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Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Sunscreen toxins and how to choose the right one.

March Madness did a lot of things for opened up my eyes to what I really am putting into my body and the physical and emotional effects. Our skin is our largest organ and whatever we slather on goes straight into our blood stream. A bit of a eye opener, huh?
Summer is just around the corner and with the last weekend a bit warmer than usual I have been on the hunt for sunscreen. Choosing a sunscreen is a difficult task. I need something that I can get the teenagers to use without much grief and for me it must blend in easily and smell good. Not actually wanting to investigate each and every sunscreen out there I used the EWG's skin deep database that ranks each product toxic levels from 1 - 10; 1 being great and 10 the worse.

Here's my BEST beach List.

Aubrey Organics
Natural Sun Sport Stick Unscented Sunscreen, SPF 30 
Natural Sun Unscented Sensitive Skin/Children Sunscreen, SPF 30+ 
Natural Sun Green Tea Sunscreen, SPF 30+ 
Natural Sun Active Lifestyles Tropical Scent Sunscreen, SPF 30+ 
Natural Sun Saving Face Sunscreen, SPF 15 
Natural Sun Active Lifestyles Tropical Scent Sunscreen, SPF 15 

Aubrey products can be found in most health grocery stores like Whole foods and has a large variety of types and texture for your needs 

Marie Veronique Organics
Kid Safe Screen, SPF 25 
I like this one because it comes in a spray.

john masters organics Natural Mineral, SPF 30 
This too comes in a spray

California Baby
No Fragrance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+ 
No Fragrance Sunblock Stick, SPF 30+ 
Everyday/Year-Round Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+ 
Summer Blend Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+ 
Everyday/Year-Round Sunblock Stick, SPF 30+ 
No Fragrance Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 18 
Everyday/Year-Round Moisturizing Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 18 

Available at Target

Maui Natural Organics
Maui Naturals Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 
Surfer Honey Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30 
Surfer Honey Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 15 
Maui Naturals Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 15 


Hawaiian Tropic Baby Stick Sunscreen SPF 50

Hawaiian Tropic’s website claims “Less Chemical Sunscreens” for this baby sunscreen stick. Truth is, it contains two chemicals that don’t belong on a baby’s skin – the hormone disruptor oxybenzone and a form vitamin A called retinyl palmitate. A recent federal government study shows retinyl palmitate may speed up the growth of skin tumors.
The final straw? The UVA protection factor for this sunscreen is less than 10 – a far cry from the 50 SPF plastered on the package. It’s not good enough to be sold in Europe.
For more information, please see: Problem with vitamin A.

Baby Blanket SunBlankie Towelette SPF 45+

This baby sunscreen advertises “maximum allowable protection for babies” but doesn’t deliver.
If the FDA’s proposed rating system were in force today, it would earn only one of four stars for UVA protection, according to EWG’s analysis. It doesn’t have enough UVA protection to meet European standards.
Your baby’s skin may not get burned, but UVA rays could penetrate it and cause skin damage that would accumulate, possibly triggering cancer later in life.
For more information, please see: Europe’s better sunscreens.

Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection SPF 55

The label of this product says “mild as water.” We don’t think so.
The label also warns, “Stop use and ask a doctor if rash or irritation develops and lasts.” And you wouldn’t want a child to swallow it like water. The label adds, “keep out of reach of children” and “get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.”
Sunscreen makers can make exaggerated claims because the industry is unregulated. FDA officials have been promising they may wind up their deliberations later this year – and then give the industry a year to adjust. If that’s the case, the rules may be ready for beach season – in 2013. In the meantime, EWG has created this guide to give consumers information they need to make the right decisions for themselves and their families.

Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70+

Coppertone advises users of this baby product to apply “liberally.”
But scientists who have researched its key sunscreen chemical, oxybenzone, warn against using it over large surfaces of skin and over many hours. These warnings are particularly strong for young children who don’t eliminate toxic chemicals from their bodies as readily as adults and who have more skin relative to their body weight than adults.
Oxybenzone readily seeps through the skin and into the bloodstream and acts like estrogen in the body.
This Coppertone sunscreen is one of more than 20 sunscreens with the word “baby” in their name and the chemical oxybenzone on their ingredient lists. Don’t buy them. Plenty of safer products are available.

