Often when people offer up unsolicited kiddo or parenting advice my eyes start a rolling. If there is one thing that I have learned as a parent, it's that all kids are SO different and whatever that quote is about there being no way to be a perfect mother but a million ways to be a good one.
Anyway, sunscreen. This is one thing that I can speak to confidently. There are children out there that have far more sensitive skin than ila or myself, so obvisouly these reviews may be different for your child, but we've paid the exorbitant prices for the high brow stuff, and bought + lost a million bottles of the low brow stuff and here's what I've found. Take it or leave it but this is something I wish I had to reference before I spent so much on all the things.
SO without further ado I give you the Laura Bear sunscreen review on a scale of LOVE to MEH..
Living in Southern California means that sunscreen is a part of our every day. It's like brushing our teeth, it happens twice a day and should probably happen more than that. When you have a fresh little baby that you are slathering with a lotion, you want to know everything that is in said sunscreen. Therefore my number one thing has always been opting for a physical blocking sunscreen over a chemical sunscreen.
Chemical sunscreens contain ingredients such as oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, (more about it here or here) or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin (more about Vitamin A here and here). Now talk to my PHD Chemist husband and he will argue that the nano particulates in chemical blocking sunscreen are not enough to pose a lifetime threat to your health. But I say pish posh why even mess with that stuff when there are plenty of easy to apply, physical blocking options out there. Physical blockers are the best balance between protection from the two types of ultraviolet radiation (UVA and UVB) and not containing potentially harmful additives. They are very stable in sunlight as well.
Here my top 5 favorites. I have tried almost all the baby sunscreens that I can get my hands on from banana boat to generic brands and these five are at the top of my list.
It is good to reference the EWG's guide to sunscreens that is comprehensive and inclusive of almost all brands you can think of.
While the EWG's health and protection ratings are what I am most concerned with, application also is a big issue around here. If a sunscreen is hard to rub in, it's going to be 12X more of a fight to get my daughter, ila, fully covered. If it rubs in easily and the white haze fades after application, then we have a real winner.
- Blue Lizard Australian Baby Sunscreen SPF 30: My #1 favorite, this stuff is great. It is expensive but I can see why... the australians have figured it out. The lotion comes out of the bottle easily as if it were a chemical sunscreen (but it is not!) and rubs in very easily. It leaves a serious white haze at first but then fades very quickly. I find the haze helpful in showing me the spots I have missed. White ghost face is never a thing and I often apply this over my daily moisturizing sunscreen on my nose and cheekbones. After the white has faded I cannot even notice that we have sunscreen on other than feeling somewhat moisturized. Another big bonus is that the white bottle turns pink when there is UV light present, which is handy in reminding you that even if you are in the shade, you are getting some exposure. All in all this is my #1 pick that I keep going back for more. EWG rating: 1
- Beauty Counter Protect All Over Sunscreen SPF 30: Again, pricey but guess what, totally effective and worry free. This is better for adults because it is thick and therefore a bit hard to rub in, but I love it for my face because I can be smothered in baby kisses without having to worry. The white haze does fade but not as quickly as Blue Lizard. It is also a bit greasy but to me, I feel moisturized. Ila's hair also seems a bit greasy around the hairline after application. Smells great too. EWG rating: 1
- Babyganics Mineral-Based Baby Sunscreen SPF 50 : This is right in the middle for me. A big bonus is the price and availability. I can find this almost anywhere that sunscreen is sold and it is always right around $10 a bottle. The application is really easy, not too thick. My skin feels a bit dry after application, not greasy at all, but all in all I find this to be a nice middle of the road option. I only like this a bit better than the Honest Co. Sunscreen because it is a bit cheaper and easy to find in the majority of big box stores. EWG rating: 2
- The Honest Company Sunscreen SPF 50: Ok so there is one caveat here, don't buy this stuff at Costco. From the reviews all over it is sounding like the batch they received is ineffective. I order this right from the Honest.com website, so I am not sure if that is what is making the difference or what. The original formula was much thicker and nearly impossible to rub in. They have reformulated this to be not as thick which makes it much easier to spread on a squirming toddler. I like the stuff because it is affordable, safe and effective.
- Coppertone WaterBABIES Pure + Simple Sunscreen SPF 50: Ok so this one is on here because we all need to grab something easily when we are out of sunscreen and this is available everywhere. Gas stations even carry this stuff. So that is the leading factor on why it is even on my list, but it also is the best over banana boat and other more common brands as far as the EWG rating goes. EWG rating: 3
You can review almost all sunscreen's here. I was pretty surprised about some of my go-to brands (Aveeno, I'm looking at you).
And also, HATS. I tried to start ila young with the hat wearing, so that she was used to it. I guess that worked? Sometimes she is just 2 though. I am wishing I would have bought her sunglasses at a very young age so that she was used to those now. She just rips them off her face after the 3 seconds of "fun accessory" wears off.
A quality beach umbrella is worth the investment, avoiding peak sun hours and a rash guard always. Any sun tips you guys care to share? I'd love to hear! Hope summer is full on sunny and fun for you guys.