Remember when you were a kid and you’d come in from being outside all day and your skin was red and burned? I particularly remember my shoulders getting blistered pretty good several times as a kid. These days, we’re so much more aware of the damage sun can do, not only in the short-term blistering peeling stage, but in the long term, like cancer. Luckily, I got smart around college and started hitting the sunscreen hard. My husband has a legit sun allergy — he gets insanely itchy with sun exposure — so I’m even better about sun protection because he’s so paranoid. (We’re talking it takes him five minutes to put sunscreen on…his face.)
Our weather here in Jersey went from rainy and coats to 90 degrees and sun overnight, so now’s the time I stock up on my sunscreen for the summer. I keep some in the car…by the front door…by the back door…in our swim bags. I’m basically never without it in case of impromptu trips to the park or extended play sessions outside. As much as the kids hate the application process, they know it’s either that or not going outside at all, so they deal with it. I always tell them they’ll thank me when they’re 35 and don’t have wrinkles or cancer.
My son has a bad reaction to chemical blockers in sunscreens, so I try to use the physical blockers titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. I’m always up for trying out new sunscreens that fall into that category, so Elemental Herbs recently sent me a few of its All Good sunscreens to try.
The kids’ sunscreen I tried is SPF 33, and importantly, has zinc oxide as its active ingredient. It also recently made Mother Jones’ list of best sunscreens. It’s made with calendula and chamomile, and got my daughter’s stamp of “That smells good!” It’s also petroleum-free and non-greasy, so you don’t get that slip-and-slide feel of being one big gooky mess. It’s $15.99 for 3 ounces, so it’s pricier than your drugstore brands, but we just baked all afternoon at an outdoor birthday party with nary a burn in sight. The package says that it goes on clear, but I felt like it really varied — sometimes it would soak right into their skin and other times it left them ghostly and no amount of rubbing would make it disappear into their skin. Always better to be ghostly than burned. Just ask my legs.
I also tried the All Good Sport Sunscreen, which is essentially the same as the kids’ version. For whatever reason, I had a better time with it going on clear and again, felt like the coverage was really solid. It has more of a tacky feel than a greasy feel, so it also stuck around really well during workouts.
The Coconut Sunstick ($8.99) was also fun to try, but since it really goes on clear, I also felt the most paranoid about getting the best coverage on my kids with it. They tend to twist and shout when I’m applying anything, so honestly it’s almost better if something doesn’t go on clear so I can see where I’ve gotten them covered! For me though and applying it to my face? It was like applying lip balm to my face, so it was fun drawing outside the lip lines. It’s made with zinc oxide and it smells deliciously coconutty. It feels a touch greasier than the other sunscreens, but that’s to be expected when something is being applied from a balm-like tube. Definitely not the route you want to go for your whole body, but when you just need your face covered, this one’s a convenient option that won’t get your hands messy.
Two other All Good products I tried were the lip balm ($3.50), which I loved because of its SPF 15 and how smooth it made my lips feel. The All Good Goop ($8.99 for 1 ounce) is great for not only its name, but its many uses. It’s one of those balms that’s perfect for cuts and scrapes, burns, bites and anything that needs soothing. I used it for my daughter’s diaper rash and for my dry lips, so really, it’s all-purpose. Plus the lavender scent is really soothing no matter where you need it. I’m already going to keep it in my for anti-chafing purposes as my runs get longer…
Ever tried a sunstick before? I’m so curious how long a tube would last, as I don’t think I’ve ever made it to the bottom of a lip balm or something similar before losing it. —Erin