Banana Boat Sport Performance Active Max Protect, SPF 110

The letters SPF mean “sun protection factor” and refers only to protection against UVB radiation, which burns the skin. It has nothing to do UVA radiation that penetrates deep into the skin, accelerates skin aging and may cause skin cancer.
The actual UVA protection factor for this Banana Boat sunscreen is as low as 12. Don’t depend on it to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful rays.
Sunscreen makers are waiting for the FDA to approve more chemicals that could help boost UVA protection. In the meantime, high-SPF products may tempt people to stay in the sun too long, suppressing sunburns but upping the risks of UVA damage. EWG recommends that consumers avoid products labeled higher than “SPF 50+” and reapply sunscreen often, regardless of SPF.
Hold your breath if you use this aerosol spray, or you’re likely to breathe in sunscreen chemicals that are meant for your skin.
For more information, please see: What’s wrong with high SPF.

Elizabeth Arden – Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face, SPF 50

If you read the claims on the label – “helps protect your skin from sun exposure while hydrating for up to 8 hours” – you might think one coat would protect you until long after lunch. Not so.
Even though sunscreen makers like Elizabeth Arden can add stabilizing additives to slow down the pace with which the cream breaks down in sunlight, this product simply does not last for hours and hours on the skin. Sunscreens wash off in water, run off with sweat, rub off on clothes and towels – and deterioriate in sunlight.
Experts advise reapplying sunscreens every 2 hours max. Paying $30 for 8-hour hydration may not be the best choice for your wallet.

Rite Aid Kids Sunscreen Spray Lotion SPF 45

On the front of the bottle, this products claims to be “NON-IRRITATING.” Check the reverse panel, though and you’ll see a different message: “Stop use and ask a doctor if rash or irritation develops and lasts.”
The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends this spray as “an effective UV sunscreen.” But it’s not good enough to be sold in Europe, according to a standard industry sunscreen model. Its UVA protection is too weak to earn a spot on store shelves in the European Union. If the FDA’s proposed UVA rating system taks effect as it is now written, Rite Aid Kids Sunscreen Spray Lotion SPF 45 would earn only one of four stars.
Your children deserve better .

Anthony Logistics for Men Sun Stick SPF 15

The box’s directions tell users to “apply to eye area.” But read the fine print. It carries a warning that advises, “keep out of eyes.”
Why do sunscreen makers formulate products for use around the eyes that aren’t safe for eyes?
Because they can. There are no regulations to ensure that sunscreens are truly gentle to eyes. EWG has campaigned for years to convince the FDA to produce regulations that make sense for American consumers. You can read the agency’s tortuous timeline here.
In 2007, the agency proposed rules that focused on the serious UVA issue. That was the right question. But then – no answers. The regulations have been in limbo ever since.
Protect your eyes with common sense measures. Wear sunglasses and keep sunscreen (including from sprays) out of your eyes.

iS SPF 20 Powder Sunscreen & Peter Thomas Roth Instant Mineral SPF 30 & colorescience Suncanny Face Colore SPF 20

These sunscreens are loose powder, containing particles of zinc and titanium that can offer strong UV protection for the skin but may end up in the lungs. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies inhaled titanium dioxide as “possibly carcinogenic to humans,” based on studies of rats and of people who work in dusty environments.
Once in the lungs, these minerals may move into the bloodstream and throughout the body. In 2008 a research group based in China reported that nanoscale titanium dioxide like that used in many sunscreens can accumulate in the brain and cause lesions and other tissue damage. Nano and micronized zinc oxide cause lung inflammation.
The bottom line? If there’s a chance you’ll breathe it, don’t buy it. EWG recommends that people stick to creams and avoid powders, pumps and sprays.
For more information, please see: Nanomaterials and hormone disruptors in sunscreens

I am really sad about the Peter Thomas Roth because I loved having this one stashed in my purse. 

To see where your favorite sunblock ranks head over to EWG's Database. 


  1. OMG!! I have almost every single sunscreen listed in your WORSE category!! Who would have thought! I put sunscreen on my daughter EVERY DAY!! Even in the Summer. This is a huge eye opener. I need to do some shopping for new sunscreen. CRAP!!!

  2. Good topic to write about! =)

    If you want, take a look at my blog - it would be great if we could follow each other on Blogger and/or Bloglovin and Facebook! :)



  3. BTW, Summer = Winter in the above comment. I put it on her everyday, even in the "WINTER".

    After looking into a few of them, I was going to get Maui, however, it's over $20.00 per bottle. Aubrey is a bit cheaper, so I may go with that. I have to order it online though. Bummer.

  4. Taybug -what about the California baby? It is available at Target.

  5. Well then....there is my first choice. I hadn't gotten to that one yet. Thank you!! I have a Target right down the street.


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