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The Spring weather beckons. I didn’t realize that the products I was purchasing for my children to protect them from the sun was actually toxic to them.
I’m sure most of you are all aware of Jessica Alba’s “The Honest Company”. In the same frame of mind, if we examined our environment, the products we use to clean the house, the products we used to clean them, it becomes quite complicated. How do we make our home’s safer? How do we help provide a happy and healthy childhood for our little ones?
So the next best thing is to educate yourself. Those sunscreen’s that tout that they are for babies need to be re-examined for they contain the very chemicals you would never knowingly place on your child’s skin. We forget that our skin is an organ, one that absorbs whatever we place on it, and that chemicals seep in and eventually gets into our bloodstream perhaps causing a different kind of health mayhem.
Elizabeth Tanzi MD wrote on Dr. Oz’s Blog regarding Navigating New Sunscreen Labels http://blog.doctoroz.com/oz-experts/navigating-new-sunscreen-labels via @droz
A savvy mother’s have already done some of the legworks in what chemicals to look out for, like Jo from @mygreennest & littlegreenmoments.com | http://www.littlegreenmoments.com/play/navigating-safe-sunscreen.html
Jo’s Cliff Notes on what to look out for:
Oxybenzone This chemical is avoided due to its link as a hormone disruptor, which highlights the ability to cause developmental & reproductive toxicity. Laboratory studies have linked this chemical to cancer & that it creates free radicals when exposed to the sun. Our kids are not petri dishes for these chemical reactions.
Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A) This form of Vitamin A is an anti-aging agent preferably used at night, and not exposed to the sun. When this version of Vitamin A is exposed to the sun, instead of protecting the skin, it creates a chemical situation that may speed up the development of skin tumors & lesions. The government studies show links of Retinyl Palmitate exposed to the sun to development of skin tumors & lesions.
Spray Sunscreens Pose as a hazard due to inhalation risks. Spraying sunscreen may be easier to blanket our little one’s, but long term, this convenience may introduce product that is meant to lay on the skin inside our children via swallowing, nose breathing, etc. If you do purchase spray sunscreens, spray it into your hands so you can rub it on your child’s exposed skin.
Nano or Micro Particles The Active ingredients that we look for in our sunscreen ZINC OXIDE &/or TITANIUM DIOXIDE were shrunk down so that application of sunscreen would be subtler, instead of the tell-tale whitish protective layer on our skins. The danger of shrinking these active ingredients down is that these micro particles can cause a chemical reaction by generating free radicals which may cause cell damage due to its higher photo-reactivity as oppose to the other products that are currently out there, which are coarser particles and is stable. Please check out Jo’s article, she has written an amazing list of safe sunscreen for you to familiarize with.
Some parent’s are concern that the sunscreen is PABA free, and other people look for the sunscreen to be Paraben free. Each parent has her individual opinion, it’s up to you to see if that is a deal breaker.
Katherine @safemama with her descriptive reviews of safe sunscreen via her personalized sunscreen cheat sheet http://safemama.com/cheatsheets/sunscreen/ She has a thorough list, that has products that she has tested on herself, her family, and her children. She also is budget minded, and will note the high cost of some of these Natural Sunscreen.
Claire Moshenberg @cmoshenb wrote a great piece ‘Navigating a Sunscreen Wonderland’ http://www.momsrising.org/blog/navigating-a-sunscreen-wonderland/ via MomsRising.org | Claire can be found at asoundthatquakes.tumblr.com
There is Marta @truthinaging who’s site reviews, explains, and sells products that help women navigate products by testing and reviewing products first hand. She writes a very detailed piece about OCTINOXATE and what chemicals we don’t want to slather on ourselves or our children. http://www.truthinaging.com/review/what-is-it-octinoxate-plus-other-sunscreen-ingredients-and-are-they-safe
You can even get wonderfully lost with Paula Begoun @PaulasChoice. An author, founder, and skin care & cosmetics creator who has reviewed popular and current skin care products, make-up, and lives and breathes this beauty industry. She has her own list of sunscreen which she reviews in her authoritative & knowledgeable manner. http://www.paulaschoice.com/beautypedia-skin-care-reviews/best-skin-care-products/skin-care/sunscreens-including-kids?sort=none&direction=asc&pageNumber=1&pageSize=25&rating=3
Paula also has a comprehensive site which allows you to locate major brands, pricing, and a detailed review of the product. I’m forever in her debt when I purchase a new item. I purchased her Beauty Bible ages ago, and that’s why I’m a true fan of her encyclopedia of knowledge.
Annie @MightyNest wrote a great article also hitting on points other eco-minded mother’s have in mind. Check out her article http://mightynest.com/blog/3-reasons-to-rethink-your-sunscreen
To round out your research, many people embarking on this journey also use the EWG @EWG (Environmental Working Group) as a guide for safer sunscreen. http://www.ewg.org/2013sunscreen/
Also, just to regroup all of the Usual Suspects, a few magazines also have products they rated for you to peruse:
My own research has me interested in learning more about these products:
All Terrain KidSport Oxybenzone-Free Natural Sunscreen, Disney Phineas & Ferb SPF 30
Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Face Stick SPF 50+
Babo Clear Zinc Sport Stick SPF 30
BabyHampton beach*bum Sunscreen SPF 30
Badger Baby All Natural & Certified Organic Sunscreen SPF 30
Badger Sunscreen All Season Face Stick Unscented SPF 35+
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby SPF 30+
BurnOut KIDS Physical Sunscreen SPF 30+
Burt’s Bees Baby Bee SPF 30
The Honest Company Sunscreen SPF 30
California Baby Sunscreen Lotion, Everyday/ Year Round, Water Resistant & Hypo-Allergenic SPF 30+
Clinique ‘City Block Sheer’ Oil-Free Daily Face Protector Broad Spectrum SPF 25 (for myself)
Dolphin Organics Naturals Fragrance Free Mineral Sunscreen SPF 32
Kinesys Sunscreen Ointment with Pure Zinc Oxide SPF 30
Mustela Broad Spectrun Mineral Sun Stick SPF 50+
Nature’s Gate Aqua Block Sunscreen Lotion Very Water Resistant Fragrance Free SPF 50
Nature’s Gate Kid’s Block Sunblock Fragrance Free SPF 50
Nature’s Gate Sportblock Dry Finish Sunscreen Lotion with Cucmber Extract SPF 50
Sun Bum SPF 50 Sunscreen Spray
Sun Bum SPF 30 Sunscreen Spray
Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen SPF 50
Thinksport Kids Sunscreen SPF 50
Livestrong Sunscreen SPF 50
Thinksport Sunscreen SPF 50
TruKid Sunny Days Daily Sunscreen, Sport & Face Stick Travel Set SPF 30+
Vanicream Sunscreen Sport SPF 35
These are the other one’s I’ll look into if those above do not work out.
CeraVe, EltaMD UV, La Roche-Posay Anthelios, & UV Natural Sunscreen
Which Sunscreen or Moisturizer with SPF do you use? Are you thinking of switching?