Best Overall: Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen Baby Spf 30+ Broad Spectrum
For safe, effective sun protection parents feel good about, its hard to beat Blue Lizard. Hundreds of online reviewers say this is a beach-bag staple for outdoor family adventures. It contains no fragrances or parabens, so its good for sensitive skin. An added bonus: the bottle turns pink when the UV rays are strong enough that you need to open up the bottle and slather your children with it. The mineral-based formula provides SPF 30 protection and is water-resistant for about 40 minutes.
The cost is a bit higher than some other top brands, but online reviewers say its worth it. They say they love the natural formula and feel safe putting it on their childrens precious skin. They say its great for those with sensitive skin, such as those who suffer from eczema, and it provides powerful protection from the suns rays. The application of the product is on par with other similar sunblocks.
What Sunscreens Are Banned
Dont just read the label. Check the ingredient list. No one is yet governing whether a product labeled Reef Safe is, in fact, Reef Safe.What are we looking for then?
First, no aerosol. But beyond that, how do we know what to avoid?Possibly 70% of the sunscreens available to consumers will be affected by the ban.
Top sellers of sunscreens with the banned chemicals include Banana Boat, Coppertone, and Hawaiian Tropic. But even Banana Boat and Hawaiian Tropic carry sunscreens that are with and without the chemicals.
As consumers, the burden isnt really on us since the ban is on selling and distributing the sunscreens in Hawaii, but as concerned global citizens, we may want to make sure that we are not contributing to the loss of reefs. To do this, were going to have to pay attention to labels.
Look for these chemicals: oxybenzone, also known as benzophenone-3, also known as 4-Methylbenzylidene camphor
Other harmful ingredients to watch out for are parabens such as: the commonly used methylparaben butylparaben phenoxyethanol, used initially as a mass fish anesthetic.
And the organization that put out the study leading to the new sunscreen ban, Haereticus Environmental Laboratory, also has a comprehensive list of chemicals to look for on labels.
Use A Physical Sunscreen
All of the sunscreens recommended by EWG are physical sunscreens, meaning that they use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as the active ingredient.
Leiba shared that zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are the only two ingredients deemed both safe and effective by the FDA.
While EWG argues against sunscreens containing vitamin A additives such as retinyl palminate it says they speed the development of skin tumors and lesions, the Food and Drug Administration and the American Academy of Dermatology note that no studies link the ingredient to skin cancer in humans.
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How To Avoid Too Much Sun
Getting some sun exposure is vital for good health because it helps your body create vitamin D. There are multiple ways to get vitamin D, but your best bet is to get it from standing in thesun or eatingvitamin D-rich foods. In fact, sitting in the sun unexposed for about 10 minutes helps your body create roughly 10,000 units of natural vitamin D.
Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to certain cancers, autoimmune diseases, heart disease depression, osteoporosis and many other ailments, so its important to get enough. Like almost anything, though, you can get too much of a good thing and want to make sure you avoid sunburns.
You should consider sunscreen your last resort to prevent sunburns, though. In fact, theres no clear evidence that using sunscreens actually prevents skin cancer including in the best sunscreens and some ingredients may actually fuel skin cancer.
Avoiding overexposure during peak sunlight hours, use sunglasses, and sun-protective hats and clothing . These things reduce your risk of burns without sunscreen.
Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen Spf 50 Review
My Experience with Banana Boat Sport Sunscreen SPF 50:
My Lotus Herbals Sunblock got over on the first day of our Bali Trip. So I rushed to the nearby grocery store to pick up a sunscreen. I saw Banana Boat Sport Sunscreens on the counter there. A quick search on IMBB and I found a very good review of Banana Boat Sunscreen SPF 30 version.I picked up the SPF 50 version instantly. Plus the claims were very good SPF 5- UVB 50 PA +++, UVA water and sweat resistant, non greasy and quick absorption. UVA protects the sun rays from penetrating though your skin and protect you from sun burns. UVB protects you from getting tanned.
Anyway, I am heads over heels in love with this sunscreen.
- does not made me sweaty. But I feel that would depend from person to person. Most sunscreens dont make me sweaty.
- protected me and Sanjeev A LOT from getting tanned. We still got tanned but considering how harsh the sun was in Bali, we could have come back toasted and roasted.
- we did not get any sun burns or skin allergies.
- gets absorbed quickly without leaving any whitish cast behind.
- has a thin texture that is easier to use.
- be careful not to get it in your eyes. It stings BAD!
- has a perfumey fragrance but its not bothersome.
- is waterproof.
- comes in an easy squeeze tube. very easy to carry around.
- approved by Skin Cancer Institute.
Overall, a very good sunscreen. And a must pick for beachy destinations.
Rating : 5/5
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Fenty Skin Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum Spf 30
Formulated for uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation, this pink-tinted sunscreen leaves no chalky residue.
