When I was growing up, and even as an adult, I was big into tanning. It was rare that I bothered with sunscreen, but when I did, it was always one of those big brand names you can pick up for cheap at the drug store. You know, the ones LOADED with chemicals. Or didn't you know? Yeah... it's kinda scary.
When my baby was born, I protected him from the sun like it was going to kill him. Because, it actually can! I had him covered head to toe under the shade of his stroller canopy and an extra lightweight blanket hanging over his legs, or when in the baby carrier he always had on a sun hat, Sunny Sleevez, and BabyLegs! Last spring and summer was his first time running free under the sun at the playground, so we tried to keep him indoors during peak sun hours of 10AM-2PM, and outside of that he wore a sun hat, Sunny Sleevez, and Badger sunscreen on all exposed areas.
Badger is regarded by many as the safest and most natural sunblock on the market, and it did a great job (we avoided any burns or tans altogether), however I was not a huge fan. It was really thick and difficult to rub in, leaving him very white and frankly gross looking. And I refused to use it on myself, opting for a chemical-laden drug store product. So this year, I was on the hunt for something equally safe but with a better consistency that we can use for the whole family.
After researching and reading through Safe Mama's sunscreen safety cheat sheet, I narrowed my search down to a UVA/UVB sunscreen made from a base of zinc oxide that is on the thinner and clearer side and does NOT contain oxybenzone, nano-particles, Vitamin A, or titanium dioxide. I came across Babyhampton at The Mamas Expo in Queens last year, so when I noticed it was listed and highly rated on Safe Mama's list I knew I had to try it out.
On the Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Database, Babyhampton's Beach Bum Sunscreen scored a 1 out of 10 in overall safety (with a score of 0 meaning 100% safe with no concerning ingredients whatsoever), the same as Badger and The Honest Company! Most sunscreens carried at the drug store, in comparison (including Coppertone, Banana Boat, and Aveeno), scored a 3 (even those formulated specifically for babies).
Here's a demo of my first application of Babyhampton's sunscreen on my son:
The squirt bottle is easy to use and as you can see it comes out nice and thin but not watery. It rubs in easily and does not leave any oily residue. But here's the part I found a bit tricky, you have to rub it in quickly - since it is not oily, you can't spread it around as easily as other lotions and sunscreens once it's started to absorb. So, if you missed a spot, you have to pump out and spread some more on.
It's not nearly as white and pasty once applied as some of the other zinc oxide based sunscreens, but as expected it's not completely clear and you'll see a bit of chalky reside (especially on the eyebrows and hairline), but it's not bad at all.
When applying it to my own face, I liked that it didn't leave me feeling greasy and sweaty as the others tend to do, but I did feel a bit dry and had to apply regular face lotion on top of it. It is true to its unscented claim, with no good or bad odor whatsoever (and my preggo nose is super sensitive!).
Overall, this is a pretty great sunscreen on the safer side of the spectrum, but it's not perfect (are any of them???). The biggest downfall is that it is NOT water-proof or resistant. So, if you plan to do some swimming or will be sweating a lot, this is not the best sunscreen. It's better for daily use, going on a picnic or the playground, that type of thing.
You can get more information and purchase Hamptonbaby Beach Bum Sunscreen (as well as their Sun Stick and Shampoo & Body Wash) on their website and Amazon.
Disclaimer: Although I did receive this product free of charge, all thoughts and opinions are my own and completely unbiased.
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1), focusing on fun and honest product and travel reviews, saving moms time finding the best for their families! Find what you need in the menu bar or search section above!