Perhaps this post is a bit late in the game this summer, since it seems most mommy bloggers have at least mentioned the topic already, but let's talk for a moment about sunscreen. Personally, I have mixed feelings on the matter. I believe we all need our sunshine, for the vitamin boost and the mood boost, but our depleting ozone layer and the resulting onslaught of UV rays does give me pause. Particularly when it comes to Jem's uber sensitive skin.
The other thing that gives me pause is the sheer number of toxic chemicals in most sunscreens, especially those marketed for kids. Probable carcinogens and endocrine disruptors? No thank you. Of course I don't want to increase his risk of skin cancer either, or even just a painful little sunburn. And in this heat long sleeves and pants are out (and, sadly, Jem won't even keep a hat on anymore...gosh I miss those cute little hats). So my best choice seemed to be finding a really natural, safe sunscreen. Something specially formulated for kids with a relatively high SPF. Preferably something I didn't have to spend a fortune on.
I checked out the Environmental Working Group's Best Sunscreen list* and picked one with a very low toxicity (1) because it was readily available on Amazon and contained a lot of natural, even organic ingredients. Plus, compared to some of the others, it had a great price tag (and it was on sale!)
The one I picked was Loving Naturals. The ingredients are listed right on their website (also on the EWG list). I couldn't be happier with my choice! It takes a few extra seconds to rub on, since it doesn't quite have the nice glide of your typical sunscreen, but this hasn't caused any irritation of Jem's skin at all. It also has a much milder smell than most sunscreens, which is a plus! It does leave a bit of a whitish-blue tint because it's a bit on the thicker side, though from what understand the company has come out with a new clear version. I don't mind the tint, because Jem's fair skin has not burned once while wearing it, and neither has mine! Thereby debunking the myth that a sunscreen must be full of chemicals you can't even pronounce in order to be effective.
I urge you all to check out the EWG's list next time you're in the market for a new sunscreen. If you're still not sure why you should, read their article "Sunscreens Exposed: Nine Surprising Truths."
Keep all that sensitive skin on your little love-muffin safe, and enjoy the sunshine, everyone!
* I apologize for writing "EPA" instead of EWG when I initially posted this last night. On revisiting this morning I caught my own error pretty quickly! I must've been tired...plus I always mix those two up somehow...