It is vegan, gluten-, and cruelty-free. The oil-free formula contains niacinamide to smooth skin tone and hyaluronic acid to hydrate.
This product is refillable a person can simply insert a new cartridge and continue using the original packaging.
Best Lotion: Badger Spf 30 Kids Sunscreen Cream With Zinc Oxide
If you prefer a lotion to a spray, this one from Badger offers solid sun protection. The zinc-oxide-based formula offers SPF 30 protection and is water- and sweat-resistant for up to 40 minutes. it also contains sunflower oil, beeswax, and vitamin E to help keep skin feeling soft. Notes of tangerine and vanilla add a fun fruity scent to this sunscreen as well.
Parents like the thick formula, and say you dont have to use as much of it as you do with other thinner formulas. They say they feel good about the chemical-free formula and love the fresh-smelling scent. Some say it takes a considerable amount of rubbing to get it worked into the skin, but most say this is a good, safe, and affordable way to protect kids from the suns harmful rays.
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Who Should Use Sunscreen
The AAD recommends that all children wear sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. There is a myth that claims children with darker skin do not need to wear sunscreen. While darker skin has more sun-protective melanin, it can get painfully sunburned, too. Keep babies younger than 6 months old out of the direct sun.
What You Need To Know
You may have noticed that the following Banana Boat aerosol sunscreen sprays are not currently available to purchase:
- Banana Boat Ultra Very High Protection Clear Sunscreen Spray SPF 50+
- Banana Boat Simply Protect Kids Very High Protection Sunscreen Lotion Spray SPF 50+
- Banana Boat Dry Balance Very High Protection Clear Sunscreen Spray SPF 50+
After consultation with the Therapeutic Goods Administration , and out of an abundance of caution, Edgewell Personal Care is recalling all batches of the above Banana Boat aerosol sunscreen sprays with an expiry date of 31st January 2024 or earlier.
Product testing identified unexpected levels of benzene in some batches of these aerosol sunscreens. Exposure to benzene in these sunscreen products at the levels detected would not be expected to cause adverse health effects.
The rest of the Banana Boat sun care portfolio including lotion and roll-on sunscreens and other aerosol sunscreens are not impacted and continue to be available to consumers.
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What Should A Parent Look For When Buying A Sunscreen
Parents should look for sunscreens with a sun protection factor of 30 or higher labeled broad spectrum, meaning they protect against both ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B rays. A sunscreen thats labeled water-resistant or very water-resistant will provide the best and longest-lasting coverage, especially for outings to the park or pool.
Also check the active ingredients, and look for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide on the list these broad-spectrum sunblock ingredients are less irritating if your child has sensitive skin. These ingredients are also recommended for sensitive areas such as the face, as they wont sting the eyes.
What Are The Best Reef Safe Sunscreens
So, now you know why you should only be using mineral based sunscreen, its time to figure out which ones are the best to use.
There are so many sunscreens out there to choose from you may need a little help in deciding which ones to go for. I have compiled a list of the best reef friendly sunscreens out there so you can choose which is the best one for your needs.
Read on to find out the best Hawaii approved sunscreen brands that are both safe and effective for you and you family, as well as being environmentally sound.
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Kokoa Sun Care Hawaiian Spf 50 Natural Zinc Sunscreen
To understand this product, we need first to know more about the name and the spirit with which it gives more meaning.
After consulting several places, I have come to find that Kokua means help. But it is more than to help it seems to have a deeper meaning to offer help with no intent of personal gain.This represents the powerful story behind Kokoa Sun Care
A product made in Hawaii with Hawaiian ingredients by two Hawaiian transplants who were brought together by the will of the ocean and their mutual love and respect of the sea, the island and their inhabitants.
Kokoa Sun Care is created and manufactured right on the islands. It includes seven local superfood ingredients to benefit the skin and support local agriculture to boot.
The bottle boasts a Reef Safe stamp which was a feature decided upon presumably even before the sunscreen ban took place. Aside from the locations around the Hawaiian Islands, the best place to purchase this product is on their website or .
And with all 5-star ratings that seem to be kid-tested and approved, you cant go wrong to pack this in your bag or search it out once you arrive on the island of your choice.
Will Mineral Sunscreens Protect My Childrens Skin As Effectively As Chemical Sunscreens
While protecting the environment for most people is a high priority, the health of their children is more so. If youre worried that reef safe sunscreen may not be as effective at protecting you childs skin compared to chemical sunblocks then you need not worry.
Reef safe sunscreen is highly effective at protecting skin from the damage the sun can inflict, so there should be no concern that switching to reef safe sunscreen will be less effective.
