Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Don't forget the Sunscreen! But which one?

Everybody needs a little vitamin D from the sun but for extended periods break out the sunscreen! If you are worried about slathering your body, or your child's, in chemicals, I share your concern! That's why I did a little research to find a few that I felt comfortable with! I checked for some options on SkinDeep which scores products from zero through ten on level of toxicity, with ten being the highest. I found a bunch of options but most were brands I had never heard of and weren't available locally (I like to see and read the products I'm testing before I buy!). I decided to tested two brands that were easy to find in "regular" stores and had a low toxicity score.

The least toxic sunscreens are chemical-free and natural sunscreens. They use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to provide physical barrier against UVA and UVB rays. These types of sunscreens rest on your skin and leave a bit of a white glow, however most are non-staining.

The first sunscreen I chose to test was California Baby SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion. My my children have sensitive skin and this non-invasive formula is allergy tested to be hypoallergenic. The active ingredient is highly micronized titanium dioxide. Because it is "highly micronized" it didn't leave as much of a white tint to the skin. It went on smoothly and easily which is a plus considering my impatient and squirmy children! The product says that it retains effectiveness after 80 minutes of activity in water or perspiring and I concur. We did reapply after close to 2 hours of fun in the water as a precaution. At a price of between $15-$20 per tube, it's a bit on the pricey side but I was able to score some with a BOGO offer at BabiesRUs.

The second sunscreen I chose was Badger SPF 30 Sunscreen For Face & Body 2.9 oz (87 ml). This sunscreen uses uncoated, Non-Nano Zinc Oxide to protect from both UVA and UVB rays. it has a slight fragrance to it, probably from the lavender oil but it is pleasant. It went on smoothly with only a tint of a whitish glow. I have to admit that I did not read the container very thoroughly. I figure we had at least an hour until we had to reapply but around 45 minutes I started to see a little pink coming on and ran to reapply. "For maintained protection, sunscreen reapplication is recommended every 40 minutes or after swimming, sweating, and/or towel drying as needed". Oops! Thankfully I caught it before anybody got sunburn but with 2 active young children, reapplying less than an hour after application is tough. Pricing is a little less than California Baby but if you are reapplying it every 40 minutes rather than every 80 minutes, you are using it up twice as quickly.

Conclusion: For our family California Baby SPF 30 Sunscreen Lotion works best - great protection for a reasonable amount of time, no fragrance, and perfect for my little ones' sensitive skin!

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