Sunscreen for Adults and Babies – Know the Differences!

Skin cancer by far the most common of all cancers,

as you often tell us.

We all know the importance

of protecting your skin from the sun.

But when it comes to protecting your children,

what's so different about baby versus adult sunscreens?

Have a look.

With one in five American's

developing skin cancer in their lifetime,

protection from harmful U.V. rays is so important.

And when it comes to protecting children from the sun,

many opt for gentler version of sunscreen

labeled specifically for kids or babies.

But what makes baby sunscreen gentler?

According to a new study done by the Clean Label Project,


The organization examined 95

of the best selling sunscreens and sunblocks

and found no significant difference

between baby, kid and adult versions of sunscreen.

But when it comes to toxins,

they did find something unsettling

in many bottles of block.


Five of the tested brands

had enough lead in a dime sized amount

to exceed California's mandated safety levels.

So what's the best way to protect yourself from the sun?

And is baby sunscreen just clever marketing?

Joining us now to shed some light on this study

is Executive Director of the Clean Label Project,

Jackie Bowen.

Welcome Jackie.


Jackie, we all want to do what's best for babies.

What did you find?

Is there a difference out there

between the safety of the baby sunscreens versus adult ones?

So the short answer is no, there's no difference.

Clean Label Project tested the top 95 products.

Tested them for things like heavy metals, efficacy,

antioxidant activity, sulfites,

and what we found was no difference

between baby and adult sunscreens.

Is it, so, mainly just marketing?

Well, that's what it looks like

based on just the differences

and that's what the science suggests.

Marketing departments can do a pretty good job

of selling comfort and security.

For us, it's about looking at the science of what's inside.

Yeah, and I think it's important to point out

the FDA actually doesn't regulate

whether or not something is labeled for babies

or even if something is labeled as hypoallergenic.

They don't really, there's no true definition of those terms

that we all see slapped on labels of sunscreen products.

But I though what was really interesting

also about your project

was this revelation about the lead content of sunscreens,

which for adults I'm not super concerned about,

cause it doesn't necessarily get absorbed through your skin,

but when you're talking about kids and babies

where they may be sucking on their hands

and they may be ingesting that sunscreen,

that lead content is actually really relevant.


To your point, it doesn't really matter for adults

about the lead absorption in the skin,

it's just think about it.

Show me a baby or child

that doesn't put their fingers or toes in their mouth.

And with reapplying sunscreen every two hours,

that ingestion potential is something to be concerned about.

Any difference if you buy an organic sunscreen?

We actually found that organic sunscreens

had an average three times as much lead as non-organic.

(audience gasping)

Yeah, that was actually one of the most

striking outcomes of this study.