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Healthy and Affordable Sunscreens

By Chloe Peterson
June 1, 2010
File under: Health, Shopping


How do you protect your skin this summer without the scary chemicals?

The Environmental Working Group recently released its 2010 Sunscreen Guide which rates sunscreens’ health risks.  They advise against sunscreens that contain vitamin A (also known as retinol or retinyl palmitate) which can speed the growth of cancer, oxybenzone (a hormone disruptor), and sprays or powders because the particles that disperse into the air are potentially harmful if inhaled.

Of the 500 sunscreens EWG reviewed they recommend 39 that are healthy and provide protection from UVA and UVB rays.  They are also all mineral-based, which means they contain zinc or titanium.

But many of these healthier sunscreens come with a hefty price tag, leaving us to wonder how expensive this summer is going to get.  So ecomii’s sun-loving expert mom has sifted through the EWG’s list to find the most affordable sunscreens to protect your skin.


terra-sport.jpg1. All Terrain:  Retails for about $6 to $10 for 3.5 oz, but it’s sold in higher quantities for less on www.amazon.com.  Look for:

  • Aquasport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30 -  one of the few water resistant sunscreens given top rating by the EWG
  • TerraSport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30
  • KidSport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30

2. Caribbean Solutions:
Retails at about $17.00 for a 6 oz bottle, but you can find even better deals on www.amazon.com.  Look for:

  • Natural/Biodegradable SolGuard, SPF 25
  • Sol Kid Kare Natural Sunscreen, SPF 25.

sunstuff.jpg3. Purple Prairie Botanicals: Retails at $10.00 for 4oz, available from http://www.purpleprairie.com.  Look for:

  • SunStuff, SPF 15 or 30.


Your local supermarket or health food store may not carry all of the recommended brands, so here are some more widely available sunscreens that are still not crazy-expensive:

sunbrellas.jpgJason Natural Cosmetics: Retails for $10 – $16 for 4 oz, and is widely available. Also online at www.amazon.com and Earth’s Best is available at www.diapers.com.  Look for:

  • Sunbrellas: Mineral Based Physical Sunblock, SPF 30+
  • Sunbrellas: Chemical Free Sunblock, SPF 30+
  • Earth’s Best: Sunblock Mineral Based, SPF 30+

california-baby.jpgCalifornia Baby: Retails for around $17 – $20 for 3 oz.  Also available at www.diapers.com .  Look for:

  • Sunscreen Lotion No Fragrance, SPF 30+
  • Sunscreen Lotion Everyday/Year-Round, SPF 30+
  • Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+, Citronella – this has the bonus of repelling kid-loving mosquitoes.

Remember that your first line of defense against sun damage should be the shade:  wear a good pair of sunglasses, a hat, and light clothes – and don’t forget the beach umbrella if you’re off to the beach or the park.

Be sure to apply sunscreen liberally and often while you’re outside, and especially after you’ve been swimming or exercising – and enjoy a healthy, sunny summer.

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