Technically, it's not summer yet but it sure feels like it in New York. Temperatures have been in the 90's for a few days now. The heat and sunshine always brings up the topic of safe sunscreens for children (and adults). Recently, there has been a lot of information in the news about different ingredients in sunscreens and also about the effectiveness. A great resource for all parents concerned about sunscreen is the Enviornmental Working Group. This organization does a lot of research on sunscreen, their ingredients, effectiveness, and rates specific brands.
Last year, our pediatrician reccommeded a suncreen for our daughter called Soleo which works great and is safe to use on children. The EWG has a list of over a thousand brands of suncreen and they give each one a rating based on the safety of the ingredients in the product. This is a great resource for parents when choosing a sunscreen for your children. This season I am having a hard time getting Soleo (it isn't available in stores so it has to be ordered online), so I have been doing a lot of reading on this topic.
Sunscreen makers offer mineral and non-mineral formulations, as well as products that combine both mineral and non-mineral active ingredients. Mineral formulations incorporate zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. The most common ingredients in non-mineral sunscreens are oxybenzone, octisalate, octinoxate, and avobenzone. The most common, oxybenzone, can trigger allergic reactions, is a potential hormone disruptor and penetrates the skin in relatively large amounts. The mineral formulations have shown to be safer and more effective then the chemical sunscreen.
For more details and information visit theEnviornmental Working Group
Here are links to some options of safe and effective sunscreen:
- Soleo Organics – It wasn't easy to get but I found the Soleo Suncreen 10z. tube here, and the Soleo Sunscreen family size tube here
- Badger Suncreen
- Livestrong thinkbody suncreen