Safe Sun Protection for Summer: A Giveaway From Goddess Garden

As someone who loves to be outside a lot — like, a lot lot — I’m always looking for safe sunscreens that don’t contain a smorgasbord of chemicals. Many mineral sunscreens leave you pasty white or smelling funny or feeling like bacon (both in the fried and the greasy sense). Some sunscreens are like the…

Linda Ly
Goddess Garden natural sunscreen

As someone who loves to be outside a lot — like, a lot lot — I’m always looking for safe sunscreens that don’t contain a smorgasbord of chemicals. Many mineral sunscreens leave you pasty white or smelling funny or feeling like bacon (both in the fried and the greasy sense). Some sunscreens are like the processed foods in the middle aisles of the store — they look good on the shelf, but once you give the ingredient list a glance-over, you feel like you’re in science class.

At some point you start to wonder: Is it safer to forego sun protection altogether, or to coat your skin with a cocktail of chemicals?

One of my go-to sites is the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Sunscreen Guide, an annually updated database of virtually every sunscreen on the market (257 brands and over 1,800 products and counting). You can look up your favorite sunscreen and see how it ranks on EWG’s scale of toxicity. Green icons (showing ranks of 0 to 2) indicate low hazard; red icons (showing ranks of 7 to 10) indicate high hazard. Not surprisingly, you want to be as green as possible.

Goddess Garden’s natural sunscreens are as green as they come (check out their EWG scorecard; they were rated one of the best beach and sport sunscreens for 2012). And how could I resist the name? But I needed a sunscreen that went beyond the garden, and into the betty — it had to be light enough for everyday wear, but also tough enough for surfing, swimming, climbing, and even whitewater kayaking.

The company sent me a few of their products to try and after a month of spending my summer outside, I’m happy to report: No sunburns, no peeling, and a giveaway of my favorite Goddess Garden sunscreens to one lucky winner!

Goddess Garden natural sunscreen

I’ve used Goddess Garden’s sunscreen on long days in the garden and lazy days at the lake, but last weekend, I finally put it to the real test: Coloma, California. Sunny afternoons soaring over 100°F. UV rays intensified by 13 miles on the South Fork American River. Class III rapids smacking me in the face.

Testing Goddess Garden Facial Sunscreen on the river

I used Goddess Garden’s SPF 30 Facial Sunscreen all over my face and their SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen Spray on my arms.

The facial sunscreen felt like a normal moisturizer; easy to apply, lightweight, sheer. I actually couldn’t feel (or see or smell) it once I rubbed it in. The sunscreen spray was non-greasy and didn’t leave my hands feeling sticky after applying. (If you’re that person who always gets stuck rubbing in someone else’s sunscreen on their back, you know how annoying sticky hands feel.)

My nose and cheeks are notorious for turning red and chapped after a long day in the water, but amazingly, they stayed protected through the entire 13 miles of whitewater. Even after swimming through a section of Class III rapids! I reapplied halfway through our river run (because no matter what any sunscreen says, it is water-resistant only to a certain point — and never truly waterproof).

Kayaking on the South Fork American River

By the next day, you couldn’t even tell that I’d been outside the whole weekend, sweltering under the blazing sun. Goddess Garden held up impressively!

Testing Goddess Garden Facial Sunscreen on fair skin

For comparison, I also made my fiancé slather on some of my sunscreen. This is a guy who was born with Norwegian blood. He burns faster than you can fry an egg. He was skeptical about a “natural” sunscreen, believing that the only sunscreen that worked for him (other than full body armor) was a thick, goopy, chemical-laden brand that you had to scrub off in the shower. But he dutifully put on a layer of Goddess Garden’s facial sunscreen (ears and neck included) and whaddya know? He was still as white as can be the next day, through all the sun and sweat and splashes. We have a convert.

So you know that Goddess Garden works. But that’s only the beginning. Goddess Garden is also made with 92% organic ingredients — the highest certified organic content available in a sunscreen. Only the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are not organic, because minerals cannot be certified organic. They’re also non-nano particle, meaning they won’t absorb into your skin. The minerals act as an invisible shield to physically block UV rays from your skin. The sunscreens are also biodegradable and ocean-friendly, so you can surf your favorite reef break and not worry about damaging the eco-system below.

You get all this in the form of Goddess Garden’s SPF 30 Facial Sunscreen and SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen Spray (total value $40), which one lucky winner will receive!

How to enter: Simply leave a comment below and tell me where you would use Goddess Garden’s sunscreen this summer! (I’m talking activities, not body parts.) To receive an additional entry, follow @gardenbetty on Twitter, and leave a second comment below indicating your Twitter username. You have two chances to win!

