The Secrets to Finding the Best Sunscreen Protection for Your Family

The Breezy Mama sunscreen guide is back! I’ve been slathering on the SPF, going out in the sun and taking notes, all for you, dear readers. And the end result? Lots of SPF–for every part of the body. No matter what kind of sunscreen you’re looking for, you’ll find it in one of these tubes. . .

PS–I’ve noted if the sunscreen contains Zinc Oxide and Titanium Oxide–a high percentage means you’re getting an even greater SPF.

If you’re looking for. . .  An all-around great sunscreen:

LiveSTRONG by thinksport

With an SPF of 30 and 20% Zinc Oxide, you can’t go wrong with this sunscreen. It’s water resistant, easy to rub in formula doesn’t leave a white residue and has a pleasant smell. The other bonus is that you can use it on your face, go in the water, and it doesn’t sting your eyes. No PABA, Parabens, Benzoate, Pthalates or BPA or other toxic chemicals that can cause “adverse biologic effects.” A portion of the proceeds goes to help the fight against cancer. LiveSTRONG by thinksport, $15.99. Click here to buy.


If you’re looking for. . .  A sunscreen to use when you’re in a rush:

Chem-Free Solar Defense Cream by BeautyRX Skincare by Dr. Schultz

If you’re like me, you get the kids all lubed up, you’re out the door and when you finally unwind in the sun, you realize you forgot to put sunscreen on yourself. That’s why this product is so great. Unlike most formulas which need 30 minutes to soak in before they work, the Chem-Free Solar Defense Cream instantly protects. Works for face and body, is easy to apply, and doesn’t leave a residue. Contains both Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide with a SPF of 30. Chem-Free Solar Defense Cream by BeautyRX Skincare by Dr. Schultz, $40.00. Click here to buy.

If you’re looking for. . . An organic sunscreen for the little ones:

Dr. Robin Sunscreen for Children

As you know, I’m a sucker for all things vintage, so this cream already had me at the packaging. But, as I rubbed it into the kiddos, I saw that it wasn’t only the packaging that was great. Dr. Robin’s sunscreen is very sheer and lightweight, making it super easy to apply to wriggling children. It includes quinoa and oat protein for hydration (interesting, huh?) and green tea extract to help prevent free radical damage. It’s also formulated to minimize allergic reaction–perfect for sensitive skin. Dr. Robin’s sunscreen contains a SPF of 30, 5% Titanium Dioxide and 10% Zinc Oxide. Dr. Robin Sunscreen for Children, $24.00. Click here to buy.

If you’re looking for. . . A sunscreen to wear under makeup:

DNA EGF Renewal’s DNA Defense

Did you know that the SPF that you apply on your face first, is the one that is giving you protection from the sun? So, if you apply a face lotion with a SPF of 15, and then apply your tinted moisturizer with a SPF of 20, you’re actually only getting the 15 protection? I learned this when I had my skin crisis, and have been looking for a base lotion with a high SPF ever since (most contain a SPF of 15). So, I was extremely happy to find DNA Defense. With a SPF of 30, it has a high protection rate to go on first. It also blends in flawlessly and is unscented. Zinc Oxide, 3%. DNA EGF Renewal’s DNA Defense, $45.00. Click here to buy.

If you’re looking for. . . A every day sunscreen for your tween:

Ottilie & Lulu Everyday Facial Moisturizer and Sunscreen

Get your daughters in the habit now–each morning after they wash their face have them slather on some ‘screen. And, for those of you with sons, get them to start as well–good skin isn’t only for girls! Ottilie & Lulu’s blend has a mild, pleasant fragrance and is easy to rub in. I used it under my makeup and loved it. It’s chemical free formula has 16.32% (!) Zinc Oxide and a SPF of 20. Ottilie & Lulu Everyday Facial Moisturizer and Sunscreen, $18.00. Click here to buy.

