Summertime is almost here, which means it’s time to prep for the beach, pool, and sun! Also, now that we’ve moved to San Diego, we’ve also been hiking and enjoying the outdoors every chance we get.
The older we get, the more we realize how important it is to protect your skin from the sun. Who wants premature aging, right? Last year, we did a post of the 10 best and worst sunscreens and were surprised to learn that many of the most toxic sunscreens are the big store brands. It’s important to know what you’re putting in and on your body, so we’ve been slowly but surely swapping out our existing products.
We tested and reviewed the most popular safe sunscreens according to EWG to see how they fared for us. There are a ton of guides out there already telling you about the ingredients and why each one is good for you, so we focused on our own pros and cons for each sunscreen.
Pros: Unscented and absorbs well.
Cons: Feels more oily and leaves you shinier than the others. It’s fine on your body, but I would never put it on my face.
Pros: Feels dry and is very water-resistant. We like the thick, creamy consistency.
Cons: Leaves you looking the most pasty out of all the sunscreens we tried. Zinc sunscreens are great, because they’re natural, but they never absorb into the skin and leave a visible layer.
Pros: This one has a nice, light scent. It absorbs well, feels dry, and I don’t notice it on.
Cons: I prefer my sunscreens less watery and slightly thicker in consistency.
Pros: They have nice packaging and all their ingredients are coral reef safe.
Cons: This one feels grainy like it has exfoliants inside. It’s unscented, but still has that sunblock smell. It feels a bit oily and it does lighten your skin, so it might not be the best if you’re tan.
5. Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Body, SPF 30 (Jacob’s Top Pick)
Pros: This sunscreen has a thicker consistency with a citrus smell. It rubs on dry and absorbs well.
Con: Esther doesn’t like the scent as much.
6. Juice Beauty Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30 (Esther’s Top Pick)
Pros: Has a light herbal / citrusy aroma, this sunscreen rubs in well and doesn’t feel oily or greasy.
Con: It’s not as waterproof as the others.
7. Raw Elements Water Resistant Sunscreen, SPF 30 – Most Waterproof
Pros: Has a creamier consistency that we like. It is the most effective at being waterproof and was hard to wash off.
Cons: Leaves you a little pasty. There’s a strong aroma that is kind of mix between tea and weed (it has hemp oil), but it goes away after a while. It does not leave you feeling dry.
Pro: It’s unscented and is very waterproof.
Con: We had issues with the consistency of this one. The ingredients seemed to separate in the bottle, and it was hard to mix together again. It was a pasty consistency and feels like glue from a gluestick when applied.
Pros: It’s waterproof and very effective.
Cons: Similar to the sunscreen, this one feels sticky and has issues with its consistency.
Pros: This smells like fruity lip balm, applies on in a thin layer, and doesn’t leave you feeling oily.
Cons: The sticks feel stickier and more uncomfortable than the lotions.
Pros: This doesn’t leave you pasty and applies thinly. Good for ears, face, and other sensitive areas.
Cons: Smells like cheap lipstick.
Pros: This one absorbs well and feels dry.
Cons: Smells a little like weed, and the tint has too much of a reddish tone that doesn’t work with our Asian skin tones.
Similar to above but without the tint.
5 Tips to Help You Pick Sunscreens:
- Don’t trust sky-high SPF claims. EWG (Environmental Working Group) recommends that you avoid anything higher than SPF 50 and that you should reapply sunscreen often.
- Avoid oxybenzone. It messes with your hormones and could trigger allergic reactions.
- Don’t try killing two birds with one stone (or lotion). Avoid combined sunscreen and bug repellant products. You don’t need to reapply bug repellant as often so this helps you avoid unsafe levels of chemicals.
- Use creams, not sprays, powders, or wipes. Sprays and powders pose an inhalation risk, while wipes don’t necessarily transfer to your skin. Also, it’s hard to tell if you have full coverage.
- Your makeup is NOT an effective sunscreen. Although more products are adding sunscreen ingredients, they are not effective. This is also true with moisturizers and body lotions.
Any others we need to check out?
What’s the current sunscreen you’re using?
We received these products free of charge to facilitate this review. All opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the awesome brands that make local adventures possible.