Posts Tagged ‘sun protection’

Safer Sunscreens 2009

It’s that time of year again — planning for beach trips, the pool, biking, or whatever outdoor activities interest you.

california-baby-spf-30-natural-sunscreen

Last year, the folks at the Environmental Working Group published a report on the effectiveness of sunscreens. They studied 952 common sunscreens and found 4 out of 5 do not do their job.  Additionally, 53% of sunscreen make claims on the bottle that are simply inaccurate and are terms the FDA has said are unacceptable terms or misleading. 

They also found zinc and titanium based formulas to be the most effective.

What to avoid. Avoid ingredients like those with anything “–paraben” in the name, fragrance (likely contains phthalates), PEG compounds, polyethylene, oxybenzone,  triethanolamine, BHT,  benzyl alcohol, and others. This is not a complete list, just some of the ones you may find. Definitely consult the EWG’s Cosmetic Databse for more information on specific ingredients.

Again, read those labels and remember formulas frequently change!

Here is a little summary on the EWG website, plus their recommended top 10 sunscreens that are safe and effective. They also offer a list of “common brand names” and specifically which product in that line is safe and effective. **A little disclaimer though about the cosmetic database.** I have personally found discrepencies in the ingredients they have listed in their database than what is actually listed on the bottle. This is because formulas change frequently and it’s difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with each and every product. So definitely still consult the databse as a guide, but as always read the labels before you buy!!

EWG’s recommended Top 10 sunscreens (and their hazard rating. Rating is based on level of hazard, 0 being safest, 10 being highest hazard)
1. Keys Soap Solar Rx Therapeutic Sunblock, SPF 30   0
2. Trukid Sunny Days Facestick Mineral Sunscreen UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum, SPF 30+  0
3. California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+   0
4. Badger Sunscreen, SPF 30       0
5. Marie Veronique Skin Therapy Sun Serum    1
6. Lavera Sunscreen Neutral, SPF 40     1
7. Vanicream Sunscreen, SPF 35      1
8. UV Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+      1
(there is also a Baby version)
9. Sun Science Sport Formula, SPF 30     1
10. Soleo Organics Sunscreen all natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+  1

From 10 Common Brands (and their hazard rating. Rating is based on level of hazard, 0 being safest, 10 being highest hazard). If more than 1 product is listed for that entire brand’s line, I put the range, so be sure to get the ones specified below)
** Please note, these are safer common brands (meaning easier to find), does not mean they are free of harmful ingredients. Other than California Baby, I would personally NOT recommend any of the below or use these for myself or my family.
1. Blue Lizard anything without oxybenzone    (1-7)
2. California Baby anything with SPF 30+     (0-2)
3. CVS with zinc oxide       (2-7) 
4. Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas Mineral Based Sunblock  (1-7)
5. Kiss My Face “Paraben Free” series     (2-7)
6. Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock     (2-7)
7. Olay Defense Daily UV Moisturizer (with zinc)    (2-7)
8. SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense     (2-3)
9. Solar Sense Clear Zinc for Face      (1-2)
10. Walgreens Zinc Oxide for Face, Nose, & Ears   (1-7)

Personally, I am a HUGE fan of TruKids and California Baby. TruKids is a little less expensive. My husband and I both used it last year during our traditional week at the beach and I use California Baby on my then 2 year old. She enjoyed using the TruKids face stick on all 3 of our faces! None of us got burned, and our relatives who used Bull Frog did get burned.

Related Articles

California Baby Sunscreen: Product Review
TruKid Sunny Days Suncreen: Product Review
Add Sun Protection to You Clothes

California Baby Sunscreen: Product Review

Another great sunscreen! And another great product by California Baby for that matter. On our beach trip, I used California Baby SPF 30 Sunscreen – Fragrance-Free on our 2 year old. It worked great! No burns, pinkness or barely any sun tan.

The product went on smoothly, was not greasy and didn’t leave white residue. It held up great in the water, as we spent most of our time in the pool. We reapplied about every 1.5 – 2 hours. It contains all safe ingredients and is chemical and paraben-free, though the EWG’s website says it has a PEG chemical which usually contains dioxanes which are a probably carcinogen. However, I did not recall seeing this on the bottle I have. As I have mentioned before, the EGW’s website is a great guide, but don’t take it for gospel. Always, always double check ingredients, as formulas often change.

But the sunscreen did its job and did it well. I have no complaints, other than it is a little pricey. I definitely recommend this product!

