I’ve always hated the aesthetic of white sunscreens, but now that my family and I are frequently outdoors, I’ve been on an ongoing hunt for the safest sunscreen with the least white cast that I can find. The following sunscreen reviews are based only on what we have tried. I usually start with EWG ratings and then go to Amazon or Target to see what is easy and relatively affordable to buy. I hope to keep this post updated as we try new safe sunscreens. I’m sorry to say that there always seems to be some tradeoff among price, white cast, ease of application, and safety. Ugh. On to the current list, in order of favorites to least liked:
ThinkSport Safe Sunscreen SPF 30: EWG Rating 1, Price on Amazon
This lotion is my reliable favorite because the white cast is relatively low. It smells mildly of vanilla orange and it seems to protect fine. The skin tone in our family ranges from pink white to yellowish white and we have never had any burns when using this lotion. Price is typically average in sunscreens of its class: not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either.
Banana Boat Kids Sport Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50, EWG Rating 2, Price on Amazon
This is a chemical sunscreen – it does contain avobenzone and homosalate, but I guess they’re not the worst chemicals and EWG gives it a 2 rating. It has no white cast, goes on pretty easily but in stick form, is probably only good for face, neck and arms. It’s clear, so you have to go by the greasy feel to know if you’ve missed any areas. It’s not messy at all, and easy to carry around for backup.
ThinkSport Safe Sunscreen Stick SPF 30: EWG Rating 1, Price on Amazon
Similar to the lotion version in orange vanilla scent. The stick is sometimes a little stiff to rub on in colder temperatures. I see that the current price on Amazon is a little high (5/10/23). It’s better value at the $8-$10 range. Brands offering similarly safe products in stick form include Blue Lizard, BabyGanics, and Babo.
All Good Kid’s Sunscreen Body Stick, SPF 50, EWG Rating 2, Price on Amazon
This is the pink stick (the blue sport version gets a EWG Rating 1), but I found the pink stick to be creamier and somewhat easier to apply. The best thing about this sunscreen is that the stick is big enough to use all over the body. The drawback is that it has more white cast than lotions and tends to be stiff in cooler temperatures, making it hard to spread. Overall, not as multipurpose as a lotion can be, but less messy.
All Good Face Sunstick Coconut, 30, EWG Rating 1, Price on Amazon
I had high hopes for the coconut marketing bit, but it doesn’t really smell like coconut. It’s stiff, hard to spread, and small. We won’t buy this one again.
Babo Super Shield Sport Stick SPF 50, EWG Rating 2, Price on Amazon
My kids didn’t like the smell of this one, but this one is similar in usability to the ThinkSport Stick.
Babo Tinted Moisturizing Face Mineral Stick Sunscreen, SPF 50, EWG Rating 3, Price on Amazon
I liked the idea of a tinted one and it goes on fine without white cast – yay! What hadn’t occurred to me before I bought this, is that the tint can stain your clothes if you sweat or your face accidentally comes in contact with clothes or fabric.
What is your favorite safe sunscreen? I would love any tips. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
- EWG Guide to Sunscreens: https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/
- Real-life testing by blog author and family!
- Here is a useful list of common sunscreen ingredients and why you should avoid them: https://www.colorescience.com/blogs/blog/what-sunscreen-is-safe-understanding-healthy-and-safe-sunscreen-ingredients#:~:text=Chemicals%20to%20avoid%20in%20sunscreen,Homosalate
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