Just when you thought you were protecting your babies from the sun, you may be doing them more harm than good. Did you know 1 in 8 sunscreens don’t even protect from the sun’s harmful rays? The FDA first issued draft sunscreen regulations in 1978 and last updated the draft in 2007. The regulations are still not final, despite multiple announcements of impending completion. Companies are not required to verify that their sunscreens work, including testing for SPF levels, checking waterproof levels or protection. Ouch. Here’s a list of sunscreens to stay away from, or watch out for at the very least:
The Banana Boat sunscreen stick spf 50 claims it “doesn’t break down.” But it definitely doesn’t last forever either. You might think one coat would do you for a whole day. Not so. Even though sunscreen makers like Banana Boat often use stabilizing additives to keep their ingredients from breaking down in sunlight, the product still doesn’t last forever on the skin. Sunscreens wash off in water and rub off on clothes and towels.
Panama Jack Baby Sunblock
The Panama Jack label says apply liberally, but scientists disagree because this sunscreen may have a potential hormone distruptor which should not be applied liberally to the skin: “It would be prudent not to apply oxybenzone to large surface areas of skin for extended and repeated periods of time, unless no alternative protection is available. There may be an additional concern for young children who have less well developed processes of elimination, and have a larger surface area per body weight than adults.:
Claims its “Mild as water.” Really? If a label warns to “stop use and ask a doctor if rash or irritation develops and lasts”? Certainly when swallowed this product is nothing like water: “Keep out of reach of children” and “get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away,” reads the warning label. Yikes. It’s more like you should keep it away from your kids if anything…
Banana Boat Baby 100 SPF
Wow, this has an SPF of 100, it must be good right? Wrong. Though the sunscreen has such a high SPF it still leaves the skin to damaging UVA rays. High SPF products may make people feel comfortable to be in the sun longer, but it’s false protection.
Hawaiian Tropic Baby Cream Lotion
The Hawaiian Tropic Baby Cream Lotion claims it has “advanced UVA protection.” Not so much. Many U.S. sunscreens claim to provide “broad spectrum” protection that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, but the reality is that they don’t. Hawaiian Tropic Baby Creme Lotion SPF 50 lists “Advanced UVA protection” on its website and “UVB/SPF with UVA” on its label. But it would earn only 1 star in FDA’s proposed 4 star UVA labeling scheme. Hawaiian Tropic is not required to back up its claim of “advanced UVA protection,” and the fact is that no currently available sunscreen chemical has been shown to block UVA rays effectively.
So What Are The Good Ones?
Top-rated sunscreens all contain the minerals zinc or titanium. They are the right choice for people who are looking for the best UVA protection without any sunscreen chemical considered to be a potential hormone disruptor. None of the products contain oxybenzone or vitamin A and none are sprayed or powdered. The best rated ones, according to the Environmental Working Group were by far, California Baby’s range of sunscreen products, also Bullfrog, Badger and Jason Naturals. Of course, the most important thing is to stay out of the sun and stay covered, but sometimes we can’t avoid it…