Archive | safe sunscreen

Spring Break with Triple Flip

Sponsored by: Triple Flip

Hosted by: Mommy Footprint

Age appropriate, stylish, and functionally designed swim wear for kids. It can be hard to find swim wear for girls that will last an entire Spring/Summer season that is appropriately made for children. For parents planning on hitting the pool or heading to sunny skies over over Spring Break, our friends at Triple Flip have you covered. The tankinis, full suits, and 2 piece suits are back and until March 22nd are on sale (use code SWIM25)!

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About Triple Flip

Triple Flip is inspired by real girls. We believe in having fun, and that feeling good, inside and out, is important. We’re a Canadian clothing brand that is passionate about making a difference, and helping girls stay happy, strong and confident as they grow.

Our family will be having local pool time over Spring Break. For anyone jetting away for a holiday of sun and surf, checkout the Triple Flip sun guard t-shirts and our DIY chemical-free sunscreen recipe that we tested all last summer.

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We are excited to bring you the chance to win a $100 Gift Card! The Spring line from Triple Flip is adorable; if you can get into a Triple Flip location, the house line has some very comfortable pieces for your active girl. My girls live in their Triple Flip stretch wear because the fabrics are soft and look great!

One lucky winner will win this

$100 Gift Card for Triple Flip!

Giveaway ends 03/22/15 at 11:59 pm ET! Open to Canadian and US  residents 18+ and older.

Enter using the Rafflecopter form below.

Good Luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclaimer: The participating bloggers were not compensated for this post. We are not associated with any of the companies named above. No purchase is necessary to enter. Void where prohibited by law. The odds of winning are based on the number of entries received Open to US and Canada 18+ only. Confirmed Winner(s) (by Random.org) will be contacted by email. Winner(s) have 24 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited by law. The sponsor(s) will be responsible for product shipment to winner(s) of this giveaway. My blog is not responsible for product shipment/delivery. This event is in no way administered, sponsored, or endorsed by, or associated with, Facebook and/or Twitter, Google, Pinterest. This disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

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DIY Sunscreen Without Chemicals or Zinc Oxide

It’s taken since the beginning of the summer to source, make, and test this DIY sunscreen recipe. I’m super proud of the fact it’s an effective recipe, made along with my friend Michelle who is a local holistic health nutritionistWe are not doctors, experts in the field of cancer or product manufacturing, but we are two moms on a journey to remove products we see as possibly harmful for our 6 children combined. What changed my thoughts over the last year from buying organic sunscreen to making my own?

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There have only been a few times in my life where I totally couldn’t wrap my mind around subjects that should have been easy. Sunscreen has always been one of them. Long time Mommy Footprint readers will know how many sunscreen articles I’ve written trying to get to the bottom of ingredients and why titanium dioxide vs zinc oxide are better choices. The topics of 1) preservatives that make products shelf-life stable and 2) nanoparticles and non-nanoparticles are confusing topics that haven’t been researched enough for my liking. And once you remove the zinc and titanium ingredients from organic sunscreen, you start actually looking at ingredients you are left with and think “Hey – I could make this!” It’s very empowering to find your own ingredients that you can pronounce and understand how each one works within a recipe like sunscreen. Most importantly with this recipe, once you learn the SPF levels of oils and products you have in the kitchen – you’ll really be surprised.

And although I still have mad respect for organic sunscreen companies that have paved the way to cleaner ingredient lists and done SO much to educate consumers (Badger and Green Beaver in particular), I know that sunscreen originated in labs and was created with chemicals that just might have spiked the skin cancer rates over the last 50 years. Cancer rates have increased every year, even with all our knowledge of how to better protect our skin. So rather than just go without sunscreen this summer, Michelle and I have done our research and are happy to follow this recipe from Health Impact News. What ingredients were important to source and use? Red Raspberry Seed Oil and Carrot Seed Oil. Check out the SPF ratings for these two products and you’ll see why. Site reference here:

Carrier Oil SPF
Red Raspberry Seed 28 – 50
Carrot Seed Oil 38 – 40
Wheatgerm 20
Soybean 10
Macadamia Nut 6
Jojoba 4
Sesame Seed Oil 2 – 4
Shea Butter 3 – 6
Coconut 2 – 8
Olive 2 – 8
Avocado (unrefined) 4 – 15
Castor Oil 6
Almond Oil 5

So the recipe we adapted and followed from Health Impact News is:

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup shea butter
1/8 cup sesame or jojoba oil (next time we’ll swap out for avocado oil)
2 TBSP beeswax granules (use more if you want it more water resistant)
1 TSP Red Raspberry Seed Oil
1 TSP Carrot Seed Oil

Click here to get full instructions on how to make your batch of DIY coconut oil sunscreen. Scroll down to Instructions.

