Wednesday, July 9, 2014

10 Best Low-Hazard Sunscreens & Smart Sun Exposure Tips

Sun phobia has been cleverly marketed over the past twenty years or so. It's unfortunate that the belief that sun causes cancer is more widespread than the fact that sunscreens are loaded with carcinogens. Yes, we absolutely must be careful with our sun exposure - sunburn is never, ever good for you and raises your risk of skin cancer. But that doesn't mean we should slather ourselves and our children with highly toxic, chemical sunscreens that only exasperate the problem. 

What do we do here at Eco-Babyz? Many of you asked, so I'm here to answer even though almost half the summer has passed! Here is how we do our best to avoid sunburn all summer long, yet get plenty of healthy sun exposure to optimize natural vitamin D levels.
  • Embrace the shade: I don't know about you, but on a hot sunny day we want to be in the shade. Maybe because we have no pool and don't live on a lake, but I digress. To avoid sunburn and overheating, staying in the shade when possible is just common sense. When out in the sun for prolonged periods, take frequent breaks to cool down and re-hydrate in the shade and apply more sunscreen. 
  • Wear sun hats: The delicate skin on your child's face tans faster than other body parts, make it a habit of wearing light colored sun hats on sunny days. If it's really hot, dunk it in the water before going outside and put it on damp! We particularly love the fast drying, always good looking, and easy laundering hats like this one and this one
  • Drink lots and lots of water: There is nothing worse than sun exposure + dehydration! All parts of our body, every cell, and your skin need water to function properly. You will never see us outdoors in the summer without plenty of water for the kiddos and I. We rely on these stainless water bottles because they are the only ones so far that I've found leave no weird taste in the water and don't accumulate mold, love them! They come in different sizes too, the kids love the 16.9 oz ones
  • Apply sunscreen when we know we will be in direct sunlight for more than half an hour: My kids and I tan easily, so I know how long we can be in the sun without damage. This timeline may differ for you and your kids, you may need to apply sunscreen if you now you'll be out in the sun longer than 15-20 minutes. Which brings us to...
Which low-hazard sunscreen do we choose? We love these carcinogen free, non-nano zinc based sunscreens and use some of them sparingly when needed, we never go through more than a tube in the summer (maybe because we don't live on the beach or vacation frequently!). Though I think that may change since we've just discovered an amazing lake near us, and it's free! Here they are in approximate order of value for the amount in package, cheapest to most expensive (prices current at time of publishing this post)...

1. Neutral Skin and Hair Mineral Sunscreen Water Resistant 80 mins | SPF 33 | 8 OZ | $11.99 | EWG Hazard Score: 1

2. Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Sensitive | SPF 30+ | 5 oz | $16.39 | EWG Hazard Score: 1

3. ThinkSport Kid Safe Sunscreen Thinkbaby Livestrong | SPF 50+ | 3fl oz | $12.69 | EWG Hazard Score: 1

4. Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, Tangerine & Vanilla | SPF 30 | 2.9 oz | $15.99 | EWG Hazard Score: 1

5. Sunology Sunscreen Kids | SPF 50 | 2.1 oz | $14.99 | EWG Hazard Score: 1

6. TruKid Sunny Days Sport Plus Water-resistant UVA/UVB Sunscreen Lotion, Unscented | SPF 30 | 2 oz | $14.99 | EWG Hazard Score: 1

7. Sweetsation Sun'n'Fun Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen for Kids with Antioxidants, Marshmallow and Chocolate | SPF 30 | 3.3oz | $17 | EWG Hazard Score: 1

8. BurnOut KIDS Broad Spectrum | SPF 35 | 3.4 oz. | $17.99 | EWG Hazard Score: 1

9. California Baby Sunscreen Lotion, Everyday/Year Round, Water Resistant | SPF30+  | 2.9 Ounce | $22.25 | EWG Hazard Score: 2

10. Badger Plus Sunscreen All Season Face Stick Unscented | SPF 35 | 0.65 oz | $8.79 | EWG Hazard Score: 1

Want to find out how your sunscreen is rated? Check out the EWG 2014 Sunscreen Guide.

What's your favorite non-toxic sunscreen?

Contains affiliate links to where we usually shop, your purchase supports Eco-Babyz at no extra cost to you and helps offset some of the cost associated with pouring our time and energy into this site. Thank you!


  1. Thank you very much for mentioning our Sweetsation Therapy sunscreen :-) Much appreciated. Would you like to review it?

    1. I would love to try and review Sweetsation, I think my kids would love the yummy scent! Please send me a quick email at anastasia at eco-babyz dot com. Thank you!

  2. Thanks for this. I bought Neutral last week because of this article and after playing at the pool no sunburn!

    1. Awesome! I'm glad to hear this helped you make a good choice :)


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