April 3, 2008
We've been breaking out the sunscreen now that the rainy season seems to be over. I had to go back and read some of my own posts as well as review some info at Skin Deep about the sunscreen choices.
The whole thing is beyond baffling to me. I've spent umpteen hours researching and still have no good answer. The products that look good on paper are not my favorite to use (too greasy!) and the ones I like to use are not good for me. I'm still looking for a good solution.
I did read some encouraging news about nanoparticles on the Skin Deep website. I encourage you to read the entire summary of nanoparticles in sunscreens. Essentially, they find that products with nanoparticles of zinc or titanium are safer than those without. Here is an excerpt:
"Our study shows that consumers who use sunscreens without zinc and titanium are likely exposed to more UV radiation and greater numbers of hazardous ingredients than consumers relying on zinc and titanium products for sun protection. We found that consumers using sunscreens without zinc and titanium would be exposed to an average of 20% more UVA radiation — with increased risks for UVA-induced skin damage, premature aging, wrinkling, and UV-induced immune system damage — than consumers using zinc — and titanium-based products. They contain four times as many high hazard ingredients known or strongly suspected to cause cancer or birth defects, to disrupt human reproduction or damage the growing brain of a child. They also contain more toxins on average in every major category of health harm considered: cancer (10% more), birth defects and reproductive harm (40% more), neurotoxins (20% more), endocrine system disruptors (70% more), and chemicals that can damage the immune system (70% more)."
For now I'll keep working my way through the list of well-rated products. The ones I'm using currently are:
Aubrey Natural Sun Green Tea SPF 25:
Skin Deep score: 3 (moderate)
Contains Titanium Dioxide and Padiamte O
Some less than ideal ingredients and less than perfect UVA shielding.
UV Naturals Baby SPF 30:
Skin Deep score: 1 (very good rating)
Some of the reviews on Skin Deep were in line with my opinion, "We bought this sunscreen for our trip to Hawaii. We used it one day then tossed it aside. After putting it on my daughter, she felt like a greased pig ..."
California Baby SPF 30+ Sunscreen Lotion Everyday/Year-Round:
Skin Deep score: 1 (very good)
Contains Titanium Dioxide
Has a white cast to it and costs a bundle.
Alba Botanica SUN kids SPF 30:
Skin Deep score: 7 (not good)
Has some undesirable ingredients (such as oxybenzone) and is a little weak on UVA protection.
Applies quite nicely, though.
It is a matter of choosing your evil: greasiness, whiteness, or bad chemicals.