Best Sunscreens: Understanding Your Sunscreen Options

With summer fast approaching, spending as much time as possible outside has been heavy on my mind. Although sunscreen is important to use year-round, it’s even more essential during the summer months.

Many people we know get overwhelmed when trying to buy the best sunscreen, so this blog post was compiled in an effort to eliminate that stress.

What is most important to you when picking a sunscreen? Cost, size, ingredients, lotion, or spray? That is the first step in making the best choice! 

SunscreenOptions Featured image for blog post

Sunscreen Essentials

Before we delve into our picks, let’s talk about your sunscreen essentials. When picking your sunscreen look for “broad spectrum” on the label. This means your sunscreen is not only protecting you from the harmful UVA rays, but UVB as well.

Even if you’re not picking out sunscreen just for pool days, it’s still important to pick water-resistant lotions and sprays as when you’re out in the sun and sweating, they tend to be more sweat proof! 

Spray sunscreens can be great, and sometimes are easier to deal with, but lotions are more effective, stay where applied, and more environmentally friendly. With a lotion you can apply generously but also evenly, which is the key to sunscreen being effective.

Mineral vs. Chemical Sunscreens.

Mineral sunscreens (made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide) sit on top of the skin and deflect UV rays, while chemical sunscreens (made with ingredients like oxybenzone or avobenzone) work by absorbing them.

Here at Simply we always suggest mineral sunscreens as a cleaner, healthier option so as not to absorb unwanted chemicals into your body.  If your skin is sensitive or acne-prone, mineral sunscreens are also going to be your best bet. Even though mineral sunscreens are more “natural”, always check the ingredients label.

Eco-Ethical Sunscreens – What to look for

Certifications and claims that you might look for in a sunscreen to let you know the company cares about you and the environment include 

  • Reef-Friendly
  • Cruelty-Free
  • 100% Vegan
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Recyclable/Biodegradable, 

Ingredients you don’t want to see in your sunscreen products

  • NO Parabens
  • NO Phthalates
  • NO Formaldehyde
  • NO Petrolatum
  • NO Sulfates
  • NO Artificial Colors
  • NO Fragrances

Our Favorite Sunscreen Brands

1 – All Good – We carry their Broad-Spectrum SPF 30 Sprays and Lotions for Kids and Sport – Non-Nano Zinc Formula, Non-Greasy, and Water & Sweat Resistant 80 minutes. Reef-Friendly and made with soothing Calendula and Aloe, they also boast GMO Free, Gluten-Free, and Oxybenzone Free, while also being Vegan and using Certified Organic Ingredients.

2 –  Derma-E – Sun Defense Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30 4oz. Body Lotion and their Sun Sun Defense Mineral Oil-Free SPF 30 Face Lotion uses Non-Nano Zinc Oxide, Green Tea, and Vitamin E to help protect the skin from free radical sun damage and reduce the signs of aging. Eco-Friendly and Reef Safe it will also leave your skin feeling soft and fortified.  

3 – MyChelle Dermaceuticals – Protect Replenishing Solar Defense 6oz. Body Lotion SPF 50 and Sun Shield Clear 6oz. Spray SPF30 are fantastic for all ages!  Hydrating Zinc Oxide Protection to help prevent premature aging while helping to re-establish essential moisture balance.  Broad Spectrum protection and water resistant 80 minutes using ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, and bentonite clay.  They boast Clean Science with Professional Results!  Clean Label Project Certified.

4 – Stream2Sea – Sport SPF 20 or SPF 30 3oz. Lotions use Non-Nano Titanium Dioxide in a base of nourishing extracts like Green Tea, Tulsi, Wakame Seaweed, Olive, Aloe, and Coconut Oil.  Protect your body while preserving the ecosystems with high performance mineral sunscreens in biodegradable packaging made using sugarcane resin.

5 – Thinksport – SPF 50 Sunscreen for Adults, Kids, and Baby – Great Non-Oily Feel, Made in the USA, Water Resistant 80 minutes, Dermatologist Recommended, Non-Nano Zinc Oxide 20%, Top-Rated on EWG’s Skin Deep since its creation in 2010.

When to Consider Using a Spray Sunscreen vs a Lotion

Consider the pros and cons for different applications including:

  • Creams. Many people who have dry skin might prefer a cream — especially for the face
  • Lotions. Lotions are often preferred for application on large areas because they tend to be thinner and less greasy than creams
  • Gel. Gel sunscreens work best in hairy areas, such as the scalp or chest
  • Stick. Sticks are quite useful when you are applying sunscreen around the eyes
  • Spray. Sprays are easy to apply on children. Because it’s difficult to know how well you’re applying it, spray a generous and even coating. To prevent inhalation of the product, don’t spray near the face or mouth. Check the direction of the wind before spraying

Best Practices for Year-Round Sun Protection

When you use sunscreen:

  • Make sure to apply generous amounts of sunscreen to dry skin about 15 minutes before you go outdoors.
  • Use sunscreen on all skin surfaces that will be exposed to the sun, such as your neck, the tops of your feet, your ears, and the top of your head. Apply a lip balm or lipstick with an SPF of least 30 to your lips.
  • Use sunscreen even when it’s cloudy because UV light can pass through clouds and burn your skin.
  • Check the sunscreen’s expiration date and toss any products that have expired.
  • Avoid using sunscreen on children younger than age 6 months. Instead, try to limit sun exposure.

Use sunscreen year-round, but don’t let any product lull you into a false sense of security about sun exposure. A combination of shade, clothing, sunscreen and common sense is your best bet.

Comment below with your fav sunscreen! We would love to know what your go to’s are. There are endless options and everyone’s favorite is going to be a little bit different.  

p.s. Just in case you are looking for a specific supplement solution, or any other wellness need, reach out to us here at 916-253-9276 and we would be happy to help you find exactly what you are looking for.

We are deeply committed to sharing our knowledge of health and therefore have carefully chosen the products we offer in our store. You’ll find only the highest quality brands and a large selection to choose from so you’re sure to find exactly what you need. 

If you can’t make it into the store, we’re always happy to deliver it to you because your health and happiness are our #1 priority! 

We would love to get to know you better!

Drop a comment below and let us know more about you!

4.6.20 Shannan and Jason Photo for Email optin Popup

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, specials and updates from Simply Nutrition!

You have Successfully Subscribed!