First, a link to the EWG Skin Deep sunscreen page. This *should* go in order from best idea to worst. If you get the splash screen and don't want their e-newsletter, just hit "no thanks". I'm pretty sure it's impossible to link to Skin Deep without getting that screen.
BTW - when using the Skin Deep database? Pay attention to the products' actual pages. Something might be listed as totally safe, but then also have a lot of missing data, which means less negative data, which means better rating. Also it might have a lower rating just because of one ingredient that shows sensitivity in some people. Also, those pages are where you can see if they test on animals, see if they have lots of petrochemicals, etc. Skin Deep is fantastic - and if you don't have time you're still better off following their recommendations - but if you have the time, really look.
Also, here's their article on "nanoparticles" in sunscreens. For the lazy/busy person - EWG's stand is basically that "nanoparticles" in sunscreen is safer than most other sunscreen ingredients and since it does much more good than harm by *also* protecting your skin better, they're for it. In Sunscreen. Not eyeshadow. If you are interested in more on that, I have more links to other articles/studies/opinions on this. Note that most "nanoparticles" in sunscreens, um... aren't. And also note that over 1/3 of the ingredients available for cosmetic use are now available in nano/microparticle form AND like everything else in the cosmetics labeling world - they don't have to label it as such. Just a mention that really has nothing to do with sunscreen. So sick of industries being allowed to NOT label ANYTHING that might discourage a consumer. Insert rant about *other* companies NOT being able to label products in any way that might detract sales from large companies that run most of the world. *cough* MonsantoGMOFreeBGHfreelabelinglawsuits *cough*
Skin Deep's new sunscreen ratings also include charts on how well the sunscreens work on both UVA and UVB over time - a good indication of whether or not the sunscreen breaks down into a useless film of crap on your skin after 20 minutes. It's a good idea to keep an eye on that rating as well if that's what's important to you.
Last year I tried to buy Badger. It was impossible. It could NOT be found. Even the manufacturer couldn't get more. I *think* I managed it this year - I bought two bottles, and they're very small, and I'm hoping they spread out as much as the sunscreen I bought last year. I ordered straight from the Badger web site because I'm just too tired to look for it cheaper elsewhere, and unlike last year I didn't get an immediate email saying, "Oh btw this is backordered for 50 years, we had no idea anyone would buy this."
Last year I ended up with UV NATURAL SPORT SPF 30+ (Skin Deep Link). This year the rating for that one went down a little. Last year's number one was Badger, number two was the UV Naturals. It could easily be new info on ingredients, or another change in the way they rate things over there. BUT I notice now - and I really think I would have noticed this last year - that the ingredient TOCOPHEROL now has a contamination concern listed. The contamination concern is HYDROQUINONE. I happen to know what this ingredient is because I have darkening skin patches on my face. (Which, again having nothing to do with this are expanding and starting on other areas of my face and it's pissing me off because I am very self concious about it, but also why I'm hyper about the whole sunscreen on my face thing /end ramble) HYDROQUINONE is what dermatologists give/used to give to people to lighten dark patches and is also found in some over-the-counter age spot/skin lightening creams. There are a lot of concerns about this ingredient, including that maybe it causes this really nasty skin disease which causes large black bumps and lesions (that look like caviar) and also cancer. Yeah, I've avoided that one.
Given the low risk on that brand rated by EWG (1 out of 10) and the fact that it's a *possible* contamination, and given that in the scheme of sunscreens this one is STILL a hecka safer, I wouldn't rule it out. There's safer, but there's also a lot worse we put on ourselves without even trying, and you really can't avoid *every possible* bad thing. I probably won't buy it again, because, well, I'm me, though if the Badger is a wash I may go back to it. But I gotta say, I *like* the stuff. There are other people who think it doesn't go on easy - I think it just goes on different than what most people are used to with sunscreen. The zinc/titanium oxide lotions aren't like the old stuff we're all used to. This one has a very faint smell - it smells to me more like say, olive oil than anything else. Evan doesn't like the smell, I sorta like it, and the smell does *not* bother El - which is the main reason she hates sunscreen in the first place. A little goes a long way. It sits on your skin for a couple minutes before it sorta dries out/sinks in. It moisturizes a little bit. I've had no problem putting my mineral makeup on over the top of it. It hasn't made me break out, or get more zits. It doesn't turn you white like some of the zinc lotions still do, micronized particles or not - it's actually kind of a skin colored cream and almost a little gritty in parts, but doesn't stay that way when you put it on. Very quickly you feel like you aren't wearing any sunscreen at all. So yeah, there are a lot of positives.
It's not cheap - but the zinc oxide and titianium oxide lotions just *aren't*.
I worry about the Badger smell - I worry it will be a bit citrusy or too just smelly in that whole EO way since it seems to have quite a few. WHY does everything have to have smelly stuff in it? But I'll let you know when I get it.
Also in the top few on that site are some California Baby sunscreens. I don't *always* like California Baby. I always always read their ingredients very carefully. They are just as likely to have a three inch list of parabens as any organic ingredients. Truly. It pisses me off. The reason I decided against it - though I may get it as a backup/full body sunscreen - is that it's just not as strong as the Badger. It isn't as protective, which also means I'll have to reapply more often and I can't always do that. Though one benefit to these tiny expensive lotions is that they're pretty easy to carry around with you. Some of them have TOCOPHEROL - which is really just a form of Vitamin E, btw - with that whole contamination issue, but some of them are also totally scent free - yay!
The other top rated was one of the Trukid sunscreens. And ya know, their UVA protection sucks. *shrugs* I just figure if I'm going to shell out $16 for 4oz of sunscreen? I want the shit to be like armor plating. Just my opinion.
Anyway - yeah. And other stuff :) Like I said, if anyone is uncomfortable still with the micronized zinc/titanium, I have some more links. Or at least links that link to more links.