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Sun safety: look out for sunscreen ingredients, and cover up!

baby sunscreen

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released their ninth annual sunscreen guide, and the news isn’t good:

  • Spray sunscreens can be inhaled, and they don’t cover skin completely.
  • SPF values above 50+try to trick you into believing they’ll prevent sun damage. Don’t trust them. SPF protection tops out at 30 to 50.
  • Oxybenzone can disrupt the hormone system.*
  • Retinyl palmitate may trigger damage, possibly cancer.

Ugh, really? Isn’t the whole point of sunscreen to prevent cancer?

Speaking from personal experience, as someone who’s super pale, I use all manner of cheap, lousy, outdated sunscreens and manage to avoid painful sunburns, but you’re going to want to be more careful with your kid’s tender baby skin. First of all, follow EWG’s advice and, in addition to sunscreen:

  • Use clothing to block the sun: sun hats, rashguards, and shirts, shorts, and pants all provide some degree of protection from the sun.
  • Find or create shade: Outdoor playsets that provide their own shade, like this one or this one, are great!
  • Plan around the sun: Try to avoid going out in the early afternoon when the sun is at its strongest.
  • Don’t forget the sunglasses: They aren’t just a fashion statement – they’re essential for protecting eyes from UV rays. These sunglasses from Real Kids Shades are designed to fit kids comfortably so they’ll wear them all day!

honest-co-2015-sunscreen-30spf-12242-1Of course, most of the strollers we sell have at least some sun coverage (and many have UV protective canopies), but you may want to invest in a special sun cover like the Bugaboo Breezy Sun Canopies or the BOB Stroller Sun Shield, designed especially for hot summer days.

Finally: we’re proud to say that two of the sunscreens we sell got super high ratings for safety and protection from EWG! Honest Company Sunscreen was chosen as a “top choice for sun protection,” with “EXCELLENT UVA protection and a GOOD balance of UVA protection in relation to the SPF.”  The Mustela Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ Sunscreen Stick was also rated as a top choice.

 

* The potential harmfulness of oxybenzone is disputed, but why take a chance when you have better options?

 

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