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Who Makes the Best Natural Sunscreen?

Several manufacturers have developed safe, natural sunscreen with SPF

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Natural sunscreen with SPF - some are better than others.

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Sunscreen and sunblocks have improved greatly in recent years, and high-SPF natural sunscreen with organic or natural ingredients are now widely available.

The bad news is, many natural sunscreen manufacturers are still marketing products with ingredients that don't provide real protection from the sun's harmful UV radiation, or that contain harmful or untested ingredients, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a consumer health and safety advocacy group.

Who Makes the Best Natural Sunscreen?

EWG has investigated hundreds of popular sunscreens and found many to be unsatisfactory, while others do a good, safe job of protecting skin from sun damage. The following products are among the group's best buys in good-quality natural sunscreens that are readily available and contain few if any harmful ingredients:

  • Alba Botanica Mineral Sunscreen
  • Badger Sunscreen for Face and Body
  • Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Sensitive or Baby
  • California Baby Sunscreen Lotion or Sunblock Stick
  • Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas: Mineral-Based Sunblock
  • LaRoche-Posay Anthelios 40 Sunscreen Cream
  • Purple Prairie Botanicals SunStuff or Sun Stick
  • Soleo Organics All Natural Sunscreen
  • UV Natural Sunscreen or Baby Sunscreen

For the safest protection, use sunscreens that contain a minimum of 7% titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Also, avoid sunscreens that contain insect repellent, oxybenzone, benzophenone-3 or artificial fragrances. (Most of the natural sunscreens listed above are available in unscented or fragrance-free formulas.)

How to Use Natural Sunscreen

The EWG, Consumer Reports and the American Cancer Society also recommend the following safe, smart tips for sun protection:

  • Use sunscreen that's rated SPF 15 to 30
  • Apply sunscreen to kids' sensitive skin first
  • Apply sunscreen 15 to 30 minutes before going out in the sun
  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection
  • Put on a tightly woven shirt and a hat
  • Avoid the sun between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., when the sun's ray are strongest
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible (though this doesn't offer complete protection from UV rays)
  • Reapply sunscreen often
  • Buy new sunscreen yearly -- it loses its potency over the winter
  • Don't forget your kisser! Use a good SPF 15 lip balm, too
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