Shopping is not simple. With different brands providing the same product, it becomes unclear which brands are the most trustworthy. Sunscreen is one product that can leave a person confused and frustrated. However, we’ve made the task of buying sunscreen a little less daunting. Read on to see a list of sunscreens that have been approved by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health. We’ll also give you the scoop about a leading brand of sunscreen that is not reliable, as well as a homemade recipe to make your own sunscreen.
There have been 217 sunscreens that have been deemed safe by the EWG. With a simple click of a button, you’ll have access to this list, and will become a knowledgeable and empowered sunscreen shopper. No more confusion for you in the supermarket isles!
Now that we’ve given you a list a brands you can trust, here is a company that you SHOULDN’T trust when it comes to sunscreen. Okay, are you ready…?
It’s (drumroll please)…
Talk about false advertising. You have probably read the label before, Neutrogena is the “#1 dermatologist recommended suncare brand.” However, through testing, the EWG determined that Neutrogena’s sunscreen products ranked in the worst zone in their sunscreen database.
What makes there product so bad, you ask? To start, Neutrogena sunscreen contains a preservative called methylisothiazolinone, or MI, which some researchers consider to be a potent allergen; it is even said to be unsafe in Europe. In addition, 80 percent of Neutrogena’s products contain oxybenzone, which is a hormone-disrupting sunscreen filter. Also, one-third of Neutrogena products contain retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A linked to skin damage.
Neutrogena is not the only large sunscreen brand that is misleading the public. Only 21 percent of the sunscreens, 19 percent of the moisturizers with SPF, and 21 percent of the lip balms in EWG’s database for 2015 were found to be good quality products. Most major sunscreen brands, including, but not limited to, Banana Boat, Coppertone and CVS, are poor quality products according to the EWG.
Because it’s so difficult to trust large companies, you may be eager to make your own sunscreen at home, this way you can have better control over what comes in contact with your skin this summer. Here is a recipe we found and love:
Natural Homemade Sunscreen
Homemade natural sunscreen with beneficial oils, zinc oxide and beeswax for water protection.
Author: Wellness Mama
· ½ cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
· ¼ cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4)
· ¼ cup beeswax
· 2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide (This is a non-nano version that won't be absorbed into the skin. Be careful not to inhale the powder).
· Optional: up to 1 teaspoon Red Raspberry Seed Oil
· Optional: up to 1 teaspoon Carrot Seed Oil
· Optional: up to 1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil
· Optional: 2 tablespoons Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5)
· Optional: Essential Oils, Vanilla Extract or other natural extracts to suit your preference
1. Combine ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I have a mason jar that I keep just for making lotions and lotion bars, or you can even reuse a glass jar from pickles, olives, or other foods.
2. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.
3. Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.
4. As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
5. Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
6. Use as you would regular sunscreen. Best if used within six months.
Many of the ingredients in this recipe have a natural SPF but since this is a natural recipe and has not been tested by a regulatory organization, I can’t make any claims or even guesses as to the combined SPF. The individual ingredients that are naturally SPF are:
· Almond Oil- SPF around 5
· Coconut Oil- SPF 4-6
· Zinc Oxide SPF 2-20 depending on how much used
· Red Raspberry Seed Oil SPF 25-50
· Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 35-40
· Shea Butter – SPF 4-6
The final version will have a varied sun protective ability depending on the amount of each ingredient used. For a simple version, even just coconut oil and shea butter with a little Raspberry Seed and Carrot Seed Oil or some Zinc oxide will work for moderate exposure.
· As always check with your doctor or dermatologist before using any new product
· This sunscreen is somewhat, but not completely, waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming
· Make sure not to inhale the Zinc Oxide- use a mask if necessary!
· This recipe has an SPF of about 15, though adding more Zinc Oxide will increase the SPF
· Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smooth sunscreen
· I recommend coconut or vanilla extract or lavender essential oils for fragrance
· Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge
· I prefer to store in a small canning jar and apply like a body butter. It will be thicker, especially if you use coconut oil in the recipe.
· Remove the Zinc Oxide and this makes an excellent lotion recipe!