Safer, Greener Sunscreens for Babies and Kids (and Adults!)

Who knew sunscreen could be so complicated? After slathering Audrey in sunscreen all summer long during her first year, I read that it’s dangerous to do so until she reaches her first birthday. Then I found out that only certain sunscreens were safe. Yes, that cancer-preventing lotion was–get this–carcinogenic! The good news is, you don’t need to keep your baby covered from head to foot in loose-fitting robes or hide under a gigantic umbrella all summer long.

Check out the Environmental Working Group’s list of safe sunscreens.  After  studying thousands of sunscreens, they found that “4 out of 5 contain chemicals that may pose health hazards or don’t adequately protect skin from the sun’s damaging rays.” Here are the top four safest ray-blockers on the market:

1. Soleo Organics Sunscreen Organic chemical free sunscreen SPF 30+
2. Keys Soap Solar Rx Cosmetic Moisturizing Sunblock, SPF 30
3. California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+
4. Badger Sunscreen, SPF 30

Fretting about all the potential toxins I’ve exposed myself and my daughter to over the years doesn’t do me any good–but switching sunscreens seems like an easy way to block the rays without going into summer lock-down.

This post is a part of Works for Me Wednesday, a blog carnival at We are THAT Family.


  1. Being very fair (always burn, never tan) and having an extensive family history of skin cancer, I have read up on the sunscreens quite a bit. I don’t know the ingredients on those and don’t recognize the brands but I believe the ingredients to look for for very safe, full-spectrum protection are titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. The fewer ingredients the better. Avo-benzone is super popular right now, but it is still a chemical while the titanium and zinc actually physically block the sun. And yes they tend to take longer to rub in and can feel a little greasy, but I actually prefer the way they feel because my skin is so sensitive to the chemicals in other types. So if you are trying to save money, there are some cheap-o zinc oxides out there and that’s all you need.

  2. I have read that coconut oil is a possible sunscreen, and would be totally natural. ?? Tried it on white-skinned husband,and he didn’t burn, but maybe he wouldn’t have anyway.

  3. Thank you! This was my research project for this coming weekend — to go out and find better sunscreen for my toddler and myself.

  4. I work with Keys Soap and just wanted to thank you for “Safer, Greener Sunscreens” post. Also, some of your readers might be interested in an article that Keys co-founder and melanoma survivor Wendy Steele wrote about sun protection on her blog, at:
    It includes a variety of tips, information and resources for those wanting to learn more about the best possible chemical-free strategies for skin protection and melonoma prevention.

  5. Environmental Working Group’s list is the best I’ve found. Thanks for highlighting this issue.

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