Everyday you don't put chemicals on your kids is another chemical-free day for your kids.
But, being chemical-free isn't the only reason to use Zinc-based sunscreen.
First, some explanations:
There are two types of sunscreens - mineral and chemical.
Mineral sunscreens are true ray-blockers and contain the mineral Zinc Oxide that physically blocks the sun's UVA/UVB rays from penetrating, burning and damaging the skin. Zinc is particularly good at blocking the UVA rays (which are longer rays and responsible for causing wrinkles and melanoma cancers). These days, most Zinc-based brands are water-resistant for 80 minutes and absorb relatively easily. In addition to protecting skin, Zinc also helps to soothe (which is why it's the primary ingredient in most diaper creams) and contains anti-bacterial properties, which can help with acne. Love it!
Chemical sunscreens do not block the sun's rays at all, and instead allow rays to penetrate skin, but cause a chemical reaction, turning rays into heat and then releasing that heat from the skin. These chemicals are listed as Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate), Homosalate, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Avobenzone, and Oxybenzone (by far the worst one) and are found in every single traditional sunscreen, including ones made for children/babies by Neutrogena and the Waterbabies line by Coppertone. These chemicals are skin irritants, known endocrine-disrupters and really hurt when they wander into children's eyes. These chemicals are not very good at protecting against UVA rays.
To put it plainly, Zinc is one of my favorite skincare ingredients. Conversely, the chemicals in traditional sunscreens are some of the most damaging allowed in topical consumer products. (Hawaii has actually banned the use of sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate because these chemicals are found to be bleaching the coral reef.) Also, please don't be fooled by traditional brands that call their sunscreens "mineral-based" but then add chemical sunscreens to the mix. The ingredient labels on sunscreens are actually easy to read as brands are required to list the "active ingredients" on top, so be on the lookout for the chemicals given above.
There maybe times that chemical sunscreens are a necessary evil, but zinc-based sunscreens are ideal for most summer days. Consider stocking up on natural sun protection and making chemical sunscreen the exception, not the rule.
Erbaviva Baby Sunscreen SPF 30 for all ages
Naturally crafted with zinc oxide, aloe, sunflower, olive and jojoba oils and infused with organic essential oils of chamomile and lavender. Erbaviva Sunscreen (SPF 30) effectively provides UVA and UVB and full spectrum sunscreen protection for the entire family. $23.
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