Feb 17, 2020

Safest Sunscreens For Kids

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6 of the Best Kid Friendly Sunscreens

Guest Blogger: Salpie Markarian from House Of Mark

@Housefmarkla

As a mom I’m always on the hunt for clean and non-toxic products, and sunscreens are no exception. With endless options of brands and types of sunscreens available today, it can be overwhelming to tell what’s what, or which is the best. Stick, spray, face, body, eco-friendly, natural, organic, sports, kid-friendly – the list goes on and on.

Warm days ahead of us means endless hours of outdoor play, swimsuits, and fun in the sun. And with lots of sun exposure it's very important to choose the right sunscreen that is both effective and safe for our bodies, as well as our environment. Perhaps you have your favorite, or those tried and true ones that you never leave home without. However, if you’re still using conventional, chemical-based sunscreens –the kind found at most drugstores – now’s a good time to make the switch to safer products.

Studies have shown that sunscreen enters the bloodstream after just one day of use; but, should that stop you from using sunscreen? Absolutely not!

What does conventional sunscreen even mean?

Conventional sunscreen is loaded with chemicals, including parabens, carcinogens, and oxybenzone, a chemical ingredient that has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption, and cell damage. These chemical based sunscreens are also non-biodegradable, and therefore accumulate in our oceans where we swim. Hawaii, Palau, and Key West recently banned all sunscreens containing oxybenzone and oxtinoxate because they cause coral bleaching and are dangerous to marine ecosystems.

What makes sunscreen safe?

Minerals, rather than chemicals are what we need to focus on when using sunscreen. Minerals such as zinc or titanium dioxide physically block UVA and UVB (broad-spectrum) by sitting on top of the skin, while chemical sunscreens actually absorb the sun’s rays—which is about as terrifying as it sounds.

What should you avoid when shopping for a sunscreen?

  • Oxybenzone
  • Octinoxate
  • Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate)
  • Added insect repellent
  • Spray and powder sunscreens

What should you look for instead?

  • Zinc oxide
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Avobenzone
  • Mexoryl SX
  • Cream sunscreens
  • Broad-spectrum protection
  • Water-resistant
  • Non-nano
  • Non-micronized

If you are ever unsure of a product’s safety and you don’t want to dig into the ingredient list, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) evaluate and help determine the safety of most (beauty as well as household, toiletries, etc.) products with a rating system from one to ten, with one being the best. Here is the sunscreen database and you can simply search the brand of choice and you’ll know instantly if it is safe or not. Check out the Skin Deep database as well for the rest of your beauty must-haves.

Here are several brands of sunscreen that apply well and you can feel good
about using for yourself as well as your little ones. And, they are all
reef-safe which makes it safe for our planet as well.

BADGER

EWG rating: 1
Badger makes a range of sunscreens, all of which are mineral-based. I love the
Badger Clear Zinc Daily. It is very light and very easy to apply. If you plan
on spending the entire day in the sun, it’s best to reapply. They also have a
sports version with a formula that resists water and sweat for 80 minutes,
perfect for those long active days.

BABO

EWG rating: 1
I love Babo. Babo’s SPF 30 Clear Zinc Sunscreen is a great option which also
uses non-nano, non-micronized, and clear zinc oxide (meaning less white sheen).
They also have Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sport Stick and is perfect for lips,
ears, faces, and babies. Their Daily Sheer Sunscreen Extra-Sensitive for Face
(SPF 40) is lightweight and sheer.

KABANA

EWG rating: 1
Kabana’s Green Screen uses non-nano, non-micronized zinc oxide (so yes, it goes
on a bit white). While the sunscreen itself may not be totally transparent,
Kabana certainly is–they list the actual size of their zinc oxide particles
right on their website. They even have one with Vitamin D to combat what you’ll
lose by using sunscreen.

ALL GOOD

EWG rating: 1

The organic coconut oil makes this easier to apply which is why I’m obsessed
with this broad-spectrum, hypoallergenic, gluten and GMO-free, vegan, biodegradable
formula. It’s totally safe for kids and applies like butter. It goes on white,
but rubs in clear. It’s also water resistant for up to 80 minutes.

THINKSPORT

EWG rating: 1
When it comes to OG mineral sunscreens, we have to thank ThinkSport for the
breakthrough. Although much thicker and whiter than the above list, however it
offers better protection for an active day of sun. My favorite from their line
is Thinksport Sunscreen SPF 50+.

COOLA

EWG rating: 1
Coola is a luxury mineral sunscreen brand with a higher price tag than the
rest. What I love about it is it’s super lightweight and sheer with a matte
finish. So, if you’re looking for something to wear and protect your skin in an
outdoor event such as a beach wedding, this is the perfect choice due to its
sheer and matte formula.


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