Our Top Pick for Non-toxic Sunscreen

eco sunscreen Our Top Pick for Non toxic Sunscreen

Be Smart About Sunscreen (photo by Kristen Brundige)

Trying to find non-toxic personal care products for my family has left our bathroom cluttered with jars, bottles, and tubs.  After plenty of trial and error (…and don’t even ask how much money spent…), we’ve found a system that works.

It actually makes our bathroom look a lot like our kitchen.  We use organic coconut oil instead of lotion.  Baking soda and vinegar for shampoo.  And the same type of castile soap we use to clean vegetables can do double duty as body wash.

But sunscreen isn’t something you can cook up in your kitchen, so we’ve tried just about every eco-friendly sunscreen listed on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database.  While some of them were as effective as they claimed in protecting from sunburn, I still couldn’t find a brand my kids or I liked.

To make matters even more confusing, sunscreen has become quite the controversy.  Since the masses have started using sunscreen religiously, skin cancer rates have increased.  Everyone has an opinion, but it’s pretty obvious to me that all the chemicals in sunscreen is what’s causing cancer.  Those same chemicals are also affecting marine life.

The sun is by far our best source of Vitamin D production in the body.  Vitamin D boosts the immune system so we’re better equipped to fight off infections and even cancer.  But too much sun exposure, especially at an early age, can increase the risk of skin cancers.  So as a parent, you try to do 20 minutes a day to get a little Vitamin D and pray you don’t forget to apply the sunscreen if the kids are outside longer.  And what about for every day use?

The surfer stripes might look cool at the beach — on surfers…

… but most parents are looking for a sunscreen that doesn’t leave a greasy, white film all over.  Many of the non-toxic sunscreens are really thick – I think it’s the zinc oxide – making it tough to rub it in.  So there you are with a dollop of white paste, trying to smear it on your wiggly, excited child’s skin.  Or yourself.  I don’t know about you, but an iridescent white sheen doesn’t exactly enhance my already fair skin.

ecological skin care tubes 300x165 Our Top Pick for Non toxic SunscreenThat’s why I’m excited to share the sunscreen I found from ECO Logical Skin Care with you.  We tried it in late summer, and boy do I wish we’d had it all season!  Somehow this sunscreen is light and rich at the same time.  We used the SPF 30, and it leaves no white residue.  My first thought when it didn’t sit on top of my skin was that it was too thin, and we’d probably have to reapply.  But I had gotten so busy talking to my friend at the pool, I didn’t remember to do it.  So it turned out that my boys and I spent 3 hours at the pool in the middle of the day, and left with no pink noses or shoulders.

How does ECO Sunscreen blend in so well?

I was curious to understand what makes ECO so easy to apply and rub in…. or actually why other non-toxic brands are so thick, so I emailed them to find out.  CEO Rick Sample wrote back and explained:

One of the main advantages we have is the technology we used in creating our sunscreens. ECO Skin Care incorporates the latest in zinc only sunscreen technology, delivering a superior cosmetic feel with a better texture and viscosity.  This result is not dependent upon particle size alone, in fact we use a particle size greater than our competitors, yet our products are easier to rub in and don’t leave a white cast.

Some of the important aspects in achieving this are: the nature of the zinc emulsion or dispersion, blending process and sequence, the associated ingredients involved in the final formulation.  We have carefully selected our ingredients to end up a truly superior product in all aspects, from texture and feel to performance in and out of the water.

So there’s the technical answer, but I also wanted to know if anyone else was talking about this brand.  I checked the EWG Skin Deep Database and found it was among the low hazard list.  Also, our friend Lisa D Liguori of Style Essentials said about ECO’s SPF 30+ for Face, “I found it!  A sunscreen to protect your skin daily, under your makeup or alone, that is safe, natural and good for your skin.”Green Travel pic Our Top Pick for Non toxic Sunscreen

Further proof of how good this sunscreen is… The Surfrider Foundation partnered with ECO Skin Care as its exclusive sunscreen partner:

In recent years public concern over the environmental impacts of sunscreens has grown. It is believed that the UV absorbing chemicals found in many popular sunscreens, such as oxybenzone and octymethoxycinnamate, may pose a danger to marine life, including corals. Unlike many other sunscreens ECO Sunscreen uses only 100% natural ingredients, and was given a 0-1 rating (Safest) by the Environmental Working Group.

