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Kick off your summer with these savvy sunscreen options.
On Wednesday, nonprofit environmental research organization Environmental Working Group released its list of the safest sunscreens on the market, examining more than 1,300 products with SPF. Their conclusion: “About two-thirds still offer inferior sun protection or contain concerning ingredients.” But the good news is that there are plenty that get both the highest safety rating and are very reasonably priced. Here are five of the safest sunscreens, according to EWG — all under $15 on Amazon.
Coppertone Pure & Simple Sunscreen Lotion, about $9 on Amazon
This hypoallergenic sunscreen lotion is made from naturally sourced zinc oxide lotion plus botanicals like tea leaf, sea kelp, and lotus extracts.
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Lotion, Sensitive, about $14
This SPF 30+ mineral zinc oxide lotion has no parabens or fragrance.
Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry Touch Sunscreen, about $10
This water-resistant sunscreen is made with 100% zinc oxide.
Thinksport Sunscreen Lotion, about $11
This SPF 50 sunscreen is water resistant and has broad-spectrum coverage.
Badger Active Natural Mineral Sunscreen Cream, about $13
This simple sunscreen only has about five ingredients and no added fragrances.
“Most people only apply 25% – 50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen.”
Even after you buy the right sunscreen, you still have to be diligent about applying it regularly and practicing safe behavior while in the sun. The World Health Organization notes that you should apply sunscreen “liberally” and re-apply every two hours, or after working, swimming, playing or exercising outdoors.”
But most people don’t do this: The American Academy of Dermatology says that “most people only apply 25%-50% of the recommended amount of sunscreen.” You should be applying enough to cover all your exposed skin. “Most adults need about 1 ounce — or enough to fill a shot glass — to fully cover their body,” the AAD recommends. (Studies show that it only takes a handful of sunburns to dramatically increase you risk of skin cancer.) And be sure to apply it to dry skin at least 15 minutes before going outside.
Other sun rules from WHO include limiting your time in the sun, particularly between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., when the sun is strongest; looking for shade when you can (though note that even umbrellas and trees won’t completely cover you); and wearing protective clothing.