After trying a bunch of safe, chemical-free sunscreens this summer, I have landed on two that are my absolute favorites: Badger SPF 30 and California Baby SPF 30 Bug Blend.
Badger sunscreens are hard-to-find. I ordered mine here http://skinelements.com/baspf30forfa.html where you get free shipping on 2+ bottles. Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen is effective with 20.5% Zinc Oxide. Of all the natural sunscreens I tried, this one seems to go farthest and absorb fastest. Since safe sunscreens aren’t cheap, this is a big bonus in my book. My husband commented that it applies a lot like conventional sunscreens like Banana Boat or Coppertone. I love that Badger has a sweet, herbal scent from the lavender, lime and orange oils in the blend. Very nice!
California Baby is more readily available from online drugstores galore. I like the Bug Blend because it has natural citronella to combat the mosquitos that are rampant here in the South. California Baby SPF 30 Bug Blend uses micronized titanium dioxide for sun protection. As per Healthy Child Healthy World, larger sized micronized particles appear to be both safe and effective, unlike nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are 1000 times smaller than micronized particles and many questions still linger about their safety. In my experience, California Baby’s sunscreen absorbs relatively quickly as compared to other natural sunscreens. But, in comparison to dangerous chemical sunscreens (aka Banana Boat), it does take quite a bit more rubbing and doesn’t go as far.
If you’re only going to use one sunscreen, I recommend Badger. Still, California Baby Bug Blend is a close second runner up and does help with summer pests. Also, California Baby has safe sunscreen sticks and natural, DEET-free bug sprays which are worth considering.