The Worst (and Best) Sunscreens of 2018

The Worst (and Best) Sunscreens of 2018

As I sat by the pool sipping my margarita while my five perfectly well-behaved children swam without splashing anyone, I was overwhelmed by the mist and cloud of toxic chemicals from a nearby sunscreen-spraying family.

Ok – reality looked more like this:

I pushed a double stroller full of children, towels, coolers, toys, floats, and all the swim things onto the pool deck. I found a single chair and made enough room to squeeze the stroller next to it. At this point, I’m already sweating, but I lined the kids up in single-file and started the sunscreen assembly line. The sunscreen we use (Blue Lizard) is not cheap. It is bright white and takes a good rubbing to keep the kids from looking like ghosts, but it works. It is also safe. 

Our sunscreen production takes about 8 minutes to have all five kids slathered and ready to survive the 105-degree summer day.  By the time I’m done, I’m ready for an adult beverage and a nap poolside. (hahahaHAHAhaha) I then give myself a good shoulder, chest, face, and back coating of sunscreen and pick up the football to throw 149 times in a row as my kids continually miss it while trying to jump into the pool at the same time. It’s at this moment that the overwhelming smell of spray sunscreen hits me. 

I dared to look around, and what I saw was scary. It wasn’t just the spray sunscreens being used, it was the fact that almost every family there was sporting bottles of toxic crap and using them on their children.

We are all busy. We are all broke. We are all doing the best we can. Here’s the kicker, though: We all LOVE our kids and want them HEALTHY. 

The Environmental Working Group publishes a list of the best and worst sunscreens every year. In the past decade, they have become a fighting voice in the war against chemicals and toxic products. They even provide references to the studies that back their research. The evidence is right in front of our eyes – and there is A LOT OF IT. Sunscreens are not created equal. Most of the sunscreens on our shelves contain ingredients that disrupt hormones, mess with the reproductive system, can alter behavior, trigger allergies, and are linked to increased cancer rates.

What’s scarier is that these chemicals can be found in the breastmilk of a mother who uses them. 

Come on, people. This is NOT okay. 

The only way things will change is if we stop buying this crap! 

You can read about the EXG’s tips for staying safe in the sun here 

The Worst Sunscreens Include:

Panama Jack Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85 (all Panama Jack brand)

Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen, SPF 60+

Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 60+ (All Neutrogena brand)

CVS Health Sun Lotion, SPF 60

Banana Boat Sport Performance Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100

Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100

Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100

Banana Boat SunComfort Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50+

Up & Up Sport Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50 (All Up & Up brand)

Sea & Ski Dri-Mist (All Sea & Ski brand)

Signature Care Spray and Sticks (All Signature Care brand)

Pure Sun Defense Disney Frozen Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50

Peter Thomas Roth Max Sheer All Day Moisture Defense Lotion, SPF 30


ALL continuous spray, misters, etc sunscreens are terrible for the environment and our lungs.

The Best Sunscreens Include: 

Adorable Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30+
All Good Kid's Sunscreen, SPF 30
Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Lotion Sunscreen, Sensitive Skin, SPF 50
Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, Tangerine & Vanilla, SPF 30
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Baby, SPF 50
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+
BurnOut Kids Sunscreen, SPF 35
California Baby Calendula Sunscreen, SPF 30+
COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
Equate Baby Zinc Sunscreen Mineral Lotion, SPF 50
Goddess Garden Organics Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Hawaiian Sol Sol Kid Kare, SPF 50
Kiss My Face Organics Kids Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
MDSolarSciences KidCreme Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 40
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 50
Nurture My Body Baby Organic Sunscreen, SPF 32
Sunology Mineral Sunscreen, Kids, SPF 50
thinkbaby Sunscreen, SPF 50+
thinksport Kids Sunscreen, SPF 50+
Tom's of Maine Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
TruBaby Water & Play Sunscreen, SPF 30+
TruKid Sunny Days Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30
Waxhead Sun Defense Baby Zinc Oxide Sunscreen, SPF 35

(Yes, they cost more than the above-mentioned products, but they are safer for our bodies, our children’s bodies, and our earth.)


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