By Lori Bosworth
The dog days of summer are here and that means more time spent out under the sun and its harmful UV rays. We all know we need to wear sunscreen during these days with high UV ratings, but many sunscreens contain damaging active ingredients such as vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) and oxybenzone, which can play havoc with hormones. I was asked to review SunZone sunscreen products, which are made in Canada. According to SunZone, their SPF 60 Kids sunscreen contains only 7% active ingredients compared to the leading national brand SPF 60 kids lotion, which contains 30% active chemicals.
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), “An ideal sunscreen would block the majority of UVA and UVB rays with active ingredients that do not break down in the sun, so that the product remains effective. It would also contain only active and inactive ingredients that are proven to be completely safe for both adults and children.” In fact, the EWG studied many sunscreen products currently on the market and assigned them a rating from 1 to 10 (with 1 being the best score and 10 being the worst) based on factors such as whether a product contains harmful ingredients such as oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate, a product’s ability to protect against UVA and UVB rays and whether the SPF is 50 or under since the EWG claims that sunscreens with an SPF above 50 are making false claims and do not offer proportionally higher protection. The EWG also does not rate spray-on sunscreens highly because they may not provide all-over coverage and the ingredients could accidentally be inhaled while spraying.
SunZone Sunscreen Lotion formulas contain patented Oleosomes Technology, a unique emulsifier and delivery system found naturally in plant seeds, which they claim “significantly reduce active chemicals used to achieve SPF levels.” SunZone products contain natural ingredients such as Green Tea extract, moisturizing Aloe and Vitamin E and are paraben and PABA free.
I tried all four of the SunZone sunscreen products I received and have to admit, I prefer SunZone sunscreen lotions to the sprays. While the sunscreen sprays are good for those hard-to-reach spots, you don’t know if you are covering all of your skin. I’m also not crazy about having spray cans marked “Extremely flammable…container may explode if heated” hanging around our house. The SunZone Kids Sunscreen Lotion SPF 60, and the SunZone Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30, however, were both light without being greasy and absorbed well. I tried them on my face, neck and arms and was pleased with the products. The sunscreen is lightly scented although the scent didn’t bother me. The label indicates that the product is “very water resistant,” but I applied more after coming out of the water to be safe.
I checked SunZone’s products in the EWG’s sunscreen rating system. SunZone had four products with a ‘4’ rating including SunZone Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 60, SunZone Kids Sunscreen Lotion SPF 60, SunZone Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 60 and SunZone Work Sunscreen Lotion SPF 60. SunZone’s other products had higher ratings from ‘5’ to ‘7’ although most of these products were the spray-on sunscreens that the EWG frowns upon. There are obviously sunscreen products with higher and lower ratings than SunZone’s sunscreens, but SunZone does offer moderate UVA protection and a moderate balance of UVA protection in relation to the SPF so I would definitely use SunZone’s Sunscreen Lotion in SPF 60.