All natural sunscreens are an answer to keeping both your skin and the environment healthy. Effective ingredients are either of the mineral or plant variety. Those containing mineral bases should be composed of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, both of which protect you from harmful UV rays. Sunscreens with a plant base will often include green tea extract. This component helps prevent sun and burn damage and also is full of antioxidants.
Soleo sunscreen is highly recommended by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a site that focuses on products that are least harmful to you and the environment. The site gave a thumb's up to Soleo Organics All Natural Sunscreen, rating it high on UV protection and low enough on the environmental hazard scale to rate a zero. Must be reapplied after swimming and sweating. Average price in 2009: $23 for a 2.6-oz. tube.
Badger Sunscreen was another winner with EWG, rating high in both the UV and burn protection categories. With an SPF of 30, Badger's SPF is comparable with Soleo. The product also rated a zero on the environmental hazard scale. Should be reapplied after swimming and sweating. Average price in 2009: $14 for a 2.9-oz. tube.
Kabana Skin Care Green Screen All Natural Sunscreen also rated well on the EWG site, with high UV protection but less protection against burns than Soleo and Badger. Kabana's sunscreen had a lower SPF and a higher environmental hazard rating than the other two, getting a two instead of a zero. A two rating is still in the site's recommended zone, as the ratings reach to 10. Must be reapplied after swimming and sweating. Average price in 2009: $6 for a 1-oz. tube; $16.50 for a 4-oz. tube.
Article Written By Ryn Gargulinski
Ryn Gargulinski is a writer, artist and performer whose journalism career began in 1991. Credits include two illustrated books, "Bony Yoga" and "Rats Incredible"; fitness, animal, crime, general news and features for various publications; and several awards. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature and folklore and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing with a French minor from Brooklyn College.