Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Ok, this may be a strange one to come back from my (un-planned) blog hiatus with but its what is in my head at the mo with all this lovely weather so here we go :D


Having recently seen that some suncreams contain ingredients that may, over a long period of time, actually cause damage to the skin we decided to make the change we had been considering and switch to all-natural versions. So here is my non-sponsored, un-solicited review of the two we tried.

The packaging claims water resistance, SPF 30 UVA and UVB protection and a light scent. It cost £13.17 from Amazon, plus £1.57 delivery.

The ingredients -
Extra virgin olive oil, Beeswax, Jojoba Oil, Cocoa butter, Shea Butter, Lavender essential oil, 'CO2 extracts' of Rosemary and Seabuckthorn berry. All the ingredients except the beeswax are Certified Organic. The packaging then adds (outside of the ingredients box) that it includes also a 'high quality, pharmaceutical grade zinc oxide'.

The packaging.
The packaging is cute i think, with a lovely badger basket-carrying a baby badger on its back along a tropical beach. The purple and yellow are eye-catching but not blinding and all the relevant information is clearly displayed.

The suncream itself.
When i first tried the cream on i wished i hadnt picked the toddler to use it on first. It comes out very thickly and is almost gritty with small lumps. The lavender smell is a little too strong to us, as a scent we dont tend to favour and it takes a fair amount of rubbing to spread it across the skin though the lumps do rub out.
 However, once thoroughly rubbed on to the skin it is almost invisible, and i was very impressed at how long it stayed on the childrens skin. Only the toddler needed a re-application later in the day, this pleased me greatly because it means that the value-for-money factor has significantly increased. When asked which they prefer both Princess and Manic chose this.

Points are out of five out of five -
Ease of use - 2
Effectiveness - 5
Value for money - 4
Overall impression - 4
Total 15 out of 20 - i would recommend it but for older, more patient/easily distracted children.

Burt's Bees.
Packaging claims chemical free sunscreen with hemp seed oil, 100% natural. SPF 30, UVA and UVB protection. It cost £16 from Amazon, plus £3.95 shipping.

The ingredients.
'Active ingredients' Titanium dioxide, 'Inactive ingredients' water, hemp seed oil, glycerin, stearic acid, fragrance, sunflower seed oil, hydrated silica, sucrose distearate, calendula flower extract, hawthorn stem extract, witch hazel extract, golden seal extract, comfrey extract, rosemary leaf extract, alginic acid, acacia senegal gum, xanthan gum, beta carotene, sucrose stearate, lecithin, aluminium hydroxide, sodium borate, glucose, sodium chloride, canola oil, glucose oxidase, lactoperoxidase.

The packaging.
I really like the packaging, a lovely warm yellow with a bearded, sun-glass wearing fellow pursing his lips right in the middle. My children call this one the 'old man' sun cream! 

The sun cream itself. 
This cream spreads considerably easier than the other cream but unfortunately it dries very very quickly. The best way i can describe it is if you have ever bought a cheap foundation, which dries too fast for you to be able to blend it properly and instead just rubs off or leaves a tide line. Its the only negative point i have about this cream as the smell is very mild and it lasts quite well - only the high-friction areas of the children's skin needed reapplication. I do have to admit the long list of ingredients concerns me a little but it is cited as being '100% natural'. Chicken and Dreamer both prefer this one.

Scores then!
Ease of use - 4
Effectiveness -3
Value for money - 4
Overall impression - 4
Total 15 out of 20.

I have to say i strongly dislike the feel of sunscreen on my skin and prefer to just use a moisturiser with an spf for myself. Though the two creams scored the same and had two children each prefer it, my choice would be the Burts, the ease of spreading and the lack of strong scent win out for me. Hope this has been helpful :D
After reading Imogen's comment below i went to the cosmetic database and checked out the burts bee's sunscreen and the badger sunscreen. I have to say the results shocked me and im amazed that Burt's bees can get away with calling itself all natural!
 As i now have more information i am changing my original decision to one in favour of the Badger cream. It may be harder to use and smell worse but it is far far less damaging to my children's skin and health in general. Thankyou Immi, i shall be referring to that site often!


  1. The only thing is, we tend to use factor 50 - do you know what is recommended for babies in the UK? I hate putting suncream on me (I will probably have wrinkly horrible skin in 30 years' time) and I hate putting it on the baby because it's a pain in the arse. Also we discovered this weekend that we need to buy a new sunhat.

  2. Pelvis, Interrupted14 April 2011 at 21:08

    Hey Sarah, nice to see you :D thanks for replying!
    I read somewhere (and if i can find the article i will link to it here) that proving the efficiency of suncream above factor 30 is tricky at best, and it could possibly be considered false advertising for sun creams to be labelled as factor 50 because it cannot be proven to be more effective than 30.
    I have to say my experience with the two creams i tried was better than with the factor 50 i used last year, i will be very happy to stick with them (though i do wish they were less expensive!). xx

  3. We've stopped using sunscreen for now. Apparently there's a vitamin/mineral or something that if you have enough of it in your body, it actually prevents burning. I can't think off the top of my head what it is but i'll get back to you on it. I'm looking for a natural one to use for days that we cant avoid being in the sun for long periods but i want to make sure that the kids get light sun exposure because I believe it's good for them. Burning is bad, obviously, but tanning is good and toughens up the skin :)

    Check out - it's worrying how toxic Burts Bees stuff is when they make you think they are all natural!

    THanks for the review, ill definitely be trying the top one!!

  4. I can't live without sunscreen, I use it every day. I shudder to think what my skin would look like without it.... urgh...!! Being Australian has a lot to do with it.

    I know the British love a tan, but a tan is actually sun damage. It's not doing your skin any good, it's actually just the pre-burn. I feel like I'm bursting people's bubbles saying this, sorry, but tans are BAD and best avoided. Too much tanning and you get that leathery look... noooo!!!