Use a bad sunscreen and you’ll not only get burned, literally, but also get tainted with weird chemicals and other sketchy ingredients. That’s why every year, the green health nonprofit Environmental Working Group updates its Sunscreen Guide. Near the top of the list every year is California Baby, a company whose sunscreen products always get a “low hazard” score of 0 or 1.
Luckily, this greener sunscreen is both effective and easy to use. While many greener sunscreens have a reputation for turning users a slightly sickly, pallid hue, California Baby’s micronized titanium dioxide formula goes on quite clear and doesn’t leave you feeling sticky, making the product a good everyday sunscreen.
I recommend California Baby’s SPF 30+ Sunscreen with no fragrance, which, true to its word, has pretty much no scent. Once I made the mistake of grabbing the Citronella scent — the smell of this naturally fragranced sunscreen was so strong and only seemed to get stronger when I ran with it on — enough so that I got to the point where I’d actually cringe before putting the stuff on. Now, I read labels more carefully before buying a tube.
The one major downside of California Baby — these sunscreens are conveniently available at my local co-op and Whole Foods stores, the tubes are pretty expensive, and since I use sunscreen most every day before going for a run, I go through the stuff pretty fast. At my co-op, a mere 2.9-ounce tube goes for $21.39 — which is why I waited until the members’ 10 percent discount month before snagging my latest tube.
Next time, I'll probably shop California Baby's online store. A 2.9-ounce tube is a little more affordable at $19.99, but more importantly, bigger tubes and even 19-oz pump bottles are available for heavy sunscreen users. Get a bigger bottle and cut down on waste while saving money, too.