Your sunscreen could be poisinging you – A guide to safe sunscreen


You think you are protecting your family with a safe sunscreen but you might actually be poisoning them.

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School is out.  Summer is almost here.  It is time for the season of being outside, in the water and in the sun.  Sunscreen should be a staple in your day-to-day at this point.  Even if you are just going to be out running errands its best to protect your skin. I hope the guide below will help you make informed decisions when choosing a safe sunscreen.

Skin Cancer Prevention

I will be 30 in a few days.  One of the fun perks of getting older are yearly visits to the dermatologist.  I have not been so protective of my skin in the past and now I am paying the price.

According to the CDC there are several risk factors for skin cancers.  Most of them are genetic, like having light-colored skin, a family history of skin cancers or red hair.  See the full list here.  The most bothersome part of the list are the risk factors that I could have controlled earlier in life.

Exposure to the sun through work and play.

A history of sunburns, especially early in life.

A history of indoor tanning.


I was always in the sun when I was younger.  We NEVER put sunscreen on unless we were at the beach or pool.  We only re-applied if we started to burn (which was always too late). I started using a tanning bed at 14.

I can not go back and change the things I did to my skin.

Your sunscreen could be poisining your children. The wrong sunscreen can can organ toxcisity, increase risks of cancer and cause allergies. Grab our free printable of the EWGs best and worst suncreens of 2017
Swim Diaper from Beau and Belle Littles . Chewelry by Bite Away Baby

Maybe the information wasn’t really out there when I was younger.  But it is now.

Today I do everything I can these days to protect myself and my girls from the harmful effects of the sun.  When your 9 month old is diagnosed with cancer that really changes how you see things.  You couldn’t pay me to get in a tanning bed these days.  My girls will NEVER let their vanity get in the way of their health.  There will be no tanning in this household.

So here we are.  You can’t change your genetic makeup or your past mistakes but from here on out you do have a choice.

Be conscious of what you are doing to your skin.

Keep an eye on your time in the sun.

Wear a safe sunscreen every time you leave your house.

Wear bathing suits that cover more of your skin.



The Secrets about Sunscreen

I never really thought about sunscreen and what was in it.  I just assumed the higher the SPF the better the sunscreen.  Generally I liked to pick out the ones that smelled the best.  These are NOT good ways to pick out your sunscreen.

Not all sunscreens are created equal.  Did you know that your sunscreen could actually being doing more harm than good?  Did you know that your sunscreen could be putting toxins into your body?  Into your children’s bodies?  Sunscreens might be protecting your from getting sunburnt but not protecting you from the harmful rays of the sun that penetrate deeper into your skin.

Common components of chemical sunscreens can cause hormone disruptions, allergic reactions and even cause free radicals (which turn into cancer) to grow.

Y’all….. That is scary.

Your sunscreen could be poisining your children. The wrong sunscreen can can organ toxcisity, increase risks of cancer and cause allergies. Grab our free printable of the EWGs best and worst suncreens of 2017
Swim Diaper from Beau and Belle Littles.

I’m supposed to think that putting these chemicals on my kids every day is safe?  Things that might affect their ability to have children one day?  That might cause them to have cancer?


I’m not going to be that mom.



There are other options out there!


Have you heard of the Environmental World Group?  If not, you HAVE to check them out!

“The Environmental Working Group’s mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action.We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.  ” (www.ewg.org)


I pretty much use them as an authority on EVERYTHING!  Products are even starting to be labeled with the EWG seal of approval!

The EWG has just released its 2017 list of best and worst kids sunscreens.  Surprisingly there are a lot that you can buy in regular stores like Target and CVS.  Almost all can be purchased on Amazon of course.  There are lots of options at various price points too.  I’ll be testing them out and getting reviews out this summer but I wanted yall to go ahead and take a look at this list.


Your sunscreen could be poisining your children. The wrong sunscreen can can organ toxcisity, increase risks of cancer and cause allergies. Grab our free printable of the EWGs best and worst suncreens of 2017
Reusable cloth swim diaper from Beau and Belle Littles and Chewelry from Bite Away Baby.

According to the EWG you want to make sure you are avoiding sprays, powders and SPFs over 50 as well as Oxybenzone ( which adds estrogen to your bloodstream), Vitamin A or retinyl palmitate (which can cause free radicals to grow) and added insect repellent.

