Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to Shop for Safe Sunblock

Wow, it's that time of year again... spring in NH means... SUNBLOCK! Huh? Yeah, the average temperatures for March in NH is about 44 degrees. This week? About 75 degrees!

This meant I had to head to the store yesterday to stock up on our sunblock. You never want to reuse last years as it does lose potency over time and change of temperatures.

Before I went to the store, I checked in on my favorite database from EWG Skin Deep. It is an amazing resource where you can look up your product and find out everything from it's cancer causing chemicals, developmental & reproductive toxicity and allergies & immunotoxicity info. You can the see a rating system for each product (0-2 is Low Hazard, 3-6 is Moderate and 7-10 is High Hazard.)

I went with the Badger Sunscreen for my girls as it had a rating of 1 and was relatively inexpensive. There are some great organic products out there, but they cost $20 for 2 ounces! My kids would go through that in a day!

Unfortunately, my Aveeno sunscreen that I always use for myself has a rating of 7! Which is annoying as they market themselves as a 'natural' company. There are Target brand products with better ratings than them! Grrrr.... it's not always you get what you pay for. That is why research is so important. (*** Happy to update in 2017 that most Aveeno sunscreen products are not at a 3 rating, which is a huge improvement. Great job!)

Please bookmark this database and carry it on your smart phone. It is such a great resource.


  1. Such an important post! I would like to introduce you to Ava Anderson Non Toxic Sunscreen. It scores a 0 on EWG's Cosmetic Data Base. It is 2.9 Oz. and costs $18.95 - but I can tell you a little goes a long way. I use it on my 2 and 3 year old. You can learn more at www.avaandersonnontoxic.com/heidileandro or email me at nhteach@isp.com to order!
    Ingredients: Broad spectrum coverage for every age, with organic beneficial botanical ingredients. No nanoparticles, no chemical UV absorbers, no parabens, no phthalates, no synthetic preservatives, fragrance or dyes. Active ingredients: zinc oxide (21%, non-nanoparticle). Inactive: beeswax (organic), theobroma cacao seed butter (organic cocoa butter), butyrospermum parkii (organic shea butter), olea europaea oil (organic olive oil), simmondsia chinensis (organic jojoba oil).

  2. Thanks for the heads up!

  3. VERY helpful post. I've used Aveeno on my kids for years thinking they were more "natural." Thank you for this.

  4. It is so insane to need sunblock in March, isn't it?? I need to check that out. Mine probably aren't good. Are there any good spray ones?? Probably not.

  5. I broke out in a rash after using Ava Anderson sunscreen. Have been on benadryl last two days to ease the itching it caused. I hope you are aware that a score of 0 on EWG database doesnt mean much. Zinc Oxide has a score of 2 in its database. Guess they average it out keeping into account the interactibility of the ingredients with each other. While each ingredient may have a low score individually, putting them together doesnt imply the same ! Also Ava Anderson products have ***NOT*** evaluated by the EWG. If you look into its database, Ava Anderson is NOT listed !!! Most of the posts on the internet about Ava Anderson products are written by Ava Anderson representatives (Think Amway, Avon...) . EWG is repeatedly mentioned in their promotional pitches without revealing that the actual product has never been tested for toxicity. One wonders why ? Till then something tested and evaluated as a complete product by EWG is the correct way to chose a product if wishing to refer to EWG toxicity guide ! There are lots of products to chose from which have zinc oxide in them and are rated properly in EWG database. Please research wisely !

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