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Student Blog

What To Look For When Buying The Right Sunscreen


Sunscreen is essential to keep your skin safe from the harmful rays of the sun. However, with so many options, it may be hard to decide which is safe and effective!

Johnson & Johnson Recall

Due to the recent Johnson & Johnson voluntary recall of 5 different sunscreen products, many people wonder how to choose a safe and effective sunscreen for their summer activities. Johnson & Johnson issued a voluntary recall for sunscreens that they found included low levels of benzene. Benzene is a known human carcinogen that can potentially cause cancer.[1]


Benzene does not show up on the product label. The products that Johnson & Johnson found to include benzene were all aerosol products. According to the Environmental Protection Agency framework, the product levels found during testing were low enough not to cause adverse health effects.[1]


What Are The Main Things To Consider When Buying Sunscreen?

There are many factors to look at when choosing the best sunscreen for you and your family. The first is the sun protection factor (SPF) – this is how well the sunscreen will protect the user from sunburn.[2]

It is also essential to check if a sunscreen offers broad-spectrum protection; this will protect from both types of ultraviolet radiation from the sun, UVA and UVB.[2] To get the most protection from sunscreen, choose not only broad-spectrum but an SPF higher than 15.[2]


It is also a good idea to check the ingredients that companies list on the sunscreen label. The FDA released updated sunscreen regulations that state two ingredients are “generally recognized as safe and effective.” These two ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.[3]


Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are not only safe for your skin but are also safe for reefs. Coral reef deterioration is associated with several sunscreens that rely on chemicals to filter UV rays.[4]



Are There Any Vegan Sunscreens?

If you are vegan, you will be happy to know that vegan sunscreen is on the market. However, it is vital to check the label on the sunscreen and know what ingredients to avoid. Several sunscreens contain animal-derived ingredients.[5]


A few important ones to look out for are: 

  • Beeswax
  • Chitin
  • Collagen
  • Elastin
  • Lanolin
  • Stearin

Are There Any Cruelty Free Sunscreens?

The testing of products or their ingredients on animals may also be a concern for many people. Several brands offer cruelty-free and vegan sunscreen. However, there is no government-sanctioned cruelty-free label, so it is essential to research the brand and product before you make a purchase.

One way to tell if a product is certified as cruelty-free is to look for the Leaping Bunny Program icon. This program shows that companies have agreed they are not testing on animals.[6] The Leaping Bunny Program makes it easier to shop for products that are not tested on animals.


Sunscreen is important to keep your skin safe, but it is essential to know that what you are putting on your skin is safe too!




[1]Johnson & Johnson. (2021). Consumer Inc. Issues Voluntary Recall.

[2] FDA. (2021).Sunscreen: How to Help Protect Your Skin from the Sun

[3] FDA (2019). FDA advances new proposed regulation to make sure that sunscreens are safe and effective. 

[4] Save the Reef (2021). Your Reef Safe Sunscreen Guide. 

[5]The Vegan Society. (2017). Vegan Sunscreen.

[6] MSPCA. (2021). Cruelty-Free Labeling. 




Choosing a healthy plant-based and vegan diet is most beneficial when it comes to:

  • Higher levels of energy;

  • Improved sleep;

  • Aids in energy and overall happiness;

  • Provides a sense of comfort and relief;

  • Could prevent major diseases such as obesity and diabetes;

  • Accomplish weight-loss and management; and

  • Improves mental and cognitive functioning.

There are really no excuses not to try healthier habits in your everyday life. If you are a man or woman looking for specific benefits of adopting healthier habits or just want to know about the general healing properties of herbs. Please remember to comment or post any health questions, or contact us directly!

Also feel free to share any of your favorite recipes to make and share it with the Assuaged community on our ➡️ Share A Recipe ⬅️ page!



Browse more healthy living plant-based recipes on our FREE Assuaged iOS App!

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Pick Your Type of Deliciousness!

"A dietary shift toward plant foods and away from animal products is vital for promoting the health of our planet."

Start with either a Meal Kit or Fresh, Prepared Meal plan, and then customize your weekly delivery.  

It’s easy peasy. Get exactly what you want—meal kits, prepared meals, or both—every time.

And don’t worry, our favorite foodie brand Trifecta has lots of Less Prep, high-protein and gluten-free meals.

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Rebecca Goodnow

Rebecca Goodnow

My name is Rebecca Goodnow. I am currently in my last few semesters of getting my master’s in public health from George Washington University. I also have my bachelor’s degree in Physics from McDaniel College in Maryland.

I currently work in the Maryland Department of Health in the laboratories administration. I work in the department of environmental services and do testing on various foods.

I was a dancer all my life and am working to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I think working at assuaged will help bring my passion for healthy living and public health together.

Ignoring Your Health Is Just As Bad As Ignoring Your Mother

Here at Assuaged, we are dedicated to promoting healthier living and equipping students with essential digital skills. Support our mission by visiting our non-profit website and discovering the impact we are making on public populations and the lives of public health students.

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Health has never tasted so good.

Organic and plant-based varieties have proven to reduce the risk and progression of disease. Guess what? You can still have fun on date night indulging in sweets you never knew existed.

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