Thursday, June 2, 2011

How Safe is Your Sunscreen? - CLOSED

You smother sunscreen all over your precious little one's body thinking that you are doing your very best to protect them. The higher the SPF, the better, right? WRONG! There are so many other factors to think about and what you don't know can hurt you.

Let's play a little game. Let's see how "safe" your current sunscreen really is. Go ahead, I'll wait, grab your stash of sunscreen. What kind is it? What are the ingredients? What is the SPF? Did you read the warning label? Do you know what the ingredients are and what they do? Is it an aerosol spray?

I found some old sunscreen in our house that we bought last year. They are readily available in stores, were name brands and had a high SPF. We thought that they were perfect, convenient and more importantly SAFE. We got Banana Boat Kids SPF 85 and Aveeno Baby SPF 55.

Both contain Oxybenzone - there is debate on whether or not this is safe for use. I googled and read both sides of the debate. While it may be perfectly safe....do I really want to risk it with my kids?? I'd feel a lot better of waiting for them to make up their minds, rather than having my kids be lab rats to test it out!

The Banana Boat is an aerosol spray. Our kid's daycare at the time preferred it because it was easier and faster to apply to all 30+ kids before taking them out to play. Well, it is a spray...and it lingers in the air after it's been applied. So yes, we are breathing it in. It may be tested to be safe when applied to skin but should we really be breathing it in?? There are a lot of chemicals in sunscreen. I don't know if I want my kids inhaling them!

And what about SPF - what does it actually mean? It's simply Sun Protection Factor and gives a rating based on blocking UVB rays which cause sun burns. It has little to nothing to do with blocking UVA rays which increase the risk of melanoma. Some sunscreens do not block UVA rays, some do. Do your homework and make sure you have a sunscreen that will protect against both! And SPF of 20 is more than sufficient and is equivalent to 95% UV protection absorption. An SPF of 45 will only give you another 2.8% of protection...yet there are many more chemicals to give you so little!

Now go here and type in your brand and type. It will give you a number score that will tell you the risk associated with that particular product. Now take it with a grain of salt...there is so much debate in this industry and studies being done, etc. But I think you will still be surprised by what your current sunscreen is rated. Keep in mind that low numbers are good, high numbers are bad.


I did a bit of research this year before purchasing our sunscreen. I ended up getting Kabana Skincare's Organic Green Screen. I liked the fact that there are only 8 ingredients and they are all safe! No extra chemicals to boost the SPF unnecessarily, no crazy scents to make it smell like a coconut tree mixed with baby powder, all organic. It is so much different than the popular store bought sunscreens. First, you do have to shake it well before applying. Second, it's not that oily, greasy lotion type that just glides on like baby oil. Third, it does leave a slight white color once it's applied. Some think that's a downside, but I actually prefer it. This way I know that I didn't miss any spots and I know when it needs to be reapplied. For those that are bothered by this, they also make a "skin tone tinted" version. And it really is hardly noticeable. My oldest daughter is pretty tan already and it's not like she looked like a ghost with her sunscreen on ;)

All in all - I am in LOVE!! I love knowing how much safer it is for my girls. I didn't panic when my youngest squeezed the bottle into her hands and proceeded to give it a taste. No, I wouldn't let her actually eat it on a regular basis or anything, but it wasn't like the popular brands with all of those ingredients that you can't even pronounce! My girls loved the 'smell' of it....although it is unscented. I can't really think of anything negative about it. I'm looking forward to being able to use it this summer and tell everyone that I know about it!

If you're willing to give up your old sunscreen and try something new, then we're giving away some of Kabana Skincare's Organic Green Screen! There will be 5 winners of the 1 oz. 20 SPF sunscreen. Simply leave a comment below with your current sunscreen and the hazard rating that it has based on the link above. Also please leave contact info so that we can notify you if you won. Contest open until Thursday, June 9th. Winners to be notified and announced on June 10th. Winners must reply back within 24 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be drawn.

