Importance Of Choosing A Healthier Sunscreen
It’s almost Summa time!!!
It’s that time of year again where the kiddos (and parents too) spend most of their day outside playing or swimming! Being outside that much requires a little sun protection and while I try to keep them covered up as much as possible they still need sunscreen if they’re going to be outside for a while.
Conventional sunscreens are filled with all kinds of terrible chemicals that are bad for us and bad for the environment! Since sunscreen is designed to be used often and contains things that ensure that it will stick to the skin and even penetrate it- it is super important that you use a healthier option!
Update: This week I got an alert on my phone about an article on CNN.com about how the chemicals in sunscreen enter the bloodstream even after a single days use. Ok so after I got pissed that they’re just now admitting this when we’ve known for years that conventional sunscreen chemicals are not safe, it felt good to be validated. I resurrected this old blog post just to add the article to it so here ya go! Click here to read the actual article after you’re finished reading this blog post of course! 😉 Anyway back to the original post…
There are two different kinds of UV filters that are typically used in sunscreens- chemical or mineral. The chemical products usually contain oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Mineral products are usually titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
One of the big problems with the chemicals is that they are known to be endocrine disruptors and can mimic hormones, and interact with our sex and thyroid hormones.
These chemicals in sunscreen are showing up in 85% of samples of breast milk so we know for a fact that our bodies are absorbing and storing them!
According to Environmental Working Group, a non profit working to educate people on the dangers of using toxic chemicals, here are some of the worst chemicals used in conventional sunscreens:
Oxybenzone: This scores an 8/10 on their hazard scale and acts like an estrogen in the body, it altered sperm production in animal studies and is associated with endometriosis in women.
Octinoxate: 6/10 on hazard scale and also has hormone like activity and showed to affect reproductive, thyroid, as well as behavior issues in animal studies.
Homosalate: 4/10 on hazard scale and disrupts androgen, progesterone, and estrogen.
Not only do we need to look at the active ingredients, there are several inactive ingredients in many sunscreens that are not good for us also!
One preservative methylisothiazolinone which was found in a huge number of kiddie sunscreens is a skin allergen and was named allergen of the year in 2013! This chemical is banned in Europe yet still allowed in the US.
Good news though...
Mineral Sunscreens commonly use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as we mentioned above and research shows that little to none of the particles are absorbed through the skin.
These minerals provide good protection with little negative effects especially when compared to conventional chemical products.
You still need to be careful as these mineral nanoparticles can cause lung issues if inhaled in large doses. Using loose powders or sprays with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide is not generally recommended for this reason.
There is so much more that should be studied and current laws prevent the FDA from really looking into it and creating regulations. Do your homework and decide what you feel is best for your family.
What we use…
Our family has tried several different kinds of sunscreens over the years and the ones we have liked the best are Badger and Beautycounter.
Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream SPF 30, Tangerine and Vanilla rates as a 1 on EWG and my kids love it. Yes you have to work to rub it in but it smells good and works good! You can purchase it on Amazon here.
We recently began using Beautycounter since I ‘m now completely obsessed with all of their products and it’s now my favorite! It rubs in much easier and doesn’t feel as sticky or greasy as the Badger. It also rates as a 1!
If you are interested in Beautycounter’s new sunscreen which they have available in a stick, a cream, and a new spray click here to order.
Remember that trying to cover up and use shade as much as possible is best but if you are going to be out in the sun swimming and playing please use sunscreens that are less toxic and apply often to avoid sun damage.
Also remember that we do need moderate exposure to sun to be healthy and get our Vitamin D so if you will only be out a few minutes it’s good to get a little sun on your head and arms especially!