Summer fun can quickly be ruined by a nasty sunburn. It’s important that, if you or your little ones are out playing in the sun, you protect your skin. Recently, Block Island was kind enough to mail me a sample of their Face and Body Natural Mineral Sunscreen. It arrived at my house shortly before my family and I took a camping vacation to Colorado. We got plenty of opportunity to try out this award-winning product.
I have to say that I wanted to love this product, but I just don’t. I have tremendous respect for it and feel completely comfortable using it on myself and my children, but I probably wouldn’t buy a bottle. Read on to find out more about my experience with Block Island Face and Body Natural Mineral Sunscreen.
SPF 30 Face and Body Sunscreen
If you’re going to be out and about in the sun, SPF 30 is a great level of protection for your face and body. In order to avoid burns or damage to your skin, you want to wear SPF 30 or greater when you’re outdoors. Remember, even on cloudy days, you can get a sunburn. Get in the habit of always wearing some sunscreen.
Natural and Organic Ingredients
Sunscreen can be a controversial item. On the one hand, you want to protect yourself and your little ones from the sun’s powerful rays. On the other hand, you don’t want to cover your skin, which is your body’s largest organ, with a bunch of miscellaneous chemicals.
By using a sunscreen that only contains natural or organic ingredients, you know that you’re not putting synthetic chemicals on your body. This makes it much more likely that you and your children won’t suffer any ill effects from the sunscreen.
No Dyes or Artificial Fragrances
Although it’s essential for anyone with sensitive skin to avoid dyes and artificial fragrances, it’s really a great practice for everyone to follow. If you can avoid dyes and artificial ingredients of any kind, you certainly should. Keeping everything natural will be more beneficial to your health.
No Parabens, Sulfates, or Phthalates
You may not know what these items are (I didn’t), but after my research, I recommend that you make sure that your personal care items for yourself and your baby are free of these three addatives. Here’s what these three items do:
- Parabens are preservatives.
- Sulfates are commonly used in personal care products to create the effect of a lather. While they may not be specifically harmful to you, some sulfates are derivatives of petroleum, which has a reputation of being harmful to the environment.
- Phthalates make plastics flexible and can act as a lubricant for personal care items, allowing lotion to glide on smoother. Do you remember in the 2000’s when everybody started tossing their old water bottles and plastics into the trash in favor of newer items that were “BPA-free”? That’s because of phthalates. (BPA one of several common phthalates.) If you’re interested in a full list of phthalates to avoid, check out this post from Babycenter.com.
Non-nano and Vegan Formula
Only non-nano zinc is used. This type of zinc is the safest and has the best UV filter. Essentially, when you choose a sunscreen that has non-nano zinc, like Block Island Face and Body Natural Mineral Sunscreen, you get the same level of skin protection that you would have with other brands without the use of hormone-disrupting chemicals.
By choosing a sunscreen that is vegan, you know that what you’re applying to your skin is plant-based. Natural ingredients will definitely be better for your and your child than synthetic ingredients.
Suitable for the Whole Family
This sunscreen is appropriate for anyone 6 months or older. For most families out there, this makes this bottle of Block Island the only bottle of sunscreen that you’ll need to own all summer.
- Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 22%.
- Inactive Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (Aloe Vera Gel) Juice*, Aqua (Deionized Water), Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter*, Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Leaf Extract*, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Oil*, Eucalyptus Globulus (Eucalyptus) Oil, Gluconolactone, Glycerin*, Lecithin*, Octyl Palmitate, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil*, Sodium Benzoate, Sodium Laurylglucosides Hydroxypropylsulfonate, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Xanthan Gum, Zemea Propanediol. (*Certified Organic)
It did a great job protecting our skin.
We used the Block Island Sunscreen for several days of hiking. My husband, my kids, and I all used it and didn’t have any sunburn or noticeable sun issues. In fact, one day we used a different sunblock (just to create some comparison), and I didn’t think the other brand protected us from the sun quite as well as the Block Island.
There was no smell.
One of the benefits to having a relatively odorless sunscreen is that you don’t wear any sweet smells that might attract gnats or bees.
It’s easy to apply.
You just squeeze out a dime-sized amount of sunscreen, and rub fast. It doesn’t take long to cover yourself or your child.
I love that this is an all-natural or organic product.
Personally, I struggle with applying sunscreen. No, I don’t want damage from the sun or the skin cancer that can come with it, but I also don’t want to unwittingly poison myself or my kids because we were slathering on some goop that had a toxic chemical in it. By using a product with natural ingredients, I have more confidence that I’m truly just protecting myself and my kids and that I’m not accidentally poisoning us.
I like buying from businesses who care about health and the environment.
It seems like so many businesses don’t care about the people they serve or the environment they use. It’s always so refreshing to come across a company like Block Island, which so obviously cares about both. As a consumer, I like giving my money to companies who show that they care about me, companies that I can trust.
This is not waterproof.
Where I live, summers are hot. When we’re outside, we’re either sweating or playing with water. This makes a waterproof sunblock a necessity at my house.
Now, when we were on vacation in Colorado, it was drier and cooler than our weather back home. We didn’t really sweat too much, so the sunblock worked really well out there.
Maybe if you live in a dryer climate or aren’t in the water much, this lack of waterproof won’t be too big of a deal for you. At my house, though, it’s a serious problem.
It leaves a chalky feeling after application.
The Block Island folks describe it as a “matte finish,” but to my husband and I, the sunscreen felt chalky. I honestly was thankful to get to wash my hands each time after applying sunscreen to someone. By the time we got everyone covered in sunscreen, I was almost to the point that I couldn’t stand that feeling on my hands any longer.
Seriously, I started to get twitchy. I have never felt that way about a personal care item before in my life. This was a completely unique experience.
My husband hated (a strong word, I know) the texture of the sunscreen so much that he started refusing to use it. Instead, he dug up last year’s bottle by a different company and gave that a try. He was relieved by how much better this other brand of sunscreen felt to his skin.
But here’s the question: Did the other sunscreen feel so much better because it contained sulfates or phthalates? It’s very possible. And, if they did, I would much rather choose that odd feeling over the potential of covering myself in chemicals.
- Shake well.
- Only use a small amount of sunscreen at a time and rub quickly. The sunscreen dries quickly, so you’ll need to be fast.
- Work on one area at a time until your body (or your child’s body) is completely covered. Make sure to get right around and under the edges of your clothing or swimsuit because fabric will shift as you play. Don’t forget to get areas like your chest, back, shoulders, and face as they may receive the most sun rays.
- Apply sunscreen about 15 minutes before heading outside, and reapply every two hours.
This is such a tough situation. I completely believe in Block Island and the sun care products that they’re making. They appear to be a very health-conscious company that is trying to create the absolute best skin products at very reasonable prices.
However, because this sunblock isn’t waterproof and because of my husband’s firm refusal to continue using the Block Island Face and Body Natural Mineral Sunscreen, I wouldn’t buy it for my family. My goal is to have one bottle of sunscreen that works for all of us in all summertime situations. Unfortunately, this sunscreen doesn’t accomplish that for us.