Your Sunscreen Guide. What’s Safe to Use?

Summer is such a wonderful time to enjoy lots of outdoor activities - bbq, birthdays, weddings, picnics, volleyball on the beach, yoga in the park, yoga on the beach, sunbathing and swimming - endless fun things to do!

However, you’ve gotta be smart about your time (and your skin) in the sun!

Your skin produces essential vitamin D naturally when exposed to the sunlight. Foods and supplements are helpful as well, but fresh air with sunlight is the best. Balance baby!

Vital Functions of Vitamin D:

-regulating the absorption of calcium and phosphorus

-facilitating normal immune system function

-important for normal growth and development of bones and teeth

-improves resistance to disease

Vitamin D Deficiency:

-bone abnormalities

-osteomalacia (soft bones)

-osteoporosis (fragile bones)

Having fun in the sun and protecting your skin from burning is an obvious concern. Choosing the right sunscreen can be daunting!

Don't despair ! I've got your back (and skin).

Take a moment to review all the details below for the most safest and most effective sunscreens on the market.

Remember your skin absorbs anything you put on it. Not only does a sunburn put you at risk for skin disease, it's also extremely dehydrating for your skin and cells as well.

*note any SPF over 50 does not provide any additional protection than the 50, the key (always) is to re-apply sunscreen, after being in the water, considerable sweating and prolonged time in the sun.

Visit here for more info.

Sunscreen Guide For The Best Sun Protection


These chemical based sunscreens {read the ingredients for yourself too}.

Oxybenzone - designed to prevent sunburn and premature aging

(also known as: Benzophenone-3, Milestab 9, Eusolex 4360, Escalol 567, KAHSCREEN BZ-3)

Side effects - penetrates the skin, causing photo-sensitivity, which increases harmful free radicals with the ability to attack DNA cells! This chemical has also ended up in most American mother's milk and some studies have shown a link to contact eczema and allergies. It’s also bleaching coral reefs and creating coral death.

Octinoxate - claim to protect your skin from burning

Side Effects - easily absorbed by the skin, endocrine disruptor, hormonal disruptor (think estrogen and insulin), can lead to reproductive and development toxicity, has been found in human urine, blood and breast milk.

Homosalate (HMS) - this ingredient is designed to help sunscreens penetrate your skin - yikes!

Side Effects - This toxic formula accelerates quickly into your skin, disrupting your hormones and endocrine system.

Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA), including octyl-dimethyl PABA - designed to filter UV light on your skin.

(also known as: 4-Aminobenzoic Acid and Para-aminobenzoic Acid)

Side effects -can be absorbed through your skin (if there is heat - sunlight), studies have shown this ingredient can lead to DNA damage and defects, damage growing cells, cause organ toxicity, cancer, neurotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, immunotoxicity and cellular changes in your body.

*hormone disruptor means it can change the hormonal function of the human body. (ie: pregnant woman can lead to underdeveloped fetus, decreased fertility in men and testicular cancer)

AVOID these additional chemical ingredients

Parabens, Phthalates, PEG's (polyethylene glycols), Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, SLS/SLES, 4-methy-benzyldencamphor (4-MBC), Octyl-methoyl-cinnamates (OMC), Octyl-dimethyl-para-amin-benzoic Acid (OD-PABA), Benzophenones, especially benzophenone-3, Cinnamates, namely octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC), Avobenzone, Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate). When Vitamin A is used in sunscreen and exposed to sunlight it may actually speed the development of tumors and skin lesions.

Here’s your chance to speak out!

Join EWG to take action to get oxybenzone out of sunscreens.

Five Skin Safe Reasons To Use Natural Mineral Based Sunscreens

1- They don't absorb into the skin, it lays on top.

2- Reduces your risk of skin cancer and protects your skin (think anti-aging) all without chemicals!

3- Minerals as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide block harmful UVA and UVB rays.

4- Skin irritation and allergic reactions are less likely.

(Allergies can be minor to severe. Same concept as folks who are allergic to foods ie: peanuts/shellfish, it depends upon your constitution)

5- Without clogging your pores (no breakouts), you get to soothe, nourish and protect your skin!

