventional lotion, very creamy, rubs in great.

Scent: definitely lavender

Water resistant? Maybe? Doesn’t seem to bead up like other lotions, and I only had a small sample so I’m not sure what it does with heavy swimming. The beeswax should contribute some water resistance.

My experience: I was the only one in the family to test it out because of the small sample size, but I was very happy with the consistency and feel of it. The SheaScreen rubs in nicely, perhaps a tiny bit whiter and shinier than Ava Anderson in a side-by-side test.

I did save some to store six months, and there was no separation at all. It’s still very creamy and a lovely texture.

Star Feature: Made my two moms who really care about their kids’ skin – and yours! The creaminess, rub-ability and most of all, the great price make SheaScreen a super find. The only reason it’s not on the “recommends” list officially is because I’m a little unsure of the zinc percentage and sourcing and we couldn’t run it through as rigorous of testing as I’d like.

Pros

  • Conventional feel in application
  • Small company with good ingredients
  • Lavender scent

Cons

  • Not sure on water resistance

Beyond Coastal Natural Sunscreen
Overall
2.3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Beyond Coastal Natural Sunscreen Review Price: 2020 price estimate: $$$$

EWG rating: 3

SPF: 30

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (6%), non-nano, titanium dioxide (5%)

Other ingredients: Larch Tree Extract, Algae Extract, Natural Vitamin E, Grape Seed Extract, Cocoa Seed Butter, Vitamin C, Comfrey Plant Extract, Coconut Oil, Aloe Vera, Shea Butter, Jojoba Seed Oil, Rose Hip Oil, Deionized Water, Glycerin

Antioxidants added: Vitamin E and C, green tea leaf extract, alpha lipoic acid, grape seed extract

Where to purchase: Amazon, online retailers

Ease of application: – Sticky and thick, almost like toothpaste (see photo below), extremely hard to rub in

Scent: neutral

Water resistant? Maybe?

My experience: This one turns my arm hair white! I’m surprised that the percentage of zinc is less than some of the others because it is so thick and white. You definitely feel protected with this one. It doesn’t release any oils into the water, but it also doesn’t bead up as much as some of the others, so I’m not sure if it feels “water resistant.” One company spokesperson said it passed their “kitty litter test” and doesn’t clump up and make sand stick to your skin.

Note: Beyond Coastal also sells active sunscreens with chemical ingredients, but they are some of the safest chemical sunscreens available as well.

Star Feature: Green initiatives, U.S. made, family-friendly company.

2020 Update: It appears Beyond Coastal reformulated in 2019, and we have not yet tried the new formulation. It did get bumped down from 3 to 2 by the EWG. There is also a Face & Lip tin which, while still having titanium dioxide, has only super clean ingredients otherwise.

Pros

  • Lots of antioxidants
  • U.S., family-friendly company

Cons

  • Extremely hard to apply
  • Higher EWG rating

Dolphin Organics DO Naturals SPF 32 cream, SPF 50 cream
Overall
1.7
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

dolphin organics sunscreen reviewPrice: 2020 price estimate: $$$$

EWG rating: 2 (on old formulation, no new one available)

SPF: 32 or 50

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (6-23%), titanium dioxide (6%) non nano

Antioxidants added: green tea extract, Vitamin E

Other ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Vera Gel) JuiceAqua (Deionized Water)Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin-C)Avena Sativa (Oat) Betaglucan Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Oleosomes Cetearyl Olivate Citric Acid Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil Glycerin Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil Lactic Acid Macadamia Ternifolia (Macadamia Nut) Oil Mangifera Indica (Mango) Seed Butter Prunus Amygdalus Dulcis (Sweet Almond) OilSimmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed OilSorbitan Olivate Theobroma Cacao (Coca Butter)Tocopherol (Vitamin E) Xanthan Gum

Where to purchase: Amazon

Ease of application: – Yikes! Never went on well after the first use!

Scent: light, sunscreen-y scent, pleasant

Water resistant? maybe not…

My experience: Oy, this product did not perform well! We had more minor sunburns with DO than any other product reviewed in 2017, and I repeatedly wrote down that a 30 or even in the 20s SPF of other brands protected one side while the DO allowed a burn. Sometimes water wasn’t even involved, so I can’t just point fingers at the potential non-water resistance.

As far as putting it on, the very first time, we were happy. “A little goes a long way,” like the bottle instructions said.

Then one week later, it was drying before we could rub it in and could never get it to behave on faces. It was very separated, and since it’s not made with water it must have been oil on top squirting out first, and I could not shake/squeeze the tubes enough to get it emulsified again.