Other California Baby Sunscreen Products
California Baby SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion

California Baby SPF 30 + Sunblock Stick – No Fragrance, .5 oz

TruKid Sunny Days Sunscreen: Product Review

This stuff is GREAT!! After the recent report on most sunscreens failing to work, I consulted the EWG’s list of what they considered to be the safer and most effective of the sunscreens. TruKid Sunny Days SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen lotion and TruKid Sunny Days SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Water Resistant Face Stick were both on the list, so I ordered some from Amazon for our beach trip.

The bottles are small I will say, however, compared to California Baby, it’s less expensive. The product has a nice citrus scent, it goes on smooth and does not feel greasy. It also does not leave a white mess like other lotions. And most importantly, we did not get burned! I admit, I got a little pink one day, but that was my own fault for not reapplying soon enough, and I am very pasty white right now! But we kept reapplying it about every 90 minutes or so, and everyone on our trip got burnt except us! They were using Bull Frog mainly and they were reapplying, too.

Another bonus, the customer service and shipping were great! I ordered from Amazon.com and the shipment arrived in about 4 days. I emailed to check the status, but about an hour later it arrived, so I emailed back to say never mind it had arrived, but they still responded! They are also working with Whole Foods to try and get the product on the shelves there. I hope they do!

Both the TruKid Sunny Days SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen lotion and TruKid Sunny Days SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen Water Resistant Face Stick are fantastic products and I highly recommend them. We will definitely be loyal customers!

4 Out of 5 Sunscreens Do Not Work

We take sun protection very seriously in our house since my husband had a few skin cancers removed a couple years ago. Dermatologists are saying to apply sunscreen every single day to help protect against skin cancer, so it’s highly disappointing to find out that 4 out 5 sunscreen do not do the job they say they do. Recently CNN and the New York Times reported on this issue.

The folks at the Environmental Working Group have published a report on the effectiveness of sunscreens. They studied 952 common sunscreens and found 4 out of 5 do not do their job. Some stats are dumbfounding, like of the 17 FDA approved active ingredients for sun protection, 4 of those breakdown very quickly when exposed to sunlight. How does this even make sense? One more check in my “why I am growing to despise the FDA” column. Additionally, 53% of sunscreen make claims on the bottle that are simply inaccurate and are terms the FDA has said are unacceptable terms or misleading. 

Here is a little summary on the EWG website, plus their recommended top 10 sunscreens that are safe and effective. They also offer a list of “common brand names” and specifically which product in that line is safe and effective. A little disclaimer though about the cosmetic database. I have personally found discrepencies in the ingredients they have listed in their database than what is actually listed on the bottle. This is because formulas change frequently and it’s difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with each and every product. So definitely still consult the databse as a guide, but as always read the labels before you buy!!

EWG’s recommended Top 10 sunscreens (and their hazard rating. Rating is based on level of hazard, 0 being safest, 10 being highest hazard)
1. Keys Soap Solar Rx Therapeutic Sunblock, SPF 30   0
2. Trukid Sunny Days Facestick Mineral Sunscreen UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum, SPF 30+  0
3. California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+   0
4. Badger Sunscreen, SPF 30       0
5. Marie Veronique Skin Therapy Sun Serum    1
6. Lavera Sunscreen Neutral, SPF 40     1
7. Vanicream Sunscreen, SPF 35      1
8. UV Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+      1
(there is also a Baby version)
9. Sun Science Sport Formula, SPF 30     1
10. Soleo Organics Sunscreen all natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+  1

From 10 Common Brands (and their hazard rating. Rating is based on level of hazard, 0 being safest, 10 being highest hazard). If more than 1 product is listed for that entire brand’s line, I put the range, so be sure to get the ones specified below)
** Please note, these are safer common brands, does not mean they are free of harmful ingredients. Other than California Baby, I would personally not recommend any of the below or use these for myself or my family.
1. Blue Lizard anything without oxybenzone    (1-7)
2. California Baby anything with SPF 30+     (0-2)
3. CVS with zinc oxide       (2-7) 
4. Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas Mineral Based Sunblock  (1-7)
5. Kiss My Face “Paraben Free” series     (2-7)
6. Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunblock     (2-7)
7. Olay Defense Daily UV Moisturizer (with zinc)    (2-7)
8. SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense     (2-3)
9. Solar Sense Clear Zinc for Face      (1-2)
10. Walgreens Zinc Oxide for Face, Nose, & Ears   (1-7)

Personally, I am a HUGE fan of TruKids and California Baby. TruKids is a little less expensive. My husband and I both used it last week at the beach and I use California Baby on my 2 year old. She enjoyed using the TruKids face stick on all 3 of our faces! None of us got burned, and our relatives who used Bull Frog did get burned.

Related Articles

California Baby Sunscreen: Product Review
TruKid Sunny Days Suncreen: Product Review
Add Sun Protection to You Clothes

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