I tried to buy some sunscreen from my local drugstore yesterday, assuming that there would be at least one or two that I consider safe for me and my family, however there was not one that I would put on my skin, let alone my son’s! I want to share my quick checklist when reading sunscreen labels.
First the active ingredient: (These are the 4 most common.)
Good: Zinc Oxide
OK: Titanium Oxide
(Note: Check these are not in nanoparticle form, it may say on the label, if not ask! Nanoparticles get absorbed into the skin which we do not want.)
Not great: Avobenzone
VERY BAD: Oxybenzone Scary stuff! (check out here to see why)
Once you have got a good active ingredient check the rest of the ingredients. I look for the shortest list and all names I recognize. If in doubt use this checker.
My favourite brands are: Badger, Goddess Garden, Aubrey and Biovera, and my best of the best is Schmidts which I found in Portland, Oregon and is available on Etsy. All these use Zinc Oxide as the active ingredient which means they are “whiter” than other sunscreens (unless it is nano-sized zinc which is not good). If you want to use a safer sunscreen you are going to have to get used to something “whiter”, have a play with the testers in the store and see how you get on. I like the Schmidt’s sunscreen best as it’s “whiteness” and texture are great.
My much loved Schmidt’s!
I am currently testing a Helena Lane Skincare Sunscreen, which (I think!) will be the greatest of all! Look out for it next year.