Monday, May 17, 2010

Top Green Sunscreens 2010

Here’s Greenerpenny’s newly updated, 2010 Sun Products Short List of least-toxic, full-spectrum UV blockers.
Here's my practical tip for surfers and other water babies out in the summer sun, wind & waves: Use what works. For me, that means a mix of pure green, like California Baby pure mineral block, and a runner-up that really stays on, like Shiseido's sunblocking foundation for faces. Both below.
When it comes to sun protection, no one has to be perfectly green.
I also try to surf early or late in the day, outside the window of the sun's strongest UV rays, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.


Top Picks

These mineral-based products block both UVA and UVB rays, and are free of toxic/ irritating synthetic sunscreen chemicals*.

Alba Botanica Sun Mineral Kids/ Fragrance Free, SPF 30
, Z, T, H, A, Nn
Badger SPF 30 + Sunscreen and All Season Face Stick, Z, H, F, CO, Nn
California Baby SPF 30 No Fragrance face stick or lotion, T, H, F, Nn
Loving Naturals Organic SPF 30, Z, H, F, CO, Nn
Purple Prairie Botanicals SPF 30 Sun Stuff or Sun Stick, Z, H, F, CO, Nn, http: //
Think Baby and Think Sport SPF 30+, Z, H, F, Nn
Goddess Garden Kids SPF 30+, Z, T, H, F, CO,
Heiko Kids SPF 40, Z, H, NS,
UV Natural Sunscreen, Sport SPF 30+, Z, H, F, Nn,
Elemental Herbs Kids Natural Broad Spectrum SPF 20, Z, F, Nn,
Mexitan SPF 50, Z, T, H, F,
Miessence Reflect Outdoor Balm, SPF 29.5, Z, NC, CO, Nn,
Erbaviva Children’s Sunscreen SPF 15, T, F, CO,
Nature’s Gate Mineral Sunblock/ Sport Block, SPF 20, T, Z, A, http://
Jason Natural Cosmetics Earth’s Best Organic Sunblock, Mineral Based/ Chemical Free SPF 30+, T,Z, NC,
John Masters Organics SPF 30 mineral sunscreen, T,Z, CO, Nn,NC,
Kasia Good Day Sunshine SPF 30, Z, T, H, F,
Lavera Sunscreen Neutral SPF 40, T, NC,
Soleo Organics Chemical Free Sunscreen SPF 30+, Z, H, NC, Nn,
Tru Kid Sunny Days Face & Body Stick SPF 30+, Z, T, H, NC,

Everyday (not beach or sport) Sun Protection

Keys Soap Solar Rx Therapeutic SunblockSPF 30, Z, H, F; manufacturer notes product is not waterproof nor designed for coverage during active sports/perspiration. Its zinc particles are smaller than 100 nm, per EWG.


The following are free of BP-3, but have other ingredients of concern.

Aubrey Organics Natural Sunscreens SPF 20-25, T, F, (padimate-O) Avalon Baby Natural Mineral Sunscreen SPF 18, T, F (peg-100 stearate)
Banana Boat Kids SPF 50, T, Z, NS, (octinoxate, homosalate)
Blue Lizard Sunscreen Sensitive/ Baby SPF 30+, T, Z, H, NS, (parabens)
Burt’s Bees Chemical Free Sunscreen SPF 30, T, NC, (“fragrance”)
Kiss My Face SPF 30 Face Factor/ Oat Protein, T, NC (avobenzone, octinoxate)
Mustela SPF 50, T, Z, H, NS,
Neutrogena Sunblock/ Stick SPF 60 and Pure and Free Baby Sunblock/Stick, T, Z, H, NS (peg-100 stearate, polyethylene, BHT)
Shiseido Sun Protection Stick Foundation 35, Z, T, H, NS, now paraben-free! octinoxate, parabens, “fragrance”),
Solbar Shield SPF 40, Z, T, H, NS (peg-100 stearate)
Solar Protection Formula SPF 58, T, Z, NS (parabens)


T: Titanium Dioxide
Z: Zinc Oxide
H: Rated most highly effective against both UVA and UVB rays by Environmental Working Group,
F: Full member, Compact for Safe Cosmetics (CSC)
CO: Contains certified organic ingredients
Nn: Non-nano, safer size particles > 100 nanometers
A: Associate member CSC
NC: Signed CSC but not in full compliance
NS: Has not signed CSC

*No benzophenone-3 (oxybenzone/BP-3), homosalate, octinoxate, octyl-methoxycinnamate, octocrylene, padimate-O, parsol 1789/avobenzone, parabens, “fragrance”(phthalates)and 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor, all of which have been linked to allergic reactions, hormone disruption, reproductive harm to wildlife, damage to skin cell DNA, or the growth of cancer cells in lab tests.A particular baddie, BP-3, has been implicated in the feminization of male ocean fish and promoting disease in corals as well as hormone disruption in lab tests, and is widely present in the bodies of the American population.

For detailed information on sunblocks, a top cosmetics companies list, choose it/lose it charts and chemicals to avoid in all personal care products, see my new book, Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth through Simple, Everyday Choices

Buyer Beware: Buy the specific product listed, and doublecheck labels of other products by the same maker. Some of the companies above use synthetic chemicals in other sunblock products, including some for kids!

Check if your company has signed the Compact for Safe Cosmetics here:

**To avoid nano particles, look for sunblocks that contain micronized particles of at least 100 nanometers Titanium or Zinc Oxide, which are less likely to penetrate skin, per Environmental Working Group (EWG). EWG’s Skin Deep Database Sunblock ratings of over 500 products now include particle size. Search your sunscreen's rating at

Remember, UV avoidance is the best policy! Whenever possible, cover up with hats and long sleeves/ rash guards, and stay out of the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

For more seasonal green living and health tips, and to ask me questions, come to my web page,; if you haven't already, please subscribe to GreenerPenny’s free monthly email newsletter on our home paage.

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