Whom do you Trust for Sunscreen?

Sunblocked and ready to go

Sunblocked and ready to go

It’s the first really hot, sunny day here.  I am unpacking and Joe is taking the kids out for fun.  Having suffered one too many bad sunburns in my day, and knowing that most skin cancers are related to sun exposure, protecting my practically see-through kids has moved to the top of the list of my worries.  So I just spent 1/2 an hour slathering my kids from head to toe with sunscreen.

I try to use sunscreens without oxybenzone, a chemical that may disrupt hormones.  We also try to avoid vitamin A, retinol or its derivatives, such as retinyl palmitate and retinyl acetate because they may not only increase sun sensitivity (not so great for a sunscreen) but also may be harmful.  The research is not totally clear so I err on the side of caution.

After trying almost a dozen other more natural brands like Kinesys, Badger, and California Baby, and All Terrain, last year my husband found Devita Solar Body Block SPF 30+, which is the best we have ever come across.  It is easy to apply, non-greasy, and lasts a long time.  It generally runs about $20 per 7 oz. tube but if you look around, you might get a deal.

We have also used Vanicream SPF 30, which was recommended by a good friend of mine a few years back, who learned about it when she worked with immune-compromised patients some years ago.  It is also really effective but is stickier than the Devita and turns you white.  It costs about the same.

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe, which one of you will not burn my toe?

Eeny, meeny, miny, moe…

What are the 2013 rules about sunscreen?  The New York Times has this to say.

The Environmental Working Group, which seems to have the most objective information that I can find,  just posted their current information here.  Their mission is to serve as a watchdog to see that Americans get straight facts, unfiltered and unspun, so they can make better choices.

A big mess of special interests, including medical professionals, sunscreen manufacturers, and hippy non-profits like EWG weigh in on this topic.  If you sort it out better than we have, please let me know!


3 thoughts on “Whom do you Trust for Sunscreen?

  1. Hey Jess – Not sure how in-depth you need to research skincare and ingredients. The brands give my skin a bad reaction, some hormonal change in my 20s or something. So here are some vendors, blogs, and forum that helped me figure out this natural skincare stuff, cuz even the expensive “natural” brands broke me out. Not sure how it is anymore, but back then the skincare labeling wasn’t regulated or transparent. Copy/pasting what I sent to a friend recently whose kid has severe skin conditions, below:
    I ditched all my makeup and skincare products and started buying expensive “natural” label stuff, but even that made me break out.
    Found GOW through searches. The gals moderating the GOW forum had skin issues that nothing on the market or dermatologist could help. They did a lot of their own skin research before they partnered on the forum. Their formulations are mostly botanical-based and that’s how the store came about – they were sharing and supplying raw ingredients for a growing DIY crowd who couldn’t find products that work for their particular skin issues and eventually also folks following the “all natural” trend or people tired of the beauty industry. People stopping by the forum and trying these simple formulations found they were really effective without using synthetic fillers like commercial products do.
    GOW’s raw ingredients are sourced from different countries with human rights and labor practices in mind, and not expensive given they’re unadulterated and from non-GMO farms. Finished products labeled well according to natural, organic or if there are synthetics or animal products used (eg emu oil). The preservatives are natural. So they help you make or find/buy a product without fillers just actives.
    Back over a decade ago the forum was chock full of skincare recipes – they still have many on the start page. Also for skincare routines. But I think they’ve started charging for skin profiling cuz it takes some time to figure out your particular skin type and best products for it.

    GOW forum http://forums.delphiforums.com/gardenofwisdom/start
    GOW store http://www.gardenofwisdom.com/

    Li Wong – she has a serious health and skin issue and as a result is into vegan skincare formulating. Her blog is chock-full of great info on eco-friendly plant-based products, vendors and formulations. She’s done several posts on natural sunscreens.

    Li Wong’s vegan skincare line. Last time I ordered she was still starting out and she did a short skin profile for me to tailor the formula for my skin.

    Articles here on eco-skincare including sunscreen
    Jen Flanagan – she’s really good at finding the source of skin problems. Really great recipes for natural skincare. Her skincare line here:
    All natural soaps – the best value for your money given the quality of her ingredients and craft and size of the bars

    Good resources on oils

      • I have to keep it simple so I use really few finished products – Cleanser is grapeseed/castor oil mix to take off makeup and dirt. Toner is a 10:1 green tea:cider vinegar. Light carrier oil like jojoba, camellia, kukui nut to moisturize. Or Devita Solar Protective Moisturizer 30 too – my face tends to be oily plus I live in the tropics and this face sunscreen is AWESOME it is so light, goes on smooth and disappears, can be used as a moisturizer. Mask every few days with any of the pure clays like green, rhassoul or dead sea. I want to try MelanSol but currently use Alba sunscreen. Never been disappointed with the products from GOW (I’m not at all affiliated!) – all actives so you have to refrigerate them http://www.gardenofwisdom.com/finishedproducts.html. Chagrin Valley soaps and shampoo bars. Alima and Lumiere mineral makeups.
        Hope you find a good set of products that work for you. Took me a while to learn my skin!

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