Non-Toxic Sunscreen For Kids – Badger, California Baby, Blue Lizard, TruKid, Alba Botanica?

Please note: In May 2010 the EWG strengthened their safe sunscreen requirements so the top list has now changed in the EWG sunscreen database. To read more on these new recommendations, please read the latest Mommy Footprint article called EWG Sunscreen Guide & Surprising Truths Parents Need To Read.

Well, I didn’t know when writing my previous article on safe sunscreen for children, that it would be this difficult to actually get my hands on the brands that came highly recommended by EWG (Environmental Working Group).  It has been a challenge to source these, but I have some tips and hope it saves you research time.

Badger sunscreen SPF 30 if very difficult to find in stores.  Whole Foods and Planet Organic would love to carry it but are having a tough time sourcing it.  My friend Leah (thank you Leah!) sent me the link to Victoria’s Health that sells Badger online, BUT after you pay for the sunscreen and shipping you are looking at $30 per bottle (82 g).  I will need about 5 bottles to last my kids this summer, so it’s just not a practical solution for me.  Still, I’m not deterred….I figure this can’t be hard.  Hmmmm keep reading.

California Baby and Trukid sunscreens listed by EWG are next on my list to source.  Well…both of these brands can be ordered either via Target or Amazon, but will ship only to a US address.  The products by these companies listed with such a high rating are California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+ and California Baby Sunblock Stick Everyday/year-Round, SPF 30+ by California Baby. Trukid Sunny Days Facestick Mineral Sunscreen UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum, SPF 30+ has another amazing rating by EWG.  Sounds crazy, but the Trukid Sunny Days Facestick is only $10 before shipping, etc. and that is one of the least expensive of the group.  California Baby is more expensive, and there is up to a 6 week wait to order via Target online or Amazon.

Why are these products blocked from entering Canada?  Great question.  I emailed Health Canada and California Baby but didn’t receive any answers back.  The nice folks at Planet Organics think it’s a labeling issue.  Both Whole Foods and Planet Organics would like to carry California Baby and Badger sunscreens but haven’t been able to get them over the border.

A product that Planet Organic does sell is Alba Botanica.  It’s UVA and UVB protection is great and it spreads on the kids very easily, but it’s chemical rating was a 7 from EWG.  It does have a fragrance (needed to read the fine print for that) and it contains the chemical oxybenzone (allergen that damages cells and DNA with free radicals) that is listed on the 1 page handout I recommended every parent print.  One day I’ll learn to follow my own advice.  Well, why is Planet Organic selling it?  Frustrating.

Blue Lizard Australian Suncream Baby SPF 30+ or their Sensitive skin suncream is also a ‘hot’ product.  It is not available on Amazon, but is can be sourced through these American retail stores.  I will try to get some of this for my kids that suffer with sensitive skin, but wow, I never thought it would be this hard.

Out of pure frustration at this point, trying to do the right thing for my kids, yadda, yadda…I buy my old brand of sunscreen that only rated a 3 on EWG’s site.  Well I double checked the ‘bad ingredient’ Oxybenzone (Benzophenone -3) and it looks like Banana Boat has stopped using it!  EWG hasn’t updated their database with the new packaging.  So I’m feeling confident after researching a handful of products, although I’m back to the product I’ve always used, but I have peace of mind that the UVA/B protection is complete and the ingredients are safe.  This is why the EWG database also lists the year next to products rated on their site. I’m delighted that Banana Boat has made changes in the last year.  <smile>

I will, however, try to get my hands on some California Baby products because I am still looking for a shampoo that won’t leave Isabella with an eczema outbreak and that actually suds and lets her enjoy washing her hair like mommy does.  I would also like to know why Health Canada is blocking this company’s products from entering Canada…stay tuned.

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44 Responses to Non-Toxic Sunscreen For Kids – Badger, California Baby, Blue Lizard, TruKid, Alba Botanica?

