Lots of people have been asking about this topic so even though this is still very much in the works, I’m going to post anyways! I’ll add more!
When choosing a “safer” sunscreen for your family, here are some points to keep in mind!
1. Mineral sunscreens are usually better. Look for plant based ingredients such as olive oil and calendula.
2. Zinc oxide & titanium dioxide: generally considered safe ingredients. Titanium dioxide is a weaker UV protector than zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is the most effect ingredient against UVA rays.
3. Apply frequently. Especially when chlorine is a factor.
4. Spray sunscreens are usually not the healthiest choice. Many sunscreens may contain nanoparticles which when sprayed and inhaled, can cause lung damage. (there’s always some exceptions, but generally speaking, it’s best to avoid spray sunscreen). For a great video about the dangers of aerosol sunscreens, click HERE!
5. Look for sunscreens with broad spectrum protection to protect you from both UVA and UVB rays.
6. If you choose a sunscreen for yourself, it’s perfectly acceptable to use it on sensitive baby skin. You don’t need special sunscreen for baby or for yourself. And just because a product says it’s for baby, doesn’t mean it can’t be used on bigger kids or adults. Sunscreen is sunscreen.
7. Greasy is better! Most people are turned off by the greasy feeling that some sunscreens can leave on their skin. The truth is, greasy is better! Greasy sunscreens are more likely to contain plant based ingredients as opposed to chemical based. The ingredient that makes non-greasy sunscreens absorb so quickly is usually alcohol (think how quickly hand sanitizer absorbs. Same thing.) and alcohol can lead to dry patches, rashes and make eczema suffers miserable!
8. Not all products within a certain brand are considered safe. Just because it says “cCoppertone” for example, doesn’t mean ALL sunscreen’s that cCoppertone makes are safe. ONLY the ones on the list. Each individual product is researched independently and rated independently.
Safe ingredient list: zinc oxide, titanium dioxide.
Here is a list of sunscreens that are safe choices for SPF 30 and above that are readily available at national retailers (not mom n pop stores):
California Baby brand is available at most Super Target stores nationwide. Babyganics brand is available at most Babies R Us stores nationwide. Information source: ewg.org’s skin deep database.