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My Sunscreen Arsenal

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It’s going to be a beautiful day and we’re headed off to the inner harbor to spend some time outside and maybe see some fish at the aquarium. Since you’ll probably need it today, I thought this would be a good day to show you my arsenal of sunscreens!  I will give my recommendations in the post and will do a separate post on what to look for (good and bad) on a sunscreen label.

There’s been a lot of trial and error and aggressive googling to get to these favorites. I want to keep my family safe from the sun, safe from toxins, but not go poor in the process – so know that cost was always in mind in my selection process. Note that everyone in the family uses these interchangeably. I have no issues using something on myself that says baby on it, nor do I hesitate to put the sunscreens on my kids that doesn’t say it’s meant for a baby or kid. PLEASE NOTE: I don’t personally recommend any sunscreen on a baby younger than 6 months. Talk to your pediatrician if you think you need to use it on a child younger than 6 months.

My Recommendations

NOTE: These recommendations are only for the specific products listed below and it is not my endorsement of the whole product line of these brands. Also keep in mind the sizes of the products compared to cost. Some products are larger than others, but Amazon is great for breaking out how much you’re paying per ounce.

Goddess Garden (SPF 30 – water resistant)
This one is our new favorite and gets my husband’s seal of approval for best smelling and least annoying to apply from a texture perspective. This one really does hit all my points. Price, easy application, low number and safe ingredients, and a lovely smell. Try this one!!  I give a huge stamp of approval on this brand for all their sunscreen products!  Again, they have a kids line, but you should feel confident in putting any of their sunscreen products on your kid, with or without the kid label.  This product is biodegradable, reef safe, gluten free, cruelty free, vegan, alcohol free, paraben free, phthalate free, non-nano, synthetic fragrance free, and non-GMO.

Nature’s Gate Vegan (SPF 50 – water resistant)
This one is not my absolute favorite because it can be a bit thick to put on BUT if you’ve got a kid with super sensitive skin or you’re looking for something with absolutely no scent – this is the stuff for you. Once we use up our bottle we probably won’t buy this one again only because we don’t need it for the benefit reasons I mentioned.  This product is vegan, gluten free, fragrance free, paraben free, phthalate free, oxybenzone free, and cruelty free.

Alba Very Emollient (SPF 30 – water resistant)
This one can also be a little thick to apply but I still keep buying it. It works beautifully and although fragrance free, it still has a nice pleasant scent. Bonus is that it’s reef safe so if you’re headed to the beach and want to be good to the earth, this is a great choice.  This product is fragrance free, paraben free, phthalate free, vegetarian, cruelty free, biodegradable, and reef safe.

Blue Lizard Baby (SPF 30 – NOT water resistant)
There is also a version called Blue Lizard Sensitive that is the same formula.  I always like to have a non water resistant block available. Sometimes, like today, you’re just walking around outside and not getting wet so why use a block with extra ingredients or a different formulation to accommodate for water? This is the block my kids use at daycare even on splash days when they get a little wet.  Fun  Factor: The bottle turns colors when it senses UV Rays!  For more about UV Rays, check out my post on Chemical vs. Physical Sunscreen.  This product is paraben free, phthalate free, fragrance-free, nut free, gluten free, cruelty-free, alcohol-free, and soy free.

Drunk Elephant Umbra (SPF 30 – NOT water resistant and meant for your face)
This is my go to for my face! Some of my makeup has SPF in it, but on a day like today where I’m makeup free this is perfect. It has a nice dewey sheen to it that’s not at all the white of sunscreen, it’s super lightweight and great under makeup, and smells lovely. This product cruelty-free, fragrance-free, Oxybenzone free, paraben free, phthalate free, and sulfate free.

You’ll notice a theme in the ingredients list across these sunscreens – few and simple. You’ll also notice there is not an aerosol can to be found – eeek!

Recommendations for nut allergies

What can be so tough is that many of the more natural sunscreens are formulated with nuts, a common allergen.  Below are a few recommendations and bits of information if you’re in that category.  Again, please remember that on a baby over 6 months old, and as long as its a safe ingredient product, you don’t need to be worried about whether the product says the word “kids” or “baby” on it.  On the same note, as an adult you shouldn’t think twice using a product that is noted to be formulated for kids.  IMPORTANT: Always do a spot test – just to be on the safe side!

Blue Lizard Baby and Blue Lizard Sensitive are formulated with absolutely no nuts and in a certified nut-free facility.  In fact, all of their products are.  However, these two formulas that I recommend are not water resistant.  Blue Lizard does have two other water resistant formulas, Blue Lizard Regular and Blue Lizard Sport, but unfortunately, these do contain some unfavorable ingredients.  That being said, if you have a severe allergy and you need sun protection that is water resistant, the unfavorable ingredients in these formulas are much less harmful than no sun protection!  All Blue Lizard products are non-comedogenic so you should be able to use these products on your face without clogging your pores.

Drunk Elephant Umbra is formulated with Marula Oil, extracted from the kernel of the fruit of a Marula tree.  This is technically classified as a nut, however is usually safe for those with a nut allergy.  You will want to test this on a small patch of skin before using.  They carry Drunk Elephant at places like Sephora in case you want to walk into the store and do a spot test instead of buying and then having to send back.  As I noted above, I use this for my face and often under makeup, but there is no reason it can’t be used on the body as well – it’s just an expensive product to be using liberally.  Please also remember, this is a not a water resistant product.

FSA, HSA, and HRA Accounts

Don’t forget – sunscreen is often eligible for reimbursement from flexible spending accounts (FSA), health savings accounts (HSA), and health reimbursement accounts (HRA). It only makes sense since sunscreen is a preventable measure! Some companies require a certain SPF for reimbursement which is usually a minimum of SPF 15 or 30. Check with your insurance/savings account provider to understand the policy details.

Have a beautiful day!

Larisa Explains It All is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

2 Comment

    1. Badger is a fantastic and safe brand! The only reason they didn’t make it on my list this year is due to price. It is almost double per oz than the other brands I’ve suggested. If that isn’t a factor for you – go for it! My favorite is the unscented SPF 30 (http://amzn.to/2p83dm5) and the baby formula (http://amzn.to/2pqxQzZ). Again – feel free to use the baby formula on yourself and the adult formulas on baby. As long as it’s safe ingredients and the babe is over 6 months, it really doesn’t matter.

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