Summer is here, and that means plenty of time in the sun. Protecting our skin is essential, but do you know some sunscreens can cause more problems than help? Even “natural” sunscreens contain elements that are pretty toxic.
So, I went straight to Sephora and bought the two highly advertised “healthy” sunscreens. Due to my reward points, I was able to obtain a free sample of a well-recognized healthy face sunscreen. Score! So, are these really toxic free? Here is what I discovered.
First is Coola, a sunscreen used by the popular Tone It Up girls, Karena and Katrina! I am initially drawn to the beautiful packaging and fun name. Marketed as a sunscreen that uses certified organic ingredients, I bought the unscented in SPF 50. I know well enough to avoid fragrance, and anything under 50 SPF is best. I would have purchased the lotion form if it were available, but Sephora only had the aerosol can.
The rest I went to EWGs Skin Deep database to learn more. I found my purchase was rated a 3 in toxicity while there were many others rated a 1 (considered a great rating in the database). The reason for concern is that there is an ingredient Octinoxate that may cause disruption in the endocrine, developmental and reproductive toxicity as well as other organ toxicity. The data on these concerns are limited, and the determination of how severe is still to be decided. Overall, a 3 is considered low exposure and much better than most sunscreens on the market.
From my personal use of the product, I discovered it left me feeling very sticky if I didn’t rub in the lotion properly. There is a shiny glaze, looking like I had put oil on my skin. I didn’t mind that as much, but some might be put off by the effect.
My personal opinion is that I would rather purchase the baby suncare that is listed as a 1 in toxicity in lotion form.
Next is Supergoop! I saw so many bloggers last year raving about this sunscreen and couldn’t wait to test it out for myself. On the can, it reads that it is non-aerosol and uses 35% less alcohol. It is infused with vitamins and antioxidants, which rarely means anything. I went straight to EWG to discover that it is chock full of toxins. Rated a 4, and considered moderate, it contained higher marked ingredients than Coola. Not only did it contain Octinoxate, but also alcohol, homoslate, octisalate to name a few. Most of these are used for skin absorption. The effects are for such ingredient may lead to cancer, reproductive disruption, and organ toxicity.
My personal experience is that I coughed each time spraying the solution on. It is pretty potent stuff. I also still felt like I was being burned from the sun on my shoulders even though I placed ample sunscreen on. Though a 4 is still better than most, I feel that if I am going to spend $20 on sunscreen I want better quality and a product that won’t cause me to cough when applying. To me, I will pass.
Lastly is the little sample I received of Tartegaurd. I was happy that it came in a lotion and is specifically for my face. The brand as a whole is known as a natural, paraben-free company. But what about their new sun care line?
Here is what I found. It is formulated without parabens, mineral oil, sodium laurel sulfate, and triclosan much like most of Tarte’s products. Since it is a new sunscreen, it is not on the EWG or Think Dirty database. So I looked up the rest of the ingredients one by one. Most inactive ingredients registered as a 0-1 (very low), with the exception of the following:
- Polysorbate 20- (3 score) contaminant concern
- Phenoxyethanol- (4 score) irritation
- Propylene- (3 score) irritation
- Fragrance- unknown ingredients
Active ingredients are:
- Titanium dioxide- (1-3 score) May be carcinogenic if in aerosol form.
- Zinc Oxide- (2-3 score) might be linked to allergies, and occupational hazard when in aerosol.
Overall, this product contains low toxicity! I loved that if felt like lotion when applied. There was no stinging or irritation.
After all the research and testing, Tartegaurd is my personal favorite healthy sunscreen. Let me know if you have any toxic free favorites!