According to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 2010 Sunscreen Guide, some of the most popular sunscreens on the market today aren’t the best for our babies and children. You may be surprised to find out that many of the name-brand ones either don’t sufficiently protect their skin from sun damage or contain hazardous chemicals…or both! Wondering how your favorite sunscreen rates for effectiveness and harmful ingredients? Be sure to check out their website for a full run down of over 1,400 different brands (click here). Some of the worst offenders were targeted as “safe and effective” for babies and children! For example, Banana Boat Baby Max Protect (SPF100) protects against sunburn but leaves their skin exposed to damaging UVA rays. The EWG’s list of top rated sunscreens all contain the minerals zinc or titanium. You will notice that NONE of them contain oxybenzone or vitamin A and they are not sprayed on. Some recognizable brands that got a thumbs up included; Blue Lizard (both the Sensitive Skin SPF 30+ and Baby SPF 30), California Baby Sunscreens, Johnson & Johnson Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 40, Loving Naturals Sunscreen SPF 30, Soleo Organics, Thinkbaby Sunscreen SPF 30, Trukid Sunscreens and UV Natural Sunscreens.
Here is the EWG’s quick reference guide for selecting a safe sunscreen:
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LOOK FOR THESE
Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate)
Added insect repellent
Avobenzone or Mexoryl SX
SPF above 50+
Water-resistant for beach, pool & exercise
SPF 30+ for beach & pool
So, long and short, picking the right sunscreen does matter! Be informed that not all sunscreens are created equal.
*Fun in the Sun Part 2 tomorrow: Sun Safety Tips For Babies And Kids