Is Your Children’s Sunscreen Safe?

When I thought of products with unnecessary and harmful toxins I never thought of sunscreen. Sunscreen is suppose to help prevent sun damage and skin cancer. I also always thought the higher the SPF the better the protection.  Well, I was wrong.

In my quest to begin using both greener and safer products for my family I found a company called EWG (Environmental Working Group.)  Their research exposes threats to your health and the environment, and finds solutions.  EWG’s main focus is to provide useful resources to consumers while also pushing for policy changes nationally.

EWG has a Skin Deep Sunscreen Guide 2011 which gives you a list of the very best and worst sunscreens.  It is based on a their scale of:

0-3 Low Toxin Hazard
3-6 Moderate Toxin Hazard
7-10 High Toxin Hazard

What to Look out for in Sunscreens:

oxybenzone – One of the biggest culprits to making the sunscreens more of a toxin hazard.  The overall concerns with this ingredient is developmental/reproductive toxicity, Endocrine disruption, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Enhanced skin absorption, Biochemical or cellular level changes.  

Vitamin A – The sunscreen industry often adds vitamin A to its products because it is an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging. That may be true for lotions and night creams used indoors, but the FDA study of vitamin A’s photocarcinogenic properties raises the possibility that it results in cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight. Scientists have known for some time that vitamin A can spur excess skin growth (hyperplasia), and that in sunlight it can form free radicals that damage DNA.  It may also speed the development of skin tumors and lesions. This finding is quite troubling because the sunscreen production companies adds vitamin A to about 30 percent of all sunscreens.

 benzophenone-3, homosalate, or octyl-methoxycinnamate – These ingredients not only behave like estrogen and are known to disrupt users’ endocrine systems, they are more readily absorbed through the skin. 

Sunscreen that have high SPFs (50+) – Anything higher than SPF 50 may tempt people to stay in the sun too long, suppressing sunburns (a late, key warning of overexposure) while upping the risks of other kinds of skin damage.

Sprays or powders. They have a greater potential to  through cuts or inhalation.  Choose cream based products instead. Make sure to reapply them often, because sunscreen chemicals break apart in the sun, wash off in pools and rub off on towels and clothing.
I decided to look inside my own cabinet to see what sunscreens I have for my children.  I was a bit surprised with some of them.

Water Babies – Rank 5 
Pure & Simple water Babies – Rank 3
Pure & Simple Kids – Rank 3

Blue Lizard 
Sport – Rank 4
Australian Suncream, Sensitive Skin – Rank 2

Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick, SPF 50 – Rank 1

I happen to recently buy
Pure & Free baby – RANK 7
Wet skin kids – RANK 7

A List of a few of their Best Sunscreens
(0-3 Low Toxin Hazard) are:

Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick, SPF 50  RANK 1

Cover Up Baby Sunscreen for Face & Body, Fragrance Free, SPF 50+   RANK 2
Cover Up Baby Sunscreen Stick, Fragrance Free, SPF 50  RANK 2

Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30+  RANK 1
Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30+   RANK 1
Sunscreen, Lightly Scented Lavender, SPF 30+   RANK 1 
Sunscreen Face Stick, Unscented, SPF 30+   RANK 1 
Sunscreen, Lightly Scented Lavender, SPF 15  RANK 2
Blue Lizard
Australian Suncream, Sensitive, SPF 30+ –  RANK 2
Baby Australian Suncream, SPF 30+ RANK 2

New Sunny Days Mineral All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+  RANK 1
TruKid Sunny Days Water Resistant Unscent Mineral Face & Body Stick, SPF 35+  RANK 1 TruKid Sunny Days Water Resistant Unscented mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30+  RANK 1 TruKid Sunny Days Sport Water Resistant Sunscreen, SPF 30+  RANK 1 
TruKid Sunny Days SPORT Unscented, Water Resistant Stick, SPF 35+  RANK 1 
Sunny Days Unscented Water Resistant Sunscreen Stick, SPF 35+  – RANK 2

For the complete list go to Skin Deep Sunscreen Guide 2011 
Check out these great Sun Safety Tips*

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