As parents, we want what’s best for our babies. We read articles, talk to other parents, and consult our own parents and books. Sun protection is hot topic. We know we need to protect our little ones from the sun’s harmful rays, but are there harmful ingredients in baby sunscreen? Well, there are definitely some you will want to avoid. Here’s our list.
- Retinyl palmitate – This vitamin A ingredient has received bad press over the past few years. It is an ingredient added into sunscreens not for its UV protecting abilities but for its anti-aging abilities. There is a worrisome link of retinyl palmitate to skin cancer development. However, it’s important to note that this link was shown in mice who are more prone to skin cancer development and who were given large amounts of retinyl palmitate. The American Academy of Dermatology does not support the claims of retinyl palmitate causing skin cancer since there is a lack of human data to conclude this. Baby Pibu™ Baby Sunscreen does not contain this ingredient.
- Oxybenzone – Oxybenzone is a very common sunscreen ingredient that has also been in the news lately. There is a concern that oxybenzone may interact with our hormones and lead to hormonal imbalance or even cancer. Like retinyl palmitate, there is no proof that it causes cancer in humans. The data was found when it was fed to animals in large amounts. The American Academy of Dermatology does not support the claims that oxybenzone is unsafe because there is not enough data on its effects on humans. Baby Pibu™ Baby Sunscreen does not contain this oxybenzone.
- Nanoparticles – Nanoparticles are essentially very, very tiny, or microscopic, particles of a component. There is concern that nanoparticles of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide can cross through the skin, enter the bloodstream, and ultimately end up in key organs. There is legitimate concern of using these products in individuals who have impaired skin, including individuals with eczema and psoriasis, as the barrier of their skin may be weakened. It is also not recommended to use sunscreen sprays using nanoparticles, because the particles could deposit in the lungs. Non-nano sunscreens with micronized zinc oxide and titanium oxide (instead of nanoparticles) are recommended. Baby Pibu™ Baby Sunscreen uses micronized (non-nano) zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as its active ingredients.
Now that we know what to avoid, what should we look for?
- Chemical-free sunscreen for babies – Chemical-free sunscreens are safe sunscreens for both babies and toddlers. But what does chemical-free actually mean? On the sunscreen label, first look at the active ingredients list. Chemical-free sunscreens use the active ingredients of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Sunscreens with chemicals include active ingredients such as avobenzone, homosalate, octisalate, and oxybenzone. Multiple chemical ingredients are found together because certain ones ward off UVA rays while others block UVB rays. Also, the combination of the chemical ingredients helps to keep them become physically stable on your skin so that they will do a good job protecting against UV rays. The sunscreens that include chemicals can cause more stinging in eyes, which is another good reason to avoid them for babies and toddlers. Finally, chemical sunscreens can cause irritant and photoallergic skin rashes as well. Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are hypoallergic and non-irritating ingredients and provide broad-spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Basically, they are both effective sunscreen ingredients but do not typically cause irritation. Baby Pibu™ Baby Sunscreen uses micronized zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as its active ingredients.
We hope that this article will help to provide a little more information to educate you as parents so that you can make good, informed decisions when choosing sunscreen for your babies. There are definitely some good ones out there. Make a good choice and keep your baby protected.
Enjoy the spring season!