So you don’t have to!
For the past 2 years, I have purchased the Environmental Working Group’s sunscreen sample box. I love the idea that someone else has already evaluated the products from a toxicity standpoint, and I can trial those various sunscreen products without investing in full tubes of anything until I have decided which one(s) I want for my family. And, let’s face it (get it?), sunscreen isn’t cheap or fun.
This year, my colleague and I decided to put a few from the sample box to the test to give you our top picks for safer fun in the sun.
- SPF 30
- 20% zinc oxide.
- 80-min water-resistant
Any sunscreen product that my children are willing to apply themselves is automatically getting high ratings from me! This stick goes on smooth, is not tacky, sticky, nor greasy/oily, has no distinct smell and has great coverage, meaning I can see where it has been applied and yet I don’t look like I just applied white paint to my face, even though it contains 20% zinc oxide. This is my go-to product for the kids for their entire body. I prefer it for my face, but would it take an awful lot of product to cover my body.
- SPF 30
- 19% zinc oxide
- 40-min water-resistant
First, this product smells amazing (must be the blood orange and aloe)! It’s a creamy base, more of a skincare feel than a sunblock. It goes on smooth and leaves a soft, clear sheen. It feels a bit more greasy or oilier than the sunscreen stick, however I preferred this on my body as opposed to my face.
- SPF 30
- 18.75% zinc oxide
- 40-min water resistant
Props to Badger for providing a full-size sample of their product! This is a tried and true product for me. It goes on smooth, doesn’t feel greasy or oily, and leaves that soft sheen although it is slightly whiter than some of the other products. I prefer this, again, so I can see where I have applied it. One warning: my 7-year-old son applied this product on my back and wasn’t careful about avoiding my black bathing suit straps. It did leave a slight white mark on the suit even after hand washing. It did come off following my next swim session.
A couple of caveats: I have dark hair, dark eyes and olive skin, and so do my kids. Sunscreen is important for everyone, period, but we are the not blonde hair, blue eyes, fair skin people who are the most prone to sunburn, like my colleague. Yes, however, we will burn if we do not take the proper precautions, so my 7- and 4- year olds are lubed up.
Stay tuned for my colleague’s opinion on additional products. What are your sunscreen faves?