Why I’m Mad at BabyCenter

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When you find out you’re expecting a baby, one of the first things you will do is begin researching online. You will inevitably find the BabyCenter website and be enthralled by the information, subscribing to their email updates. I don’t think I know a new mom that isn’t on the BabyCenter email list. The website is very successful, but with their success comes a great responsibility to help moms and dads care well for their babies. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw their latest email.

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What’s the big deal?

Their intentions seem pure as they encourage moms to make sure their little ones are protected from the sun. I completely agree in their recommendation to keep babies shaded and covered with clothes. Sunscreen should be avoided, but is sometimes necessary. I appreciate the additional tips that they provided below the advertisement as well. What I’m mad about is their recommended brand of sunscreen, which I’m sure paid them a pretty penny to be promoted.

They recommend Aveeno Baby Sunscreen products that are touted as “natural protection” and soothing for baby’s delicate skin, but chances are this sunscreen is doing more harm to your baby than protecting her. Just look at how high these rate on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep scale.

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This is why it can be so hard to make safe choices for your family. You can’t trust companies to do the right thing and use non-toxic ingredients in their products, even when they are branded as natural baby products. It’s deceiving and it makes me angry.

What are safe sunscreen options for your baby?

Personally, we use Beautycounter’s Protect All Over Sunscreen not only because it rates a 1 on the Skin Deep scale, but because it goes on really smooth and absorbs quickly without leaving a greasy feel. It’s perfect for the whole family, not just baby. (Side Note: If you aren’t familiar with Beautycounter and their ingredient restrictions, sourcing, and testing, learn more about their safe beauty options here.)

There are other safe options as well such as Badger, Honest (not the spray), Aubrey Organics, and even some Blue Lizard products. You can do a search for yourself on EWG.org/SkinDeep. You want to look for products that rate a 0-2, but I can’t speak to the performance on those. I know Honest Sunscreen was like a thick paste and difficult for me to rub in well. You may just need to test some different brands to see which you prefer, but let’s start with checking the rating on the sunscreens in your home, yes, even the one you use.

STOP what you are doing right now.

Look up your sunscreens on Skin Deep to see how they rate. Let me know in the comments. Also, please share if you have a safe sunscreen that you have personally used, that you would like to recommend.

Shana Bresnahan
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