It’s that time of the year again – sunscreen time!


Well, I guess we should all wear sunscreen year-round, but… you know what I mean.  Spring and summer definitely call for gobs and gobs of sunscreen. 


I wanted to call your attention to a post that I wrote last year – Skin Deep – Selecting a Better Sunscreen.   Did you know…


  • The Environmental Working Group recommends avoiding sprayable or powdered sunscreens, as you inhale the chemicals during application.
  • Sunscreens that contain Benzophenone-3 (oxybenzone), Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), Padimate O, or Vitamin A (retinyl palamitate), which are potential allergens, hormone-disruptors, and/or carcinogens, should also be avoided (more on this here).
  • You’ll definitely want to skip the sunscreens containing Vitamin A: one study (by the FDA itself!) indicated that lab rats developed sunlight-related tumors and lesions 21% faster when treated with a 0.5% Vitamin A-laced cream (Source).


In addition to the resources that I mentioned in the Skin Deep – Selecting a Better Sunscreen post, I wanted to call out the EWG’s Baby Sunscreen recommendations.  The Mayo Clinic recommends keeping babies under 6 months in the shade and using clothes and a hat to protect their delicate skin.  You should “liberally apply sunscreen” if your baby is older than 6 months.


I used their list to select Henry’s sunscreen, Badger SPF 30+.


I like this product a lot.  It goes on easily, doesn’t run into Henry’s eyes, and provides excellent coverage.  I love that it’s unscented and water resistant.  At $16 a tube, it certainly isn’t cheap, but I appreciate that it’s mineral-based with zinc oxide.  EWG says that these mineral-based sunscreens are “the right choice for children, people with sensitive skin and others who want the best UVA protection without potentially hormone-disrupting chemicals like oxybenzone or vitamin A, which may be carcinogenic on sun-exposed skin.”  Many of the ingredients are organic, which is a nice added bonus.


Three cheers for outdoors time!



  • Abby March 26, 2013, 8:57 am

    We use the same stuff, it’s great!

  • Nikki March 26, 2013, 9:29 am

    My husband uses the Badger sunscreen but unfortunately he gets a lot of taunting from my surly brothers about his white face! Luckily he doesn’t really care, and just quotes off information about hormone disruptors and the blood-brain barrier–that pretty much shuts them up:-)

  • Sara @ fitcupcaker March 26, 2013, 9:32 am

    I hope it gets warmer here so I can pull out the sun screen! I am in def need of some vitamin D!

  • Jessica March 26, 2013, 9:47 am

    I loved this post! Recently, I have tried to be more conscious of the products I put on my skin as it is our largest (and most delicate) organ! I’ve learned this past year that yes, organic and healthier options are always a bit pricier but how much is your long-term health worth to you?During the winter I usually just use it on my face, ears, neck, and hands but during the summer, I slather it on everywhere! Especially for when I run! Do you have any personal recommendations for sunscreens that are sweatproof and/or doesn’t run in the eyes?

    • Caitlin March 26, 2013, 11:19 am

      I’m still trying to find a good no sweat brand. I haven’t been thrilled with any I try.


      • Stephanie C March 26, 2013, 10:13 pm

        You’ll have to double check, but my husband uses Raw Elements sunscreen when he surfs and that stuff doesn’t come off.
        Granted, you still can’t rub it in well, but your face is protected! It also smells weird, but again.. for the benefits he’s willing to deal with the smell.

        • Jessica March 27, 2013, 2:30 pm

          Thanks ladies! I will definitely check that brand out!

  • Lindsay March 26, 2013, 9:51 am

    I don’t usually like to link to stuff in comments, but I wrote a slideshow on safest sunscreens for kids for the site I ork for, broken down by price (your Badger one is on there!) 🙂 Hope it’s helpful for some of you!

  • Katie March 26, 2013, 9:59 am

    Could you please explain how you apply/reapply sunscreen during a tri?? Or what you use for daily sunscreen?? I loved your post last year, but am so overwhelmed by the choices!

    • Caitlin March 26, 2013, 11:18 am

      I reapply it before the bike usually during t1! It hard though because you are still wet!

  • Jenn C March 26, 2013, 10:02 am

    We love the badger brand in our house. We have been using this brand since my daughter was a baby and now she’s almost 4.I will def be using this for my son when he’s around 6 months old. Great brand to use.

  • Sarah @ Yogi in Action March 26, 2013, 10:15 am

    While it’s a little early to think about sunscreen for me (considering we’re still full on winter here), I am definitely bookmarking this page to come back to once the weather warms up a bit!
    I’m weird in that I don’t tan at all, or burn, and can be out in the sun all day with little to no effect (but I’m super pale- so figure that one out). It’s only been recently that I’ve even started wearing sunscreen. I definitely want to ensure I’m making the right choice- thanks for the resource!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB March 26, 2013, 10:17 am

    I kind of feel like being incredibly selective about sunscreen is like eating organic or local- the “right” thing to do, but a bit of a slap in the face too. Here you are, thinking you’re doing the right thing by picking some up at Target and slathering it one everyday (just like grabbing a cart full of produce from the big box grocery store), and then BOOM not good enough! It’s frustrating, but I know it’s better for me. Sigh. You truly can never win.

  • Ashley March 26, 2013, 10:22 am

    I had no idea the EWG had a cosmetics page! I’ve been sort of looking for sunscreen, new makeup, etc. This makes it so much easier. Thank you!