**For a limited time - FREE SHIPPING on all Kabana Skincare products when you order here**

67 comments:

  1. i use Badger Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30+. I buy it as whole foods and it is rated a 1 YAY!! It does leave a thin white film too, which bothered me when I first begun using it, but now I am use to it

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  2. our sunscreen is kind of old and probably needs replaced--the one we use most often is .. oh THAT's nice, it expired in 2009. Guess that's going in the recycle bin. Okay, here's the one we WERE using before the other one showed up-- I was using it because it was less sticky... No date on it, but...okay it's not on their list. But we were using Hawaiian tropic baby faces and tender places 60+ SPF. I think it was the only one at the time that was rated for an actual baby at the store. jill dot shoemaker at gmail dot com

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  3. The sunscreen I have in my cupboard right now is CVS brand, SPF 30. I learned, when going through treatments for melanoma, that anything above SPF 30 was irrelevant. I love that it seems to be becoming common knowledge amongst everyone now so I don't look so crazy when using low SPFs. It's not a baby sunscreen because I didn't have a baby to apply it to at that point in time. ;) It does rate a 3 so that's good at least. I have been researching different brands trying to decide what to buy now that I have a 7 month old to apply it to. I would love to try this out! My email is sara714 at gmail dot come.

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  4. we use california baby with a hazard rating of 2, but that is after i read that site a few months ago. i would love to try another brand, i have had a hard time finding sunscreens on that list in my area and california baby is pricey.

    amandaeknittel at gmail

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  5. I have two that my mom gave me and neither are even listed! One is Almay Light Feeling Sunscreen and the other is Soltan Kids. So, I'm going to say, they aren't good. vmvazquez83 at yahoo dot com

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  6. we use bader that has 1 hazard rating. i am ways ip for trying something new. melissa dot rubinstein at gmail

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  7. We use Episencial's Sunny Sunscreen, with a rating of 2. I'd love to try something else!

    mrandmrsdarling at gmail

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  8. We have been using Banana Boat. It's the first one I found that doesn't make my super sensitive DD#1 break out. It's rated a 6. Guess we're not using it this year!

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  9. I usually buy whatever's cheapest. I've been using a generic store brand that's not listed. Most recently I bought Coppertone Oil Free SPF 30. It's rated a 4. tanyadavi at gmail dot com

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  10. It's funny that you posted this now. Researching a healthier sunscreen was on my list for the weekend. I bought a small tube of Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50 to get us through until I find something better. It has a hazard rating of 5.

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  11. We prefer to use California Baby, which is a 1, but so expensive!
    I also bought some Pure and Simple Waterbabies- which is a 3.

    Would love to try something new!

    cindianne320 at yahoo dot com

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  12. We use California Baby unscented. It has a rating of 1. I started using heathier and in my opinion, safer, sunscreens in 2007. The higher price is worth it to me.

    sh.auna@hotmail.com

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  13. Vanessa FlandersJune 3, 2011 at 11:15 PM

    I cant find our Sunscreen! But I believe it was Coppertone for Babies, which has a not so good rating of 5. Would be great to try Kabanas!
    nvbflanders at Q dot com

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  14. Last summer we bought Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby SPF 60+...rated a 7! Good thing we never used it on the baby last year, we just kept him in out of the sun instead...this year I got Purple Prairie Botanicals Sun Stuff SPF 30 which rates a 1 but it is VERY thick and hard to apply...and as you know I am ALWAYS up for trying something new. email mandi_sronce at yahoo dot com

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  15. I also use California Baby, rated a 1 or 2. I'm definitely interested in trying a new brand, though! julie.gayler@gmail.com

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  16. Thank you for this blog post. I was cringing on Sunday when I was spraying my kids with sunblock, all I could think was this can't be good. I won't put chemicals on their tushie ... why am I spraying it all over their body! This post is giving me the extra push to go natural with sunblock too! Thanks so much Justine :-) email: jaime[dot]zess[at]gmail[dot]com

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  17. We used Aveeno baby, so it's rated a 1 or a 3, but I'd prefer something much more natural!

    mrs.trophywife at ymail dot com

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  18. I have banana boat, but def. wasn't planning on using that on my 3 mo old. It is rated a 6.
    I've been searching for a sunscreen for the little man and don't have any currently, so this would be great for us! :)
    mmiller@mtu.edu

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  19. I just bought ThinkSport sunscreen which scores a 1. So far I think I like it, but I was very disappointed by how little was actually in the tube. I think the tube I received wasn't actually full though, which is an issue with the seller not the product.

