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Safe Sunscreen

Posted Jul 03 2008 1:14pm 1 Comment

It’s summer time which means your children are out of school and probably playing outside or at the pool. With record high temperatures all over the country, it’s important to use sunscreen especially during the peak hours of the day from 10am to 4pm. Some sun exposure is actually good for your child as it helps the body maintain the necessary levels of Vitamin D. However, too much exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays puts your child at risk for skin cancer. But, you also have to be careful that the sunscreen product you’re using doesn’t put your family at risk for other health problems.

The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization committed to product safety, reports on the safety of skin care products including sunscreens in theirSkin Deep Database. According to their safety studies on sunblock as reported in anarticle by Gaiam:

In all, 84 percent of the 831 sunscreens EWG tested did not pass health and environmental muster. Many containedpotentially harmful chemicals like Benzophenone, homosalate and octyl methoxycinnamate (also called octinoxate), which are known to mimic naturally occurring bodily hormones and can thus throw the body’s systems out of whack. Some also contained Padimate-0 and parsol 1789 (also known as avobenzone), which are suspected of causing DNA damage when exposed to sunlight. Furthermore, EWG found that more than half the sunscreens on the market make questionable product claims about longevity, water resistance and UV protection.

There are safer alternatives to the conventional sunscreens. I encourage you to visit theSkin Deep Databaseto see where your current product ranks or if you want to find a safer alternative. My favorite:California Baby SPF 30 Sunscreen.California Baby also has asunblock stick applicatorfor the face.


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Environmental Working Group has just released their 2009 Sunscreen Guide:

With over 1500 products, now including lip balm and moisturizer, it's the best resource for finding safe and effective sunscreen.  (Especially considering 3/5 of the products analyzed were found to provide inadequate protection or contain potentially harmful ingredients.)
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