Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Fun in the Sun

New FDA rules are helping to weed out the BS on sunscreen labeling and make it easier for us to pick out effective sunscreens. Here are the most important things to consider when choosing a sunblock:

Broad Spectrum - the FDA has recently defined this term and labels are only allowed to use it if they pass a particular test for blocking UVA & UVB rays.

SPF 30 and above - in short terms SPF refers to how long you can stay in the sun before burning. The hang up here is that amount of time here is based on a certain thickness of sunscreen and you and I both know that most of us don't put enough on because sunscreen often feels pretty gross technically speaking. The recommended amount of sunscreen to use for the body is 1 oz (WebMD) - that's a full shot glass. If you are only wearing half the recommended amount, you are only getting half the protection at best. Higher SPF's offer a little added insurance in case we don't put on enough sunscreen (WebMD)

Water Resistant - under the new rules, only the term water resistant 40 or 80 can be used to describe how the sunblock holds up to water and sweat. The old terms, such as, waterproof and sweat proof, are no longer acceptable. The catch here is that these rules don't apply to powders and sprays, which, frankly, probably aren't very water resistant anyway. Why risk it? Reapply after swimming or sweating heavily.

With that being said, here are a few I'll be stocking up on this summer:

1. Coola Body SPF 30 - these are a bit pricey but smell amazing! If your hang-up with sunscreen is the smell then give these are whirl. Coola sunscreens are also made with 70% organic ingredients and are free of oxybenzone, parabens and optional fragrance free.

2. Coola Face SPF 30 Cucumber Matte Finish - is a very light texture and works great under make-up or by itself. Again, oxybenzone, paraben and optional fragrance free.

3. SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense - is a very light and tinted sunscreen. It's works suberbly (is that even a word?) under make-up and by itself. I've taken it for a sweat test (applying it before a run) and it doesn't run into or sting your eyes. **note: it does not claim to be water resistant so I wouldn't count on it for a day at the pool

4. Supergoop SPF 30 Endless Summer Pump - this 16 oz bottle seems pricey ($48) but in the sunscreen world, 16 oz is a jug. It's about the equivalent amount as 3 regular bottles. This along with the fact that it's oxybenzone, paraben and fragrance free justify it for me and my little ones. Oh, and it feels great on too.

5. Banana Boat Sport - this is a great drugstore find. It's easy to use and does a fine job at blocking those nasty rays and not running into the eyes.

6. Coppertone Ultra Sport Spray - I love spray on sunscreens. They are just so easy to use as long as the wind is not blowing and you're not inside where you end up breathing in the fumes and then slipping on the excess spray that landed all over the hardwood floors. Just saying.

What are your favorites?

xo Ellen


  1. Ugh, these products are truly in my beach essentials list! I always like to be on the outdoors or feel the sun... so I need to get enough protection from the sun!

    Thanks for your comment. If you have a sec, I would love to hear your thoughts on my latest: http://fashchronicles.blogspot.com

  2. I hear ya! Sunscreen is a must for my fair skin. Thanks for your feedback. I'll be sure to check out your blog today