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The Thinking Parent’s Sunscreen: thinkbaby

Keeping kids out of the sun wasn’t always a priority – remember the Coppertone baby? – but now we know how much damage the sun can do, especially to young skin. So most parents are hyper-aware of using a good sunscreen on little ones. By good, we mean sunscreen that not only deflects damaging rays, but that isn’t filled with all kinds of other chemicals and weird ingredients. So I’m excited to tell you that FRESH is now carrying thinkbaby sunscreen. thinkbaby is a zinc-based, SPF 30+  product that provides broad spectrum UVA/ UVB protection. (Those are the rays that contribute the most to cancer risk and skin aging.) It doesn’t contain any chemical absorbers, PABA or parabens. Instead, its ingredient list is filled with natural stuff like whole leaf aloe vera gel, avocado oil, beeswax and cornstarch. It received a 1 safety rating, the highest available, in the sunscreen database compiled by Environmental Working Group, which analyzes cosmetics, sunblocks and other personal-care products.

Unlike the old-generation zinc-based sunblocks, this one doesn’t feel heavy and oily. It can be absorbed into the skin and doesn’t leave a thick white residue. It’s not truly waterproof – no sunscreen is – but it has been found to last longer than many less-expensive brands. And, longer-lasting means fewer times you need to wrestle your kids to get yet another coat of sunscreen on their skin!

thinkbaby comes from Austin-based thinksport, which was created to develop safer products for kids and adults, free of chemicals linked to cancer, endocrine disruption and reproductive system damage. The company partners with Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG foundation, which supports cancer patients and cancer research. In fact, it is pledging to donation at least $1.5 million to LIVESTRONG’s fight against cancer.

Like other sunscreens, thinkbaby is recommended only for children six months and older. And, it only works if you use it:

  • Test the sunscreen for possible allergic reactions by placing a small amount on the inside of a child’s wrist the day before you need to use it.
  • Put on sunscreen religiously and reapply often, especially if they are in water or perspiring.
  • Send your own sunscreen to be used at day care centers – so you can be sure what’s going on your child’s skin.

For children under six months, check with your physician before using ANY kind of sun protection product. In the meantime:

  • Always have a hat handy to protect their scalp.
  • Make shade with an umbrella or canopy from a stroller.
  • Avoid mid-day sun, 10am-4 pm; go early in the morning or late afternoon.  Children under 6 months of age do not produce the melamine that tans their skin and protects them.
  • Cover them up with tightly woven, but loose fitting clothing.