I realized after my Pacifica sunscreen nightmare from last year that we go through a ton of SPF around here. Mike needs something that doesn’t burn his eyes when running, the girls need something easy to rub in that gives hours of protection, and I need something for tennis and also something daily for my face. I also want chemical-free formulas without oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and avobenzone because of their safety issues. Zinc what’s most often used in mineral sunscreen which is safe, but the downside is that it’s inherently white making some mineral formulas less elegant than their chemical counterparts. Luckily, some formulas have improved and feel more like skincare than SPF. Here are a few standouts and letdowns so you can choose the right formula for your family this summer.
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Badger SPF 30 Tinted Sunscreen Cream: Badger was our go-to for years and the first natural formula that I could actually liked. It does whiten the skin, so I opt now for the tinted version. The slight tint gives a flesh toned appearance to light and medium skin tones once blended. I find it to be a little heavy and greasy especially in the sweaty heat, but it does its job and keeps the girls from getting any sort of burn even after hours in the sun.
MyChelle Sun Shield Liquid Tint SPF 50: I bought this last summer and was surprised how much I loved it. It has since been repackaged into a serum where you use a dropper instead of a pump because of its thin consistency- think of it as a tinted serum. I wear the light/medium which gives me a slight glow warming up my complexion. It offers a light coverage and lets skin show through which looks and feels great in the hot summer months. Heavy coverage looks so dated and uncomfortable in the blazing heat, it’s like wearing a snow suit to the pool. There’s something out of place about heavy makeup in general, but especially under the microscope of the summer sun. It’s a win-win having a light coverage foundation offer an SPF 50 making it perfect for every day.
Baby Bum Mineral Sunscreen Face Stick – SPF 50: Not all of Sun Bum’s sunscreens are mineral based, but this one is using 19% zinc to keep kids burn-free. It’s so easy to blend with barely any skin whitening. I just swipe it across the girls’ faces and gently rub it in. The coconut oil and shea and cocoa butter make all the difference it making a more elegant formula that’s easy to wear and even easier to toss in my purse so I’m never without it.
Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+: By now I’m an SPF connoisseur as you can imagine so when I got my hands on this unsuspecting brand that I’d only previously known because they made my kids’ favorite sippy cup, I was pretty surprised. But I’m not the only on who loves it. With over 2k rave reviews on Amazon, an Allure mag Best Of award, the first sunscreen to pass Whole Foods Premium Care requirements that’s free of biologically harmful chemicals (Avobenzone, Oxybenzone, or UV chemical absorbers), with an EWG rating of “1” since 2010. (Whew!) It’s no wonder this sunscreen wins award after award and is quickly becoming a cult fave. I use it when I play tennis because it’s non whitening and keeps me burn free for hours. The kids can apply it themselves because it rubs in easy like a lotion. I just picked up a new tube along with their tinted version for the face because Mike isn’t a fan of sunscreen that makes his skin even the smallest bit white so it’s what he uses when he runs.
All Good Kid’s Sunscreen Butter Stick SPF 50+: I love the ease of a stick so the girls can apply themselves and I can take it to go, but this one just didn’t cut it. The formula was too soft to be in a stick so when I used it straight onto the skin, it went on like softened butter. At no time after we bought it did it ever ‘set up’ and we didn’t keep it anywhere warm like a car where it could’ve melted. Such a bummer because I like this line, but I’d stay away from this one until it improves.
Cooola Suncare Mineral Face SPF 30 Sunscreen Matte Finish: This is a bestseller for a reason. If you’re on the oily side, or just get that summer shine, Coola’s Matte Finish sunscreen is the answer. I use this one when I’m having a low-key day sans makeup to offer some sun protection without the fuss. The consistency feels like a makeup primer with an airy whipped consistency and it absorbs in immediately without residue, greasiness, or whitening due to the slightly tinted formula.
Babyganics Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50: I love the Babyganics brand, these hand wipes are in our girls’ lunches every day. It’s one of those lines that I’ve come to know and trust. This sunscreen though, didn’t work for us at all. It was really hard to rub in and felt dry and chalky on the skin. I just couldn’t work with it at all and had to get rid of a mostly full bottle.
Have a fave SPF I need to try? Sound off on Instagram.