Are You Using The Right Kind Of Sunblock?

Dr. Katie Keller and her daughter

I hope everyone had a nice long Memorial Day weekend. ️ In addition to a time to honor our fallen soldiers, it does always seem to mark that feeling that summer is officially here, even in these upside down times. Here in Austin, we had lots of rain, with a touch of sun. As we head further into the hot days of Summer, I wanted to share some of my favorite products to keep you sun safe.

️If you don’t already have the Environmental Working Group “ECW” app downloaded, do it now. This is a great way to check the safety of many products, not just limited to sunblock. EWG comes out with a list of safest and most effective sunblock each year. A couple of the main points they discuss this year are the need for the product to provide adequate UVA and UVB protection, as well as to not contain the most harmful chemical endocrine disruptors, like oxybenzone. This particular ingredient is especially harmful, and along with other endocrine disruptors, it can alter hormone levels, fertility, as well as cause symptoms like headaches and fatigue. For the ECW scoring, the lower the number means the safer the product. I’ve looked through the updated list and selected a few of my favorites that we actually use and love.

  1. Badger Active Sunscreen Cream, Chamomile and Calendula SPF 30: (ECW Score 1) My child has extremely sensitive skin, and this one has been amazing. She does not burn, and does not get a rash. Score! I use it on myself as well, when I don’t mind that lovely white coating that mineral sunblocks often provide. Get your family photo before putting it on.
  2. Beautycounter Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30: (ECW Score 2) I love all things Beautycounter, and this is another great mineral option. Creams and lotions provide the best protection and are safer because the inhalation risk is reduced compared to sprays, but I’m selecting a couple of options for non-mineral sprays below. Because, have you ever tried to do a re-apply on a rocky boat with a 4 year old?!
  3. Kiss My Face Sunscreen Spray SPF 30: (ECW Score 3) This spray has a pleasant smell, but as with all sprays, try not to inhale it. Especially for children, spray on your hands first and then apply to child. This brand has some good mineral cream options as well, but we usually keep at least one spray in our bag for ease.
  4. COOLA Sunscreen Sport Sunscreen Guava Mango, SPF 50 (ECW Score 3): I am very sensitive to most smells, but man does this smell good. They use fruit extracts and oils, and I actually look forward to putting this one on. This product is a little hard to find and pricey, but is so worth it. The bottle lasts a long time, it works, and it even feels good on your skin. I alternate this and the mineral creams on my child, and her sensitive skin likes it too.

A few extra notes:

  • ️You should NOT use sunblock or sunscreen on babies UNDER 6 MONTHS old. Stick with UPF clothing (UV protective factor), hats, and shade products like pop-up tents or umbrellas. It’s a good idea for the whole family to find some shade throughout your time outside too.
  • ️Don’t forget to get those ears, and if you get wet, are sweaty, or putting clothing on and off, do a full body re-apply every hour or two. And use at least SPF 30 or higher.
  • ️For my face, I like to use a mineral powder make-up with SPF as my base, and I’ll add a cream on top if I need to re-apply.
  • ️Don’t forget your hat and sunglasses, and make sure you are getting an annual skin cancer check!

️ Here’s to safe fun in the sun!

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