As local communities continue to update Covid-19 regulations, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for the latest information.

Protect Your Skin: 5 Safe Sunscreens to Try This Summer

Full broad spectrum protection, without harsh chemicals. 

Protect Your Skin: 5 Safe Sunscreens to Try This Summer
Image Courtesy of All Good

With summer in full swing and droves of people heading outdoors to soak up the sunshine, it's important to remember to pack one crucially important thing in our backpacks and beach bags: sunscreen. 

We all know that sun exposure is a bit of a balancing act. A healthy dosage of time in the sun is good for developing vitamin D, which is helpful for maintaining the health of your bones, blood cells, and immune system. But too much sun exposure without the proper protection can lead to skin damage and harmful complications such as skin cancer. The safest thing to do before you bask in the rays is to apply a generous layer of sunscreen. 

While it's easy enough to swing by your local pharmacy to pick up a tube of sunscreen, you may want to consider a few things before you make your purchase. Recent studies have found that common sunscreen ingredients, found in popular sunscreen brands, are being absorbed into the bloodstream at a level that exceeds the safety standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 

Luckily for us, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has created the comprehensive "Guide to Sunscreens" which "rates the hazards and efficacy of sunscreens, in addition to moisturizers and lip products with sun protection factor, or SPF, ratings," according to their website. Their 2020 guide rates over 730 different sunscreens and gives them a rating on a scale of 1-10—ones and twos being "low hazard" and sevens through tens flagged as "high hazard." 

Next time you're packing up for some time spent outside, consider purchasing from one of these brands creating safe and effective sunscreen. Each of the products listed below has received a rating of either one or two from EWG, indicating low hazard:  

Badger

Everything from Badger offers full broad-spectrum protection (against UVA and UVB) and its only active ingredient is zinc oxide. Mineral-based sunscreens are not only highly effective, but they are less harmful than many common sunscreen chemicals. Badger's entire range of products are crafted with a base of plant oils, aloe, and beeswax. In fact, some of their products contain only five ingredients in total. If a rigorous hike or a day of kayaking are in your weekend plans, go for one of Badger's sport sunscreens—they're water and sweat resistant for 80 minutes. Here are a few of their products to consider that have been given a rating of one by EWG (lowest hazard rating): 

All Good

Image Courtesy of All Good

Kickstarted in the early '90s with a plant-based salve made for climbers and farmers, All Good has since developed a range of products from deodorant to lip balm to high-quality mineral-based sunscreens. Made with non-nano zinc oxide and antioxidants like green tea leaves and rosehip oil, All Good's sunscreen products are not only good for combatting the harmful effects of the sun, but they'll sit on top of your skin rather than absorb into the body. Next time you're planning to spend time outdoors—whether that's a weekend of camping or a swim in the local lake—make sure you apply a generous amount of sunscreen. All Good also makes a variety of sunscreen products, from basic lotions to easy-to-use and portable "butter sticks." Here are a few of options: 

Kabana

The mission at Kabana is pretty simple: to make your life easier, happier, and healthier. You (and your family and friends) can comfortably use Kabana sunscreens without worrying about harmful chemicals. Kabana sunscreen products are made with certified organic and mineral ingredients so even those with allergies and sensitive skin can rest assured they won't have a reaction. Kabana's website also provides a comprehensive and transparent explanation of their sunscreens' effectiveness—be sure to give it a read. Before you step outside, check out these products from Kabana's line of sunscreens: 

Raw Elements

Image Courtesy of Raw Elements

Developed by an ocean lifeguard, Raw Elements sunscreen is made of certified all-natural ingredients while still offering full broad-spectrum protection from UVA and UVB. Raw Elements' products are described as "performance driven," so even you're breaking a sweat, swimming in the ocean, or spending hours in the sun, Raw Elements will protect you. The Raw Elements Face + Body Tube with SPF 30 is described as being water resistant "beyond 80 minutes." The product also doesn't run or sting the eyes, so if you're sweating outdoors, don't worry about any discomfort. Raw Elements sunscreen is also reef safe, which means its ingredients are not toxic to coral and marine life. Next time you're going to spend time in the sun, make sure to bring along one of these products from Raw Elements: 

Thinksport

All the sun protection with none of the bad stuff. Made without any harsh chemicals, Thinksport's sunscreens are both affordable and safe for your skin. Thinksport's sunscreen products will give you broad spectrum protection, up to 80 minutes of water resistance, and it won't leave any oily feeling residue on your skin. Whether you're going surfing, biking, hiking, or simply laying out to tan on your back deck, Thinksport sunscreen is a great go-to. Here are some of their top-rated products:  

As local communities continue to update Covid-19 regulations, local destinations for outdoor recreation may be closed. Please visit official websites for the latest information.

Subscribe for future Step Outside News!