June 12, 2007

more sunscreen

I have been caught up in research on these sunscreens! I'm making myself completely crazy in the process. In between all my daily tasks as a work-at-home-mom, I've been struggling with the differences between cetyl alcohol and benzyl alcohol. Not to mention the intricacies of old formulations vs. new formulations. Hopefully all this information will prove useful to someone.

After my original post on sunscreens, I was excited to receive several product suggestions. There may be other good options out there, but I focused on these since they seemed like good options. I want to find something I can use on the whole family, that is very safe but also not going to force us to apply for a second mortgage.

I feel like I'm reduced to choosing the lesser of the evils.

California Baby sunscreen
looks wonderful, but is a little pricey (almost $18.00 for 2.9 ounces). I don't mind buying it for use on faces throughout the year, but for the whole family to use on full bodies at the beach it might be a bit much.

I thought the Alba Botanica and the Aubrey's were the next best options. Both retail at about $8.50 for 4 ounces, but you can often find it cheaper. Aubrey's contains Padimate O and Alba contains benezyl alcohol. To figure out which is worse I typed the ingredients into the Skin Deep website. Padimate O rates a 6 and benzyl alcohol rates a 9! Overall, the Aubrey product was rated a 2 (very good). I couldn't find the specific Alba mineral based-product in the database, though they have many of the other ones from that company.

I also checked out Blue Lizard, Super Goop and Melaleuca. They all claim to be safe and good for kids. Some say they are made by dermatologists and recommended by pediatricians. Some say they are all natural. Regardless, they all had ingredients I wasn't comfortable with. Maybe after all this research I'm getting a little too neurotic. Seriously though, I think research is well worth it. If anything I've learned how deceptive packaging and marketing can be, even at a natural products store.

See my findings below. Of course I'd like to know if you find another great product. For now I think I'll order some of the Aubrey's online.

California Baby sunscreen
active ingredient: titanium dioxide
considerations: NO parabens, sodium benzonate, benzoic acid, benzyl alcohol, or phenoxyethanol
Aubrey's Natural Sun SPF 25 Green Tea Protective Sunscreen
Skin Deep website rates a 2
active ingredient: titanium dioxide
concerns: Padimate O
Alba Botanica Kids Mineral Sunscreen spf 18
active ingredient: titanium dioxide
concerns: benezyl alcohol
Melaleuca mineral based sunscreen.
active ingredients: zinc
concerns: PEG-100 stearate, phenoxyethanol, disodium EDTA
Super Goop
active ingredients: octinoxate, padimate O, octisilate, avobenzone, octocrylene
concerns: also contains plenty of undesirable inactive ingredients!
Blue Lizard
active ingredients: octinoxate, oxybenzone, octocrylene
concerns: propylene glycol, methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben


Mindee Mayhem said...

Wow. What a ton of great information! Thank you so much! I am in the process of checking out the kind I use when I surf--Solbar Zinc. I assumed it was good/safe/natural because of the verbiage on the tube, and because I bought it at a mountaineering sports store back home that is very "hippy." I am curious to see how it actually rates out.

Anonymous said...

Also a great website for sun protective clothing for the family is www.shadysun.com

They also carry an aromatherapy broad spectrum sunscreen.

They were featured this month in Parents Magazine.

Anonymous said...

try mexitan or badger sunscreens...no padamide O and no parabens or other nasty preservatives etc.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mom go green

Sorry ti burst your bubble but there are new reports out about the dangers of nanoparticles in mineral sunscreens and th ones you mention - Aubrey's Alba, and California Baby are all on the no no list :-( I know - makes it impossible to know what to do! In fact, the ones that go on whitish are better - it means the particles are too small to enter the skin. Check out the report at:


(I'm not with foe or any similar group - I'm just a mom worrying about these thigns too!)