If you’re looking for. . . A sunscreen to use the day after a long day in the sun:

Innovative Skincare Treatment Sunscreen

We’ve all done it. We’re so excited for a vacation or holiday, that we spend the entire first day in the sun, only to return home and have a sunburn emerge. You’ve still got days to go, what do you do? Use this sunscreen, it “helps repair solar damage by reducing redness and inflammation associated with sunburn.” As I’ve mentioned before, we had a full four days of beautiful, hot sun this past 4th of July. Day one of four was over and I was already red. Before I hit the beach on day two, I slathered the Treatment Sunscreen on and was amazed. My red face was instantly soothed, and looked, dare I say it, “mattified.” I was ready for three more days of sun! SPF of 25 and Zinc Oxide of 2.94%. Innovative Skincare Treatment Sunscreen, $36.00. Click here to buy.

If you’re looking for. . . A mineral powder foundation with a SPF:

Arbonne Natural Radiance Mineral Powder

I used to be a die-hard powder user, until my discovery of tinted moisturizer. However, if I’m in a rush, or just sticking around the house, I still turn to it to give my face a pick-me-up. This powder by Arbonne works amazingly well. While road-testing a sunscreen that I thought was supposed to be worn under make-up (it gave me a white face like nobody’s business), I reached for the Natural Radiance to see if I could cover up some of the white. It worked so well, that there was no need to wash my face and start from scratch. (Note: Their Lip Saver (SPF 30) is also a fantastic product for parched lips.) SPF 15, Zinc Oxide 10.5%. Arbonne Natural Radiance Mineral Powder Foundation, $38.00. Click here to buy.

If you’re looking for . . . A lip balm with SPF:

Eco Lips Sport

Eco Lips is devoted to two things–your lips and being a sustainable company. All of their products are organic, and have been long before it was “cool” to be. And the quality is like none other–as Maria said, “I put on Eco Lips and there’s so much protection that I can feel the water practically bead off my lips.”  The Eco Lips Sport has a SPF of 30, a hint of vanilla, and just the right amount of gloss. Eco Lips Sport, $2.49. Click here to buy.

If you’re looking for . . . A sunscreen that the kids actually LIKE putting on:

Coppertone Water Babies Delicate Foaming Lotion

When we’re heading to the beach and I yell that it’s sunscreen time, the kids come back with, “Can we use the snow kind? Can we? Can we use the snow sunscreen?” Coppertone gives them snow to play with, and you’ll relive your 80’s curly hair (or am I dating myself?) with this foam that comes out like a hair mousse. Works just as great as the old school Water Babies, but it’s a lot more fun. SPF of 75. Coppertone Water Babies Delicate Foaming Lotion, $8.99. Click here to buy.

If you’re looking for. . . A post-procedure sunscreen and a sunscreen for your newborn:

Armada Post-Procedure Barrier Cream

This baby protects you like nothing else–not only does it protect you from the sun, but it also provides protection from indoor light and heat sources. Formulated for those who are recovering from clinical procedures such as laser treatments and chemical peels, it’s also good for those with sensitive skin and who have skin conditions such as rosacea, contact dermatitis and polymorphous light eruption. And, for those who suffer from hyperpigmentation, it helps prevent that as well. Some other interesting ingredients are coconut-derived monolaurin for antibacterial disinfection and antioxidant green tea to promote post-procedure healing and to reduce inflammation. PHEW! The formula is so gentle, that you can use it on your newborn, perfect for those summer babies. One word of warning–it’s very thick, and it does leave a white tint on your face, so don’t put it on before your hot date. SPF of 50, Titanium Dioxide of 15% and Zinc Oxide of 15%. They also have a baby specific one, click here to view. Armada Post-Procedure Barrier Cream, $60.00 (Yes, it’s pricey, but so specialized, it’s worth it). Click here to buy.

