Before you pick up supplies for your Memorial Day Weekend picnic, read this! Some of your favorite kids' sunscreens might not be doing their job as well as you thought. A recent guide to sunscreen products revealed some surprising facts about effectiveness and safety.
I was shocked (and bummed!) to learn that sunscreen sprays are a big no-no, because their chemicals can be inhaled. (I love how easy the sprays are to use on my kids' bodies, and for some reason they don't put up as much of a fuss about being sprayed as they do about me slathering them with lotion.)
I was also super disappointed by the list of kids' sunscreen products whose toxic ingredients, instability, and/or lack of UVA protection landed them in the report's "Hall of Shame."
Among the offenders: Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70+, Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection SPF 55, and Hawaiian Tropic Baby Stick Sunscreen SPF 50.
So how do you pick the right sunscreen?
- Avoid potential toxins like retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone; instead, choose products whose active ingredients are zinc or titanium.
- Make sure your sunscreen includes both UVA and UVB protection.
- Don't bother with the crazy high numbers; no matter what the bottle says, they're no more effective than SPF 30.
Need a cheat sheet? The Environmental Working Group has some safe sunscreen recommendations to choose from, including Alba Botanica Mineral Sunscreen Kids SPF 30, Badger Baby Sunscreen SPF 30, and Earth's Best: Sunblock Mineral Based SPF 30.
Will you be trading in your usual sunscreen this year?
Image via Dylan Parker/Flickr