Safer Alternatives to Chemical Sunscreens

Summertime presents a special challenge for those of us with kids who want to play outside all of the time. How do we protect our kids from the sun safely? This is an especially important issue for me because my daughter is a beautiful little freckle-faced red-head. My sons, on the other hand, inherited more of my husband’s Mediterranean genes 🙂

I don’t know about you, but I have been reading a lot about the harmful effects of conventional sunscreens. Specifically, how they contain chemicals that are considered endocrine disruptors. WHAT?  So when we think we are protecting our kids from the harmful effects of the sun, we are actually harming their growth? This is really disturbing and I, for one, am angry about this.

I immediately set out to find a safe solution and what I found are physical, or mineral, sunscreens that contain only zinc and titanium dioxide. Remember how lifeguards back in the day used to have white noses?  Well, that’s zinc oxide. Newer sunscreens don’t leave a white mess on the skin. The only downside is that mineral sunscreens have to be reapplied more often and usually don’t have higher than a 30 SPF.  But, I think this is a small price to pay for the safety and health of my family. I mean, when I read that the ingredients found in chemical sunscreens may be linked to early puberty, reproductive cancers, and infertility, I knew I had to protect my kids!  One that I really like is this one from Alba Botanica. It goes on nicely and it is pretty economical, as mineral sunscreens go.