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The Worst Kids Sunscreensbanana Boat
Banana Boat Baby Max Protect, SPF=100 for babies earned a place at the top of the list of the Environmental Working Groups Hall of Shame. Dont be fooled by the high SPF number. This sunscreen protects against UVB radiation but leaves babies skin exposed to UVA radiation that is known to cause aging and skin cancer. Yikes. It also contains a frightening long list of ingredients.
One ingredient that is of concern is oxybenzone which has a hazard score of 9. Among the concerns for oxybenzone are Developmental/reproductive toxicity, Violations, restrictions & warnings, Endocrine disruption, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Persistence and bioaccumulation, Enhanced skin absorption, Biochemical or cellular level changes. When I watched Toxic Childhood last week, the advice one doctor gave was Dont put anything on your skin that you wouldnt eat. Because the skin has no filter these toxins go directly into the bloodstream.
Another unsafe kids sunscreen is Banana Boat Kids Ultra Mist Continuous Clear Spray Sunscreen SPF 50. It gets an overall score of 7 because of the high health concerns which reflects combined hazards of all products ingredients. Actual health risks from product use, if any, will depend on the amount of the ingredients that absorb into the body and individual vulnerability to health problems. There are several ingredients which are of concern.
The Environmental Working Group says:
Best Overall Sunscreen: Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen Spray
The Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen Spray achieved a perfect score in nearly every single one of our tests. Its spray function made it extremely easy to apply, and it has a wide and even distribution, making it easy to quickly cover your entire body with a swift pass it clocked in with the fastest full-body application for the testers who tried it out.
The spray disappeared nearly immediately into the skin and didnt leave any lingering color or sheen. It felt a little wet at first but soon absorbed, and we completely forgot wed even applied it. The sprays tropical smell of coconut was pleasant, though it has a hint of chemicals and is quite strong overall, which could deter people with more sensitive senses of smell.
In addition to being a quick and easy sunscreen to apply, the Hawaiian Tropic Island Sport Sunscreen comes in a slim container that barely takes up any room in a bag, plus it can easily fit in a standard water bottle pouch on the side of a backpack. The cap twists into a lock position, so wherever you store it, you can be sure it wont leak or soak any of your belongings.
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Chemical Sunscreen Vs Mineral Sunscreen
Chemical and mineral sunscreens are differentiated by how they interact with the sun. Chemical sunscreens work to absorb the suns rays while mineral sunscreens work to block the suns rays.
According to the Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia, mineral sunscreens are recommended for children and those with sensitive skin. Meanwhile, chemical sunscreens are best suited for older children and those without skin conditions.
Best Practices For Sun Protection
While finding the perfect sunscreen that has broad-spectrum coverage and an SPF of at least 30 is critical to protecting yourself from the sun, many experts we talked to also made sure to point out that avoiding sun damage doesnt end with a good sunscreen.
While sunscreen is an important part of a sun protection strategy, it is not our only protection, says Richard. Remember that clothing, shade structures, sunglasses are all additional measures to use when protecting your skin from UV rays. And Amanda Turney, a press officer at the FDA, encourages consumers to limit time in the sun, especially between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when the suns rays are most intense.
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Do Kids Need Special Sunscreen
The purpose of sunscreen is to prevent painful sunburns, as well as to prevent the long-term side effects of sun damage, such as premature aging and, most alarmingly, increased risk of skin cancer.
Most sun damage occurs during childhood, says the American Academy of Pediatrics , so its extra important to protect your little ones skin from the sun it will benefit them for a lifetime!
Sunscreen performs the same function whether its labeled for kids or adults. For instance, broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen for kids will provide the same level of protection as broad-spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen for adults. The active ingredients are often the same.
The biggest difference is that kids sunscreen is formulated with sensitive skin in mind, so it is less likely to have irritating ingredients or chemicals in it. Kids sunscreen may also come in more water-resistant or easy application options.
While sunscreen is very important, experts agree that additional measures are needed to protect your kiddo from sun damage. Wide-brimmed hats, sun-protective clothing, seeking shade, and avoiding sun exposure between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. are all great ways to prevent harm from the suns rays.
Food and Drug Administration doesnt recommend sunscreen for infants under 6 months of age. Infants should have their skin covered by hats and loose, long-sleeved clothing or be kept out of the sun whenever possible, such as under an umbrella or shady tree, says the AAP.
Best Sunscreen For Kids With Sensitive Skin
The answer to this question is one that Ive personally researched for the last couple of years because my middle daughter had eczema when she was younger and has always had very sensitive skin. When trying to find the right sun protection for her I found that fragrance-free was not the only thing I needed to look for. Check the active ingredients to be sure that they include zinc or titanium dioxidethese ingredients are best for those with sensitive skin.
TravelingMom Tip: Even if you purchase a spray sunscreen, youll need to rub it into your kids skin after spraying it on to be sure that they are well-protected.
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