Hey there everyone! It’s that time of year again to hit the beach and pools, or just get outside and take advantage of this great weather. I really need to go out and buy some sunscreen for this season. I was taking a look at the best sunscreen list written by the Environmental Working Group and here is what came up. Oh, and by the way, this site is referred to as “Skin Deep” and is a wonderful way to look up all cosmetics, not just sunscreen and see how they rate for safety. They list all products not just organic and they look at health hazard as well as sun hazard. Then the overall score is posted. There were 1,104 products tested thus far this year. Only one out of 115 products by Banana Boat and Neutrogena met EWG’s safety and effectiveness criteria. None of the 48 products by Coppertone met the criteria. This site also has a summary of sunscreen safety.
Here’s a few tips that I look for when buying sunscreen. I try to stay clear of parabens, PABA, benzophenone and chem Parsol 1789. I also look for UVA and UVB protection. UVA can cause the aging of the skin as well as skin cancer. PABA can be a skin irritant to those who are chemically sensitive. There have been some questions regarding the potential hazards that chem Parsol 1789 may be linked to some illnesses. For example, it may cause certain types of cancer and liver damage. Oxybenzone, a derivative of benzophenone, has estrogenic properties and can lead to hormone disruption and cell damage. Now, this may be when used in overwhelming quantities or as a cumulative effect but I would rather stay on the safe side and use as many natural products as possible. The skin is the largest organ in your body and obviously absorbs whatever you put on it. I just try to be careful when purchasing items for myself and my family. You want to find a sunscreen that scatters the sun rays. A chemical laden sunscreen will absorb into the skin and then there is a build up of chemicals. Try to use sun protective clothing first, then sunscreen. Some sun is good of course. It helps our bodies produce Vitamin D. Really, the important concept here is to protect yourself and your family from the sun and choose products wisely when doing so.
I am planning to choose a chemical free sunscreen or a mineral based sunscreen. My choices for this season will be Badger, California Baby Sunscreen SPF 30, Trukid and probably Lavera Neutral SPF 40. Lavera and California Baby are usually available at Earth Fare but I didn’t see them there today. Sold out? You can order online as well. Badger is available on their site website and at Nourish in Savannah, Ga. You can also order online from Nourish. I used California Baby sunscreen last year and it worked really well. It’s a bit on the expensive side but worth it in my opinion. They sold out last year, so I may have to stock up early this time. The Lavera can smell a little strong at first (the lavender) but fades quickly. The list above by the EWG shows Soleo Organic Sunscreen, Trukid Sunny Days Facestick, Badger, Keys Soap Solar, California Baby, Kiss My Face, Purple Prairie, Jason, Jane Iredale, Obagi, Blue Lizard, Dermatologica, and many others as good choices. Be careful though when looking at the list because there are brands that have several types of sunscreen and are rated differently. There is another sunscreen that I would LOVE to purchase and that is Jurlique Sunscreen SPF 30. It’s a tad on the expensive side to say the least. If you don’t know about Jurlique, you should google it. I absolutely love their products. They have a store in San Francisco that I used to love to visit and you can order it online. The products are made in Australia with all natural ingredients and they are incredible! The products don’t seem to be quite as expensive as the sunscreen so not sure what happened with that…
Unfortunately, I didn’t know about the damaging effects of the sun until about 10 years ago when I starting noticing several unusual freckles or moles popping up all over my body. I grew up in Pennsylvania and when it got above 50 degrees, out came the tin foil and baby oil. Yes, I said, tin foil. We actually sat on top of the dorm in college with tin foil and fried ourselves. Absolutely disgusting, I know but what are you going to do now? Well, back to my story. I am at high risk for developing melanoma. I have had NUMEROUS highly dysplastic moles removed and the scars are not so pleasant. I don’t care though as long as I get them off and hopefully never have the diagnosis of malignant melanoma. I made some poor decisions in the past but the important thing is that we now have the knowledge to help us protect our skin. Oh, and we really don’t want any more wrinkles either right? Although I do miss that sunkissed look…….. So get a good sunscreen, cover up when possible and maybe invest in a good self tanner.
Oh, and one last thing. I go to Dermatologic Laser Center every six months to have Mole Safe performed. It is a program that is used throughout New Zealand to detect melanoma. They have such a great risk due to the depleting ozone layer over there and it is part of their health care program to have this performed. It’s a software program combined with photos taken by a clinician. The nurse takes pictures of your WHOLE body (kind of embarrassing, especially when you see yourself without clothes on the computer, ughh). Anyways, they are able to track your areas of concern with more precision and the software program is set up to analyze the appearance, etc. Of course the doctor reviews everything as well. This is a GREAT way to stay on top of things if you are at risk for skin cancer. Check out the best sunscreen list and let us know if you have a safe sunscreen you would recommend!
