It’s official, I got my first sunburn this weekend. It was only a light burn, but somehow I always forget the sunscreen during the first warm days of spring. Fortunately, I remembered to protect my children with SmartShield when we headed down to the river. One added bonus to this “serious sun protection” is it contains natural cedar bug repellent, which kept the “eye bugs” from swarming their faces.
SmartShield is an “eco-friendly” sunscreen and bug repellent combination, but it does not appear to be all natural, as there are some ingredients I do not recognize. I researched several of these ingredients on Skin Deep, as Smartshied itself has not been rated, and I discovered they contained a low to moderate hazard. The Environmental Working Group has done an extensive study on sunscreens and found that:
Our comprehensive scientific review indicates that 85% of 1,015 sunscreen products offer inadequate protection from the sun, or contain ingredients with significant safety concerns. Only 15% of the products on the market are both safe and effective, blocking both UVA and UVB radiation, remaining stable in sunlight, and containing few if any ingredients with significant known or suspected health hazards.
Smartshield does offer your family:
*UVA & UVB protection (FDA doesn’t require UVA blockers)
*Oil-free and PABA free
*hypoallergenic and fragrance free (great for sensitive skin)
*Waterproof, sweatproof, won’t stain clothes
*Aloe Vera based; moisturizes and absorbs into the skin
In addition, this sunscreen is does not contaminate marine life and is biodegradable. The all-natural bug repellent is as effective as DEET, without the safety concerns. When applying products to children, it just makes sense to combine sunscreen and bug repellent for maximum protection.
SmartShield comes in an alcohol-based spray with SPF 30 protection, as well as towelettes. Although the disposable towelettes may not be the most eco-friendly option, they certainly are convenient and easy to apply. My son hates to have oily sunscreen applied to his face, but he is much more tolerant of the SmartShield towelettes. The bug repellent also gives me peace of mind that my children are protected from mosquitoes.
The active ingredients in most of the SmartShield SPF 30 products are actually not so great according to Skin Deep (www.cosmeticsdatabase.com). They use Padimate O (a PABA derivative and rated a “6″ on Skin Deep) and Oxybenzone (an “8″) for their face sticks. You can go here to see their labels (which I had to email them to get – it’s not linked on the site as far as I could see).
Jennifer Lance says
Thanks for the doing the research Amy! I tried looking on Skin Deep, but I was not as thorough as you were! It’s a shame we can’t just trust companies to disclose the safety of their products or use the terms “eco-friendly” and “natural” appropriately.
If you don’t like using sunscreen becus it’s full of unwanted chemicals that could harm our skin, may you could try this:
Vitamin A, D and E
Shea Butter (has a natural spf)
n if you do get sunburn
you could mix together
1 part rose water and 1 part aloe vera gel with 5 drops of Lavender oil.
Rose water: Distilled from rose petals, this is mildly sedative, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory. Rose water is mildly astringent.