  • Deanne March 26, 2013, 10:33 am

    Both my grandpas, grandma, and mom have had skin cancer. I believe that sun screen is part of the problem so I use purple prairie all natural plant based sunscreen. Every part of me that I remember to cover doesn’t get burned yet I am not adding chemicals to my skin. It’s surprising how dangerous commercial sunscreen is and how many people don’t know.

  • Harsha@HealthyCooking 'N' Fitness March 26, 2013, 11:06 am

    I have never used this sun screen for my daughter. Will buy it for her this summer.

  • Whitney March 26, 2013, 11:48 am

    So if you don’t use sunscreen you get skin cancer, if you use the wrong kind you get tumors and lesions. Awesome!

  • Rachel March 26, 2013, 12:47 pm

    I bought that same sunscreen for my daughter last year and **hated** it! It was SO thick & hard to apply! My daughter, who was 3 at the time, had ZERO patience for it. I found a spray sunscreen from Trader Joe’s that I liked and used that for the remainder of the summer. Bonus points for being able to apply it to my own back!

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs March 26, 2013, 1:07 pm

    I wish it was warm enough where I live to think about sunscreen! Sadly, there’s still snow on the ground. Come on Spring, hurry up! 🙂

  • Megan Dyan March 26, 2013, 2:19 pm

    I’ve used and loved TruKid! You should check it out!
    And no, I’m not employed or affiliated with the company at all, just a satisfied customer!

  • rebecca @ blueberry smiles March 26, 2013, 3:01 pm

    I only just recently started paying attention to the chemicals in my favorite lotions, sunscreens, etc….and I can only imagine that I will pay even more attention when I have kids. Badger looks like a great product.

  • Erin March 26, 2013, 3:04 pm

    I love natural products and I also use a local brand of natural sunscreen that is available where I live (Spain) and for my little guy, 9 months also, we are using a natural sunscreen as well. You seem quite concerned about hormones and the like, which is understandable, it is a concern of mine as well-which is why I was wondering about tofu. I’ve noticed you feed it to your son and I believe you give him a soy based formula. I am sure you have heard/read about all the “evils” of soy in regards to giving soy products to infants/young children and was wondering if that doesn’t worry you at all? I’m a vegetarian also and from everything I’ve read, it seems best to stay away from soy with the little ones….

    • Grace March 26, 2013, 4:21 pm

      I’d love to hear your thought process on this, as well as your thoughts on feeding Henry so much rice and brown rice syrup-containing products considering the latest research that shows they have unsafe levels of arsenic for babies (and soy organic formulas containing brown rice syrup are considered the worst offenders).

      • Caitlin March 26, 2013, 4:29 pm

        Hey guys – Thanks for your comments and for reading. I don’t really want to get into all this, so I’m going to pass on discussing. Rest assured everything we do with Henry is discussed with his awesome pediatrician. I definitely recommend talking to your doctor if you have similar concerns because our numerous and thorough discussions with our doctor have definitely helped us make our choices with confidence.

        • Grace March 26, 2013, 4:50 pm

          Thanks for commenting! It’s interesting, as my pediatrician (Who is also awesome 🙂 She’s ranked one of the best in our city, and is very holistic and progressive which I love) specifically recommended avoiding too many rice-based baby foods because of the issues with arsenic levels.

          • Caitlin March 26, 2013, 6:28 pm

            I think everyone and their recommendations are different. The Mum Mums (which have rice) – Henry definitely doesn’t NEED those so I do try to limit them. But regarding the formula, when you’re selecting a formula, it’s always choosing between several less-than-breastmilk options. If it’s not a rice base, it’s corn, etc. So you make the best choices you can as a parent and that’s all you can do.

  • Marc March 26, 2013, 5:03 pm

    I like the idea of using a healthy sunscreen like this for adults more than babies. In fact adults should probably be wearing this stuff year round. Personally I would probably extend the period of 6 months of shade longer just to be safe… I mean I just would not want much exposure to any sort of artificial chemicals while the kid is small because it could have an inordinate effect. I have no expertise to justify that, just my gut feeling.

  • Emily March 26, 2013, 6:00 pm

    Sunscreen is the furthest thing of my mind – it’s snowing here in Western PA! Which is not fun for me… I have to start training soon! 🙁

    Good advise to remember for the coming months, though. I’m so pale I practically glow in the dark, so I need LOTS of sun screen!

    • Caitlin March 26, 2013, 6:28 pm

      Henry glows in the dark 🙂

  • Amber K March 26, 2013, 7:46 pm

    I have yet to find a sunscreen that doesn’t make me break out into a big rash, otherwise I’d wear it year-round! But for the time-being I just tend to shy away from the sun. It probably helps that I’m totally an indoors person. I would have died off very early in ancient times, lol.

  • Marie March 26, 2013, 7:48 pm

    Thanks for the tips! I will have to get some for my twins. BTW, it’s $13.60 off Vitacost! We always buy from Amazon or Vitacost.

  • Karen @ Runner Girl Eats March 27, 2013, 8:45 am

    I use the same site to pick out my sunscreen as well but how have I never heard about the Vitamin A rat study before?! That’s crazy.

  • Paris Bee Kids Blog April 28, 2013, 11:03 pm

    Just starting to think about which sunscreens to use for my Little Miss. Timely post that’s very informative and helpful!!! Thanks!!

    xoxo Paris Bee Kids Blog

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