Toxic Sunscreens + The Best All Natural Sunscreens Under the Sun

With Memorial day upon us, many friends and families might be heading out of town, on vacation or to the beach. The weekend is spent at the pool during the day and around a campfire at night. The majority of us are out in the sun at least one day this holiday weekend. Which begs the question, how do you adequately protect your skin? Finding the right sunscreen is KEY.

There seems to be a lot of confusion these days about whether the sun is good for us or detrimental to our health. Personally, I don’t think anything given to us on the planet is all BAD, rather, the poison is in the dose. I recommend 20 min a day of sunlight. Vitamin D, which is a VERY common deficiency these days, is only activated in the skin by sunlight. We NEED the sun, we just don’t need hours of the sun a day.

With that being said, if you plan on being outside much this holiday weekend, be sure to detox your cabinets from any toxic sunscreens that you bought years before you realized what endocrine disrupters were and what they could do to your body. “There is little scientific evidence to suggest that sunscreen alone reduces the risk of cancer, particularly for melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer. Despite a growing awareness of the dangers of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, and a multi-billion-dollar sunscreen industry, melanoma rates have tripled over the past three decades.”-Environmental Working Group

A general rule of thumb is if you can’t eat it or pronounce it, you probably dont want it on the skin! For example, oxybenzone is particularly toxic as it is a synthetic estrogen. In fact, in Mexico, you are not allowed to take commercial sunscreens in the ocean while snorkeling. You are only allowed to use organic products. Why? Ingredients like oxybenzone or homosalate bleach coral reefs and kill wildlife in the ocean. Can you imagine what they might do to humans too? Homosalate is also an endocrine disrupter and breaks down into toxic byproducts when exposed to the sun. Yet nearly 75% of sunscreens contain some form of these common toxic ingredients.

Here’s a list of toxic ingredients in sunscreens that you should avoid:

  1. Oxybenzone
  2. Homosalate
  3. Parabens
  4. Cinoxate
  5. Retinyl Palmitate
  6. Octyl Salicylate
  7. Dioxybenzone
  8. Avobenzone
  9. Octisalate
  10. Octocrylene
  11. Octinoxate
  12. Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate

Safe ingredients include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, coconut oil, carrot seed oil, raspberry seed oil or avocado oil. You can even make your own at home. Look for mineral based sunscreens, which generally don’t absorb and reach the tissues

Here are some of my favorites, but I welcome you to check on the Environmental Working Group’s website as well.

  1. Badger: Relatively cheaply priced compared to some of the other brands, but all are ranked on #1 (the best rating) on EWG’s website. And its no wonder with ingredients like: Uncoated Zinc Oxide, Sunflower Seed Oil, Beeswax, Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), Seabuckthorn Fruit Extract. Badger also boasts kids’ sunscreens. 
  2. Butterbean: Also reasonably priced, Butterbean boasts three organic products with ingredients like: Non-nano Zinc Oxide 22%, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, *Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, *Cera Flava (Beeswax), *Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, *Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Jojoba Esters, Carnauba, Tocopherol (Sunflower Vitamin E), Polyhydroxystearic Acid. 
  3. Goddess Garden: Goddess Garden has a lot to choose from-12 different products. They make children’s and adult’s sunscreens priced from the low to moderate range. Heres a sample list of ingredients: Active Ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 6.4%, Zinc Oxide 6.0%, Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice*, Aluminum Hydroxide, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) *, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride (Coconut) oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower), Seed Oil*, Glycerin, Glyceryl Caprylate, Glyceryl Stearate Citrate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil*, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Sorbitan Oleate, Stearic Acid, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Water, Xanthan Gum
  4. Tropical Sands: Another great choice with great pricing. As per above here are the ingredients. Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 13%, Inactive Ingredients: *calendula extract, *tamanu oil, *beeswax, *coconut oil, *seak buckthorn oil, flavor, *avocado oil, *castor seed oil, *cocoa seed butter, Vitamin E
  5. All Good: A little more pricey but you do get the non-gmo labeling for it. Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide (Non-nanoparticle) 25%, Inactive Ingredients: Organic Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Organic Cera Alba (Beeswax), Organic Calendula Officinalis (Calendula) Flowers infused in Organic Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Non-GMO Tocopherol (Vitamin E)
  6. Raw Elements USA: A bit more expensive, but you cant beat the exclusive ingredients here. Active Ingredient: Zinc Oxide 23%, Inactive Ingredients: Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Organic Green Tea), Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (Organic Black Tea), Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil (Organic Hemp Seed) oil, Cera Alba (Organic Beeswax), Coffea Arabica Seed Extract (Organic Coffee Bean), Helianthus Annuus Seed Oil (Organic Sunflower) oil, Mangifera Indica Seed Butter (Mango Butter), Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil (Rosemary), Theobroma Cacao Seed Butter (Organic Cocoa Butter), Tocopherol


My personal fave is Badger for the price, but if I’m choosing for overall ingredients, you really can’t beat Raw Elements USA ! These all vary in price, availability and ingredients so be sure to do your own research as well to find the best fit for you and your family.

Choose wisely and be smart this holiday weekend.

Much love

Dr Jess

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