The giveaway will end at 11:59 PM Pacific Standard Time on Friday, August 3, 2012. Winner will be drawn at random and announced the following week. Good luck!

Giveaway Rules

  1. Giveaway begins July 30, 2012 and ends August 3, 2012.
  2. No purchase is necessary. To enter, leave a comment on this blog post.
  3. Only US residents ages 18 and older are eligible to enter.
  4. Two entries allowed per person.
  5. Odds of winning are based on number of entries received.
  6. Winner will be drawn at random.
  7. If winner does not respond within 48 hours after time of contact, that entry will be forfeited and a new winner will be drawn.

This post is brought to you by Goddess Garden. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that support Garden Betty.

Update: A big thanks to everyone who entered!
This giveaway is now closed. The winner has been announced here.


  1. I would use it when I’m out running or while out hiking. Now that my friends have a boat, it would be nice when I’m out on the water with them. I scorched myself earlier this summer while boating and tubing. I was not very sun smart 🙁

  2. I would use it while hiking.  We have a weekly hike up into the mountains near my house, and I definitely need sunscreen during the two and a half hours in the sun.  I also need to use it in my backyard pool.

  3. I want to go whitewater rafting this fall….having this sunscreen on hand would be great!

  4. I would wear it while swinging off the rope swing my kids and I just discovered at our favorite lake. Thanks, Garden Betty!

  5. I’d love this to do ANYTHING outdoors.  I live at high altitude – 7000 feet – and am always in need of really good sun protection when outdoors.  Would love something that won’t make me pasty white.

  6. Goddess Garden sounds like just what I’ve been searching for! I have fair, sensitive skin that burns easily. I’ll be wearing it to June Lake, CA and the Eastern Sierras in mid-August…that’s just 3 weeks away!

  7. I’ve actually been looking into exactly this topic. I live in Florida and working in the garden or playing in the water does some serious sun damage as the hours add up. I’d be excited to try something that someone else can vouch for as far as organic sunscreen goes.

  8. I would love to try this … I’ve spent so much time in the sun this summer, and I’m hating the way my favorite clothes smell like chemical sunscreen.

  9. I’d love to use this sunscreen at work – I’m an airline pilot and I use sunscreen every day to try and minimize the damage I see from 30,000 feet *less* of UV protection I’m enjoying. I currently use a zinc/titanium type, but it isn’t organic.

  10. Lovely to find some new, eco-friendly sunscreen! I’ll have to give it a try, preferably while diving (ok, in-between dives, lounging on the beach) off the coast of Nova Scotia this August. Thanks!

  11. I’d use it gardening and hopefully tubing down one of the rivers here in north GA.

  12. I checked out my current sunscreen & it’s in the danger zone!  Yikes!  I could really use some safe & effective sunscreen because I’m in central Texas & spend as much time outside as possible.  I’d use it while gardening & walking the dog.

  13. I’m excited to hear about this!  My face is SUPER sensitive to sunsscreens, and with a history of skin cancer on my face, and my extreme paleness, going without is not an option.  I need a good “every day” sunscreen, so would test it out that way, plus all of those hours in the garden!  

  14. Great post! I’m sold 🙂 I don’t have your exciting lifestyle (so envious!) but I’d wear it in the garden and out with the kids. We spend hours in the sun! Thanks!

  15. I can relate to your fiancé, so I’m impressed. I could def use some for traveling to Honduras and day hiking here at home in NC.

  16. I’m a skeptic and hate sunscreen but will give this brand a try, as I really should wear it daily (I’m a redhead).  Thanks for hosting the giveaway!

  17. We have lots of day trips planned this summer – Block Island, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard – we would us it for those 🙂 

     Thank you for the recommendation, I’ve been looking for a good natural alternative!

  18. ON ME & MY SUNNY SOCAL BEACH LOVING GIRLIES!!! 2 or which burn no matter what! Also hiking, geocaching, soccer practice, horseback riding, running, cycling & all of our outdoor living activities! Thank you!!! @brwnsugarhoney on twitter!

  19. HI Linda,  My husband and I are headed to the Bowron Lakes National Park in Canada the week after next.  It is a 65 mile lake circuit in the Canadian Rockies.  Perfect testing ground!  I am fair skinned and would love to try/find a natural sunscreen.  I’ve been using Coatz, but Green Goddess sounds much more like what I prefer.   My sweet hubby has rigged up an umbrella mount for our canoe to keep me out of the sun on the high part of the day, I will need to send you a picture.  It is funny, but it works!

    (I just thought of this reading about your other adventures, you might enjoy heading to the Broken Group islands in a kayak…)

    Anyhoo, happy end of summer.  Thanks for the giveaway!

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