While I am certainly not an all green/clean beauty consumer, I do try my best to use more natural products when I can for my family. One area where I haven’t made the switch away from chemicals is sun protection. I hadn’t really been happy with the more natural, mineral formulas I’d tried. I’d found them thick and difficult to rub into the skin, and I found the white cast and greasy texture unpleasant. The new and improved 100% zinc oxide mineral sunscreens from Aveeno have just introduced me to broad spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection in an all mineral formula that I can actually enjoy using on my whole family.
The two formulas I’ve tested are the Aveeno Active Naturals Sensitive Skin SPF 50 Mineral Sunscreen and the Aveeno Baby Sunscreen SPF 50 ($15.99 – $19.99 CAD / 88 mL). The ingredient listings and formulas appear to be identical. Whether you are looking for a Dermatologist recommended formula that is gentle and soothing on sensitive skin, or a Pediatrician Recommended formula that you can feel confident using on your baby, you can’t go wrong with either version.
They are formulated with naturally sourced 100% zinc oxide and Active Naturals® Oat to ensure that skin is not only protected from the sun’s harmful rays with broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection, but it is also hydrated and soothed with skin loving benefits as well.
My kids spend a lot of time in the water at the cottage during the summer so it’s important to me that their sun protection is water resistant. You can see them at the top of this post playing on their water mat (best water toy invention ever!) and my son jumping off the dock above. The Aveeno formulas are sweat and water resistant for up to 80 minutes, and won’t sting their eyes thanks to their tear free formulations.
The thing that surprised me most is that these sunscreens really do feel lightweight and non-greasy. Once rubbed into the skin they dry clear and don’t leave a sticky feeling behind. Skin just feels soft and nourished. There is no added scent to the sunscreens. Both the Aveeno Naturals Sensitive Skin and Aveeno Baby versions are hypoallergenic and free of all parabens, phthalates, dyes, fragrances, and chemical sunscreen filters.
And, I know this sounds silly, but I really love the packaging on these sunscreens. The turquoise and lilac colour palettes with the sun and oats graphics are really pretty. Plus I love the slim squeeze tube design of the tubes.
I don’t know about you, but I was actually surprised to discover that zinc oxide alone provides broad spectrum UVA and UVB sun protection. I think I always thought it just offered one and needed to be combined with something else. I was wrong! The great thing about using zinc for your sun protection is that it has so many other skin benefits. Long before it was ever discovered to have sun protection capabilities, zinc was used for treating a variety of skin conditions. The Aveeno Baby Diaper Cream that I swore by when my kids were young is actually a zinc based diaper cream because zinc treats, and prevents, rashes and skin irritation. You’ve probably also seen zinc in acne treatments. It can even help prevent bacterial infections and boost the immune system. Every tried zinc losenges? There are so many amazing benefits to using zinc.
Using zinc oxide is considered a physical form of sun protection because it sits on the skin (it’s not absorbed) and scatters the ultraviolet rays. Zinc oxide does not actually naturally occurring in nature like zinc. It is created when zinc is chemically heated and combined with oxygen molecules. The two elements are vaporized, condensed, and formed into a powder that is fine, white, crystallized and sits on top of the skin providing a protective layer.
According to Dr. Paul Cohen:
From the 1940s through about the 1980s, zinc oxide products were used primarily to treat skin conditions unrelated to sun exposure, including poison ivy, dandruff, and rashes. By the 1980s, zinc oxide’s benefits for naturally preventing and treating sun damage became clearer and widely supported through medical literature.
If you’re a mom who’s concerned about the effects of the products you apply to your baby’s skin, you can feel confident using mineral sun protection like Aveeno Baby SPF 50. A single childhood sunburn may double the risk of developing melanoma down the road so sunscreen is essential.
Available at mass market retailers and drugstores like Rexall.
*This post was made possible by Aveeno.