    I am still on the hunt for a sunscreen that I actually love for my 2 girls.

    erika8602 at gmail dot come

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  20. I use Coppertone Kids Pure and Simple. It has a rating of 3. I used it last summer, too. I like that it has a white film, that way I can see where it is applied. Though I am going to try this Kabana sunscreen. I have a 3 month old baby, I wonder if it would be ok for her.
    katierogala at yahoo dot com.

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  21. I use california baby which is a 1

    melaniebrell at gmail dot com

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  22. Right now I use California baby with a rating of 2. I am always looking for something better.
    ykatrina at hotmail dot com

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  23. We use Huggies Little Swimmmers and it has a rating of 6.
    tvpg at aol dot com

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  24. I use waterbabies pure and simple and last time I checked ewb it had a rating of 7. I hate that it has so many inactive ingredients but I figured using it for a short period of time outweighed the inevitable sunburn and possible skin problems later in life. Every time I go to the store I wander over to look at safer sunscreen but just haven't purchased any new yet. :(
    Nwkent25(@)gmail(dot)com

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  25. California baby with a rating of 1. Now you got me curious about a new product ;)
    yippie_o(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  26. What we have in the closet is just plain old CVS brand, spf 50. I think it scores a 7. The names are very generic on that list and there aren't pictures. The only time my baby has put on sunscreen was at a friend's house... and I have no idea what that was. writegretel at gmail dot com

    on a sort of related note, isn't zinc oxide the active ingredient in a lot of non-CD friendly diaper creams? can you use diaper rash cream as a sunscreen???

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  27. We have Coppertone Pure & Simple Water Babies... rated 3. I'm intrigued by this new sunscreen; would love to try it! enlehman86 @ mail . com

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  28. we have coppertone water babies its a 5!

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  29. We use Nature's Gate which is listed at a 3. I'd love to try something else. malinacorbeil@yahoo.ca

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  30. I use Arbonne on my kids and didn't find the rating. We've also used Banana Boat Sport which rates at 7 and Aveeno with a rating of 3. Wow. I need to do some more research on this.

    jeanne dot schwarz at gmail

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  31. I use thinksport (same as thinkbaby), which rates a 1. It's very thick and leaves a white film as well, but I don't mind it and prefer it over using something with more chemicals!

    nonahs at gmail dot com

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  32. We use banana boat ( 6 rating!!! Not good!) So wed love to try this brand...heading to beach this weekend so going out to Earth Fare to get a safer brand.....thank u so much for the post!
    ktwalser@yahoo.com

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  33. California Baby on the little man (it's a 1) and Loving Naturals on us (also a 1). We love trying new ones, though! NatalieCharlotte at hotmail dot com.

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  34. We use BananaBoat Water Babies spray-on lotion. I woulds love to try something more natural!

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  35. We use Alba baby sunscreen. Has a rating of 2. Thanks for the giveaway!! Would love to try other brands. :) hannah8217@yahoo.com

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  36. Loving naturals scored a 1, but I'd love to try this too! Adf0905 at gmail dot com

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  37. We are using Episencial Sunny Sunscreen - it has a rating of 2.
    jenniferjopp@yahoo.com

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  38. We use Banana Boat sunscreen spf 50 the site said its rated a 6 eeek that is scary I thought I was protecting my kids not putting them in other types of danger Im willing to try something else eazlth@gmail.com

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  39. We have Coppertone Water Babies Pure & Simple SPF 50. It is a 3. However, the Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Stick SPF 55 that I keep in the diaper bag for quickly applying to little faces is a 7! (ick!) I'd love to try something new!

    rmwandmaw@hotmail.com

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  40. Hawaiian tropic 45 SPF. Wow it is rated a 7! That is scary. We will not be using it this year. I thought we were doing good using a high SPF.
    Katrina de Anda
    Costa dot Katrina at gmail dot com

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  41. bearandme@gmail.comJune 9, 2011 at 7:22 PM

    I use California Baby on my lil' one. It is rated a 1! :-)

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  42. My current sunscreen is badger and has a 0 rating. I am always looking for new and safe sunscreens to try out. I was diagnosed with melanoma in 2009 so I really want to protect myself and my little one!

