vitamin d + nontoxic spf.

sunscreen.jpeg

*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or a dermatologist, just a HUGE researcher. So you know up front, most of my research comes from ewg.org or pubmed.gov.*


A few years ago, our family dermatologist found melanoma on my dads head. Skin cancer also runs on both sides of my family, so it is something that I started paying attention to and doing research on. I wanted to find out the best ways to be safe while in the sun because as much as I love rainy weather, I live in the south where the summers are H O T.

Vitamin D:

If you didn’t know, vitamin d is actually incredible for your body and most humans are deficient in it. Limited sun exposure is the #1 reason for vitamin d deficiency in humans. We need sun exposure. The best way for your skin to actually absorb the sun so it can learn how to produce vitamin d on its own is without spf. The use of sunscreen can reduce vitamin d creation in the body by 95% according to the journal of pharmacology & pharmacotherapeutics. Some research even goes as far to say that we are prone to sickness more in the winter because it’s when we have the least amount of sun exposure. Dr. Courtney Kahla talks about this on her blog where you can get more information and case study research. However, even though our bodies need sun exposure without spf so they can learn how to produce vitamin d naturally, we should still limit that sun exposure AND we should still wear sunscreen if out in the sun for extended amounts of time. (Pro tip: avoid direct summer sun exposure from the hours of 10am-2pm.)

Sunscreens:

This time last year, Hawaii passed a bill banning certain sunscreens from being used in their state because of the harm they have caused to coral reefs just from people’s bodies in the water. This week, The Center for Drug Evaluation and Research came out with a pilot study (further triggering a government safety study) showing that high levels of chemicals in common sunscreens absorb into the bloodstream within 24 hours of wear. Our skin is our largest organ and what we put on it is absorbed affecting our blood and bodily systems. (Pro Tip: avoid any sunscreen that has fragrance added.)


Active ingredients in sunscreen come in two forms: mineral fillers or chemical fillers. Surprise, surprise…the most common on the shelf are filled with chemical fillers. It’s time consuming to read labels so let me help!

Here are the 6 active ingredients you should avoid:

(See graph below for a breakdown on each of these from The EWG)

  1. Oxybenzone

  2. Avobenzone

  3. Octisalate

  4. Octocrylene

  5. Homosalate

  6. Octinoxate

Here are the 2 active ingredients that you want:

  1. Zinc Oxide

  2. Titanium Dioxide

    *Note: there are some companies that mix the two. You will see Zinc Oxide as the main active ingredient, but it will also have one if not more of the active ingredients in the list above that you should avoid. These sunscreens are not bad, but they will not be truly toxic free.*

Nontoxic Beach & Sport Sunscreens:

Here is my compilation of sunscreens that are all 3/10 or less for toxicity according to The Environmental Working Group that I would wear or have worn. For their full list of 243 clean beach & sport sunscreens, click here.

  1. Babo Fragrance Free Clean Zinc Sunscreen: SPF 30 $12

  2. Badger Unscented Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Cream: SPF 30 $14

  3. BeautyCounter Mineral Sunscreen: SPF 30 $40

  4. Coola Unscented Mineral Sunscreen: SPF 30 $32

  5. Raw Elements Sunscreen: SPF 30 $18

  6. Suntegrity Natural Mineral Sunscreen: SPF 30 $36

  7. Thinksport Sunscreen: SPF 50 $22

  8. Two Peas Mineral Sunscreen: SPF 30 $12

  9. Young Living Mineral Sunscreen: SPF 50 $26

Nontoxic Kid Sunscreens:

Here is my compilation of kid sunscreens that are all 3/10 or less for toxicity. I personally have not tried these since we just had our boy in the fall last year, but they come highly recommended from friends! For the full list from The Environmental Working Group, click here.

  1. Badger Zinc Oxide Face Stick: SPF 35 $13

  2. Badger Zinc Oxide Sunscreen: SPF 30 $14

  3. BeautyCounter Mineral Sunscreen Stick: SPF 30 $21

  4. Coola Baby Unscented Mineral Sunscreen: SPF 50 $36

  5. Thinksport Kids Sunscreen: SPF 50 $20