Sunday, May 26, 2019

2019 Non-Toxic Sunscreen Guide

We know we should be wearing sunscreen everyday, all year round, but somehow, when the winter months come around, many well meaning parents are guilty (myself included) of dropping the ball and not using daily sunscreen.  

The balance between year round sun safety and getting enough Vitamin D (Studies have found that 70 percent of breastfed babies were deficient in vitamin D at one month old a serious problem because vitamin D plays a key role in growth and development of infants and increased mortality from heart disease and colon cancer, and heightened risk of breast cancer in adults) is a challenge too.

However, once the days grow longer and the sun starts warming us all up,  we all know it is more important than ever to resume our daily sunscreen routine.

Why is sunscreen so important?
1. The rate of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer, has tripled over the past 35 years.  In 2015 alone more than  80,422 people were diagnosed !

2. There is a very strong correlation  between the number of childhood sunburns and increased melanoma risk.  This is why it is so so important  to reapply sunblock frequently in our children, especially in fidgety, water loving children (no easy task!) 

How to Choose a (safe and effective) Sunscreen
Before, buying sunscreen for our family was as easy as going to your local store and picking whichever brand you fancied.....  but those days are gone.  

 In the past few years plenty of research has surfaced showing us that not all sunscreens are created equal.  Even one brand can produce a range of sunblocks some very natural and others containing harmful chemicals. In fact, the Environmental Working Group's latest look at sunscreen in the US  found that 60% of sunscreens sold in stores " did not offer adequate sun protection or contained potentially harmful chemicals" ...essentially, EWG found that 60% of sunscreens sold TODAY in stores should not be considered safe and effective by current FDA standards.

Here is a guide to know what to avoid and what to look for when you go sunscreen shopping.

What should we avoid?
  • oxybenzone: This is a hormone disrupting chemical that acts like estrogen in the body.  In studies, it has been seen to alter sperm production in animals and is also associated with endometriosis in women. It damages coral reefs and damages marine life, and has been banned in Hawaii and some cities in Florida. The worse part? It only blocks UVB ray, not UVA which are the most free radical damaging rays.
  • Octinoxate: Linked to Hormone-like activity as well as  thyroid and behavioral alterations, in animal studies, and affects the human reproductive system.  Octinoxate has been found in breast milk.
  • Methylisothiazolinone:  usually found as an inactive ingredient in sunscreens (inactive ingredients are, however important since they can constitute up to 70% of a sunscreen), it is a skin sensitizer/ allergen which has been found to  be the cause of serious cases of skin allergies, most notably in children . (In) "2015, the European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety concluded that no concentration of the chemical could be considered safe in leave-on cosmetic products (EU SCCS 2014). But methylisothiazolinone is still allowed in U.S. products"
  • Octocrylene:  has recently been shown to forms compounds that accumulate in coral and could be toxic
The FDA, this year, confirmed that these 4 common sunscreen ingredients can actually enter your bloodstream for at least 24 hours after the last sunscreen application.   

Additionally you want to avoid:
  • Retinyl palmitate:  is an antioxidant  commonly used in sports and cosmetic sunscreens, face creams and lip sunblock  for its ability to combat skin aging.  Unfortunately it has also been shown to increase the development of skin tumors and lesions when exposed to sunlight.  It is best to avoid all forms of this chemical (retinyl palmitate can also be labelled as  retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinol) or exclusively use at night and make sure to wash off thoroughly in the morning
  • Sprays: generally sprays are not recommended, especially for small children, since the tiny particles can easily enter their lungs and cause damage.  These tiny particles are mostly found in aerosol spray cans.  Even sprays with the 'safe' ingredient titanium dioxide should be avoided, as The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens has classified titanium dioxide as a possible carcinogen when it is inhaled in large doses
  • High SPF:    SPF over 50 is not recommended, mostly because it has not been proven to add any more protection and can make people think they do not need to reapply every 2-3 hours.   

What should we look for ? 
Currently only two sunscreen ingredients are recognized by the FDA as proven safe and effective 

  • zinc oxide:   Offers superior sun protection and is not absorbed by our bodies through our skin.   It should, however, be avoided in spray for.  The International Agency for Research on Carcinogens has classified titanium dioxide as a possible carcinogen when it is inhaled in large doses
  • titanium dioxide:  also not absorbed by our bodies while offering superior protection
  • broad spectrum:  this means the sunscreen protects against both UVA and UVB rays from the sun.  This is important because both are harmful. UVB rays - addressed by the SPF level-  are responsible for producing sunburn. UVB rays play the greatest role in causing skin cancers.   UVA rays are also harmful & are what cause aging and damage to the DNA in skin cells and can also lead to skin cancer.
  • European  sunscreens:   Sunscreens in Europe use ingredients that offer much stronger UVA protection than sunscreens in the US.  In fact most 'broad spectrum' sunscreens sold in the US are too weak to be sold in Europe! American manufacturers have been waiting for years for FDA approval to use these sunscreen ingredients but have yet to get approval.
EWG's Best Sunscreens of 2019, for Kids
* my personal favorites from this list can be found in my Amazon Store under the 'Shop' tab at the top of the page
    • Adorable Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30+
    • All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 30
    • Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Sensitive Skin Zinc Oxide Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Babo Botanicals Baby Skin Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Badger Kids Active Sunscreen Cream, Tangerine & Vanilla, SPF 30
    • Bare Republic Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+
    • BurnOut Kids Sunscreen, SPF 35
    • California Baby Calendula Sunscreen, SPF 30+
    • COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
    • Equate Baby Zinc Sunscreen Mineral Lotion, SPF 50
    • Goddess Garden Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
    • Hawaiian Sol Sol Kid Kare, SPF 50
    • MDSolarSciences KidCreme Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 40
    • thinkbaby Sunscreen, SPF 50+
    • thinksport Kids Sunscreen, SPF 50+
    • Tom’s of Maine Baby Sunscreen Lotion, Fragrance Free, SPF 30
    • Supergoop! Sunnyscreen Lotion, Babies + Kiddos, SPF 50
    • Waxhead Sun Defense Baby Zinc Oxide Sunscreen, SPF 35
EWG's Best Sunscreens of 2019, Moisturizers
  • Badger Damascus Rose Face Sunscreen, SPF 25
  • Block Island Organics Natural Face Moisturizer, SPF 30
  • Drunk Elephant Umbra Sheer Physical Daily Defense, SPF 30
  • Goddess Garden Face the Day Daily Moisturizer, SPF 30
  • Juice Beauty Oil-Free Moisturizer, SPF 30
  • Sanre Shaded Rose Solar Calming Facial Cream, SPF 30
  • Suntegrity Skincare Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer, SPF 30

EWG's Worse Sunscreens for Kids
  • Banana Boat Kids Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 100
  • Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
  • Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion Spray, SPF 50
  • Coppertone Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50
  • Coppertone Kids Wet Protect Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50
  • CVS Health Children’s Clear Spray, SPF 50 and 70
  • Equate Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70
  • Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Stick Sunscreen/Spray, SPF 70+
  • Up & Up Kids Sunscreen Spray, SPF 50

Remember, sunscreen is important.  Period.   But it should not be your only protection against the sun.   Seeking shade, avoiding peak sun hours, using long sleeves and protective clothing and wearing hats should also form a part of your summer plans always.


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    The scary thing is that many men actually think this way. Anyway I am laughing at how pathetically insecure this loser is. His basic message is that he refuses to date any woman over the age of 25, LOL.

  2. ok.... i'm off sunblock shopping! you helped me once.. now I'm going again with your list! So babygantics is out? Don't see it on the list and have been using for years...

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