You can use essential oils to scent the sunscreen, but the woodsy smell of the carrot seed oil was enough for our batch. My kids did complain slightly about the woodsy scent, but nothing compared to the fuss they made when we first started using organic sunscreen scented with lavender. ;0

You can use whatever essential oils you would like for scent, but make sure to stay away from phototoxic essential oils, which includes the citrus family and a few others. When these essential oils are exposed to the sun, they can cause the skin to burn faster.  **This is really important information**

Another surprise while we made the sunscreen, Michelle’s hubby was hedging bets that the exercise to make our own sunscreen was going to be much higher than just buying a bottle of organic sunscreen from the store. And we agreed. But then he started doing the math (bless him) and surprised all of us to learn that it was cheaper to make our batch of sunscreen than buying store bought organic sunscreen. And we still have lots of ingredients left over to make more! Here is the breakdown in cost:

1/4 cup (60ml) Coconut oil – ~$ 1.25
1/4 cup (60ml Shea butter – ~ $6
1/8 cup (30ml) Jojoba – ~ $3.75
1 tsp (5ml) Red Raspberry Seed oil – ~ $5
1 tsp (5ml) Carrot Seed Oil – ~$9
Bees Wax ~$.80

We took the average cost of our ingredients to figure out how our homemade sunscreen compared to the average store bought ‘clean’ one.  All of our 6 ingredients are organic and/or Fair Trade. The approximate total cost to make this sunscreen is around $26.  When we put it into the jar we ended up with around 220 ml of sunscreen.  The average price of ‘clean’ sunscreen that we purchase is around $19 and the size of container is around 100ml-125ml.  Our homemade sunscreen works out to be cheaper.

Who did this recipe get tested on?  We finished it at the beginning of August, and although the excitement has been high to share, we completed testing first. My lovely teenaged friend who has worked so much this summer and seen very little sun came with us to the pool and used this sunscreen on a very hot day. No trace of burning or pink. My children have very good base tans but we just returned from a week in the desert and they wore the sunscreen and only deepened their tans. And finally, Michelle’s daughters are very fair skinned and she is loving the results of the sunscreen too!  We are still trying to avoid mid-day super hot sun when we are spending a long time outside, and Michelle uses sun shirts, so please continue to use common sense and respect for the sun and UV. If you don’t already have a base tan, you’ll need to reapply this sunscreen recipe every few hours or more often if swimming. The good news is you’ll love how your skin feels after. If you really dislike the white zinc results from store bought organic sunscreen, you’ll love how this recipe immediately soaks into skin, has little scent, and makes your skin very soft after a day outside.

This recipe for homemade coconut oil sunscreen uses a variety of oils and is safe for the whole family, though you want to make sure children don’t eat any of it. Also, when not in use, store the mixture in the fridge to help extend the shelf-life and prevent it from going rancid.

You will know when you are ready to make and trust using your own homemade sunscreen. When the idea of it no longer sounds crazy, but a really smart, practical, idea.

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How To Find Safer Sunscreen For Kids

Okay guys – we’ve got this! The confusion seems to grow every year with how to pick a safe, mineral based sunscreen for your family. I’ve realized it’s easier to explain what ingredients you want IN the sunscreen rather than explain which ones you don’t want in the sunscreen. I could tell you for another year to avoid oxybenzone, Vitamin A (called retinyl palmitate or retinol) and all these ingredients you can’t pronounce but instead it’s going to get really easy. If you want the safest sunscreen (in my opinion) look for one ingredient in the active ingredient list: Zinc Oxide. What does that mean? You’ll get the whitish tinge to your skin but for me, I don’t mind this trade-off because having only Zinc Oxide listed in the active ingredients mean that UVA/B rays are effectively blocked at the skin’s surface.

With the explosion in so many new mineral (organic) based sunscreens on the market, there are actually very few that only have the Zinc Oxide as the only active ingredient. That is why this little tip is going to save you hours of time and research.  Do you have a fussy teen or husband that doesn’t like the whitened look of Zinc? Hold tight there is a solution for them too!

