We have been lucky to have really nice weather (finally) over the last week! With the sun, I’m back on my routine to protect Ella’s skin as much as possible. There is nothing like the softness of baby skin so I try to do what I can to protect it from sun damage.
When Ella was less than a year old, I started to do my research on sunscreens with a few objectives in mind.
1. Safe and chemical free
2. water resistant (as we are in our pool a lot)
2. the right SPF factor (which I found was between 25-35 SPF for the regular amount of time we were out in the sun)
3. ensure insignificant exposure to phthalates and parabens
Since Ella was 6 months, I have only used chemical free sunscreens on her skin. In addition to the sunscreen, I treat her clothes to add SPF30 protection which lasts for 20 washes, is easy to do and is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and we’re set for the summer!
After looking at the list that the Environmental Working Group puts out yearly on chemical free sunscreens, I narrowed it down to the ones with a low hazard score (which makes it the safest on the market) while also being water resistant (that’s the tricky part to also get water resistance). I started to read countless reviews (hours and hours worth) and purchased a bunch based on the top reviews. From the many sunscreens I’ve tried with the top reviews (Badger, Nature’s Gate, Green Beaver, Thinkbaby, TruKid along with the ones below) here are my top 3 chemical free and water resistant sunscreens.
1. Burn Out Kids – I find this one extremely easy to apply, very effective with it’s sun protection and is the most water resistant even after 3hrs in the pool with one application! In addition, there is almost no whiteness left behind on the skin since this is the down side of most natural sunscreens (both water resistant ones and non-water resistant).
2. California Baby – I’ve always been a fan of many of the California Baby products. Their sunscreen is a little thicker so requires a bit more blending into the skin but still fairly easy to apply. There is a whiteness left behind on the skin but not overly noticeable. Water resistance and protection against the sun is just as good as Burn Out Kids. We used this one in Greece with Ella when she was 1yrs old and her skin didn’t even tan after a whole day sight-seeing in the Mediterranean sun! I put this as #2 on the list as the price is a little more than Burn Out Kids which is just as effective.
3. Goddess Garden – Easy to apply similar to Burn Out Kids and leaves a little whiteness behind similar to the California Baby. I do find the the water resistance is not as good as the two above but will still last for the 40 minutes in the water as indicated on the bottle. The sunscreen in the manual spray bottle is a little runnier so you have to apply it fairly quickly but it does absorb into the skin with less effort. The cream option is thicker and takes a little more blending to get into the skin so it comes down to choice. The advantage of Goddess Garden is that it is a mineral only product and organic. If we are not in the water for long, I prefer this brand due to the fact that it’s organic.
For the ones that I didn’t choose although still water resistant and chemical free, the reasons came down to one or all of the factors below depending on the brand.
- Thick and difficult to apply
- left behind too much of a white residue
- greasy on the skin
- water resistance not as good/did not last as long
Although these sunscreens cost about 3-4 times that of “regular” sunscreens (approximately $14-$22/bottle), not applying chemicals against my daughter’s skin is worth it for me. It’s funny that I’ll spend about $80 on sunscreen each summer for Ella yet I hesitate to spend that on something for myself!
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