It’s that time again–the weather is getting warmer, the kids are getting out of school, and we start slathering on the sunscreen. For the 3rd year, Breezy Mama has tested new, organic sunscreens to have hit the market–brands which you may have never heard of, but are all guaranteed to work. This year we took them to the beach, baseball games (MLB & Little League!), carnivals, surf contests–all outside events with intense sun to give you the best of what we received.
Pssst . . . Make sure to scroll to the bottom of post to get tips on what to look for in a sunscreen, what’s the difference between Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide and more! There’s also links to past sunscreen reviews. . .
In the past, we’ve tested BabyGanics’ cleaning solutions, but I had no idea that they had a sunscreen line until recently. This sunscreen comes in a convenient non-aerosol spray, rubs in easily, and has no fragrance. It’s water resistant (up to 80 minutes) and does not contain any Paba, Parabens, Sulfates, Phthlates, Nano-Particles or Retinly Pamitate. Contains 11.2% Zinc Oxide. To purchase BabyGanics’ Cover-Up Baby Face & Body Sunscreen Spray (SFP 50+), $8.99, click here.
This is by far, the best sunscreen that I have tried on my face in quite some time. A gel base, not a cream, it feels like silk as you rub it in. Its like nothing I’ve experienced before–I keep having friends try it and they are in awe at how nice it goes on. It also has great protection. “Very Water Resistant,” I used it when I went surfing. I was out for 45 minutes and didn’t have a bit of redness. A huge plus is that it’s good for acne prone teens or adults, as well as those with rosacea. Contains: Titanium Dioxide 7.7%, Zinc Oxide 3.8%. MDSolarSciences Mineral Screen Tinted Gel 30+, $23.95, click here to order.
Suntegrity has had a great honor bestowed upon it–it’s been rated #1 by Environmental Working Group/Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database–a hard act to accomplish. It goes on white, but is easy to rub in before the kids get squirmy. Fragrance free, Suntegrity uses “. . . 20% zinc oxide (no chemical UV blockers) as the only active ingredient, as well as Organic: aloe vera, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, cucumber extract, green tea extract and pomegranate oil.” The formula works well for all ages–from babies to adults. To purchase Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen for Baby SPF 30, $24.00, click here.
This company had a ton of great products, it was hard to pick just one. So here were our top 3 favorites:
Anti-Age Triple Defense Treatment SPF 30 (pictured above): This has become my go-to morning moisturizer. Clean smelling, and “soft” as it rubs in, it made my skin look so smooth that I only needed to use translucent powder instead of my normal tinted moisturizer. It’s on the pricey side, but a little goes a looong way, so the jar will last you for quite a while. The cream contains “. . . a clinically-proven dose of corrective peptides to help strengthen skin’s structure, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles and firming skin. Exclusive SHIELDrf sunscreen technology combines stabilized avobenzone and free radical fighting colorless carotenoids for prolonged UVA protection and decelerated photoaging. Optical brighteners immediately minimize the appearance of skin flaws while barrier-protecting dimethicone and hyaluronic acid maintain moisture levels.” To purchase Anti-Age Triple Defense Treatment SPF 30, $80.00, click here.
Rodan+Fields Anti-Age Hand Balm is a clever product. It’s an SPF 30 protectant for the hands packaged like a push-up deodorant. This means that it can be applied to the backs of the hands before heading out, without getting your palms all greased up. For the first time, I can apply sunscreen (it also reduces discolorations) and don’t have to then carefully wash my palms before tennis! Nice smell, no yucky white residue to deal with. –as reviewed by Jeanette. To order Rodan+Fields Anti-Age Hand Balm, $43.00, click here.
Rodan + Fields Lip Shield makes it easy to remember to reapply your lip protection. An SPF of 25, the protectant goes on smoothly and leaves your lips looking glossy. To order Rodan + Fields Lip Shield, $16.00 for a 2 pack, click here.