  1. Poly July 4, 2008 at 9:08 am #

    I too just recently researched these products after reading the EWG website and encountered the same roadblocks (I live in Ontario). I thought I would find California Baby on a recent shopping trip to Buffalo, but was also out of luck. Target retail stores carry the California Baby line, but not the sunscreen (they carry the shampoo/bodywash etc). I ended up ordering the sunscreen from ebay at $19.50 and split the $10 flat rate shipping cost with my sister who also ordered the sunscreen (the ebay seller is Distinctively Special). My understanding is that the ingredients in these products are approved by Health Canada, but the ingredients are not listed on the packaging, and that is a requirement in Canada.

  2. Suzanne July 4, 2008 at 9:21 am #

    Thank you Poly! Great comments to share. If you have a US address to ship to, they offer great deals on bulk shipping over a specific $$ amount. They will also ship to Canada…here are the details from their site: http://www.californiababy.com/how-we-ship.html

  3. Michelle July 29, 2008 at 12:23 pm #

    I was just inquiring about California Baby at our local health food stores and was told that they would love to carry the product but that because California Baby does not have the label in both french and english (a requirement in Canada) it can not be sold. Perhaps if enough of us emailed them they would consider adding a french label so we can get it in Canada!!

  4. suzanne July 29, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    Great comment Michelle! I do believe you can order California Baby directly from their website and they’ll ship into Canada. The prices are quite good on industrial sized bottles…maybe go together with a friend? Also, you can order Trukid via the Bug & Blossom which is a Canadian store. I’ve tried their products and am a fan. For more info read: http://mommyfootprint.com/discount-for-canadians-at-bug-blossom/

  5. Carla Muller January 18, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    I know what you mean about the skin care issue. Safely made SPFs are increasingly difficult to find, and label requirements are only making things more difficult! As a retailer who carries California Baby, I can only say that if I have to personally commission a translation label for my products,that is definitely something I will consider. With a baby of my own, I simply will not go back to SPFs and bath products laced with phthalates, parabens and neurotoxins! Don’t give up, though, our government cannot continue to ignore us Mamas if we continue to lobby for a change.

  6. Jenna Davis March 16, 2009 at 7:12 am #

    There are a few websites that are based in Canada (obabyorganics.ca and mountainbaby.com) that both carry California Baby products and will ship them too you. Since I love their products and it’s hard to find them in retail stores in Ontario, this is where I go and tell all my patients to go as well. Hope this helps!

  7. suzanne March 19, 2009 at 11:17 pm #

    Hi Jenna! What a great find…thank you for the information!!
    Suzanne

  8. Tamara @ Parenting By Nature April 23, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Slowly we are seeing more products available in Canada, and we are one store that has carried non-toxic sunscreens year after year. However it’s also the same problem year after year with supply issues from various manufacturers, so you have to buy early in the season to not miss out. We have just been told that TruKid Sunscreen is already sold out until JUNE! I, for one, am looking forward to the day one non-toxic sunscreens are the NORM and manufacturer’s can keep up with the demand. 🙂

  9. Tara April 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    I love the california baby line and I order mine from http://www.weecarediapercompany.com. They are Canadian and better yet it’s free shipping over $75. I use the sunscreen on my son and myself.

  10. Tamara Laschinsky May 12, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    What a wonderful site this is! – I’ve been desperately searching for safe sunscreen for my customers (Canadian Store)and your comments here will be very helpful in hopefully acquiring some! Also – I find the Nature’s Paradise Organics has great baby shampoo & body wash – does not irritate my daughter’s skin at all and she has mild eczema. Thanks for having such a great and informative blog!

  11. Ruth May 25, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    What a great source of information! I have been looking around for the perfect sunblock for my 14 mnth old, all in vain. I recently bought, Baby Blanket (ontario) which boasted of using Titanium Dioxide, and I was soo glad to see tht and purchased it! But to my dismay, it also had Oxybenzone as one of the active ingredients !

    Does anyone know for sure California Baby has just Titanium Dixode as the only active ingredient and not anything else added in ?

  12. Julie May 26, 2009 at 7:55 pm #

    I found the “official” Canadian website for California Baby products: http://www.organicbathplus.com/

    They carry various products of the brand. The only thing they don’t have is the sunscreen product…Oh well.

  13. Tiffany June 13, 2009 at 8:50 pm #

    Another canadian online retialer that you can purchase California Baby is http://www.pinkyblue.ca

    There is a Canadian Website that carries Blue Lizard http://www.well.ca But the current stock has expired.

