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Shopping for Sunscreen? Why Ingredients Matter and What to Look For - California Baby Natural Living

Shopping for Sunscreen? Why Ingredients Matter and What to Look For


With the ever-growing number of “natural” products on the market, how do you choose one over the other? It all comes down to what’s in the bottle (and sometimes the bottle itself). We recommend you look past clever labeling, celebrity branding and marketing ploys and go straight to the ingredients list.

Because there is so much misinformation and misleading labeling in this category, it’s important to find a brand you can trust to be on the leading edge of health and environmental research, to do the right thing and never take shortcuts. California Baby’s mission is to be that brand.

For more than 20 years, we’ve been a pioneer in the premium, natural and organic baby category under the leadership of Founder and Developer, Jessica Iclisoy. We select only natural and organic ingredients with the strongest safety and environmental profiles and those that can trigger allergies or are potentially harmful to the environment are eliminated.

We avoid processes such as ethoxylation, which creates the byproduct 1-4 Dioxane and harsh solvents that are commonly used to extract oils. Instead, we rely on green technologies such as cold pressing, enzymatic processing and steam distillation.

Because sun season is upon us, we’re launching our Ingredient Awareness Campaign to help parents find the safest options before stocking up for the season.

What’s The Fuss About Sunscreen

The Environmental Working Group (ewg.org) is a highly respected consumer watchdog group that provides extensive research into the potential side-effects of the chemicals we’re surrounded by every day. Their sun safety guide is the holy grail of healthy sunscreen use. Here’s a quick rundown of common ingredients that are now considered potentially harmful.

Mineral sunscreens are considered the best choice because they do not penetrate the skin and get into the bloodstream. Always doublecheck the active ingredients listed in the drug facts panel. though, because some companies may tout their sunscreen as mineral-based but their active ingredient list may include chemical sunscreens.

For example, here’s the active ingredient list of a “mineral-based sunscreen” product that is currently on the market and aimed towards babies:

  • active ingredients: zinc oxide (11.2 %), octinoxate (7.5 %), octisalate (5.0 %)

Octinoxate ranks a hazard level 6 on EWG’s Skin Deep database. Concerns include strong evidence that it is a human endocrine disruptor.  Both of these chemical sunscreen ingredients are listed with concerns of enhanced skin absorption. Octisalate ranks a hazard level 4 on EWG’s Skin Deep database. They also claim to be “Non-allergenic” but the EWG database indicates that there are concerns regarding “Allergies/immunotoxicity.”

Other Common Sunscreen Inactive Ingredients to Avoid

  • Phenoxyethanol. Concerns include Allergies/immunotoxicity, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs).
  • Polysorbate-60 and Lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 Methicone. Concerns include contamination with ethylene oxide (listed as a known human carcinogen (Int’l Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – Carcinogens and 1,4 dioxane (listed as a possible human carcinogen –  California EPA Proposition 65

In addition, California Baby looks at the total product, carefully selecting ingredients with excellent safety/allergy profiles. Our sunscreen products are free of gluten, dairy, soy, peanut and tree nuts (except for coconut) and all California Baby products are allergy tested.cbsunscreen

On the bright side, California Baby’s award-winning, mineral-based sunscreens use titanium dioxide to provide broad-spectrum production. Our sunscreen has year after year ranked as one of the best sunscreen options by the EWG’s sunscreen guide.

Find out more about California Baby (and now California Kids) products at californiababy.com. And if you have any further questions about our products or ingredients, ask us on our Facebook page!


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