Is Your Sunscreen Safe?

Look at that face – that’s the face of a girl on a mission.  In Florida there aren’t many weekends that don’t involve swimming in the pool or ocean – or being outside for most of the day.  Yes, it’s often hot but as long as there is water nearby we will all survive. 

How many times have you looked at the shelf of sunscreens at your local store and ponder which one to choose?  There are so many different brands, SPF ratings, application types (spray, cream, wipes) how do you know what is best? 

Did you know that most of the brands on those shelves contain toxic chemicals that have been linked to cancer?  WHAT?  Did you think that sunscreen would protect you from cancer?  So did I – until I read the 2010 Environmental Working Groups (EWG) sunscreen guide.  The EWG rated over 500 popular sunscreen products and only 39 of them are recommended as safe for you, your child, and the environment.  That leaves a LOT of products on that shelf that contain nasty toxic chemicals – and many of those products are in your homes. 

I had read about parabens when Lil’ B was born and found several brands that were paraben free – but even some of those don’t meet the EWG guidelines.  You can read their full report and their thoughts on Vitamin A, nanomaterials and other hormone disrupting chemicals that make the BAD list on their website.  I recommend reading the full report and decide what is best for you and your family. 

I recently tried Episencial Sunny Sunscreen that was provided to me from Eco Mom®to review.  It’s a mineral based sunscreen that is organic and free of nanomaterials and pertrochemicals.  According to the EWG report it rated an overall score of 2 which ranks in the recommendedgroup of sunscreens.  You can feel safe using Episencial when you are out in the sun. 

Compared to my previous baby sunscreen (that failed the EWG rating system) I was impressed with Episencial.  I’ve never tried a mineral based sunscreen before and was afraid it would be thick and cakey – leaving a nasty while glow about us.  Surprisingly it actually rubbed in quite nicely and didn’t leave a thick or white glow.  My husband tried it and wasn’t immediately in love – he said it didn’t rub in as nice as he’d like.  I disagree with him but we are all entitled to our opinions.  He did like it better than our old brand though. 

Price: $14.99 for a 4oz tube.  Not bad compared to some of the other brands that are comparable.  I could see myself purchasing more Episencial when this tube is empty. 

You can find Episencial at Eco Mom® along with the complete line of skin care products from Episencial.  Until June 30th you can save 20% off any item at Eco Mom® with coupon code TPARTYJUNE. 

More Sun Safety Tips:

1. Higher SPFs don’t really mean more protection – stick with a sunscreen less than 50 SPF and reapply often.
2. Layer up and wear SPF clothing when possible. 
3. Avoid the hottest part of the day when the suns rays are most damaging.  This is usually between 12-4pm. 
4. Find shade when you have to be out during the hottest part of the day. 
5. Don’t forget the sunglasses – protect your eyes!

Don’t be scared of the sun – but don’t expect a sunscreen to be your only line of defense against skin cancer. 

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  1. says

    I just had a big post on sunscreen on my blog if you want to check it out, a lot about the EWG guidelines but also some other considerations too! I just won the Episencial sunscreen at a twitter party and plan on testing it at work tomorrow but I have other sunscreen recommendation on my blog too! Glad you liked a mineral based sunscreen and hope you keep spreading the word!!

    SAPsMaMa: Natural Parenting in the Modern World

  2. says

    I use California Baby on my son and went to get some for us yesterday but they were out. Instead I chose Aveeno Baby because it didn't have that Retinal Palmitate (sp?) and I knew that was bad. Of course, it STILL got a 7 on that list so it's going back. I'll just find CB elsewhere. Unreal!

  3. says

    I wrote about this on my green blog last year, but you may find this an interesting tidbit…

    … researchers at Johns Hopkins have learned that an extract from broccoli, called sulforaphane has sunblocking properties. Sulforaphane has the effect of activating cells' production of what are known as “phase 2 enzymes.” One such enzyme, glutathione S-transferase, has been shown to neutralize the DNA-damaging compounds produced by the skin produces when struck by ultraviolet radiation. If children won’t eat broccoli, they may just be able to wear it.
    (from this post)

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