I like to make my own sunscreen. I know what ingredients are in it, I know it works, and I know it was freshly made, but it takes time and I can’t always make up a handmade batch before a weekend in the sun. So what happens if life gets busy, you are pressed for time, on your way to the beach, but you need a good quality sunscreen? What should you look for?

This is exactly what happened to me last weekend. I needed sunscreen and I needed it in a hurry, no time for a trip to the health food store (lucky are you if you live near one) and no time to be picky…ugh… that’s life I guess.

Here’s what you do:

-Find the best quality grocery store near you (you are in the clear if you live near a Whole Foods or a health food store, which I don’t).

-Find the alternative product aisle, if there is one. Stay away from big company brands like Neutrogena or Coppertone. Avoid general store brands, for instance Safeway or Rite Aid’s version of a sunscreen.

-Find a sunscreen that only contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. These are physical sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB rays. They sit mainly on top of your skin as opposed to being absorbed into your skin.

-Check out the kid’s version. Usually the kid’s formula is gentler, uses a physical (mineral) sunscreen, and can be slightly cheaper. On my hurried sunscreen trip I found Kiss My Face Kid’s sunscreen to be the best choice.

-Use less sunscreen. Sounds silly? Sunscreen is not proven to protect against skin cancer. Your best bet is to:

1-Use shade, clothes and a hat as your first protection.

2-Make sure you are eating your antioxidants.

3-BUT, remember to still get a little sunshine on unprotected skin (10-20 minutes is enough).


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