Safe Sunscreens for You and Your Little Ones

Safe Sunscreens for You and Your Little Ones

Yay for the summer holidays!  I love nothing more than spending time with my little ones and our friends down at the beach, at the park, bushwalking, or anywhere, so long as we're out in the sun.  The ozone from the surf, the fresh air and fun times with friends is what the holidays are all about.  It’s just great.

Looking after our kid’s skin while they’re out amongst is difficult though right?  There are SO many options when it comes to sunscreen, it’s hard to know which sunscreen is the right one to use. 

Being the child of a beautiful, redheaded mum, my skin is pretty much as fair as it comes, so after years of having to use sunscreen, I know all the shizz about the stuff!  My childhood memories of days at the beach are actually filled with pain as more often than not, I would arrive home at the end of the day burnt to a crisp, blistering and hugely uncomfortable after a day of frying my little bum off in the hot Australian sun.

But we are smarter these days about spending the day in the sun now and I certainly don’t want my experience of time spent in the sun to be the same for my kids, so am SUPER diligent about being sun safe and applying sunscreen as often as possible. But how do I know which sunscreens to spend my hard earned cash on? 

The last thing I want to do is put a product on my child’s skin that is ineffective or will cause other inadvertent damage to their system, and neither do I want to damage the environment either.  Marine life and corals are super sensitive to chemicals. Our kids and their environment have enough toxins to contend with without us adding to them every summer.   

Soo, what ingredients should we be looking out for when flip over that bottle and check our sunscreen? Below is a table of common sunscreen ingredients we should be keeping an eye out for – some should be avoided, others are very safe to use.  As I have mentioned in previous blog posts The Natural Newborn will only ever stock products containing ingredients the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have classified as Low Hazard – a score of 1.0 or 2.0, no higher.

Active ingredients in sunscreens act as a mineral or chemical UV keep harmful rays from the skin.  According to EWG the most common sunscreens contain chemical filters, typically including a combo of two of the following active and inactive ingredients:


Chemical Name

Skin Penetration

Hormone Disruption

Skin Allergy & Other Concerns


EWG Score – 8

Widespread use


High skin penetration – 438 times above accepted US rate.

Found in breast milk

Weak estrogen, moderate anti-androgen, associated with altered birth weight in human studies.

Relatively high rates of skin allergy


EWG Score – 5

Widespread Use

Moderate skin penetration – 13 times above accepted US rate.

Found in breast milk.

Hormone-like activity. Reproductive system, thyroid and behavioural changes in animal studies.

Moderate rates of skin allergy


EWG Score -  4

Widespread use

High skin penetration – 37 times above accepted US rate. 

Found in breast milk.

Disrupts estrogen, androgen and progesterone.

Toxic breakdown products


EWG Score – 3

Widespread use and stabilises avobenzone

Moderate skin penetration – 10 times above accepted US rate.



Rarely reported as a skin allergy.


EWG Score – 3

Widespread use

Moderate skin penetration – 14 times above accepted US rate.

Found in breast milk.


Relatively high rates of skin allergy.


EWG Score – 2

Widespread use

Moderate skin penetration – 9 times above accepted US rate.

No evidence of hormone disruption

Breakdown products cause relatively high rates of skin allergy; unstable in sunshine and must be mixed with a stabilizer eg Octisalate (see above).

Titanium Dioxide

EWG Score – 1 when used in paste form

EWG Score – 6 when used in spray or powder form

No finding of skin penetration

No evidence of hormone disruption

Inhalation concerns


EWG Score – 1 when used in paste form

EWG Score – 4 when used in spray or powder form

Less than 0.01% of penetration of zinc in humans

No evidence of hormone disruption

Inhalation Concerns


But don’t forget about the inactive ingredients of a product – knowing everything that is used to make a product is important and something to watch for too!



EWG Score - 7



Strong evidence as human skin toxicant and/or allergen.  Skin sensitizer – can cause immune response such as itching, burning, hives and blistering of skin.

Evidence of neurotixicity.


Methylisothiazolinone is an inactive ingredient used primarily as a preservative.  Lab studies indicate this chemical is a skin sensitiser and/or an allergen. GPs have reported serious cases of skin allergies in children exposed to this chemical in products such as sunscreens and baby wipes.

Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as their UV filter.  These options are SO much safer when applied as a cream, not a spray and evidence suggests that few if any particles actually penetrate the skin to reach living tissue.

Choosing wisely is simple when you are given the facts.  I would hate to see my children burnt and risk the possibility of skin cancer later in life, but the fact is, all people playing or working in the sun should be sun smart.

We have some amazing safe and effective products in stock for your summer fun.  

Safe eco friendly sunscreen. Summer fun

Soleo All Natural Sunscreen SPF30


Wotnot Natural Sunscreen SPF30


Wotnot All Natural Sunscreen SPF30


Jack n Jill Natural Sunscreen SPF30 with Chamomile & Calendula

NEW!! Jack n' Jill Natural Sunscreen SPF30

The basics should always apply, ensure we watch the reported UV factor, plan your activities around the sun - go outside early or late in the day, wear appropriate clothing such as long sleeve, loose fitting shirts and a hat, wear sunglasses and lastly make sure you are using a good quality, effective, safe sunscreen!

Choose well and enjoy your summer everyone!!!

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