*bonus! - You can enjoy time in the sun without worry!

(make sure to re-apply as I mentioned)

Look For These Ingredients In Mineral Based Sunscreens

Active Ingredients

Zinc Oxide & Titanium Dioxide - are natural minerals that comes from sand and clay deposits; which remain on your skin to reflect and disperses harmful UVA and UVB rays. To note, that unflattering white coat of cream or lotion for mineral based sunscreen has really improved over the years, so that's not a reason to forego using it!

Inactive ingredients

-Sesame oil ~ 30% resistance to UV rays

-Vitamin E ~ fights free radicals and prevents sun damage*

-Avocado oil ~ soothes and protects your skin

-Shea butter ~ a natural sunscreen by itself with an SPF of 6, great for blemishes, dry skin, scars, rashes and fine lines

*nb, look for natural forms of vitamin E-alpha-tocopherol and tocotrienol

Safe sunscreen should lay on top of your skin, a protective shield like your clothes. It should not be absorbed into your skin, which then goes into your blood stream, hormones, endocrine system etc. Also, cotton and polyester clothing provide excellent ultraviolet protection. Linen fabric provides almost no protection — FYI.

Broad Spectrum means a sunscreen will protect your skin from ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, both which can lead to cancer.

How to Proceed?


-apply sunscreen 15-30min BEFORE going outside into the sun

-remember to re-apply sunscreen after a few hours in the sun, sweating, playing sports, swimming. It's better to be safe than painfully sorry {trust me}.


-using spray sunscreens (inhaling can be toxic and harmful), use a tube, cream/lotion formula instead. Plus, it's better for the environment. Remember the more attention you pay to your own wellness care, the less you will pay your doctor : )

Like anything else, sunscreens have a shelf life, meaning the product will break down in the bottle. Make sure to check the expiration date so you don't get stuck with on the beach with an ineffective sunscreen.

Visit EWG for more useful information.

Mineral Based Sunscreens That Are Human Friendly

(estimated pricing)

Rating system

1 super safe - 10 toxic


Facial Sunscreen

Goddess Garden Organics SPF 30 $15

Non-greasy, broad spectrum with plant extracts and oils (aloe, shea butter, sunflower and immortelle). Protects your skin with zinc and smells of lovely lavender.

RATING 1 (this is the only brand for facial sunscreen that has a 1 rating!)

Body Sunscreens

Juice Beauty SPF 30 $16

Sunscreen packed with zinc oxide and antioxidants from fruit with staying power on your skin, not your clothing attire. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant power from aloe and grape seed extract. (they also offer baby and kids sunscreen too)


ThinkSport SPF 50+ $13

Awesome UVA protection, with up to 80 minutes water resistance, great for sunscreen for water related activities. Broad spectrum with zinc oxide helps protect your skin against cancer.

(I’ve been using this brand for the last few summers, it works really well)



Attitude SPF 30 $19.95

Hypoallergenic Broad spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen, perfect for beach and outdoor play. 100% mineral sunscreen, fragrance free with safest 100% non-nano zinc oxide.


Jersey Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 $20

Natural, organic, non-GMO ingredients, non- nano zinc oxide, petrochemical- free.

Broad spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen, no mess, portable stick with fun creamsicle scent!


Adorable Baby All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30+ $22

Mineral based, uncoated non-nano zinc oxide 24.7%, broad spectrum UVA and UVB sunscreen, up to 40 minute water resistant. Designed especially for babies!


RATING 10 (toxic)

Check those popular brands at CVS, Walgreens, your local grocery store and beach accessory shops, read the label to see: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Oxybenzone as the FIRST ingredient. Those ingredients as you now know are super toxic, dangerous, unsafe to then going out into the sun.

If you found any of this blog post helpful, insightful, please share, sharing is caring.

Also, I'd love a review on my Facebook business pages. I'd love to hear from you, post your comments on the review page -

Bend Bow Bridge

**ps...I'm not an affiliate with any brand, just sharing my knowledge : )

Happy Summer!!

xo Janel

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