    Re your children with Eczema…try Neem Tree Cream for the skin! Probiotic to heal the gut. Also should get them checked by a Naturopath for Allergies (ELISA test).

  14. Diana June 21, 2009 at 8:51 am #

    I order from California Baby in the US all the time, and just pay the duty. The products are great.

  15. Cindy July 7, 2009 at 6:13 pm #

    For anyone who lives in Ontario, and/or doesn’t mind traveling to Buffalo, here is where you can find the following:

    California Baby (even the sun screens) are available at Target

    Badger SPF 15 is available at Wegmans Supermarket in the Nature’s Market area (as well as Alba and other organic brands), and the SPF 30 is available at Rosenkrans (a pharmacy (chemist) in Medina, NY near Lockport (I can give you directions is closer to the Lewiston/Queenston Bridge).
    TruKid Sunny Days SPF 30+ is available at CVS (pharmacy).

    I hope this helps!

  16. Gabrielle July 26, 2009 at 4:02 pm #

    Bananaboat baby does not have the Oxybenzone, but it contains all 4 Parabens!!!

    Who knew using sunscreen and finding one in Canada was so hard.

    I think we need to press the Government a little more. They are so worried about a label and not about our health?

    Thanks to all who posted alternate ordering info.

  17. Gloria January 21, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    California Baby shampoo made my head itch. Dr. Bronner “no fragrance” baby shampoo and soaps are much better and his products are organic and Fair Trade.

  18. Angie March 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm #

    You can buy Badger Sunscreen at well.ca! $19.99 w/free shipping!

    http://well.ca/categories/sun-block_1016.html

  19. O'Baby Organics March 19, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    O’Baby Organics no longer carries California Baby products.

  20. Virginia April 7, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    Try Nurture My Body shampoos. They make products for babies as well. Give Rich or Patty a call and they can help you!

  21. Karen Hill April 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    I’ve had similar challenges finding a chemical free (physical barrier) sunscreen in Canada for my kids and myself – we are all allergic to chemical sunscreens. We live in Ontario and I am shocked that we can’t get most of these products in Canada unless we order online and pay a fortune.

    In 2008 Rexall pharmacies carried Blue Lizard sunscreens which are amazing, but discontinued them in 2009 due to labeling issues with Health Canada.

    Neutrogena introduced a new sunscreen to Canada in 2009 called Pure & Free Baby lotion which is chemical free – it has only zinc and titanium dioxide. Great product and it was easy to find at most pharmacies, but of course it has now been discontinued for summer 2010.

    Every year I end up frantically sourcing a new sunscreen for me and my kids and it gets very frustrating and very time consuming. Neutragena also has a Sensitive Skin formula I am trying to find that is chemical free (has PureScreen, their patented blend of natural sunscreen ingredients). Hope this helps those looking in Ontario (GTA).

  22. Patricia May 5, 2010 at 7:40 am #

    On the badger website there’s a link to http://uncommonscents.com/ for those who want shipping outside of the US. Right now its offering 15% off. I’m live in Ontario, with shipping and 2 tubes of sunscreen (unscented & anti-bug) it totalled $35 US. Great price.

    I’ll be returning the diaper rash cream the sales lady at Planet Organic recommended I use as sunscreen.

  23. Karen May 20, 2010 at 8:26 am #

    The baby store that I work at in Barrie Ontario carries a great line of natural skin products including a sunscreen and bug repellent. Here’s the link

    http://www.serenitybirthstudio.ca/bye-bye-sun.html

  24. Karen May 20, 2010 at 8:39 am #

    I just came across this site who sells the Badger brand as well as Nature’s Gate.

    http://gaudaur.com/shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?Search=Yes&sppp=10

  25. Kristy June 5, 2010 at 11:04 am #

    I am a retailer of TruKid products in Canada. I stock them in my store: http://www.rockymountainkid.com

    Love the products and use them on my 2 baby girls.

  26. Rachel June 6, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    Check out http://www.well.ca!! They carry all of Badger’s lines of products and it’s free shipping to anywhere in Canada. I’m surprised no one has checked there.

