Monday, May 30, 2011

Beach Report 2: Sun Safety and Resources

In yesterday's post, I mentioned our "early-out" schedule at the beach that kept us safe from the sun between 10:00 and 2:00.  I also think it is important, especially for little ones, to wear sun-protection clothing, a good hat, and to take cover in the shade whenever possible.

The Environmental Working Group recently published a sun safety section of their website for the summer, which highlights some 2011 sunscreen products.  It looks like a few of the better choices are the neutrogena or aveeno sunsticks for baby, and Blue Lizard brand sunscreen.  You can check out the full article for yourself here:

The EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database provides information on personal care products, which unfortunately are not well regulated in the U.S. and can contain harmful ingredients.  I don't know all of the ins and outs of the politics of the organization, but I do like that someone is providing information to protect families and consumers from potentially dangerous, readily available products.  I first encountered the database as a link from Dr. Greene's website.  In an article about environmental health and personal care products, Greene writes:

Allow me to share some of the jaw dropping statistics about the products you rub into your scalp and skin and trust on your baby's body and even use to clean your mouth every day:
  • Even though the average person uses about ten products a day constituting hundreds of individual ingredients, safety testing of these products is voluntary and conducted by the product manufacturers.
  • Eighty-nine percent of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products have never been evaluated for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other institution.
  • The FDA has banned only nine personal care product ingredients. For comparison, the European Union has banned over 1100.

An eye-opening 8-minute video by The Story of Stuff Project is also worth a view and presents "The Story of Cosmetics" in this way:

Again, I haven't researched the affiliations of these organizations, but my point is solely to pass along the important information they are providing about safety and personal care products.  I have slowly started trying to do some research to find some of the best "middle ground" brands for my family.  To me, middle ground means safe, but also affordable and available.  I don't want (and can't afford!) to have to use products that you can only get from online organic boutiques at $20 an ounce--yikes--so I am trying to navigate the database to find products that are both economical and accessible.  Hopefully I'll be able to report back on some finds as I make progress...

In the mean time, does anyone have any good resources or product suggestions?  Have you made any changes, even small ones, to pursue a safer, healthier lifestyle?  Would love to hear about them!


    1. you have the best tips :-) such a good mama! I need to see you asap by the way - i miss you!

    2. We have always found this to be one of the hardest part of being conscience parents. I looked up product after product before I even dabbed it on Mason last year (found out the same about sunscreen). It got to the point where we (like you) simply couldn't go the safest route (pathetic that safe isn't cheap...) but had to settle on the closest we could afford (Coopertone Water Babies Pure and Simple and the skin stick (even though it isn't rated too well :( on With the bath products, thankfully there are a few more options! With both products and food, if you can't read it or don't know what it is, don't consume it.

    3. Becca- Thanks friend! and happy moving day! AH! :)
      Jenny- I agree, sunscreen is one of the crazier categories on there! I have looked up most of Reed's "beauty routine," but have barely even stared looking up the products Matt & I use! Sigh.