the great sunscreen debate

Did you even know there was a debate? Well, neither did I really. I know you should use sunscreen all the time. Particularly on the children. I know I should also wear it but I really don't, not nearly enough. I know that is quite stupid of me seeing as skin cancer has reared its ugly head not once, not twice, but thrice in my immediate family. What I did not know was that certain sunscreens are no beuno. So after much discussion and lots of googling on Memorial Day I decided I would narrow it down for myself and then I thought I would share my findings with you. Best and most affordable sunscreens. And what's a no no in sunscreen you might already be using. And why!

The Environmental Working Group tested 800 sunscreens and 25% of those came back that they had harmful chemicals. For something you should be slathering all over your poor innocent children's skin that raised an eyebrow for me. What are the things I should be looking for in a sunscreen?

- no oxybenzone 
- no retinyl palmitate (a type of vitamin a)
- spf not over 50
- offer protection for UVA/UVB
- not a spray

Simple enough! A quick peruse of the current sunscreen selection I was using and Banana Boat yes (minus the spray thing), Target no, NOAD no. Then I saw the EWG's report on what the chemicals in sunscreen can do to your body, not just the oxybenzone. Some of which were in the kind I was using on the kids and occasionally myself.

Now the American Academy of Dermatology and the FDA both agree oxybenzone is safe.  I hear ya. Loud and clear. I'm all about trusting the professionals that they know their business. BUT if there is even a potential for a chemical to be absorbed through the skin that could lead to hormone disruption or hell, even cancer and I can avoid it, yeah I will do my best to do so. And I do realize that probably about a zillion other things my kids encounter daily have chemicals in them but let's just start with baby steps shall we? I'll live to serve them McDonald's another day.

Now I care a great deal about my children's health as much as the next person but as my money tree has yet to bear fruit, we are working with a budget here... so I shopped around. I started with the EWG's top sunscreens. Just as a baseline, my Target up&up Spray Sunscreen came out to $1.33 an ounce. Cheap and more cheap. Goodness I love the REDcard and Cartwheel. 


Some of the EWG's top rated sunscreens were only available for purchase at a yoga-like store miles and miles from me, the only retailer of that brand in the state! Or a dermatologists office? So sadly, I didn't include all of their sunscreens, just the most readily available ones. In order of least expensive per ounce to most expensive per ounce I give you... The top three contenders!

Babyganics $1.49 an ounce or $1.67 an ounce ($1.58 if you are a lucky REDcard user)
Blue Lizard $3.43 an ounce
ThinkSport $4.26 an ounce

The rest of the top sunscreens that deserve an honorable mention are:
The Honest Company $4.47 an ounce or $4.66 an ounce ($4.43 if you have the REDcard)
Babo Botanicals $4.85 an ounce
California Baby $5.53 an ounce
Sunumbra $5.74 an ounce using a 30% off coupon code listed on site

I realize that this is not a comprehensive list and that there are many other wonderful sunscreens out there in the world. I'd love to hear about them and their per ounce cost! Here is another fantastic list that breaks it down for you based on what your needs are. I was simply looking for the best option for my buck, all while keeping as many chemicals off my kids as possible. 

Happy sunscreening!