The FDA grandfathered a bunch of chemicals into the equation back in the 70s and haven’t done much testing since.  The cosmetics industry in general is highly unregulated.  Makeup, shampoos, soaps…. all of it.

Please, Please, Please educate yourselves.  Don’t think that something labeled for kids, or as organic or healthy is automatically safe.  Read the packaging.  If you don’t understand, look it up.  Ignorance is bliss until it affects the health of someone you know.  Protect yourself and your kids this summer!



  • Heather June 4, 2017 at 2:12 am

    Sunscreen does not cause cancer. Multiple studies have examined the issue and found no link. In fact, use of sunscreen decreases the risk of skin cancer. No current published data has demonstrated adverse health effects on humans from the regular use of sunscreen.

    • TheGracefulOlive June 4, 2017 at 2:48 am

      The sunscreens themselves don’t adequately protect against the possible free radical growth according the the EWG. Below are two excerpts and a link to the article where I got a portion of my information.
      “While most sunscreens prevent sunburn effectively when used correctly, they are not as good at preventing the more subtle skin damages produced by lower-energy UVA radiation. UVA rays have less energy and don’t burn the skin, but they can cause the skin to age, can suppress the immune system and can contribute to the development of melanoma.”
      “People pick sunscreen based on the SPF value, and falsely assume that preventing sunburn means they have protected their skin from all UV damage. This is not the case. Many sunscreens don’t provide adequate protection from UVA rays. While higher-energy UVB rays are the primary cause of sunburns and pre-cancerous DNA mutations, lower-energy UVA rays cause tanning and more subtle damage. They penetrate deeper into skin tissue and are most responsible for generating free radicals – energized molecules that are highly reactive and can damage DNA and skin cells, promote skin aging, and cause skin cancer.”

      Also another concern is that there hasn’t really been much testing or regulation at all in the general cosmetics industry.

  • Monica Geglio June 6, 2017 at 2:24 am

    Crazy you started using a tanning bed at age 14. How was that even allowed?!

    • TheGracefulOlive June 6, 2017 at 2:33 am

      Its a southern thing I guess…. as long as your parent signed off it was allowed. Everyone my age did it at the time.

  • Emily June 6, 2017 at 3:33 pm

    So ironic I just wrote a post about how we are too hard on ourselves about sunscreens and the kinds we use. As parents we should do what we feel is best for our kids. Some days I am excited just to remember the sunscreen. Very informative, but I do feel sunscreen helps prevent cancer and won’t really cause it all. Let’s do the best for our kids and not be so hard on ourselves and other moms.

    • TheGracefulOlive June 6, 2017 at 7:31 pm

      I didn’t intend for this article to seem as if I was being hard on myself or as a judgement to other moms. I am a cancer mom and during our journey I discovered that there are lots of things that I just didn’t know about the products I use on myself and my children. There are other alternatives that are sitting on the shelf, right next to the ones that contain toxic components. This article was just meant to be informative, to let moms know that there are safer choices, you just have to know how to look for them.

  • Bailey Bouwman June 6, 2017 at 5:25 pm

    So what are the viable alternatives to not using sunscreen. I feel the risk of skin cancer is much greater than the risk of using sunscreen. How do you keep your kids safe in the sun?

    • TheGracefulOlive June 6, 2017 at 7:42 pm

      Hi Bailey, I am not saying NOT to wear any sunscreen! I am just saying to check the ingredients of the ones you are buying. There are chemical and mineral sunscreens on the market today. The chemical ones contain things like Oxybenzone which enters your bloodstream and acts like estrogen, Retinyl palmitate which when exposed to the sun could possibly cause skin tumors and lesion’s to grow. High SPFs also give the illusion of protection when in fact they often don’t protect against UVA rays which penetrate deeper into the skin, and MAY cause skin cancer. Mineral sunscreens do not contain these products and are just as effective at providing protection. My whole point with this article was just to inform that there is a difference. If you look at the lists provided by the EWG some of the worst sunscreens are Coppertone Kids and Banana Boat Kids. On the best list there are Neutrogena, California Baby, and Aveeno brands. These literally sit next to each other on the shelf at the store. Just grab one of the safer, non toxic ones.

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    About Zhade

    About Zhade

    Hi Mama

    I’m wife to my high school sweetheart, and mama to three little girls: Everleigh, Magnolia & Juniper. I LOVE motherhood, holidays and hot chocolate. I crave efficiency and NEED to figure out the easiest and best way to do EVERYTHING. Life is short & I refuse to waste it on being boring.


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