What To Look for and Avoid in Sunscreen

Summer’s upon us, so it’s time to talk about sunscreen, my friends. It’s extremely important to protect yourself from the sun’s damaging UV rays, which can cause skin cancer, not to mention sunburn and premature aging.

Let’s go over the sunscreen options on the market and cover what to look for and avoid.


There are two kinds of sunscreen: chemical-based and mineral-based. My advice is simple. You never want to use a chemical-based sunscreen; always choose a mineral-based sunscreen.

Most sunscreens on the market are chemical-based. When you look at the active ingredients, you’ll see: Avobenzone, Homosalate, Octocrylene, Octyl Salicylate. These are chemical-based active ingredients. 

The big danger of chemical-based sunscreen is that the chemicals actually absorb into your skin. They can be found in your body for three to four weeks after usage. They seep into breast tissue and can contaminate mother's milk. That's a major problem, because these ingredients have been linked to serious health issues, including cancer. 

Stick with mineral-based sunscreen, because it doesn't absorb into your skin.

“You never want to use a chemical-based sunscreen; always choose a mineral-based sunscreen.”


Even within mineral-based sunscreens, you still need to check the labels carefully. The active ingredients in mineral-based sunscreens are typically zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. However, sometimes there are other bad ingredients along for the ride.

If you look at the inactive ingredients of some cosmetics, you’ll see a laundry list of additives like parabens, PEGS, nasty fragrances, and many more. These can be possible skin irritants, so you don’t want to see them in your sunscreen or anything else you use cosmetically.

The best mineral sunscreen on the market right now is Badger. It’s effective and non-toxic. Zinc oxide is the active ingredient, and when you look at the inactive ingredients, you see sunflower seed oil as the carrier. There are no nasty chemicals or additives – just natural ingredients.

If you’re shopping at Whole Foods, another great option is 365 Mineral Sunscreen. It may be the store brand, but it’s actually very highly rated. Like Badger, the 365 brand uses zinc oxide as the active ingredient and a blend of sunflower seed oil, beeswax, and other natural inactive ingredients.

Another excellent option is Raw Elements. It’s a little expensive, but includes ingredients that are certified all natural including: tea, beeswax, hemp oil, coffee bean, and mango butter.

Stay safe this summer by choosing a mineral-based sunscreen and applying it regularly!