Whether you’re going hitting a Spartan or just relaxing at the beach, you know you’re going to be using sunscreen to keep. Gotta keep those sunburns, and skin cancer, at bay. Chances are you’re probably grabbing one of those convenient spray-on sunscreens with a high SPF to make sure you’re covered. But, if you’re not using a mineral-based sunscreen, you may be putting yourself at risk.

Is your sunscreen actually keeping you safe?

According to the Environmental Working Group, “When the FDA began to consider sunscreen safety, it grandfathered in active ingredients from the late 1970s without reviewing the evidence of their potential hazards. In February 2019, the agency released its final draft sunscreens monograph, which contains insufficient health and safety data to designate 12 of the 16 sunscreen filters allowed for use in the U.S. as generally recognized as safe and effective, or GRASE.”

I’m the first one to say “just because a chemical name sounds scary, doesn’t mean it’s harmful.” Just look up dihydrogen monoxide, it can cause serious burns in its gaseous state and is lethal if inhaled, but we can’t exactly live without it. But, the flip side of that is just because something’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s good for you – hello, arsenic.

The FDA does not know much about these grandfathered ingredients. However, we know that the human body absorbs these untested compounds. Studies have revealed ingredients like oxybenzone can impact the endocrine system, and show up in blood, urine, and breast milk.

The only two active sunscreen ingredients that are designated GRASE by the FDA are Zinc and Titanium Dioxide. And if you’re hitting the beach, titanium dioxide may pose its own set of risks to the environment. It does not biodegrade and forms compounds toxic to sea life.

We went through EWG’s list of recommended sunscreens and picked our favorites for you. The links below are affiliate links. With your purchase, SSS will get a commission. That money will go towards buying more mineral sunscreen for future Spartan Races.

Mineral-Based Sunscreens To Keep You Safe

How did we pick these? Simple. Recognizable brand names that you can order online or find in your local pharmacy. We tried to get sunscreens with as little Titanium Dioxide as possible and high concentrations of zinc.

Aveeno Positively Mineral Sensitive Skin Daily Sunscreen 

Coppertone Pure & Simple

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Oxide Dry-Touch Sunscreen  

Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Mineral Sunscreen

Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Spray, SPF 30

Sun Bum Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50

Thinksport Kids Safe Sunscreen SPF 50+


Are you checking the ingredients on your sunscreen? Let us know in the comments!

Make sure you share this post to keep your friends and family safe and healthy this summer.


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  • This is very useful information! I have a small child and choosing the right sun screen can be really intimidating!

  • I have used the Coppertone Pure and Simple before and it works really well for me. We’ve been trying to reduce the number of chemicals and toxins in our life, and as we are on a three-week Florida vacation, sunscreen is being used every day right now!

  • This was really useful. I had no idea that some of the ingredients in sun protection were essentially untested. You just assume they’re safe. I’ll be looking much more closely in future.

  • I have sensitive skin and skin allergies and I don’t apply any skin products without consulting my dermatologist but I would love to try all of these sunscreen products 🙂

  • I wasnt aware of the chemicals in sunscreen that are not good for skin. Thanks for sharing the list of safe sunscreen, much needed

  • Making sure that you stay safe when out in the sun is so important. There are so many different sunscreens out there!

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