    Ohdearjessica@gmail.com

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  43. Yikes! That really freaked me out!
    We use banana boat with a rating of 6. :(

    Honestmommy@gmail.com

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  44. well, heck, I need some sunscreen :)

    I thought Aveeno was supposed to be good, not give me a high score of 7. Please help my babies get good protection this year!

    adrian_shelton at live.com

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  45. We have been using baby blanket and it has a rating of 7
    Heididaily at gmail dot com

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  46. banana boat spf 50 rated a 6! :( don't think i'll mbe using it again

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  47. we just bought coppertone sensitive skin, spf 50 and it has a hazard rating of 3.

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  48. We use Nature's Gate Kid's block, Fragrance-Free, SPF 30. It has a rating of 3 and we got it at our local co-op. I'd love to try something new. Jessica B
    jessicalrbyers at gmail dot com

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  49. The one we use the most is rate 7. It is Neutrogena Ultimate Sport SPF 70. We also have Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces SPF 60+ that I can't find a specific rating on, but other similar ones of that brand are also a 7. Ugh! I had no idea that all sunscreens did not protect against skin cancer. We have skin cancer in our family, and with my son's red hair and fair skin, I definitely need a good sunscreen!
    lyndsey (dot) gillespie (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  50. Aveeno Baby (like you had), a 7!!! ahhh!!!!!

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  51. We use Coppertone babies spf 50 and it's a 5 =/

    tmungioli416@gmail.com

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  52. We use Badger 30 - love it! It has a 1 rating. But I am almost out & would Luke to try this brand :)
    Christinemcarlson at msn dot com

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  53. Aveeno baby SPF 55 as well before visiting this site last summer. I had read that sunscreen loses most of it's potency after 6 mos & SPF is really more about time limits (barring it's not being washed/rubbed off in the pool,ocean, sprinkler, towels, etc.) before re-application is needed. At least it was a small bottle. I hate to see things go to waste, even the not-so-great! Love to try something safe this summer!

    missingclyde82@aol.com

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  54. We use Aveeno Baby on all of us, but it has a rating of 7! I would love to find a safer sunscreen!
    glassfishie at gmail

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  55. We use coppertone kids with a 3 rating. I would really love to try this sunscreen. Aydenbug2@hotmail.com

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  56. I have been using the Episencial Sunny Sunscreen - it has a rating of 2, but it's going to run out soon!
    lauras at spu dot edu

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  57. I have a whole collection that I have a love-hate relationship with... The easiest to use is Banana Boat, rated a 6, sigh. The one I love is from Arbonne, so I have no idea what its rating is and I hate that it costs $25+. I bought a stick from Kiss My Face, with a rating of 1, but couldn't get it to spread evenly on my daughter. I'd LOVE to try something new- thanks!

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  58. Thinkbaby - just bought some. It's a 1! Lmbriones at rogers.com

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  59. Banana Boat Kids Tear Free aerosol SPF 50.....with a score of 6! Yikes, i am shopping for something safer and would love to try this one! Thanks for bringing this to our attention!

    MishaelMurphy at hotmail dot com

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  60. I use california baby, but it is expensive.
    Dmoretti1967at yahoo.com

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  61. i use California Baby with a 1 rating. THanks for the info! :) Becky
    rebecca.e.baker@gmail.com

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  62. I use Aveeno baby spf 55. It was rated a 7 :( Really hoping to try something new!
    k.klinzing (at) gmail.com

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  63. I've been using California Baby (1) and Badger (1). I like the consistency of the CA baby better than the Badger, but I like to use the Badger. Would love to try something new!!
    rjsandall at msn dot com

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  64. I use California Baby no fragrance sunblock lotion with a rating of 1. I'd love to try something new!
    My email is czubler@ gmail dot com

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  65. We use Badger lightly scented with Lavender for the Baby (http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/about-the-sunscreens/375118/Badger_Sunscreen%2C_Lightly_Scented_Lavender%2C_SPF_30%2B/). It rates 1

    For us we currently use Jason (http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2011sunscreen/about-the-sunscreens/331059/Jason_Natural_Cosmetics_Sunbrellas%3A_MINERAL_Natural_Sunblock%2C_SPF_30/) which has a rating of 2

    My email is Nevrandil at gmail.com and I'm in the UK which probably means I can't take part. ;)

    Nev

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  66. I use california baby and it rates a 1. It is soo expensive though.. We have been looking for a new one.

    Annette RObertson
    annettem922 at yahoo dot com

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