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by: Gabrielle Welch, Welch Wellness

With three VERY fair daughters with sensitive skin, I have spent A LOT of time researching sunscreens. I agree wholeheartedly with EWG’s warnings and recommendations, since I have come to the same conclusions they have over the past 10 years with my own girls, through trial and error.

Here are OUR favorite sunscreens, for mom AND baby, also rated super safe by EWG:

1.Blue Lizard

2.California Baby: their sunstick is my personal favorite. I can put it on my girls before school in the morning and still see it when I pick them up at 3! The only downfall is that when they get older, they don’t like the white cast it leaves on their face (the zinc!).

3.Alba BOtanica

4.La Roche Posay SPF 40: I LOVE this one. It is very sheer and light and you cant see it once it goes on. This is one of MY favorites for me because it’s non- greasy and won’t break out my face.

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5.Vanicream: they make many products, all of which are kept behind the pharmacy counter, but you don’t need a prescription for them. They are all for people with “sensitive skin”; they don’t contain any perfumes, dyes or anything artificial. It goes on pretty sheer and is also not greasy. You can also get this from your dermatologist.

The best sunscreen is a hat and a shirt. No chemicals to absorb through the skin, no questions about whether they work. But when you can’t get away from exposing your skin to the sun, use EWG’s top-rated sunscreens to provide broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB-sunburn) protection with fewer hazardous chemicals that penetrate the skin. Sunscreen and sunblock makers are awaiting FDA approval for a wider selection of UVA-blocking chemicals. In the meantime, all top-rated products contain either zinc or titanium minerals to help cut UVA exposures for sunscreen users. (

Quick tips for a good sunscreen.

Avoid These

Look for these



Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate)

Added insect repellent


Titanium dioxide

Avobenzone or Mexoryl SX




SPF above 50+


Broad-spectrum protection

Water-resistant for beach, pool & exercise

SPF 30+ for beach & pool


Look out for these!

Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection SPF 55

“Mild as water.” Sure it is.

Can a product be “mild as water to the skin” if the label warns to “Stop use and ask a doctor if rash or irritation develops and lasts”? And certainly when swallowed this product is nothing like water: “Keep out of reach of children” and “get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away,” reads the warning label. (

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Aveeno’s products contain perfumes and many other dangerous chemicals so don’t be fooled by labeling in a non-regulated industry.

Banana Boat Baby Max Protect, SPF = 100

Sky-high SPF protects against sunburn but leaves skin exposed to damaging UVA rays.

One of at least 79 sunscreens on the market this year with high SPFs (greater than “SPF 50+”), this product protects babies from UVB radiation and the sunburns it causes but leaves them exposed to UVA radiation that penetrates deep into the skin. UVA is known to accelerate skin aging and cause skin cancer (IARC 2009).

EWG recommends that consumers avoid products labeled with anything higher than “SPF 50+” and reapply sunscreen often, regardless of SPF. (

Happy swimming!

Gabrielle Welch

Welch Wellness

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