You ran this exact same post last year (April 20th). You don’t have anything new to say on the subject?
Actually if you read carefully, you will see that it has been updated. I did keep some of the same information since it has not changed. Some of the recommendations from EWG have changed but not many. BTW, the new brand that I mentioned in this post, Tru Kids, is a great buy at Target but not available at this time. It is a bit less expensive than California Baby and rates extremely well on EWG. It will hopefully be restocked in the near future. Wear sunscreen, cover up when possible, updates on brands of sunscreen, a bit of the science, local practices for careful montoring..thought this was relevant information, especially for readers who missed it last year. Please let me know what information you would like to see here. Thanks for reading.
Thanks for the great information!
Thank you so much for the information. Very informative and I am going to hunt down the California Baby before it sells out! I have a 1 year old and this summer will be the first time for pools, beaches, etc. Definitely relevant to me THIS year as opposed to last.
You can order a LOT of these products at http://www.drugstore.com , as well! Thanks for the info!!-Allison
There's also a new sunscreen by Neutrogena called "Pure & Free". It's ingredients are naturally derived, has broad spectrum UVA/UVB block (SPF 60+), PABA & fragrance free, hypoallergenic and NO oxybenzone:) I purchased some this past weekend from Wal-Mart ($10.97 for 3 ounces) and it worked GREAT! They had plenty of it…
Triad Smarty Pants offers additional suggestions on sunscreen, including tips from a renowned pediatrician in our area. Also, I had non-melanoma skin cancer and my dermatological surgeon highly recommends Neutrogena products. Visit our blog on sun screen tips at http://triadsmartypants.blogspot.com/2009/05/smarty-sunscreen-tips.html.Thanks for reading!Katie MTriad Smarty Pants
REALLY enjoyed reading this information – it’s eye-opening to me and my fair-skinned family! Thanks for the info!
The Babies R Us on South Blvd. had some of the California Baby sunscreen today. It was $19.99 for about 3 oz.
My only problem is you cannot use California baby on a child of any color (hispanic, AA etc). It will not completely rub in and makes them look a weird whitish color.
Remember to check for expiration dates on your older sunscreens!
cactusjuice.com has GREAT natural products mostly derived from the cactus plant (hence the name). They have a wonderful bug spray and a bug/sunscreen combination lotion. We used this on ourselves and the kids last year at the beach and it worked like a charm! Their products actually smell pretty nice too as opposed to many other natural products I have tried.
OOps – sorry for the typo above. The website is actually cactusjuicetm.com.
I missed your post last year (according to another poster) so thanks for posting this very important information this year. My family and I will definitely benefit from this info as summer is quickly approaching!!! Love to hear about EWG and Dermatologic Laser Center. Thanks again!!!
California Baby sunscreen is at Target for S17.99 in the baby care/shampoo area. It’s usually $19.99 at Babies R US, online and other stores. Thanks for all your input in the comments!
Hey Dana,THanks for the post…I’m interested in the Lazer Center you mentioned…where is it in Charlotte??Your neighbor, Elizabeth
Hi Elizabeth!The Dermatologic Laser Center is located on Randolph Road right near Presbyterian Hospital. Great seeing you the other day. Have a great holiday weekend.
It’s hard to use the 2008 info. I want to see the 2009 info. It should be out soon. I looked at ingredients list and they do not match the 2008 list. (I really like spray – so I am just trying to choose a reasonably priced, reasonably safe option.)
Now I am more confused with this list! What do we buy when we need to slather it on but these high end brands come in small 3 oz sizes? For the past 2 yrs my dermotologist had said to look for sunscreens with min. 3%oxybenzone and min. 6% zinc oxide/titanium dioxide – recommending Blue Lizard, Bullfrog Gel(now on the EWG ?able list) Waterbabies 45 – anyone have a good answer – that can decipher all the great info on the websites? Thanks!
I know it all gets a bit overwhelming and confusing. I look at oxybenzone as I would in regards to BPA. Both have similar issues and if you have an alternative then why chance it? I also put the boys in rash guards so I use less sunscreen then I normally would. The 3 ounce size of California Baby actually lasts us a long time. A small amount goes a LONG way. It may be due to the fact that it is not "absorbed" as easily as some of the other sunscreens. Like the previous comment mentions it can leave a white film or tint. From what research I have done, it looks like oxybenzone also makes your skin more able to absorb all the other junk that is in some of these sunscreens(parabens, ect.) That is why I choose to go with a chemical free sunscreen. The coverage is great so that has never been an issue. I hope that helps!
I have also visited the dermatologist you spoke of. For those that would like additional information about Dermatologic Laser Center, you can visit their new website at: http://www.dermatologiclasercenter.com.