Want to SEE how hard it really is to rub in? Check this out on Facebook.

Here’s a video showing how tough it is to rub in on the face – I promise I am actually applying pressure here!

Pros

  • Pleasant scent

Cons

  • Nearly impossible to rub in
  • Separated in tube and would not emulsify after one use
  • Allowed burns repeatedly

True Natural Neutral SPF 50 Sunscreen
Overall
2
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

Other ingredients: Aqua (Deionized Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (Green Tea) Extract, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Oil, Glycerin, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Sunflower Lecithin, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Oil, Tocopherol (Vitamin-E), Xanthan Gum,* indicates Certified Organic Ingredients, ** for natural essential oils

Antioxidants added: green tea extract, sunflower seed oil, Vitamin E, jojoba oil

Where to purchase: Amazon, True Natural site

Ease of application: – yikes. We described it as “like paint drying” because after a few seconds, you can’t rub it any further as it dries and rolls up into little gooey balls. Almost impossible to rub in, but even if you act fast, you still get “Casper” whiteness.

Scent: pleasant, tropical sunscreen-y

Water resistant? Moves around when wet

My experience: This brand was highly rated by others (on its own website) and won some awards, but it was just a disaster in reality.

It’s very thin and you’d think it would be easy to rub in, but then it pulls the strange “paint drying” trick. It’s even worse if the skin is at all damp with sweat or pool water. One of the worst applications we’ve ever experienced, and some of the reviews on Amazon reflect that as well.

After that, there’s really nothing more to say…other than that it’s pretty expensive to boot! 🙁

Star Feature: None worth sharing…

Pros

  • EWG rating of 1

Cons

  • Impossible to apply with Casper whiteness
  • Moves around when wet

Sunology: Face, Body & Kids
Overall
3
  • Ease of Application
  • Clean Ingredients
  • Water Resistant

Details:

sunology tube kidsPrice: 2020 price estimate: $$$$

EWG rating: 1

SPF: 50

Active ingredient(s): zinc oxide (10%), titanium dioxide (7.5%) I’d guess at least micronized zinc as the website describes its technology as “micro mirrors”

Other ingredients: Aluminum Hydroxide, BIS-PEG-12 Dimethicone Candelillate, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, C18-38 Alkyl Hydroxystearol Stearate, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Feruloyl Soy Glycerides, Glyceryl Isostearate, Glycine Soja (Soybean) oil, Hydrated Silica, Hydrogen Dimethicone, Moringa Oleifera Seed oil, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Propylene Carbonate, Quaternium-18 Hectorite, Tocopherol.

Antioxidants added: Ferulic acid, apparently…!

Where to purchase: Sunology and Amazon

Ease of application: +/- Average for zinc-based sunblocks

Scent: slightly unpleasant

Water resistant? rated to 80 minutes

My experience: Before even opening them, here’s what I notice:

  • All 3 types (face, body, kids) have exactly the same ingredients in exactly the same order. They might use slightly different amounts, I suppose, but it seems fishy to me.
  • All the ingredients are chemical sounding. None set off alarms in my head, but they’re not the epitome of “from natural sources” or whatever the box says.
  • Its star ingredient, Ferulic acid, is derived from soybeans. Again, not exactly a star performer in the real natural living world. Bah.

When you start reading all the ingredients, take into account that I don’t like titanium dioxide anyway, and look at the expensive price…it’s just not worth writing any more about this brand.

Pros

  • EWG rating of 1

Cons

  • Soy ingredients
  • Slightly unpleasant scent
  • Uses titanium dioxide

If you’re shopping for the very best in natural mineral sunscreen, be sure to check out my list of top recommended zinc oxide based sunscreen reviews.

Have you tried any of these brands or formulas? Did you have a different experience than I did?
Suncreen Reviews: Zinc Oxide Sunscreens Other People Love, But I Don't

I’m well known for honest, thorough product reviews…

reviewed and recommended
 

…and you can always tell a real family has run these products through the gauntlet.

When I review a type of item, I try to review a LOT of different brands! From over a dozen reusable sandwich bags to over 120 natural mineral sunscreens, I’m your girl for straight-up info about natural, real foodie items you’re considering buying.

Click here to see more product reviews and you’ll also love my resources page, with REAL products that have passed my rigorous testing enough to be “regulars” in the Kimball household, plus some other comprehensive reviews. Updated at least once a year to boot the losers and add new gems!

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

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