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.