Summer sun means splashing in the pool, catching some rays, and of course, lathering up on sunscreen. I’ll be honest, before I had kids, I didn’t think much about chemicals in our environment and how they affect our bodies. After I had our first-born, I started researching all sorts of self care items: shampoo, lotions, and sunscreens were the first items on my list. Man, was I surprised at what harmful ingredients were being put into products without the awareness of consumers!
Sunscreen for self care
Sunscreens are meant to help protect our skin from the damage of UV rays and the potential development of skin cancer. But, sometimes the ingredients contained in sunscreen can be just as detrimental to our health. Sunscreen is a unique self care item because we apply it to several areas of our bodies and we apply it frequently. Our skin is very porous and absorbs at a rapid pace, so it’s important we know what ingredients we’re allowing it to soak in.
Without turning this into a science lab with lots of data and reports, let’s take a quick look at the ingredient you want to keep at a distance. The biggest “no-no” ingredient in sunscreen is a chemical called oxybenzone. The name itself doesn’t seem so terrible, after all, you can practically pronounce it (Unlike half the chemicals on bottles these days!). But let me tell ya, this stuff is bad news.
So, what’s the deal with oxybenzone? Here’s your 411 on why you want to stay away from this chemical. Recently, lab experiments have shown that oxybenzone caused damage and deformation of coral. It acts as an endocrine disruptor damaging the DNA of coral larvae. It has also been shown to cause coral bleaching and even coral death which is why Hawaii recently passed a bill, that’s not yet signed into law, to ban the sale of sunscreens with oxybenzone due to its damaging effects on marine life. We know oxybenzone is a hormone disruptor, that when absorbed through our skin can disrupt our natural estrogen and testosterone levels. If this toxic chemical has been shown to bleach and damage the DNA of marine life, it’s scary to think about what it could be doing to us.
Unfortunately, oxybenzone is used in the majority of sunscreen products on the market.
Fortunately, there are many companies that are now putting out safer sunscreens that we can use instead.
As we gear up for the sizzling summer heat and lotioning up our littles to protect them from those UV rays, I thought I could share with you some of the safer sunscreen options we have available and where you can easily find them. EWG recently published their 2018 Sunscreen Guide for Kids. Determined to find some good deals, I printed off their list and took myself on a little scavenger hunt around Omaha to find out which brands were easily available. My adventure was mostly painless due to the fact that my children weren’t with me and because I found multiple brands in a relatively short period of time. Save yourself the hassle of running around town and just stop in at a Target or Walmart. These two stores had several items on EWG’s list and at the most reasonable prices.
Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream
Badger Face Stick
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion and Stick Form, Baby SPF 30
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby
Goddess Garden Organic Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen
Nurture My Body Baby Organic Sunscreen
Have fun making those sweet summer memories outdoors while enjoying the peace of mind that there are safer alternatives for sunscreen readily available all summer long!