Stylishly Clean Living

Sharing my journey of cleaner living and better health without sacrificing style.


How to Easily Choose a Nontoxic Sunscreen

With the unofficial start to summer just behind us, it’s no doubt that we are all seeing ad upon ad and product recommendation upon recommendation for sunscreen. I can’t begin to count the number of articles and blogs I’ve read that list the “best” sunscreens to use. But what does the “best” mean and if they’re the “best” then why is each list different?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve arrived on several beach vacations to find that you’re sunscreen never made it in the suitcase, leaving you left in an unfamiliar store trying to remember those endless lists of sunscreen recommendations.

I put together 3 easy steps to buying safe and effective sunscreen wherever you are.

Choose an SPF of 15-30 SPF refers to the protection against UVB rays. An SPF below 15 will not provide you with enough. Anything higher than 30 will not provide you with significant more coverage and can actually put your health even more at risk.

Look for zinc oxide listed in the ingredients Makers of sunscreen have many options to choose from when deciding what to use to block the rays. Chemical ingredients are a hassell because you have to wait for them to be absorbed before going in the sun. This also puts your health at risk. Of the physical barrier options, zinc oxide is the only one that will fully protect you from the sun.

Avoid products with retinyl palmitate According to the Environmental Working Group, “Scientists have found that vitamin A can spur excess skin growth, known as hyperplasia and that in sunlight retinyl palmitate can form free radicals that damage DNA (NTP 2000).” (See The Problem with Vitamin A)

Additional Tips
-The EWG each year selects sunscreen recommendations based on their high standards. You can purchase these sunscreens by clicking here
-Most people do not apply enough sunscreen. Use enough to fill a shot glass for adequate coverage.
-Reapply sunscreen after getting out of the water and hourly.
-When in doubt, go with your gut. Anything is better than nothing!


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