Yves Rocher was one of the first brands to “create botanical beauty” and as a result, their products are gentle on the skin, this sunscreen included. It not only smells amazing, but it protects your skin and leaves it moisturized. It’s easy to apply–the formula is more like rubbing in lotion rather than a sunscreen–and doesn’t leave a white residue. It contains 8.4% Titanium Dioxide. Yves Rocher also makes fantastic after sun care (which was great to use when sunscreen testing went bad) that you can check out by clicking here (scroll down–it’s the blue bottles). To order Yves Rocher Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, $12.50, click here.
“Oh my gosh!” “What sunscreen is this?” “Mama that feels nice!” These are all quotes that came from adults and kids as this sunscreen was passed around a local surf contest. The reactions to it were amazing. Why? The velvety feel made it feel good to put on your skin. The white formula rubbed in easily and amazingly fast–perfect for a children’s sunscreen. It’s also water resistant, lasting for 80 minutes. Contains Titanium Dioxide 7.7%, Zinc Oxide 3.8%. To buy MDSolarSciences Kid Creme SPF 43, $27.95, click here.
A brand new sunscreen hailing from Rhode Island, this product works extremely well–especially for being a SPF of 16. It does leave a bit of a white residue, but if you’re applying it on the kids, it’s a good thing because you can see where you’ve put it. It stays on so long that my son still had it on his face the next day–after a shower and all! I also love this small size with the clip–perfect for putting it on your “park bag” or lunch tote reminding you to reapply on the family. Water resistant. Contains Titanium Dioxide 6.0%, Zinc Oxide 22.5% . To purchase Block Island Organics Mineral Sunscreen SPF 16, $22.00, click here.
Skinnsurance is developed to lay on top of your skin, not have it sink in, resulting in protecting your skin from premature sun-induced damage and aging. Where ever it lays, the stuff works. I put this on in the morning and was out in the sun alllllll day long without reapplying. Did I burn? No. The formula rubs in easy without leaving a residue. It’s also fragrance free. Contains 6.0% Titanium Dioxide and 3.4% Zinc Oxide. To order Skinn Cosmetics Skinnsurance Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, $18.50, click here.
And to give you a refresher course on what you need to look for in a sunscreen, here’s a portion from the 2010 Breezy Mama sunscreen review, from my interview with Pete Stirling, Partner / Sales and Marketing from Waterman’s Applied Science:
Find a good broad-spectrum blocker: Many products claim ‘broad-spectrum,’ but the rules for making this claim are weak and insufficient at this time. The SPF label on the packaging is an indicator of how well the product will protect against UVB radiation, not UVA. Always look for a mineral sunscreen, such as Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide, on the ingredient deck. These are the only two true broad spectrum ingredients approved by the FDA. However, mineral sunscreens are insoluble and can be wiped off during use rendering them ineffective. As a result it is important to make sure the product you choose also includes additional ingredients. These include Ensulizole, Octocrylene, Homosalate, Octisalate and Octinoxate for UVB and Avobenzone or Oxybenzone for UVA protection.
Breezy Mama: Some sunscreens say that they are “mineral based”–what does this mean?
It means that they use Titanium or Zinc Oxide as their primary sunscreen ingredients.
Breezy Mama: I’ve noticed some sunscreens don’t have zinc, instead they have titanium dioxide–what’s the difference? And, if there’s no zinc, what percentage of titanium dioxide should we look for?
Both are broad spectrum mineral sunscreens, both in soluble and suspended in the base lotion and both absorb and scatter UV radiation. Both are available in micronized form, which helps to prevent the whitening previously associated with the mineral sunscreens. However, titanium dioxide’s effectiveness is largely dependent on particle size and in inferior to zinc in micronized form. With both Zinc and Titanium Dioxide you should be looking for 5% or higher depending on what other ingredients are included in the product. Again, these are great broad spectrum sunscreens, but should not be solely relied upon for protection since they must be physically present on the surface of the skin to function properly.