SPF: Sun Protection Factor. A measure of how effectively the sunscreen blocks the sun’s UVB rays. It’s calculated by comparing the amount of time needed to produce a sunburn on protected skin to the amount of time needed to cause a sunburn on unprotected skin.
UVB: Short-wave part of the spectrum of sunlight; more potent than UVA in causing sunburn, thought to be the main cause of basal and squamous cell skin cancers as well as a contributor to melanomas.
UVA: Long-wave solar rays. Less likely than UVB to cause sunburn, but penetrates the skin more deeply; considered chief cause of wrinkling and “photoaging.” Apparently increases UVB’s cancer-causing effects, but may be main culprit of melanomas. Not blocked by all sunscreens, so check the label!!
Sunscreen: absorbs UV rays.
Sunblock: Physically deflects UV rays.
“Broad-spectrum Protection”: This indicates that a product protects against UVA and UVB, but doesn’t guarantee coverage against all UVA wavelengths. Sunscreens containing avobenzone, zinc oxide, or titanium dioxide should be effective against entire UVA spectrum.
It is best to keep babies out of the sun, but if this isn’t possible, Here is a list of Baby Bodyguard approved products. All sunscreens listed here contain no parabens, phthalates, sodium laurel/laureth sulfates, propylene glycol, PEGS, dioxanes and oxybenzones.
Burts Bees Chemical Free
California baby SPF 30 Everyday and Bug Blends
TruKid Sunny Days Everyday Mineral Sunscreen
Weleda Childrens SPF 18
Jason’s Sunbrella’s Minerals
It is very important to check those expiration dates. Many sunscreen and sunblock ingredients do not have an incredibly long shelf life, so throw away the old stuff and replace it!