Environmental Working Group’s 2013 Guide to Sunscreens: They rate them so you know!

Screen Shot 2013-05-20 at 9.23.05 AMThe Environmental Working Group [EWG] has published their 2013 Guide to Sunscreen. I know this is a big topic of discussion for families at this point in the year. We are all coming out from the long winter and thinking about long days in the sun.

What works? What doesn’t? What can I put on my baby safely? What about my active children? It makes my head spin each season. But the EWG’s newest guide to sunscreens helps to take the guess-work out. They categorize their findings in such a way that everyone can do their research more easily.

I have for year’s loved Badger products, so I did a quick query to find out what EWG thinks of this product. They list 13 Badger products that meet the EWG guidelines for healthy sunscreen. Here are the overall results for this one Badger product:

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I like the EWG’s list because it is easy to use and simple to search. See if your favorite sunscreen is on the list. If it’s not, you can find a new one right there.

What are you favorite sunscreen products? I’m looking for one that stays on in the ocean!

Sunscreen: Keeping Our Kids Safe from Sun AND Chemicals!

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The sun is out in full force these days. Around here we went from winter to spring conditions in what seemed like a day! No longer are we thinking about how to shovel out from the over 46 inches of snow we saw in the Boulder area, but we are turning to the age old question of sun protection. I feel like I have to educate myself again every year!

It doesn’t have to be confusing what we put our skin and our little ones. Here is a Glossary of Terms to help get started:

  • UVA: the rays that cause skin cancer
  • UVB: the rays that are responsible for burns
  • Mineral sunscreens: those containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
  • EWG: Environmental Working Group is a consumer group that tests cosmetics, including sun screen to let the public know what’s safe and what’s not
  • SPF: Sun protection factor which is a measurement of the UVB rays only [not UVA]
  • Nanoparticles: EWG states that they are safe in lotion, but not in sprays because nanoparticles can get into your lungs and cause harm.

The most effective protection for UVA is zinc oxide, but it’s tough to put on the kids and leave your skin white and pasty looking. The reason this works so well is it that it reflects the sun and doesn’t allow penetration. But don’t be fooled by companies that use nanoparticles to get sheer coverage because these could be harmful. For more specific information on your sunscreens head to EWG’s Sunscreen Guide.

So What Should a Family To Do? The best thing to do is avoid the sun during the middle of the day. Find shade then and head outside early or late. If you cannot do that then avoid nanoparticles, and use mineral sunscreens. The most effective protection for UVA is zinc oxide, but it’s tough to put on the kids and leave your skin white and pasty looking. The reason this works so well is it that it reflects the sun and doesn’t allow penetration. If you and your kids can stand these sunscreens they are the best.

Delicious Living Magazine recommends the following sunscreen products:

  • Badger SPF 34 Baby Sunscreen
  • Goddess Garden Sunny Body
  • True Natural All Natural Tropical Tan Self Tanner

You can find Delicious Living’s full article on sunscreens here.