Natural Sunscreen Round Up (Plus a tip!)

The only thing harder than wrestling your kids into layers of snow gear may be slathering on sunscreen. But a few minutes of wiggling is worth getting to enjoy your summer burn-free. We’ve been busy testing out different types of natural sunscreens and are ready to start sharing our thoughts with you. If you have a favorite, please let us know in the comments!

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Waxhead sunscreens are reef safe, natural sunscreens that use “only non-nano, uncoated, French process Zinc Oxide, 100% certified organic edible-grade inactive ingredients, and no petrochemicals” that provide protection across the UVA/UVB spectrum. Waxhead sunscreens use very few ingredients, and skip products that make other sunscreens smoother and easier to spread on. By sticking to the basics – zinc oxide, coconut oil, beeswax – Waxhead sunscreens can provide peace of mind to parents who aren’t comfortable not knowing what is going on their baby’s skin.

Peppermint Lip Balm

This was easy to apply and smelled great. Everyone who tested it was a fan. It will give you a white lipstick look, so be prepared to rock the teenage lifeguard look.

Waxhead Field Tin

The field tin comes in a regular white version and a tinted version mixed with cocoa powder. Our testers found the sunscreen in the field tin pretty hard to apply – true to it’s name, it’s very waxy. My kids loved the “chocolate” smell of the tinted version and we didn’t have any burning on the day we used it. I also found it didn’t take much product in order to do the job, probably because it isn’t watered down with other ingredients. Tip: Heat the sunscreen up with your fingers before spreading it.

One of our testers with a sunflower allergy noted this was her first time finding a natural sunscreen that did not include sunflower oil. Also, if you are looking to reduce the plastic in your life, you will love the metal tin. It screws together well and had no leakage problems.

Environmental Watch Group rating: 1

Baby Waxhead

Our testers loved that this sunscreen was designed to be used for babies ages 0 and up (although be sure to check with your pediatrician). Our tester wasn’t in love with the scent and also found it to be waxy to apply but found that it was effective at protecting kids’ from sunburn.

Environmental Watch Group rating: 1

Vitamin D Sunscreen

The Vitamin D Sunscreen rubs on much smoother than the field tin. It has Vitamin D mixed in it – helping to counter the Vitamin D absorption that is prevented by sunscreen. This sunscreen is odorless and safe to use on babies 6 months and up.

Environmental Watch Group rating: 1

Bottom line: If your kids have a tough time sitting still for sunscreen application, choose one of the options in a tube. But if you like knowing the ingredients in your sunscreen, you will love Waxhead’s simplicity.

Think Baby

ThinkBaby is a non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen that is paraben, phthalate, PABA, and 1,4 dioxane free. It provides broad-spectrum UVA and UVB protection and “does not contain any known reef harmful chemicals.” The tube is made out of BPA free plastic.

Think Baby Lotion

This sunscreen was easy to apply and the citrus-scent was a hit with adults and kids alike. It rubbed in smoothly and didn’t leave skin with a sticky residue. Unlike most mineral sunscreens, this one won’t leave you looking like a ghost (or at least, less of a ghost than normal). Testers felt it offered a good protection even after the 80 minutes that it is recommended for.

The ThinkBaby, ThinkSport, and Thinkport Kids are all the same formula, but have different scents. So don’t worry about the name, and pick whichever one smells best to you.

Environmental Watch Group Rating: 1

Bottom Line: Think Baby is a pretty safe bet if you are looking to match ease with efficacy. The price point is also more affordable than many other mineral sunscreens.

California Baby

The active ingredient in California Baby is titanium dioxide, California Baby sunscreen is free of oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, octioxate, Vitamin A, and retinyl palmitate. California Baby says their “sunscreens are coral reef safe.” California Baby is also very upfront about when their sunscreens expire (yup, sunscreen expires. Go ahead and throw that years old tube in the back of the minivan away).

One of our testers finds that she is allergic to most sunscreens and had no issue with this one!

Super Sensitive

This sunscreen requires a little extra time rubbing it in to avoid any white streaks in your skin, but is effective even at high altitudes. There is no added fragrance, but it still has a pleasant outdoor flowery scent that’s not too overwhelming.

Environmental Watch Group Rating: 1

Summer Blend

The summer blend is scented with citronella and lemongrass essential oils. As my son put it, “it reminds me of being at the cabin!” I really liked the smell, but after a few minutes my son thought it was a bit strong. This sunscreen is very thick, so a little goes a long way. It does take a little more effort to rub into skin however.

Environmental Watch Group Rating: 2

Bottom Line: This is a very effective sunscreen that some may enjoy, but the summer blend may turn off kids who are averse to strong smells.

Sunscreen Application Tip

During our testing we learned a tip that can change the way you apply natural sunscreens. If you’ve ever ended up with goopy, unevenly applied sunscreen, try this instead.

Apply a small row of dots on arms, legs, or around the face.

Then rub the dots together – you will get a much more even coverage this way, and save time too.

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