With Memorial Day Weekend right around the corner, it’s time to start looking forward to a little fun in the sun. But if you’ve ever woken up with burning, itchy skin after that sun-filled weekend, you know how important the right SPF can be to prevent skin cancer, premature aging and skin damage that can come along with too many rays.
Sometimes, though, this seems like a bit of a trade-off. Sure, too much sun can be bad. But are the parabens and chemicals laced in your favorite sunscreen better than overexposure from the sun?
Fortunately, a number of responsible companies have taken the time to create sunscreens that don’t make you choose. These companies have taken the harsh chemicals out of their sunblock and replaced them with good-for-your-skin ingredients. Better yet, the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetics Database provides an incredible resource in the form of a rating system that tells you what’s best and what’s worst when it comes to all the products you use every day.
If your favorite sunscreen is rated a 0, there’s little concern about its ingredients being harmful. If it’s a 10, it’s best to stay away. All of these picks fall on the 0-2 scale, so you can slather up without stressing out!
Best All Around: Loving Naturals Organic SPF 30 Sunscreen
This certified organic, vegan, cruelty free Loving Naturals Organic SPF 30 Sunscreen is made of 100% natural ingredients and is water resistant and non-greasy. The creators of this product started a company out of the desire to keep their children safe from ingredients they couldn’t pronounce. They research everything that goes into their products, so you can feel safe using them. And the Environmental Working Group would agree. They give this sunblock a big, fat 0!
This sunscreen is available from Amazon for $23.74.
Best for Baby: Heiko 40 SPF Kids
Offering UVA and UVB protection and 100% natural ingredients, Heiko 40 SPF Kids sunscreen contains 63% organic ingredients. Its water resistance comes from natural oils, and it is ranked the number one sunscreen out of 527 rated by the Environmental Working Group.
This sunblock is available for $37.00 for seven ounces on Amazon.
Best for Faces: Goddess Garden Natural Facial Sunscreen
This sunblock is available from Goddess Garden for $15.99 for 3.5 ounces.
Best from the Drugstore: Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunblock Stick
Let’s face it, sometimes we’re at the beach and get caught sans organic sunscreen without a Whole Foods in sight. For those times, when we have to run to Walgreen’s and do the best we can, there’s Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunblock Stick. It is SPF 60, uses naturally-sourced sunscreen ingredients and is waterproof, sweat proof and fragrance free, giving it a respectable score of 2 from the Environmental Working Group. Plus, even though it’s meant for baby, you can use it too!
If you’re planning ahead, this stick is available from Amazon for $8.75.
Best on a Budget: Caribbean Solutions Sol Guard
If you want great, natural skincare without breaking the bank, this Caribbean Solutions Sol Guard it a perfect option. Made with natural essential oils and titanium dioxide for sun protection, this SPF 25 received a score of 2 from the Environmental Working Group.
It is available in a two pack, six ounces per bottle, for $26.24 at Amazon.