Another important point about the ECO line of sunscreen is that their entire line is safe for use on babies under 6 months of age.  Previously, I had no idea that there were actually “Baby” lines of sunscreen that weren’t safe to use on babies 6 months and younger.  We tended to keep our babies under an umbrella at that age, but it’s nice to know there’s a safe brand if you need it.

And you know how we love companies that give back… In support of marine environments, ECO Skin Care donates up to 3% of their net revenue to the Surfrider Foundation to help fund ongoing educational and activist efforts.


PinExt Our Top Pick for Non toxic Sunscreen
  • http://micheletremblay.com Michele M Tremblay

    Amity, What great information. I have given up using sun screen…I’d rather take my chances with the sun than all of the chemicals, but you have given me a new option! Awesome!
    Thanks for this valuable info!

  • http://www.GreenGiftsGuide.com Amity Hook-Sopko

    I definitely agree that you can be smart about timing, etc. in the sun.  But for a beach vacation or a day at the pool (where you’re swimming in everyone else’s toxic chemicals – gross), I have to have something for myself and the kids.  Sooo nice to finally have one that blends in!

  • Steve

    What a concept: a non toxic sunscreen that works, that’s good for the body and doesn’t pollute the environment!  Thanks for showing us a real, every day option. 

  • McKenna Gordon

    I always love your ideas. I save sunscreen for long days in the sun, or whenever we’re closer to the equator than Utah! Haha. I’m happy that my kids are brown, so they need it even less than I do. But when we do need it, this is very similar to what we use!

  • Acematrix65

    Eco is awesome.I suffer from long list of allergies,alcohol included.Eco protects my skin without causing irritation plus,its environment friendly,and local company.Great product.

  • http://www.iWomanMag.com Scarlett Von Gunten

    Thank you! I was in need of finding a new sunscreen! I’d love your shampoo recipe too! :)

  • http://www.elviesessentials.com Elvie Look

    I will have to show this to Ken. He takes some very strong meds for his heart that have made him so sensitive to the sun, his skin actually starts to turn blue. He needs a strong sunscreen. Thanks for letting me know about this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/denny.hagel Denny Hagel

    Great info Amity…living in the wonderful Florida sunshine, protection is always on our minds! Thanks!

  • http://www.GreenGiftsGuide.com Amity Hook-Sopko

    Hey Scarlett, the shampoo is a mixture of baking soda & apple cider vinegar.  You have to play around to get the right balance for your hair, and it can take a bit of time for your hair & scalp to adjust.  If you have thick hair, you may have to flip your head down to wash the back well.  This post might help:  http://www.naturemoms.com/no-shampoo-alternative.html

  • Lisa D Liguori

    What a wonderful well-done review, on a great product, Amity! Thank you so much for sharing Style Essentials as well. I am so pleased to be able to offer Eco Face, and hope to offer the Body Sunscreen come next summer as well. We are so lucky to have found such a wonderful product.

  • Wil

    Because I had so many severe sunburns as a very fair-skinned child, my dermatologist has told me that I must use sunscreen year-round. It makes a big difference.
    Thanks for the great advice, Amity.

  • http://ofmiceandramen.blogspot.com veronica lee

    Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog!

    Have a nice day!

  • http://www.positivecalm.com Solvita

    Great ideas Amity! I am using sunscreen products always when in sun, this was very useful to know! Thank you! :)

  • http://twitter.com/luxuryorganicma Luxury Organic

    I’ve been looking for a good natural sunscreen for a long time but to no avail. I will check this one out. Cheers.

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