Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cheap Sunscreen is Not Always a Good Idea

I have been seeing a lot of deals on sunscreen in the QQ blogosphere lately and I wanted to put a little food for thought out there on the subject. Sometimes you can get things for cheap or free, such as personal care products, and that seems like it is really awesome, however there are more costs to these things than just money.
It is important to pay attention to all of the chemicals your bring into your household and put into and onto your family's bodies. Many sunscreens carry risk along with the chemicals that are included in their make-up. Of course, it is up to you to decide what you think is risky and what is not, but I don't think anyone can argue that there is anything wrong with being informed before making these decisions. So I would like to direct my readers to a great resource on determining which sunscreens are the healthiest (and most effective). Hopefully it will help you make your decision on whether that Banana Boat you can get for $1.99 at CVS or wherever is really that great of a deal after all.

HERE is there Environmental Working Group's guide to sunscreen.

My family and I just got back from a week at Myrtle Beach and we used California Baby's sunscreen the whole time and it worked fantastically. I can highly recommend this line of products. None of us got a burn and Penny's skin is still fair and healthy, with just a slight tan, which I think was mostly acquired before the trip while playing in the garden.

Also, Badger brand is one of the top rated sunscreens by the EWG. I'd like to add that this brand can be purchased at the Cincinnati Family Enrichment Center, where proceeds will go to a fantastic non-profit in our neighborhood. Hey, if you are going to be spending $$ on something, it's always nice to know that you are helping to support a good cause.

Note: You will see that I sometimes buy very chemical-y things and you might think, "wow, what a hypocrite". I thought I'd add that a lot of those "toxic" things I buy, we do not actually use in our house. If I can get it for free or super cheap, I will go ahead and grab it and throw it in the donation bin. Does this mean that I think these chemicals are okay for other people, but just not my family. No. However, I think it is always a weighing of risks that needs to be taken into account. In my opinion, it is better to use chemical-y sunscreen than none at all. So if I can get Banana Boat, etc. for free or cheap and donate it, than I will. Maybe it will go to someone in need who can't afford to buy sunscreen at all, and it will help prevent them from getting skin cancer, which I consider to be more dangerous than the risks of being exposed to said chemicals...


  1. My dermatologist recommended Blue Lizard Baby SPF and I love it. I bought a tube for both sets of gparents and a bottle for myself. But it scored a 3 on that site. Bummer. And then I'm faced w/ this issue of wanting to not waste and also not wanting to put a sub-par product on Vi. How do you deal with this sort of thing?

  2. I totally feel you. I have had this dilemma myself. What I usually do is just buy the better product and keep the lesser one as a back-up. You know there will be a day when you run out of sunblock at the pool or something and having the extra one will come in handy even if it is the less-preferred option, it is still better than nothing.

  3. Jasmine - I love this post! It's great food for thought and we recently did a post on the difference between sunscreen and sunblock on our blog and what chemicals to be on the look out for when it comes to buying sunblock for your family.

  4. I would love to find the best sunscreen out there that is able to do the job without leaving a residue or leave skin streaky. Every time I have bought a natural type sunscreen I have been so disappointed with the lotion itself and the amount I paid!!
    So...give me some tips! You said Cali. Baby and Badger..Did they leave your skin greasy and streaky? Can you think of what brands to avoid?
    Thanks! ash;)

  5. Ashleigh- I haven't tried the Badger yet, but you could find reviews online about it I'm sure. The Cali Baby goes on pretty thick and is definitely white at first, but it sinks into the skin after a little bit, and I didn't feel ultra greasy or anything. I would recommend it, personally. I have read that sunscreen really should be thick and sit on the skin at first and that the ones that don't do that are actually not as effective as they should be.

    I know how you feel though. I have had a few misses with different natural products myself. See deoderant. haha. I just keep searching for the best ones and try not to waste too much money as I go.

  6. Feeling guilty.... just bought a new thing of Coppertone. AGH! My girls are so fair and we are going through tons of sunscreen right now. Will have to look for opportunities to buy the good stuff on sale.

  7. They'll live :D
    I am on the look-out for good deals on the best-rated stuff. I will post when I find some.