So for little kids, in order of importance for sun care the preference would be to cover up – stay in the shade and wear protective clothing to block UVA/B rays. This was pretty effective when my kids were younger but now we spend our days at pools, water slides and my oldest is going to camp and all of my kids are refusing to wear sun shirts this year. My girls want to show off their bathing suits and my sons are self conscience of wearing sun shirts this year. So while this was a great form of defense against the sun in previous years, this year it’s not working. Thankfully for this summer, they are so happy to not have to wear the protective clothing, they aren’t complaining about the whitening sunscreen they’ve been wearing. I use Badger sunscreen. But I can see the whitening issue becoming a problem with my pre-teen next summer so I’m sensitive to this problem if you’ve got family members that don’t like the look of only having a zinc based sunscreen. Your loophole around this is using a sunscreen that has both Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide in the active ingredients. The Titanium Dioxide mineral soaks through the skin to deliver sun protection for UVA/B rays through the skin (not all UVA rays unless Zinc Oxide is also an ingredient). It’s important to mention you need both the Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide minerals because Titanium on it’s own won’t block all UVA/B rays. But this is a good alternative for anyone who still wants solid sun protection, without the whitened look on the skin.

So this is easier right?  And for me, I just like what Badger does with education and transparency. They also re-formulated and produced non-nano sunscreens last year so they get my vote. Check out My Little Green Shop if you need sunscreen to finish up this hot summer!  They always have great shipping deals & are a trusted sponsor of Mommy Footprint.

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Moisturize & Sun Protection With Marie Veronique

Any West Coaster can tell you this summer has taken a while to get going with the weather. I think today counts as officially the 6th sunny day so my testing of sunscreens was put on hold in June. I won’t be talking about sunscreen for much longer, having happily found my favorite brands for my kids & me. But a product was presented for me to test a few months ago and I must be growing up, because I found the Marie Veronique combination of SPF30 with their moisturizing face screen intriguing. I’ve used organic moisturizers before (and loved them) but made the mistake of walking out into the sun and literally could feel my face sizzling, then burnt. The Marie Veronique Moisturizing Face Screen is all us grown up ladies need before leaving the house for daily activities during the summer months. After I wash my face, I put on the moisturizer (you can purchase tinted or plain) apply to my face and neck and I’m out the door. No need to worry about breaking out from pimples from using sunscreen on my face, or the whitening effect you get from most organic sunscreens, and you are very well protected from the sun. Rated with a safety hazard score of 1 from EWG, the Marie Veronique Moisturizing Face Screen and Kid Safe Sunscreen line can become trusted brands this summer.

Most Mommy Footprint reviews come with a story and Marie Veronique is no exception. Marie Veronique is a former chemistry teacher, along with her daughter (a Professor of Physics) and a partner in Marketing & melanoma survivor – the goal is creating products that are safe. The combination of biodegradable contents in these bottles, packaged in recyclable materials, and made in the US, this company knows that creating cosmetics without toxins, nano-particles, petroleum and instead using intelligent ingredients is the key to quality skin care. As I sit here reading the ingredient lists for both the moisturizer and kid’s sunscreen, I realize that not only can I easily pronounce each of the ingredients, but I can easily identify most of them to be natural. Without needing a degree in environmental engineering or chemistry..very refreshing. Marie Veronique also simplifies their packaging to include some big clues that their products are safe – here is the important branding to watch for when shopping for sunscreens: item contents are biodegradable, packaging is fully recyclable, paraben free, no nanoparticles, broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, and the active ingredient is zinc oxide.

With a few ladies in my life announcing pregnancies – I’ve started thinking of products I can recommend for them to be using. Marie Veronique is definitely a brand that an expecting mama can use without worrying about chemicals. Research shows that nanoparticles can cross a mom’s body and enter a baby’s developing system. With little to no accurate research out there on nanoparticles – it’s just best to stay away when possible. Cosmetics, sunscreens, lotions are absorbed into our bodies through very porous skin – we need to be vigilant in reducing and eliminating toxins and chemicals with these products.

I’m a busy mom with lots of sweet children to protect once we hit the hot sunny days.  I’m enjoying the moisturizing face screen and appreciate the fact it adds very little time to my already rushed routine of getting ready in the morning. After I wash my face, I apply the face screen then I’m out the door and don’t worry about the sun’s rays while I’m out running errands. With so many more organic sunscreen options this summer to protect my children, it’s wonderful that a company is worried about protecting and nourishing my face and skin.

Related Articles:

