Home / Living In The Sun / Guest Post from Kitchen Stewardship: Our Favorite Mineral Sunscreens
Guest Post from Kitchen Stewardship: Our Favorite Mineral Sunscreens

Guest Post from Kitchen Stewardship: Our Favorite Mineral Sunscreens

You might know that at Sundots, we LOVE mineral sunscreens.

That’s why we had to share an excerpt from this amazing review by Katie of Kitchen Stewardship! Katie’s family tested and reviewed over 100 natural mineral sunscreens, and continue to update their list every year.

Mineral sunscreens make a great base for a safe sun care routine that includes Sundots and UPF-rated clothing.

But how do you decide? Here, we’ve highlighted a few of our Sundots favorites from Kitchen Stewardship’s extensive list.

About Zinc Oxide Sunscreen

The major difference between chemical and mineral sunscreens is that mineral active ingredients are inorganic and sit on the surface of the skin. The active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

Chemical-based sunscreens must be absorbed into the skin to be effective via a chemical reaction with the UV rays. Ingredients vary widely, as does their safety (see Sundots Myth Busters: The Real Deal on All Things Sunscreen).

Zinc Oxide is sometimes referred to as the only safe sun protection available in a tube. It protects from the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays, incredibly effectively, all by itself, making it truly the best natural sunscreen ingredient available.

1. Badger Sunscreens (many varieties)

Environmental Working Group Rating: 1 for all formulas

SPF: 15-35

Ease of application:

Cream - Our whole family really likes this product and how well it goes on. It can be thin, so we’ve learned not to open the tube when it’s upside down, but for non-nano especially, it runs in remarkably well.

Tangerine Vanilla Stick - This stick smells lovely, a blend of orange and vanilla, and it has very very clean ingredients. It applies very easily, rubs in well, and would be a great option to send with a child to apply to their own face.

Water resistant?: The stick has the highest water resistance rating possible, 80 minutes, and we definitely observed water beading up and rolling off our skin even after a full hour of swimming.

Tinted: + When Badger released a new tinted version, I knew we had to try it. We are huge fans of tinted sunscreen, especially for adults’ faces. This one is only rated for 40 minutes water resistance, so it may be best if you are not doing a lot of swimming.

Katie’s experience: As with other Badger varieties we have tried, this lotion goes on nicely smooth and rubs in quite easily. The list of ingredients is short and very clean, and the tint is the lighter side so versatile for most Caucasian skin types. It looked good even on my very fair-skinned husband’s face, and although he did get a little pink with it, it was that first day in Florida and I really believe it could not be helped. I hear from time to time that people are burning with Badger – if that’s you, you’re not alone. Time to try another brand!


2. Raw Elements Eco Formula Lotion and Eco Stick

Environmental Working Group Rating: 1

SPF: 30

Ease of application: +/- very thick, but still able to rub in decently; stick is less messy to apply and glides on okay in warm temps

Scent: pleasant, strongly of cocoa butter (stick)

Water resistant? Very much so for both! Water was still beading up after over 90 minutes in the sun and lake.

Katie’s experience: The stick is surprising – it doesn’t go on white nor look overly brown (either the tinted or clear sticks). I really enjoy having them for faces, although the small size gets tedious (and expensive) if you try to do the whole body with them. You can see for yourself how the stick goes on in this video on Facebook. The sticks look a little gritty but they still glide on very clear, so no problem there.

3. Kiss My Face Organics

Environmental Working Group rating: 1

SPF: 30

Ease of application: +, about average for mineral sunscreen, perhaps a tiny bit more effort than you’d like

Scent: almost no scent

Water resistant? rated for 80 minutes

Katie’s experience:  With a little effort, it rubs in beautifully, has almost no scent, and is rated water resistant for 80 minutes, the maximum allowed. It’s not incredibly thick or pasty, and time after time we wrote down how smoothly it rubbed in. A pleasant surprise! The only deficit I noticed is that it does separate and release a little oil first after it’s been sitting awhile. You do have to knead and squeeze the tube, which is what the directions say. Just be sure to only get the GREEN tube and never the orange on this brand!


4. Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sport Stick

Environmental Working Group rating: 1

SPF: 30

Ease of application: + nice and creamy, spreads nicely. The stick is VERY thick and hard to apply, made only for small areas like cheeks or lips.

Scent: the fragrance-free lotion just smells like lotion; the stick is kind of strong like the beeswax I guess

Water resistant? The stick is very resistant, even after washing dishes with it on my hand.

Katie's experience: as long as you buy the oblong version (Super Shield Sport Stick SPF 50) and not the circle, it’s MUCH better. It contains 17% zinc oxide and goes on great, comparable to other “top recommended” sticks we tested.


5. DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30

Environmental Working Group rating: 1

SPF: 30

Ease of application: + goes on very smooth and clear

Scent: mild, pleasant

Water resistant? No, not intended to be

Katie’s experience:  If you’re looking for a daily facial moisturizer with SPF, then I actually think this brand would be a great choice, and I’d buy the larger size because the savings are immense!

2018 update: A friend was looking for something to put on his bald head for daily use, and I sent him to my daily facial moisturizer with SPF post. He tried out DeVita and let me know that it goes on great and is preventing burns. Just remember that it isn’t appropriate for kids or the beach.

6.  Tropical Sands by Mexitan Chemical Free All Natural Sunscreen

Environmental Working Group rating: 2

SPF: 30-50

Ease of application: + Almost watery, spreads incredibly easily

Scent: nearly neutral, lightly of green tea perhaps?

Water resistant? Yes, somewhat

Katie’s experience: The Tropical Sands SPF 30 in the brown bottle definitely spreads on much better than the 50, but still not nearly as well as I’ve been saying for years. My husband recorded that it spreads really well as far as feeling thin, so you don’t have to be quite as careful dabbing it on as some of the thicker creams. It feels like a little goes a long way. Sometimes that can be a risk for under applying and causing problems. An extended family member was quite impressed that her young child had no burns with this SPF 30 after a full day in the hot sun at a pool. We also observed a burn where a shirt shifted to a no cream spot, compared to the well-protected areas. I gave Tropical Sands SPF 30 an “A” in efficacy, and perhaps a “B” in transparency. It remains one of the most frugal sunscreens you can buy.

Safe Sun Protection

Sunscreen is an important part of our sun protection philosophy, and safer mineral sunscreen is always our first choice. When taken as a daily vitamin, Sundots can also help our body resist sun damage.

Our goal is to help create new daily habits for sun protection, including the more frequent use of sunscreen and UPF-rated clothing. That’s how we stay safest in the sun, and that's how we can best achieve our skin health and beauty goals.

Ready to get started with Sundots? Get your first shipment here and start building better sun protection habits!

Want to read the entire Kitchen Stewardship review? Check out the full article on Kitchen Stewardship!

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