What is the Best Natural Sunscreen for Your Family

July 30, 2012


For all you couch junkies this is your call to get up and get some Vitamin D! Real Vitamin D, not that liquid fake stuff.

Summertime is a time for beaches, pool parties, slip ‘n slides and splash parks.  All those are a kids’ heaven on earth.

Are they my idea of fun? No, but let’s focus on the kids.

Ironically, the summer of 2012, has been relatively mild for us in south Texas, while record temperatures are being set across the rest of the US.  For once, south Texas is the place to be in July!

Before you go jump in the pool, lake, ocean, river or puddle think ahead of time about your skin.  Do you really want to enjoy a day in the sun only to come home MISERABLE because you’ve become a lobster?  Or worse, do you want to feel like a horrible parent because you’ve let your kids get burned?  I did this once and I wanted to crawl under a rock.  Our children rely on us to think about things like sun protection.

What sunscreen should you use?  Don’t go to the store and buy any brand.  I know they are cheap but the contain harmful chemicals (specifically octyl methoxycinnamate and butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane).

I mentioned Vitamin D in the opening.  Did you know that your body natural begins producing Vitamin D when it is exposed to UVB rays?  Did you also know that UVB rays are weak in the morning and late afternoon yet at optimal strength mid-day?  This causes a problem.  At mid-day UVA rays are present (they always are) and UVA rays penetrate deep into your skin causing major free radical damage.  Hmmmm.  This is a dilemma.

The fact is you need the sun just not so much that you overdo it.  We’ve all over done it before and never want to go there again.  Aside from  using clothing to protect your skin there are sunscreens you can buy that protect with natural ingredients safe for the whole family.

In June, my family headed to the beach and took with us The “BALM!” SUN! and Scarlet’s Sun Block.

Both did their job well but I prefer Scarlet’s for the convenience, consistency and stronger protection.

Our family doesn’t typically wear sunscreen (we wear full coverage bathing suits and hats) but if we are out in the afternoon I will apply sunscreen to noses, ears and cheeks.  This year I wore a tank top (I hate bathing suits) and needed my neck and shoulders protected.

Day 1 I didn’t wear any sunscreen and got a slight burn.  Day 2 and on I wore Scarlet’s Sun Block with no further burning. The kids wore the different brands and both stayed on well with heavy splashing and swimming.

Scarlet’s Sun Block comes in a 6oz plastic bottle with flip top lid or a stick for easy application.  The “BALM!” SUN! comes in a 2oz glass jar.  Both are easy to travel with but I found it harder to get the sunscreen out of a glass jar when my hands were sandy or wet.

Do you ever read Dr. Mercola’s site?  I’m not a huge fan of his because he seems to hate everything but what he produces and sells.  However, his site is a great source for information to equip yourself in how to make decisions for your family’s health.  As I was reading his site for sunscreen information he was, of course, selling his sunscreen.  The really neat thing is Scarlet’s Sun Block and The “BALM!” SUN! contain similar or the same ingredients as his sunscreen! Must be good then, right?? :P

Scarlet’s Sun Block Ingredients:

  • Zinc Ozide 37%
  • Aloe Vera
  • Coconut Oil
  • Apricot Oil
  • Beeswax

The “BALM!” SUN! Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • calendula extract
  • shea butter
  • coconut & macadamia nut oil
  • zinc oxide
  • kukui nut oil
  • sesame seed oil
  • candelilla wax
  • St. John’s wort extract
  • chickweed extract
  • neem oil
  • vitamin e T-50
  • Organic Essential oils: orange, lavender, tea tree

Don’t let the summer pass you by without doing something fun in the sun!  And don’t forget the sunscreen!

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About Autumn Beck

Autumn is a wife, mother, homeschool teacher, friend and most important a follower of Christ. She began cloth diapering in 2005 and has experienced many joys and trials throughout the years. You can read more from Autumn over at https://www.facebook.com/beautifullyblessedlashes.

View all posts by Autumn Beck

11 Responses to “What is the Best Natural Sunscreen for Your Family”

  1. lani Says:

    The zinc oxide study also is specific to the nano sized particles. Sometimes the sunblocks will identify on this specifically on the packaging, especially if the sunblocks do not leave a white residue.


  2. Sherry W Says:

    We don’t have warm weather all year (Ontario, Canada) so when it is gorgeous out you will find us soaking up the sun. We use Badger sunscreen on our children and ourselves. It works, lasts well in and out of the water and work just as great during the winter months when we go skiing.


  3. Miranda Says:

    Environmental Working Group posts a great list every year of sunscreens they’ve rated for harmful chemicals (their Skin Deep database does this for make-up, hair and body care, baby care, and more as well). It’s a great resource to find out if the sunscreens (or baby products) you are using are safe! http://breakingnews.ewg.org/2012sunscreen/


  4. Mary Says:

    While no little ones still at home, this Grandma uses many of the natural products made for those sweet little guys – treats my “old” (and diabetic) skin as gently as the skin of those little ones. I have found “The Balm” to be an answer for MANY concerns… including its sunscreen. Being very prone to burn, this product works VERY well. And, I found no problem with it being in glass – in fact, I find that to be a HUGE plus as I appreciate a company that walks its talk: safe, natural product packaged in safe-for-the-planet packaging! KUDOs to NOW Family for truly natural products that work for me AND the planet!


  5. Megan Says:

    I’ve pretty much swore off sunscreen except when absolutely unavoidable when I read that zinc oxide (the ingredient in most “natural” sunscreens that acts as the physical sunscreen instead of the toxic and cancer causing chemical ones) can also cause skin cancer. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120507131951.htm (This is just a quick link I found but their have been lots of reports on this)

    Maybe I should invest in some BALM!Sun though since it doesn’t appear any zinc oxide or the other toxic chemicals.


    • Autumn Beck Says:

      the balm does contain zinc oxide.


      • Sherry W Says:

        In above ingredients and on their page it says zinc oxide. Is there different versions of it because I can onlt find the one with zinc


    • cara Says:

      I wouldn’t base any concerns off one study using lung cells considering the sun causes free redical damage as well but it is a topic that should be studied more.


      • Malena Says:


        This is a true point as well. Also, (see above) there is a lot of scare about nano zinc getting into the bloodstream, lungs, etc. Studies are still inconclusive, yet we still use NON-nano zinc to be safe. We would never want to harm people; just like we don’t use plastic to store our product in.


    • Malena Says:


      In response to the article you referenced, it is quoted:

      “Why does zinc oxide, an ingredient used in sunscreen to help block harmful UV rays, cause cells to deteriorate when exposed to sunlight? According to Ma, when the zinc oxide nano-particles in the solution absorb the UV rays, the reaction releases electrons, which in turn may produce unstable free radical molecules in the zinc oxide solution. Those free radical molecules then bond with other molecules and act as parasites, damaging the other molecules in the process.”

      I believe they are only talking about “nano” zinc. “THE” BALM! SUN! contains “NON-nano” zinc. Hope this helps!


  6. Heather Says:

    I also live in Texas, and just came back from a trip to S. Padre. We have a pool in the backyard, and we always swim in the morning and the evening, and rarely in the middle of the day. If we do, we use Badger. It is wonderful: easy to apply, scores very well on the Skin Deep Database, and lasts. It really works – even on a redhead (me) in the South Texas sun!


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