2011 Organic Sunscreens

Choosing A Safe Sunscreen

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Choosing A Safe Sunscreen

I’m just back from Shoppers Drug mart (a very large Canadian drugstore) because I wanted to try an experiment. Using only a few tips in my memory, would I be able to find a sunscreen that didn’t contain ingredients I want to avoid? I know where to shop for organic, highly recommended sunscreen brands, but I distinctly remember the feeling of hopelessness when running out of sunscreen on vacation and having to purchase sunscreen in a rush, on the fly, without any notes in front of me. I can recommend sunscreen brands all day, but this article is being written to help empower you to find sunscreen based off ingredients – not brands. Even easier for mamas with iphones, etc., you can just Google Mommy Footprint Choosing A Safe Sunscreen and you’ll have these tips at your fingertips. But I’m winging it old school tonight and I was shocked to discover that only 1 brand met my criteria and it’s not one I would ever purchase because it was 30ml for $38. But the Lise Watier Sun Smart brand didn’t’ contain any of the below ingredients to avoid. BUT – out of the 50 of so brands on the shelves I did manage to narrow down a sunscreen brand I would purchase if I was stuck and really needed something for the kids. The Ombrelle Kids 30 SPF for sensitive skin sunscreen had 10.5% mineral based active ingredient, but did have 3 parabens listed in the ingredients. The bottle was large and under $18. This is what I would have chosen if stuck. Even with the parabens, it contained the least number of ingredients on the naughty list below. =(

Look for sunscreens that contain zinc oxide or titanium as the only active ingredient. I prefer zinc vs. titanium because Gwen from Nayla told me that zinc stops UVA1 and UVA2 while titanium only reflects UVA2. Both of these ingredients are known as physical blocks rather than chemical blocks which stops harmful rays at the skin level, rather than having them penetrate the skin. Another tip from Gwen is that Zinc is a counter irritant that is ideal for people with sensitive skin (another bonus for Zinc) which is why this ingredient is used in diaper creams. While we are talking about diaper creams I received an interesting opinion from the pharmacist I was working with tonight at the drugstore. I was explaining to her the scenario of being ‘stuck’ for a sunscreen and wanting a zinc, non-chemical brand when shopping in a big box store. She pointed out that diaper cream could work for this purpose. I went and looked at some brands and with zinc being listed as the only ingredient – she’s right! If you needed something to cover small parts (neck, face, ears) for a smaller child or baby, a zinc based diaper cream would go on very thick but would be an excellent block of harmful rays.

Parabens – may mimic estrogen; therefore this preservative is really not ideal for women or children. Paraben chemicals can also can trigger inflammation for people with sensitive skin. The ingredient may have a butyl, ethyl, mthyl, and propyl at the beginning of the word paraben (e.g. butylparaben) – so just look for the word paraben. If it’s embedding within a word on the ingredient list – this sunscreen contains parabens.

SPF numbers – just stick with SPF 30 and 30+ sunscreens. A perfect example of the greenwashing out there is Coppertone 90 SPF for Babies. First of all – babies aren’t supposed to use sunscreen and the 30 level of SPF protection is just as effective as inflated numbers since these super high numbers give sunscreen users a false feeling of protection causing them to reapply less.

Avoid 3 ingredients octinoxate, oxybenzone, and avobenzone.

Oxybenzone is also known as Benzophenone-3 and is known to cause estrogenic activity; these chemicals are also linked to development of the brain and reproductive organs. This is a chemical that you usually see listed in the ‘old-school type’ brands of sunscreen – watch for this ingredient.

The sunscreen that the pharmacist recommended to me had octinoxate in the active ingredients. When octinoxate is in a sunscreen that contains avobenzone, they destabilize each other causing the skin damage. Octinoxate even on it’s own is not a stable chemical block and it does not filter UVA rays. The side effects of octinoxate is it can product estrogen like effects and should not be used by women or children.

Avobenzone can produce free radicals in your body because it’s a chemical that absorbs ultraviolet radiation energy. Also in sunlight, avobenzone degrades and becomes ineffective within 1 hour. To summarize, while ingredient reading – stay clear from octinoxate, oxybenzone, and avobenzone.

Just by ingredient reading and sticking to titanium or zinc based sunscreen brands and avoiding parabens, octinoxate, oxybenzone and avobenzone I was able to quickly shortlist all of the sunscreens (which will save you and the nice sales person helping you a lot of time). Words like mineral based sunscreen, physical block sunscreen, nanoparticle free sunscreen, and zinc based sunscreen will also assist you with finding a safer brand for your family.

My best tips would also include not relying solely on sunscreen for your sun protection needs. If you have a baby – don’t use sunscreen. Instead use sun shirts, hats, and possibly a UV protectant tent at the beach. I still put sun suits and shirts on my children so that we only need limited sunscreen on their neck, ears, and face which helps prevent using massive amounts of sunscreen. Also, shopping online for sunscreen is a great way to find safer sunscreens since you have the information at your finger tips for top rated brands. So far this season I’ve used Badger sunscreen and Green Beaver – I’m very happy with both brands. To read my review on Green Beaver sunscreen click here.

Hang in there parents! There have never been a larger selection of safer sunscreen brands out there – we just need to continue to weed out the chemical filled brands and this can be done by ingredient reading. If you have any questions on sunscreen or personal care products, simply post on the Mommy Footprint Fan Page.

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