Sunscreen Smarts: What Ingredients To Look Out For

Are you a label reader?

If so, is it just for food or have you started checking out toiletry products too? What about your baby’s products? How about their sunscreen?

If there is one thing you should study up on this summer, it’s sunscreen safety. Because it’s not all created equal and on these summer days it’s something we’re slathering on our little ones from head to toe. Education is power. So, read up and continue doing your research before making your purchase!

In the sun protection world there are actually two categories – screens and blocks. Most conventional products you’ll find are a combination of the two because they provide optimal protection. But, you’ll want to stay away from a handful of ingredients; they’re endocrine disruptors, can be too harsh for sensitive skin and are chemicals that shouldn’t be absorbed by our body’s largest organ.

sunscreen smarts

When shopping for sun protection stay away from …

  • PABA
  • Benzophenone (benzophenone-3)
  • Homosalate
  • Octy-methoxycinnamate (octinoxate)
  • Parabens (butyl-, ethyl-, methyl-, and propyl-)
  • Padimate-O and Parsol 1789 (2-ethylhexyl-4-dimethylaminobenzoic acid and avobenzone)

Here’s more information on why these ingredients are harmful.

The Environmental Working Group has released their 2014 Guide to Sunscreens which breaks down everything available and gives it a rating. Look for those rated with a 1 for the lowest amount of toxins – my personal favorites are from Badger, The Honest Company and ThinkBaby. I’m also planning to give this organic, vegan sunscreen from No End Naturals a try this summer.

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Gretchen hails from the beautiful Pacific Northwest along with her husband and two young children. Before transitioning to life as a stay at home mom, Gretchen worked in sales and marketing while earning her Masters in Management and Organizational Leadership. Now her days are focused on managing meal plans and nap times while organizing her sewing stash and children's toy bins. My oh my, how life changes in the blink of an eye! Gretchen writes frequently about natural parenting, becoming more environmentally conscience, her affinity for thrifted treasures, and hopes of making it out of yoga pants each day on her blog That Mama Gretchen (www.thatmamagretchen.com).

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