If you’re looking for . . . A sunscreen in a powder form:

Go!screen Natural Brush-On Powder

Need to apply sunscreen but have wriggling kids and hate sunscreen sprays? Your “make-up” face is done but you’re at the park and need some SPF? Go!screen is for you. The sunscreen comes as a powder form in a tube. Lift off the cap which reveals a soft brush, like a foundation brush. Push the button at the bottom of the tube to dispense the sunscreen powder and then brush on skin. Easy and oh-so fast, all without burning eyes and any mess. SPF of 30 and 25% Zinc Oxide. Go!screen Natural Brush-On Powder, $26.00. Click here to buy.

If you’re looking for . . . a tinted moisturizer with a SPF:

e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer

I love Bobbi Brown’s tinted moisturizer, but am not a big fan of the price. As a result, I’ve tried several other tinted moisturizers in the past year, none of which knocked my socks off. So imagine my surprise when this $3.00 tube did! Easy to apply (a little goes a long way), and a good match for my skin tone, I don’t know why I’d ever need to go back to an expensive brand. With Aloe, Cucumber, Vitamins A, C & E and a SPF of 20. (Note: I’ve been loving their Lip Tints (SPF 8) as well!) e.l.f. Tinted Moisturizer, $3.00. Click here to buy.

If you’re looking for . . . A heavy-duty sunscreen for your face:

SkinMedica Environmental Defense

This SPF 50, very water resistant, fragrance-free sunscreen is perfect for your day that will be spent outdoors. Whether it’s at the zoo, the water park, or the pool, this screen will not be coming off your face, nor will it sting your eyes if you jump in the water. It contains UV Proplex which, “improves performance by effecting a more uniform distribution of UV filters on the skin and provides skin with antioxidant protection against free radical damage.” You can also “feel” when the lotion is on, knowing that it’s their working, and realizing when it’s time to reapply. SkinMedica Environmental Defense, $42.75 (one dollar will be donated to cancer prevention and awareness). Click here to buy.

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  1. Alex, Thank you for doing this! I can’t even imagine how many hours were spent testing, compiling and writing this post! You are awesome and I am thankful for all of your hard work. Nice job — very helpful, clear and concise!

  2. Huge testimonial for Arbonne’s Natural Radiance Mineral Powder Foundation SPF 15. When my friend Suzanne went to Cancun last year, she forgot her sunscreen. Being an AVID Arbonne Vegan product user, she vowed not to purchase something off the shelf while she was there because those retail products contain too many fillers (animal by-products and Mineral oil) so she used her Arbonne Mineral Powder Foundation on her face and decolete area. Guess what…no burn, only sweet soft tan and her husband used it too. Second related testimonial is for myself when I went to Phoenix to Areas in Paradise Retreat last year, I also forgot my sunscreen, when headed poolside, I remembered Suzanne’s testimonial so brushed my Arbonne Mineral Powder Foundation all over and WOW again no burn eventhough I am white skinned and always burn (& freckle first). It was AWESOME to be protected from a burn sitting out all day without any sunscreen. When I do remember to pack sunscreen I am never without our Before Sun Water-Resistant Sunscreen SPF 30 as it lasts for 40 minutes in the water without having to reapply!! If you haven’t tried Arbonne yet… do your body a favour and TRY some of the 400 products!

  3. Michelle says

    Wow! I love all the options! Thank you for such a thorough list. I can’t wait to try some of these out.

  4. Yes, the Ecolips lip balm is perfect for my almost 3 year old during her swim lessons!
    I also really love the Supergoop sunscreens. I started using the face serum which has Vitamin C in it to help with wrinkles, too! And it’s super light on my face so I don’t mind layering make-up when I gave too.

  5. “Bill” wrote in to say:
    “What a waste of time. This is really nothing more that an advertisement site designed to generate $$$s for BreezyMama. Why not disclose how much you gain from each sale?”

    FYI — this is in no way an ad. These are brands that we tested and met our approval. AFTER first making our approval, we then sometimes add products to our Breezy Mama store. They are tested first and we make about .05 cents per purchase. Trust us, Bill, we are not making $$$ or $$ or even $.

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