Sunscreen Review 2019 (updated 7.7.19)
Updated: Jul 7, 2019
I’m always on the hunt for sunscreen. Being a very fair-skinned lady I have had my share of burns over the years. I’ve had a scare already and go to my dermatologist yearly religiously. I have also had my fair share of burns over my life so I take sunscreen very seriously now. Little H also inherited my complexion so now I’m even more diligent about making sure we use sunscreen regularly, therefore finding a good product has become a mission. When shopping for a good sunscreen I’m looking at three things. I look at the environmental working group’s rating of the product, the texture, and the price.
I look at the environment working group’s rating first because I’m trying slowly to switch over to safer and cleaner skincare and home cleaning products. It’s actually one of my resolutions this year. It’s not the only deciding factor, things don’t have to be the absolute cleanest, and it’s a journey, but it’s something I’m definitely paying attention to more. According to www.ewg.org, the rating for sunscreens are given with the following in mind, “We gave additional weight in the calculated hazard scores to properties of particular concern for sunscreens, including products that contain oxybenzone or vitamin A, products in a spray or powder form that may pose a risk when inhaled, and products listing SPF values exceeding SPF 50+, the limit suggested by the FDA in its 2011 proposed regulation (FDA 2011a, 2011b). For sunscreens with a single significant concern, we assigned a rating no lower than 3 (moderate hazard), and for sunscreens with two or more significant concerns, we assigned a rating no lower than 7 to reflect a higher level of concern.” Based on this information I’m ok with a product in this category that’s rated a 3, but that’s up to you. I also have EWG’s app downloaded to help me be a little more informed when I’m out shopping.
The texture of sunscreen is also super important to me. I don’t care how well it’s rated or if it’s cheap, if it’s super greasy or stays chalky and white on my skin, I won’t use it. That’s why this is really my most important category.
Finally price is just something that I’ll always take into consideration. Sure I’m willing to pay for a product that I love and know I will wear (see my number 1 below), but I’m always looking for a bargain too. I just hate when I try a new product that costs a bunch and I can’t really return it.
Below are the products I’ve reviewed on my own and reported here. I am an affiliate with Beautycounter and the sunscreen listed is what pushed me to align with the company. I have been using a few of their products but I think the sunscreen is a true gamechanger. My old favorite is also listed along with their product. These are listed by my favorite on down and I give a brief a explanation of each. I also included a section for specifically kids products. Hope you find this helpful. If you have a brand you love, comment below and share!
Beautycounter Countersun Tinted Mineral Sunscreen Mist SPF 30
Price: + Texture: + EWG: 3
This Sunscreen has become my new favorite. I've been using quite a few Beautycounter products lately but this product is what literally pushed me to become an affiliate of theirs. I'm a very pale girl so using sunless tanner is quite a frequent occurrence for me. This sunscreen combines the two into a great product. it has a hint of color, it blends extremely well and has an amazing citrusy scent. I'm literally in love. For me the price is worth it, and I did buy it during a special they were running. It's really middle of the road otherwise. Their non tinted sunscreen I'm using on little H, and also my husband has converted to it based on smell alone (he uses sunscreen everyday for his job). This is he best value I've experienced yet. Another cool bonus, it's air powered and not aerosol.
EltaMD UV Aero Sunscreen Broad-Spectrum SPF 45
Price: - Texture: + EWG: 3
This one is my old favorite but it comes at a price. I actually found this through the medi spa connected to my dermatologist. I use most of their skincare products and this sunscreen is a definite winner. It sprays on white but blends in amazingly and has no greasy residue. The scent is super light and you won't get that beachy coconut smell. Great for everyday I'm a big fan of the sprays because I just can't reach all the spots on my back and shoulders on my own and will always miss a spot. I like them for kids too because mine is still young and squirmy. It’s my everyday sunscreen and just worth the price for me. I buy this one at my dermatologist but I know you can find online as well. This is also one that I've felt safe using on my daughter too.
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
Price: + Texture: + EWG: 3
This is a new one I tried this year and I think it will be my new go-to inexpensive back up. The scent is heaven (I love coconuts) but light too. It sprays on white but rubs in super well and I think is a little more matte and not as greasy as sun bum. Overall really like this one and will probably use it to spray down the toddler before daycare every morning. I have to send her in with a lotion so see those listed below, but busy mornings call for a spray to get ready for her first outdoor playtime.
Sun Bum Original Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 30
Price: + Texture: - EWG: 4
This was my back up sunscreen last year that I kept in the car or in my diaper bag for on the run. I love the smell (I love the smell of coconuts and old fashioned suntan oil). It sprays on clear and rubs in really well, but it is a slightly greasier texture though and will leave you a bit shiny. It’s pretty middle of the road price wise and you can find it most everywhere now. I also have their stick for a quick application on my daughter’s face and really like their sunscreen lip balm.
Pacifica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 50
Price: + Texture: - EWG: not available
I tried this one last year as well and really didn't like it. It's super greasy and leaves you really shiny. There's not much else I really can say about this one since I didn't use it after the first time. I was surprised it didn't have an EWG rating at the time of writing this since some of Pacifica's other products are listed. Scent was ok from what I remember and the price was middle of the road. Overall "meh."
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen- Baby Sunscreen SPF 30
Price: + Texture: + EWG: 1
This is the sunscreen I’ve found just this year to send to daycare with my daughter. They aren’t allowed to have aerosols so it has to be a lotion. I used to use the coppertone water babies, but found this one at target and figured I’d give it a try. I’ve heard good things about Blue Lizard and this one didn’t disappoint. It rubs in really easily and isn’t too greasy. The scent is light, the price is really low, and best of all the rating from EWG is the best!
Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple Mineral Based Sunscreen Lotion
Price: + Texture: + EWG: 3
This was the sunscreen I sent my daughter to daycare with last year. It really pleasantly surprised me for a mineral based lotion. It rubs in really well and doesn’t have much of a greasy residue. The fragrance is light and of course the price is also reasonable. The big difference between this and the blue lizard for me is the EWG rating. I love having an option now that is best rating available. If I couldn’t find blue lizard though I would definitely use this as a back up.
Babyganics Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50+
Price: + Texture: - EWG: 3
I really wanted to like this one, I even bought the pump spray version as well. This goes on white and really doesn't rub in well in my opinion. My daughter was stuck with this white haze on her. The spray did the same thing. The scent is super mild though and it's available everywhere these days. I also liked that its tear free but never used it enough to test that out.
Goddess Garden Organics Kids Natural Sunscreen Continuous Spray SPF 30
Price: + Texture: - EWG: 3
This is another one that was a fail for me. This one had the worst texture that I've tried. It was almost streaky, clumpy when trying to rub it in. I wouldn't bother with this one again.