Honestly, when someone asked me to write a post about sunscreens, I thought it would be an easy one. Try out a bunch of sunscreens and come up with some pros and cons, etc. Easy right? Um……. No. I uncovered SO much that I didn’t know about sunscreen- and some of it was quite disturbing! Maybe you are unaware of the dirty little secrets behind sunscreens here in the US too, so I wanted this post to be informative as well as giving you what I think is the best sunscreen for your face. It’s pretty important.

What You Need To Know

I had no idea, but the the sunscreen market in the United States is flooded with products that use potentially harmful ingredients and provide poor UVA protection. What in the actual hell? And all this time, I thought I just needed to find a decent mineral sunscreen that would work well under makeup. Now you’re telling me there are actual TOXINS in some (a LOT) of sunscreens?

One of the main toxins, oxybenzone, is a hormone-disrupting chemical that is readily absorbed, and acts like estrogen in the body. This chemical is currently present in 40 percent of the 1,800 sunscreens tested by the Environmental Working Group( EWG). It also has the ability to bleach and kill coral reefs.

Last year an FDA study found that “chemical sunscreen ingredients are systemically absorbed after one application, and some ingredients can stay in the blood for at least three weeks.”

Avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, homosalate, octisalate and octinoxate, were some of the sunscreen chemicals tested. All six of these active ingredients are readily absorbed into the bloodstream — and at concentrations that surpass the FDA safety threshold. The EWG also found that nearly 75 percent of sunscreens either don’t work and/or contain the above ingredients that are readily absorbed by the body.

Pretty disturbing to say the least.

What You Can Do

You can go to the EWG’s web site and check out their “2021 Best Sunscreens Report”. They have analyzed the ingredients and the claims of more than 1,800 products with SPF and come up with 400 that actually meet their rigorous standards. You can also just type in the name of your current sunscreen and see if it meets your needs and standards. I literally threw out most of the sunscreens I owned after typing them into their database and researching them!

The Best Sunscreen For Your Face

I’ve completely changed my recommendations for facial sunscreen based on this new information. In one way, it made my job of trying sunscreens easier, because there were SO many that were now eliminated based on the above information. SO many of the most popular and expensive sunscreens on the market did not fare well. We all know by now, that we NEED sunscreen on our face every day. Daily use is obviously upping the quantity that’s going onto our skin each day, so it’s pretty important to pay attention to those ingredients. After a lot of research and trial, it’s my opinion that these are the best, safest and most effective sunscreens for your face and for daily use.

MD Solar Sciences Mineral Creme (3.4 oz) also on Amazon (1.7 oz) here.

Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen (3 oz.) and on Amazon (3 oz) here.

Marie Veronique Everyday Coverage Tinted Sunscreen (2 oz.)

Beauty Counter Countersun Daily Sheer Defense

Solara Suncare Clean Freak Nutrient Boosted Daily Sunscreen

Waxhead Sun Defense Skin Nourishing Sunscreen Lotion

This is by no means an exhaustive list but these are the ones that I love and that meet the highest standards. I highly encourage you to check out the EWG site and check your sunscreens! They are rated from 1 to 10. 1 being the best and 10 being the worst.

Sunscreens To Avoid

Here are some of the more popular sunscreens that rated the worst:

  • Walgreens Dry Touch Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
  • Panama Jack Sunscreen Continuous Spray, SPF 100
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85+
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100+
  • Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
  • Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60+
  • Neutrogena Age Shield Face Oil-Free Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 110
  • Equate Beauty Ultra Light Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
  • CVS Health Ultra Sheer Lotion, SPF 100
  • Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
  • COOLA Classic Body Sunscreen Spray, Peach Blossom, SPF 70
  • Banana Boat Ultra Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
  • Banana Boat Ultra Defense Clear Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
  • Banana Boat Kids MAX Clear Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
  • Australian Gold Botanical Natural Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
  • Ulta Beauty Mineral Sunscreen Lotion

A Few Other Things To Note

Also from the EWG:

  • Avoid spray sunscreens. It is difficult to apply it thick enough to get enough protection and it increases your risk of breathing chemicals directly into your lungs.
  • Opt for mineral-based sunscreen products with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide active ingredients and avoid products with ingredients like oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate. 
  • A growing number of Americans are Vitamin D deficient, because of sunscreens and spending more time indoors. You NEED Vitamin D! Sitting in the sun exposed for just 10 minutes can create approx. 10,000 units of natural vitamin D in your body! But we all know that too much unprotected sun exposure is harmful.
  • Use other forms of protection in addition to sunscreen. Beautiful cover-ups, hats, and sunglasses go a long way in helping to protect you from too much sun exposure.
  • Link to the FDA led study here.

Yay! Now you’re ready to choose a safe sunscreen!

Was this post informative for you? Do you feel like you have more information to choose the best sunscreen for your face? Let me know in the comments!

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The Best Sunscreen for Your face