Swim Suits and Sunny Skies

The sun has finally made an appearance in Seattle.

I can hardly believe it.

With the sun comes lots of questions/concerns around sunscreen, especially here in the PNW where we don’t see much of the sun and have lower Vitamin D levels.

The facts.

So before you lather up, consider the following when selecting your sunscreen products:

Sunscreen contains many chemicals in order to block UVA/UVB rays from being absorbed by your skin. There are two types of chemicals used in sun screen: physical agents (providing more of a ‘sunblock’) and chemical agents (which provide more of a ‘sunscreen’).

The physical sunblocks that are currently available are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide which work by reflecting or scattering UV radiation before it reaches your skin. Chemical agents work by absorbing the energy of UV radiation before it affects your skin. Both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide provide broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and are gentle enough for everyday use. Because these are physical blocking agents and not chemicals, they are especially useful for individuals with sensitive skin, as they rarely cause skin irritation.

Most chemical agents that work as sunscreen are composed of several active ingredients. This is because no single chemical ingredient blocks the entire UV spectrum (unlike physical sunblocks). In order to be fully protected by UVA and UVB light, you must combine multiple chemicals. And as always, with lots of chemicals comes lots of questions.

So before you suit up for some fun in the sun, consider the following products:

Coola Organic Suncare:

A light and lovely organic sunscreen that uses soothing botanicals and antioxidant rich minerals to save your skin. This is a true sun block, containing both zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The best part? It’s organic, has a #2 safety rating by EWG, cruelty free and vegan friendly!

Badger, Healthy Body Care:

The Badger Skin Care line is full of fun balms, bug sprays, lip tints and oils. They offer a sunscreen that contains Non Nano zinc oxide, making it easier to apply and not quite as heavy. This product is water resistant for 40 minutes and is in a lovely organic base of olive oil, beeswax, cocoa butter and jojoba oil.

The Honest Company:

The most perfect mama friendly company out there. Not only do they sell a simple and safe sunblock, they also have a slew of products designed for a happy and healthy mama and baby. This product only contains zinc oxide because it is the only product approved on babies under 6 months [more information on that later..]. This product is vegan, biodegradable, non nano and petrochemical free.

Babies and Sunscreen:

It is important to remember that babies under 6 months of age have not yet developed the same skin barriers we have as adults. Babies have thinner skin and do not have as many melanocytes as we do, because of this, the skin is more vulnerable to the penetrating UV light that hits the skin and can readily absorb the chemicals found in sunscreen products. This means that sun protection for a little one is best if it is in the form long sleeves, hats, and sun visors over a stroller. If you baby will be in direct sunlight and must have addition protection, be sure to ask your pediatrician for a recommendation.

For more information on safe and effective sun protection, Visit the Environmental Working Group’s website: EWG, Sunscreen

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