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dirtyhugshipper
dirtyhugshipper
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December 2008
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dirtyhugshipper [userpic]
Time to buy sunscreen again. With some ranting thrown in. Duh.

First, a link to the EWG Skin Deep sunscreen page. This *should* go in order from best idea to worst. If you get the splash screen and don't want their e-newsletter, just hit "no thanks". I'm pretty sure it's impossible to link to Skin Deep without getting that screen.

BTW - when using the Skin Deep database? Pay attention to the products' actual pages. Something might be listed as totally safe, but then also have a lot of missing data, which means less negative data, which means better rating. Also it might have a lower rating just because of one ingredient that shows sensitivity in some people. Also, those pages are where you can see if they test on animals, see if they have lots of petrochemicals, etc. Skin Deep is fantastic - and if you don't have time you're still better off following their recommendations - but if you have the time, really look.

Also, here's their article on "nanoparticles" in sunscreens. For the lazy/busy person - EWG's stand is basically that "nanoparticles" in sunscreen is safer than most other sunscreen ingredients and since it does much more good than harm by *also* protecting your skin better, they're for it. In Sunscreen. Not eyeshadow. If you are interested in more on that, I have more links to other articles/studies/opinions on this. Note that most "nanoparticles" in sunscreens, um... aren't. And also note that over 1/3 of the ingredients available for cosmetic use are now available in nano/microparticle form AND like everything else in the cosmetics labeling world - they don't have to label it as such. Just a mention that really has nothing to do with sunscreen. So sick of industries being allowed to NOT label ANYTHING that might discourage a consumer. Insert rant about *other* companies NOT being able to label products in any way that might detract sales from large companies that run most of the world. *cough* MonsantoGMOFreeBGHfreelabelinglawsuits *cough*

Skin Deep's new sunscreen ratings also include charts on how well the sunscreens work on both UVA and UVB over time - a good indication of whether or not the sunscreen breaks down into a useless film of crap on your skin after 20 minutes. It's a good idea to keep an eye on that rating as well if that's what's important to you.



Anyway.


Last year I tried to buy Badger. It was impossible. It could NOT be found. Even the manufacturer couldn't get more. I *think* I managed it this year - I bought two bottles, and they're very small, and I'm hoping they spread out as much as the sunscreen I bought last year. I ordered straight from the Badger web site because I'm just too tired to look for it cheaper elsewhere, and unlike last year I didn't get an immediate email saying, "Oh btw this is backordered for 50 years, we had no idea anyone would buy this."

Last year I ended up with UV NATURAL SPORT SPF 30+ (Skin Deep Link). This year the rating for that one went down a little. Last year's number one was Badger, number two was the UV Naturals. It could easily be new info on ingredients, or another change in the way they rate things over there. BUT I notice now - and I really think I would have noticed this last year - that the ingredient TOCOPHEROL now has a contamination concern listed. The contamination concern is HYDROQUINONE. I happen to know what this ingredient is because I have darkening skin patches on my face. (Which, again having nothing to do with this are expanding and starting on other areas of my face and it's pissing me off because I am very self concious about it, but also why I'm hyper about the whole sunscreen on my face thing /end ramble) HYDROQUINONE is what dermatologists give/used to give to people to lighten dark patches and is also found in some over-the-counter age spot/skin lightening creams. There are a lot of concerns about this ingredient, including that maybe it causes this really nasty skin disease which causes large black bumps and lesions (that look like caviar) and also cancer. Yeah, I've avoided that one.

Given the low risk on that brand rated by EWG (1 out of 10) and the fact that it's a *possible* contamination, and given that in the scheme of sunscreens this one is STILL a hecka safer, I wouldn't rule it out. There's safer, but there's also a lot worse we put on ourselves without even trying, and you really can't avoid *every possible* bad thing. I probably won't buy it again, because, well, I'm me, though if the Badger is a wash I may go back to it. But I gotta say, I *like* the stuff. There are other people who think it doesn't go on easy - I think it just goes on different than what most people are used to with sunscreen. The zinc/titanium oxide lotions aren't like the old stuff we're all used to. This one has a very faint smell - it smells to me more like say, olive oil than anything else. Evan doesn't like the smell, I sorta like it, and the smell does *not* bother El - which is the main reason she hates sunscreen in the first place. A little goes a long way. It sits on your skin for a couple minutes before it sorta dries out/sinks in. It moisturizes a little bit. I've had no problem putting my mineral makeup on over the top of it. It hasn't made me break out, or get more zits. It doesn't turn you white like some of the zinc lotions still do, micronized particles or not - it's actually kind of a skin colored cream and almost a little gritty in parts, but doesn't stay that way when you put it on. Very quickly you feel like you aren't wearing any sunscreen at all. So yeah, there are a lot of positives.

It's not cheap - but the zinc oxide and titianium oxide lotions just *aren't*.

I worry about the Badger smell - I worry it will be a bit citrusy or too just smelly in that whole EO way since it seems to have quite a few. WHY does everything have to have smelly stuff in it? But I'll let you know when I get it.