  27. Vanessa June 8, 2010 at 8:21 am #

    http://www.pinkyblue.ca carries Badger and thinkbaby sunscreen.

  28. christine June 12, 2010 at 5:39 pm #

    Today I bought some Trukid SPF sunscreen in St. Johns NL at Coo Chi Coo. They also have the Badger sunscreen cost for both is pretty similar at $22 a 100ml or 87ml for Badger. The only thing I aint too happy with is that Tru kid does have a nice fruity smell which I’m hoping wont attract bees and flies. Badger was odorless. Hope this helps.

  29. Anne Wordsworth June 24, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    I am looking for safe(r) sunscreens to update the Guide to Less Toxic Products (www.lesstoxicguide.ca), and I found all these comments very helpful. I wondered if anyone had checked out a Canadian product, Heiko, which advertises itself as “no chemicals” and no synthetic fragrances. My other concern is whether these products which sometimes say “micronized” are titanium dioxide or zinc oxide in their nano forms.

  30. Leila July 4, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    For whatever is worth I am both a new mom to a most “delicious” baby boy and a pharmacist : )
    Needles to say I want to do what is best and safest for him. I landed on your website when searching for Canadian retailers that carry California Baby products, in particular their sunscreens. I share your frustration about the unavailability of such products in the Canadian market and I do agree that too often bureaucracy gets in the way of things, however I felt compelled to share with you a possible explanation of why the aforementioned products are not available in Canada, at least yet. Sunscreens in Canada have to have a DIN (Drug Identification Number) just like any drug – prescription or over the counter – is assigned a DIN after receiving a Notice of Compliance from Health Canada. I don’t know this for a fact but based on the above statement I imagine the labeling issue with the products is not just a simple English/French issue, it likely has to do with the fact that the manufacturing company has to submit the required data to Health Canada for evaluation and approval before receiving a Notice of Compliance, getting a DIN assigned and being allowed into the Canadian market. So rather than assuming Health Canada is not concerned with your safety and simply getting caught up in technicalities, consider that perhaps they do make your safety a priority.

  31. Melissa July 13, 2010 at 3:42 pm #

    well.ca has sold out Badger Sunscreen but I have come across a site based out of Vancouver that sells Badger SPF30 sunscreen.

    http://www.greenbumbum.com/?page_id=1204

  32. christine July 15, 2010 at 8:51 pm #

    They sell Badger sunscreen at Capers in Kitsilano if your near there.

  33. Leila July 19, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    This is a follow-up to my comment posted on July 4th (see #30 above). After doing further research into why these products are not readily available in Canada I came across information that confirms what I had previously stated:
    “Health Canada regulates the safety, effectiveness, and quality of sunscreens in Canada. Sunscreen products are classified as drugs and must meet the requirements set out in Canada’s Food and Drugs Act before they may be imported, advertised, or sold in this country.” (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/life-vie/sun_soleil-eng.php). Now, the information contained in the above link was last updated in 2006 so that statement is no longer entirely true.
    Since the introduction of the Natural Health Products Regulations – which include provisions on 1) product licensing, 2) site licensing, 3) good manufacturing practices, 4) adverse reaction reporting, 5)clinical trials, 6) labelling, and 7) provisions for a full range of health claims that will be supported by evidence – many active ingredients that were once considered drugs are now considered natural health products and as such require a Natural Product Number or NPN (the natural product equivalent to a DIN) rather than a DIN. Hence, whether a specific sunscreen product is classified as a natural product or a drug depends on which active ingredient(s) it contains. Sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide are classified as natural health products. Chemical sunscreens (i.e. oxybenzone, avobenzone, etc…) are considered drugs (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/applications/licen-prod/monograph/mono_sunprotect_ecransolaire-eng.php). A natural sunscreen product would only be granted a license and an NPN by Health Canada after reviewing data regarding its medicinal ingredients, source, potency, non-medicinal ingredients and recommended use(s).
    For those of you unfamiliar with it, Health Canada has a Licensed Natural Health Products Database (http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/prodnatur/applications/licen-prod/lnhpd-bdpsnh-eng.php) which lists products that have been evaluated by Health Canada and found to be safe, effective and of high quality and as such have received a license and an NPN. Of the five sunscreen products you list in your blog, currently only 2 are listed in the database, Badger and Blue Lizard. Crown Laboratories, the license holder for Blue Lizard Sunscreens, has a statement on their website that reads as follows: “Due to the overwhelming demand, superior rating and press that BLUE LIZARD Australian Sunscreen SPF 30+ is receiving, we are temporarily out of stock for many of our sunscreens.” (http://www.crownlaboratories.com/bluelizard/). As far as Badger ‘s availability goes, I e-mailed the company yesterday and they replied today referring me to their Canadian distributors, whom I am yet to contact but for whatever is worth they didn’t say anything about being out of stock or backordered.
    Sorry for the lengthy post but I felt it was important to shed some light on the whole “labelling” issue that was being discussed in earlier posts.

