Living in tropical Singapore the kids and I get many opportunities to have fun at the pool. I’ve been taking them swimming since they were 8 months old and all of them love the water.
Since we are in the pool so often it is very important all of us apply sunscreen before entering the water to ensure that we are adequately protected from the harmful rays of the sun.
With so many different types and brands in the market. Which sunscreen is then is the most suitable one for me and the kids?
There are two main different types of sunscreen- Mineral and Chemical. There are both benefits and disadvantages to each type and preferences may differ depending on your concerns and opinions.
There have been many conflicting reports supporting both types of sunscreen and it is still best to based your choice on your own discretion.
I tested out a variety of sunscreens for myself and the kids. We tried both Mineral and Chemical based sunscreens to see which type was more suitable for use.
The kids have a different requirement from me in choosing a suitable sunscreen as they needed one that was water resistant as they go swimming weekly.
These 3 sunscreens are among the more popular sunscreens based on the various reviews that I’ve read and recommendations from my friends.
Here are my findings on the 3 different brands of sunscreen above.
I liked the fact that this sunscreen was made of Zinc Oxide which is a safe mineral for use. However upon further investigation it contained bad ingredients which could be harmful for the kids in the long run.
This sunscreen contained these ingredients.
Active ingredients : Octinoxate 7.5%, Octisalate 5.0%, Zinc oxide 11.7%
Inactive ingredients: Water, glyceryl stearate, cyclopentasiloxane, caprylic/capric triglyceride, propanediol, stearyl/octadodecyl citrate crosspolymer, cetyl alcohol, cetearyl alcohol, polysorbate 60, glycerin, dimethicone crosspolymer, tocopheryl acetate, solanum lycopersicum (tomato) seed oil, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil, vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry) seed oil, nigella sativa (black cumin) seed oil, rubus idaeus (red raspberry) seed oil, sodium stearoyl glutamate, beeswax, lauryl PEG/PPG-18/18 methicone, triethoxycaprylylsilane, xanthan gum, ethylhexylglycerin, disodium EDTA, potassium sorbate, phenoxyethanol.
polysorbate 60: Commonly used in fragrance, this emulsifying and solubilizing agent is one of several varieties of polysorbates, which some experts claim are reproductive toxins.
phenoxyethanol: A preservative found in nearly every type of cosmetic and various cleaning products. Proven organ system toxin in animals (even at low doses), and suspected to be carcinogenic. Some studies say that it can be harmful if swallowed, inhaled or absorbed through the skin and that it can cause reproductive damage. (Read about the different studies on it here)
Conclusion = Unsuitable for the kids just considering the ingredients list.
Being a mineral based sunscreen it formed a thick white paste which was difficult to apply. The ingredients inside the tube also separated easily and many times water came out upon squeezing instead of the white paste even though I’ve shook the tube a few times before squeezing it.
What the kids say
They find applying it very cumbersome and it seems to peel off even before they hit the pool making it’s usefulness in sun protection questionable.
Active ingredients: Titanium Dioxide 4.8% Zinc Oxide 3.1%
Inactive ingredients : Aleurites moluccana seed oil (organic kukui), aloe barbadensis leaf (organic), aluminum, arnica montana (organic) flower extract, bentonite, caprylhydroxamic acid, caprylyl glycol, citrus aurantium dulcis (organic orange) fruit water, citrus aurantium dulcis (organic orange) peel oil, citrus limon (lemon) peel oil, citrus reticulata (tangerine) peel oil, citrus nucifera (organic coconut) oil, glycerin (organic), hydrogenated methyl abietate, hydrolyzed wheat protein / PVP crosspolymer, jojoba esters, mentha piperita (peppermint) oil, mimosa tenuiflora bark extract, persea gratissima (organic avocado) oil, prunus armeniaca (organic apricot) kernel oil, cathamus tinctorius (safflower) olesomes, sodium chloride, sodium gluconate, sodium hydroxide, tocopherol, triethoxycaprylylsilane, water, xanthan gum.
There are no known carcinogens in this list and it certainly is safer as compared to the Babyganics sunscreen listed above.
I loved the texture and light fragrance of the product. However it still left a white sheen after application which the kids didn’t like. It also felt sticky to the touch. The good thing is that it can last up to 80 mins which is more then sufficient for the hour long swimming lesson that the kids go for weekly.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone 3%, Homosalate 10%, Octisalate 5%, Octocrylene 5%, Oxybenzone 5%. Other Ingredients: Acrylates/C12-22 Alkyl Methacrylate Copolymer, Acrylates/Dimethicone Copolymer, Ammonium Hydroxide, Behenyl Alcohol, Butylene Glycol, Butyloctyl Salicylate, Caprylyl Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteth-20 Phosphate, Cyclamen Aldehyde, Dicetyl Phosphate, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Ethyl Linalool, Ethylene Brassylate, Ethylhexyl Methoxycrylene, Ethylhexyl Stearate, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Isobutyl Methyl Tetrahydropyranol, Methyl Trimethicone, Methylenedioxyphenyl Methylpropanal, PEG-100 Stearate, Pentylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Phenylisohexanol, Propylene Glycol, Silica, Sodium Polyacrylate, Sorbic Acid, Styrene/Acrylates Copolymer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trideceth-6, Trimethylsiloxysilicate, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Water, Xanthan Gum
I find this product easy to apply and I love the scent of it. The kids too find this chemical sunscreen the easiest to apply compared to the 2 other mineral sunscreens.
The questionable ingredient in this product is Oxybenzone 5%. and Phenoxyethanol. There are conflicting reports about Oxybenzone a as a controversial chemical that is used in a lot of sunscreens and skincare products because of its ability to absorb and dissipate UV light. While the chemical is effective, some studies suggest that when it gets absorbed into the body, it can trigger harsh reactions. Oxybenzone has been linked to allergies, hormone disruption and cell damage. It can also absorb through the skin into the bloodstream, affecting hormone levels as according to reports stated in EWG. FDA however have approved it for use since in the products if the percentage is less then 6%.
Other products/brands which have Oxybenzone
La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Ultra Light Sunscreen Fluid
- La Roche-PosayAnthelios AOX Daily Antioxidant Serum Broad Spectrum SPF 50
- Clinique Sun Broad Spectrum SPF 50 Sunscreen Body Cream
- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunblock SPF 50
( Read about sunscreen safety here )
In the 2nd part of this post I will be comparing the how the other sunscreens – SUNPLAY, Biore UV , Mary Kay Sun Protector , Coola Face and Mary Kay TimeWise Day solution.
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are based on my personal findings. I am a Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant. If you are interested in testing out or purchasing any Mary Kay products you can contact me.