Also in the top few on that site are some California Baby sunscreens. I don't *always* like California Baby. I always always read their ingredients very carefully. They are just as likely to have a three inch list of parabens as any organic ingredients. Truly. It pisses me off. The reason I decided against it - though I may get it as a backup/full body sunscreen - is that it's just not as strong as the Badger. It isn't as protective, which also means I'll have to reapply more often and I can't always do that. Though one benefit to these tiny expensive lotions is that they're pretty easy to carry around with you. Some of them have TOCOPHEROL - which is really just a form of Vitamin E, btw - with that whole contamination issue, but some of them are also totally scent free - yay!

The other top rated was one of the Trukid sunscreens. And ya know, their UVA protection sucks. *shrugs* I just figure if I'm going to shell out $16 for 4oz of sunscreen? I want the shit to be like armor plating. Just my opinion.

Anyway - yeah. And other stuff :) Like I said, if anyone is uncomfortable still with the micronized zinc/titanium, I have some more links. Or at least links that link to more links.

Comments
(Anonymous)
Huh? Where you getting your info from?

hey dude.

I actually own the TruKid sunscreen. After reading your blog, I'm confused at your comments.

My family and I love this sunscreen, we've used it on many occasions from A's games to Hawaii snorkeling. My kids love the light smell, (which I love because it's free of fragrance, which means free of phthalates), that it's easy to use, and just for them.

the sunscreen is 4oz for $14.00, not $16, and it has a really good UVA rating in comparison to most other sunscreens. did you compare it?

Re: Huh? Where you getting your info from?

Well, I'm not about to argue about $2. Most of the titanitum/zinc sunscreens average around $16 - some higher and some lower and of course, depending on where you buy them. (And then there was one that I saw was $20 for less than 4 oz... ouch. Though I would pay it if I could find a reason for it to be that much more expensive.)

When compared to the other top-safest rated at EWG's Skin Deep the TruKid tested out at a much lower UVA protection than the others. http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/product.php?prod_id=132923&refurl=%2Fbrowse.php%3Fcategory%3Dsunscreenspf15andabove%26
Check the pink bars on that page, and you can compare them to the others listed on the main sunscreen page here: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/browse.php?category=sunscreenspf15andabove&showmore=products&start=0&order=webscore+INC and it tested about half the strength of the Badger, and less than the California baby, too.

I'm by no means saying it's awful - I just saw the others I was looking at as better options, for just about the same price. Personally, I need *serious* sun protection. With the discolorations on my face, even a tiny bit of sun in the -winter- (in upstate NY) can make a huge difference in the darkness of those blotches. I also wear a UVA/UVB blocking hat in the spring and summer, and stay out of direct sun as much as possible - as much as I hate that because I love to be out in the sun.

From what I understand, a lot of Skin Deep's UVA and UVB ratings have to do with the chemicals breaking down quickly in the sun and therefor losing effectiveness. I can't say that's what's up with the TruKid, though I'll see what I can find later on when I have more time.

By all means, let me know if you have other information - I'll never claim that EWG is the be-all and end-all of information, I just tend to go to them first because a)I trust them and b)I can be sure they don't get money from any of the companies and c)they link to sources.

(Anonymous)
wait..now i'm confused...

Hi,

Thanks for your response back. I did go back to the ewg link you sent to do some comparisons on the sunscreen UVA ratings.

I noticed that while California Baby has 18% Titanium, they have full UVA coverage.

I also noticed that Lavera, located right below Ca Baby had 19% Titanium, but had less UVA coverage than the Ca Baby.

Now, if the active ingredient is what gives us the UV protection, how is it that 18% can yield a 100% UVA protection, while at 19% Lavera is at less than 1/2 of the Ca Baby Protection?

Do you understand this? Now I'm wondering how they obtain these ratings? If you know anything about how they do, please let me know, I'm boggled.

I agree with you that the EWG is a good reference tool. But as you mentioned, people who don't know their science will be worried about names they don't recognize, like tocopherol (vit e) or ascorbic acid (vit c)...

I'm very curious what your thoughts are on this, or if you noticed the discrepancy?


Thanks much, hope the week is treating you well.

Re: wait..now i'm confused...

I can't be *positive*, but from what I understand from what I've read, it has to do with the other ingredients in the sunscreen. If you use ingredient X and ingredient Y, you're fine. If you add ingredient N - N causes X to break down and become ineffective. That's something that EWG tests that you don't see on most products or in most articles (since most articles are written using the company-given information) - how long it takes for the sunscreen to break down or wear off or become ineffective.

One of the most mind boggling things to me is that the main reason the ingredients break down seems to be sun exposure. I mean, yeah, a lot of chemicals/whatever break down in sunlight - but it astonishes me that a company would choose to use chemical X or N in SUNSCREEN when they *know* it's going to cause the active ingredient break down in sunlight. Of course, by FDA rules the companies give themselves the SPF ratings according to their own tests - which are calculated when first put on, not after being exposed to sunlight where you'd like, actually use it. Of course we are all being forced to realize that most of these companies are out to make money, not necessarily to actually help consumers or make a wonderful product. If chemical N makes it smell pretty, or look pretty, and will convince more people to buy it, then a company is more likely to use that chemical - especially if it's cheaper.