As a parent, keeping your little ones happy and healthy is always a top priority. Each day, you have to make choices that benefit their wellbeing, whether it’s feeding them the right foods or protecting them from harmful chemicals.
Unfortunately, many baby products include harsh additives that can harm your children’s health. For that reason, it’s important to know which ingredients are contained in items like sunscreen before you use them on your children.
In particular, you should seek out PABA-free products that have not been tested on animals. In this post, we’ll share what to look for when purchasing sunscreen for your 6 month+ old baby, and we’ll explain why these safe products are essential to keep your children healthy.
Avoid sunscreen containing PABA
Para-aminobenzoic acid (also known as PABA) is a naturally occurring substance that’s often used in sunscreens and other cosmetics. It’s also found in certain foods, including some meats and grains.
Like a vitamin, people take PABA as an oral supplement in order to improve skin conditions, such as vitiligo, pemphigus, and dermatomyositis.
In sunscreen, PABA is used to block ultraviolet rays from the sun — which is why it’s such a common agent in these products. However, it has potential side effects that are not just unhealthy, but also dangerous.
The use of PABA can cause allergic dermatitis in people with sensitive skin or those who have an allergy to the chemical. It can also cause discoloration of skin or clothing.
Make sure your sunscreen is protective
Of course, you’ll want to find a sunscreen that protects your little one from the sun’s harmful rays. Before you buy, check the label for these two important things.
First, your baby’s sunscreen should have an SPF of at least 30 to be effective. If your child will be playing in a pool or on the beach, make sure your sunscreen is water-resistant as well.
Second, the sunscreen should be marked as “broad spectrum.” This means that it will protect against both UVA and UVB rays when your baby is out in the sun.
Apply the sunscreen 15-30 minutes before going outside, and don’t forget to reapply every two hours (or more often if your baby is in the water).
Be wary of other ingredients
In addition to additives like PABA, there are also other ingredients commonly used in sunscreen that aren’t healthy to use on your baby.
Avoid sunscreens that contain parabens and oxybenzone. Instead, opt for creams that have zinc oxide and other natural ingredients, such as jojoba oil, olive oil, and papaya.
From an ethical perspective, it’s also wise to avoid sunscreens that are tested on animals. Animal testing is harmful, and there are safer alternatives that don’t involve the suffering of animals.
When it comes to protecting your baby from the sun, it’s important to make an informed decision about the products you’re using. If you’re looking for a natural, PABA-free option, make sure to check out Thinkbaby Safe Sunscreen. Learn more about why we like this sunscreen and how it measures up to the Environmental Working Group’s ratings.