  34. Christine October 5, 2010 at 1:34 am #

    I have recently been to Kelowna B.C and went to a store that had california baby sunscreen. Badger is carried in Planet Organic in Edmonton.

  35. Leslee February 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

    Hi,

    I have found a company here in Canada that makes safe, non-chemical based skin care products and soon will be launching their Sunscreen!

    Here is their website; greenbeaver.com

    I use many of their products, highly recommend!

    Leslee 🙂

  36. Joanne April 18, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    Just tried to order a small bottle (19.99) from their website to Vancouver, Canada. $37.85 in shipping!!! Really?? My motorcycle helmet was cheaper to ship than this little bottle of sunscreen!! 🙁

  37. suzanne April 23, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    Hi Joanne! Badger sunscreen has just removed all nono technology from their sunscreen making their products equal to California Baby in my opinion. You can find it anywhere in Canada, but if you need an online store – check Nayla Natural Care: http://www.naylanaturalcare.com/store/Scripts/prodList_bathbody.asp?idCategory=145 or Saffron Rouge: http://www.saffronrouge.com/body/sun. Yippee! Canadians are no longer left out of the process of finding organic solutions for sun care!

    Suzanne
    Mommy Footprint

  38. Terri May 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    For those parents in Alberta Badger Sunscreen can be found at London Drugs

  39. Allison May 10, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    I’m very happy that badger changed their sunscreen to non-nano, uncoated zinc but be aware that there appears to be many retailers selling old stock badger sunscreens with micronized, silicon-coated zinc. If anyone knows where to find the 30+ spf anti-bug sunscreen available to Canada I would greatly appreciate if you would e-mail me and let me know. allison.kh@hotmail.com

  40. Jessika May 25, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    FYI, mineral based sun screens have been banned for kids in Sweden since it is not known if/how it reacts in sun light and if it penetrates the skin. I just thought I should provide a different side of the sun screen story. I am trying to locate non-mineral based sun screen without vitamin A and Oxybenzone

  41. Rebecca June 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    THE EXTRAORDINARY BABY SHOPPE in Waterloo, ONtario, carries Badger sunscreen. They have a website (gooogle their name) and store locations in Ottawa and Waterloo. Good luck. This is what I use, it is great.

  42. Sara June 11, 2011 at 3:54 pm #

    http://www.well.ca carries Badger and many other natural sunscreens. They ship anywhere in Canada for FREE with no minimums.

  43. Jennifer June 22, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    another great place to buy badger sunscreen is http://www.grassrootsstore.com/Badger_SPF_30_Unscented_Sunscreen_p/14314.htm

    Grassroots store; it is store in Canada that ships and while you may pay for shipping, if you are lucky enough to live in Toronto, they have two stores where you can pick up the product!

    Great customer service, and would recommend buying only Badger sunscreen.

  44. Jennifer June 28, 2011 at 11:23 pm #

    Another great sunblock is Green Beaver. It is the Canadian version of Badger and has a rating of 1 on he EWG website. This product is Canadian, and after reading all the ingredients, they are better as the entire product is certified organic, not just components of the sunblock as is Badger. It’s also available at Grassroots: http://www.grassrootsstore.com/Green_Beaver_Kids_SPF_30_Unscented_Sunscreen_p/15100.htm

    I am switching brands!

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