Sunscreens : What to look for. What to avoid.

“Don’t forget to put on your sunscreen”!

I feel like we probably all grew up with the knowledge that too much sun is bad and sunscreen is good. And while that is still true, the information has completely changed since I was little and some of it is just shocking.

I’m sure many of us have heard that sunscreen and the chemicals used in it are bad for us but I didn’t realize just how bad until the other day when I was shopping for a facial SPF and it was bought to my attention by the sales women, of just how small of a selection I had to choose from that was safe. I was simply shocked at how many companies on my drugstore shelves use chemical ingredients – and angry that this is legal!

So here is what I have found:

There are two ways that a sunscreen can protect the skin from sun damage: with a mineral barrier or a chemical one.

Mineral sunscreens typically include ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which create a physical barrier to protect the skin from the sun. Zinc oxide is amazing for the skin : it protects skin from sun burn and damage. Helps treat acne. Treats rashes and irritation. Helps prevent infection caused by bacteria. Has anti-aging effects. (It’s also used in sudo cream – my favorite diaper rash cream)

Chemical sunscreens use one or more chemicals including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. The most common sunscreen chemical, Oxybenzone, was found in 96% of the population by a recent study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. This is especially alarming since oxybenzone is considered an “endocrine disruptor, it can reduce sperm count in men and may contribute to endometriosis in women”. These chemical sunscreens should especially be avoided by pregnant/breastfeeding women and not to be used on children.

I think it is also easy to forget that our bodies need Vitamin D and most sunscreens completely block the body’s ability to manufacture Vitamin D. Statistically, “75% of us are deficient in Vitamin D and Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to higher risk of cancer and heart disease (which kill more people than skin cancer per year)”.

I do believe we should exercise caution and use common sense when it comes to the sun, but I also believe we need to make sure we know what we are putting on (and potentially in) our bodies as well. Look for mineral sunscreens and READ the labels, avoid the ingredients I have listed above and do your research!


Below I have included some highly recommended, SAFE and MINERAL sunscreens. Some I have used myself and others I am eager to try.

For the women:


Live Clean Mineral SPF 45

Alba Botanica Facial SPF.

MyChelle Clear Stick. Perfect for on the go, goes on clear (which is great over makeup) and is water resitant

Juice Beauty Stem Cellular CC Cream

Vanilla Coconut Lip butter Spf 15 . To protect your pout.

Avene Mineral ultra light sunscreen for face. 

Josie Maran Argan daily moisturizer SPF 47

Skinceuticals Matte Uv Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 50

Tarte Tarteguard 30 Sunscreen Lotion Broad Spectrum SPF 30

Md Solar Sciences Mineral Crème Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Uva-Uvb Sunscreen

Coola Face SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Cucumber Matte Finish

Coola Face SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Matte Tint 

Coola Face SPF 20 Mineral Sunscreen Tinted Rose . For those who are Zinc sensitive.

Bare Republic Mineral Face sunscreen SPF 30

Attitude 100% Mineral Face stick SPF 30

Druide Mineral Natural SPF 30

La Roche-Posay Anthelios SPF 50 Mineral sunscreen


Green Beaver natural mineral sunscreen lotion 

Derma E natural mineral SPF 30 Body 

Consonant The perfect sunscreen SPF 30

Original Sprout Face and Body SPF 27 

Live Clean Sport Mineral sunscreen SPF 45

These are my picks! Check them out and see what appeals to you.

For the Littles:

Live Clean Baby Mineral SPF 45

Thinkbaby Safe sunscreen SPF 50

Green Beaver natural mineral Sunscreen for kids 

Green Beaver natural mineral sunscreen spray for kids

Coola Baby mineral sunscreen SPF 50

Badger SPF 30 Chamomile Sunscreen

Honest Co. Mineral sunscreen SPF 50

ATTITUDE little ones sensitive skin mineral SPF 30

While some of the above brands do include a spray version of their sunscreens, I prefer the topical versions. Especially for the little ones to avoid any inhalation, mineral or not. We don’t need to be inhaling anthing that is not intended for internal use or consumption. But if you do prefer the spray versions, simply use with caution and be sure to cover the kiddies faces and your own.

Have I missed a brand of safe mineral sunscreen you love to use? Whether on yourself or your little, let me know in the comments. And thank you for checking out this post, I hope it has been helpful to you in your summer shopping! As always, thanks for stopping by! x

With Love,

Michelle and the minis xo

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