Beach season is here! While soaking up the sun offers vitamin D benefits, unprotected exposure can be dangerous. Finding the right sunscreen can feel overwhelming, but fear not! This guide will help you navigate the world of sun protection.

Not All Sunscreens Are Created Equal:

A shocking truth: the EWG (Environmental Working Group) found that over half of US sunscreens lack effectiveness. They may offer weak protection or contain harmful ingredients.

Sunscreen: Need-to-Knows:

  • Sunscreen Isn’t a Magic Shield: Sunscreen alone isn’t proven to prevent most skin cancers. It protects against sunburn (SPF), but not all sun damage like wrinkles or free radical effects.
  • Don’t Be Fooled by High SPF: Higher SPF doesn’t translate to longer sun exposure or less application. The FDA considers SPF above 50 “misleading.” SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays, while SPF 100 offers only 2% more protection (EWG). Focus on proper application, not just the number.
  • Vitamin A: Friend or Foe? While some sunscreens contain Vitamin A (retinol palmitate) to combat aging, studies suggest it might accelerate skin cancer development.

Sun Safety and Vitamin D:

  • Maintaining Vitamin D Levels: Sun avoidance can impact vitamin D levels, crucial for bone health, immunity, and even cancer prevention. Consider getting your vitamin D levels checked if you limit sun exposure.

Global Sunscreen Differences:

  • European Edge in UVA Protection: Many European sunscreens offer superior UVA protection compared to their US counterparts. However, some European ingredients might not be FDA-approved.

Skip the Spray Sunscreens:

  • The Inhale Risk: Aerosol sunscreens are convenient, but their high alcohol content can irritate lungs and increase chemical absorption. Stick to lotions for better coverage and less inhalation risk.

Finding Safe and Effective Sunscreen:

The EWG offers a comprehensive list of approved sunscreens, including some of my favorites!


  • Beautycounter Countersun Mineral Sunscreen (my fave)


  • Alba Botanical Facial Mineral Sunscreen


  • Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen


  • Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen (love this one too)
  • California Baby Calendula Sunscreen
  • COOLA Suncare Sport Mineral Sunscreen Stick
  • Supergoop! Play 100% Mineral Sunscreen Stick


  • Tom’s of Maine Baby Sunscreen
  • Tropic Sport Moisturizing Sunscreen
  • True Natural Caribbean Coconut 30 Sunscreen


Ready to explore safe sunscreens and sun protection strategies? Here are some helpful resources to get you started:

  • The Environmental Working Group (EWG) offers a wealth of information on sunscreen safety and ingredients to avoid. Their website is a great place to start your research:



Published On: June 20, 2019|By |
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