Sooo...did you know that sunscreen can actually be harmful? As it turns out, personal care products aren't nearly as regulated as you might think, and many sunscreens contain known toxins and chemical blockers, such as oxybenzone, which may disrupt hormones, Seriously...now I have to worry about the safety of the thing I thought was protecting me? Ugh. I used to think that I was a step ahead if I put sunscreen on at all, as opposed to slathering myself with baby oil, like I did a few fateful high school summers. I guess it's obvious that something filled with chemicals and spread on your skin could be potentially harmful, but it can be exhausting to navigate the ever changing ins and outs of what's considered healthy or safe in a given moment. I find it even more overwhelming now that I'm a mom. Suddenly decisions I make - what foods to buy, household products to use, and now which sunscreen to use - all hold more weight. A friend pointed me in the direction of the Environmental Working Group, which informs consumers with research on all kinds of food, products and environmental issues, and a list of safer sunscreens they posted this year. Here are two sunscreens that rated well on the EWG list that we've been using all summer. If I'm going to be covering my whole family in something, I figure I might as well choose ones that are lowest in the ingredients that may be unhealthy. After trying a couple, I've been happy with the texture, smell, and feel of these. Granted, most of it ends up in Vivi's hair. If you find a good technique for slathering them on a squirming toddler, you let me know...
The Honest Company sunscreen is slightly greasy, but it doesn't have the chalky or sticky quality that a lot of natural sunscreens do. I find it easy to glide on Vivi even as she's crawling away from me, so I feel confident that she's really covered. I've worn it on my face too, which made me look shiny, for sure, but felt like it stayed on during a full beach day better than SPF moisturizers do. Honest Co. has an SPF spray and a stick now, too, which I haven't tried yet.
A sunscreen stick like this Baby Bee SPF 30 can be more convenient than lotion to apply on the go. I don't feel confident using it as the only line of defense, because it's not as easy to spread into every nook and cranny the way lotion is, but I use this as a quick and easy way to re-apply when we're out.
Happy sun frolicking!