Ah…remember the good ol’ days when you could climb out your bedroom window onto the roof and sunbathe, smeared in baby oil? SPF-what? (That wasn’t just me, right?)
If you’re like me and escaped with little more than a few sunburns along the way, let’s count ourselves lucky. I’ve wised up since then and rarely venture outdoors – year round – without at least some sunscreen on my face. And, in the summer months, I’m vigilant about slathering sunblock on every inch of my kids’ exposed skin.
I even broke the rules last year when Miss Q was five months old. Our little piece of suburbia didn’t have fences yet and we didn’t have a patio umbrella or anything under which we could take cover on a particularly sunny day. No park with lovely trees. So I had a choice: keep my three year old indoors on a beautiful day or put sunscreen on a less-than-six-months-old baby. I chose the latter and we all enjoyed the sun.
There are few companies I trust when it comes to lotions and potions for a baby’s tender, sensitive skin. Matter (which might still or formerly be called “Substance”; it’s confusing – I’m trying to figure this one out) is one of them. I’d used the Belly Jelly throughout each pregnancy, and am a huge fan of the Baby Body Foam and Nappy Rash Ointment – both of which I’ll review another time. So when it came to finding a sunblock I was comfortable applying on a teeny-tiny baby during one of the hottest summers I can remember, I snapped up one of Matter’s Baby Sun Care Creme.
Really, I only bought one tube of the stuff – for the whole summer. If there’s one thing Matter’s mastered (say that one five-times-fast), it’s concentrated formulas. As the cliché goes, a little goes a long way.
It’s a bona fide sunBLOCK – not a sunscreen. I know the vitamin D is good for them, I do. And I do ensure they get a little unprotected sun time in addition to their vitamin D supplements (Ddrops for Miss Q and IronKids Gummies for The K Man). But they’ve been blessed with Irish skin that’s so white it has a blue sheen. They’re burn magnets. So the zinc oxide in the Matter Baby Sun Care Creme works well for us.
This is a physical barrier sunscreen versus a chemical barrier sunscreen (which means it has the added benefit of blocking UVA rays). Written on every Matter product: “The ingredients are the product.” A quick scan of the ingredient list proves that it is possible to make baby creams without unsafe preservatives (like the carcinogen sodium benzoate, found in “natural” or “eco-friendly” baby product lines like California Baby and Live Clean) and cheap filler ingredients. Shae butter adds a bit of a water barrier and I love anything with Calendula in it.
Made in Toronto, I feel good about supporting what used to be my hood, and would still qualify if I was crazy enough to try a 100-mile anything.
You know that zinc oxide I mentioned? It doesn’t rub in as easily as a traditional sun cream does; there’s always a hint of white (like Casper the Ghost white) that remains, no matter how much I rub. However, if this is the price we pay for safe and effective sunblock – so be it. And, on the upside, you can definitely see if you missed any areas.
We all know that you have to pay more for good products that aren’t made by children in third-world countries. But sometimes it’s hard to part with nearly 20 bucks for something like sunscreen. If you can get past the initial sticker shock and use the price-per-use principle, my bet is that you’ll whip through four $8 spray bottles of Water Babies before you use up one tube of the Sun Care Creme.
It’s only available in a 30 SPF; if I had all the time in the world, I would now start Googling to find out if it’s even possible to make a truly natural sun cream in anything higher than a SPF factor of 30 – but I won’t. Because I’m sticking with this stuff. That said, I’d prefer a 50 or 60 SPF.
5/5 (that’s right, I don’t even care that my kids look ghostly – it’s that good)
So…where can you buy it?
- Check Matter’s “where to buy” store list (provinces are on the lower left)
- It’s available in the U.S., too!
- Or, buy it online
I have been reading lots about natural sunscreens and was.second guessing my decision to use this, which I have been using, due to fear of my kids getting burned. Thanks for the reassurance!
Mommy Gearest says
No prob! My kids have never been burned using this – and actually, I like that the thickness shows you any spots you missed. The other option you might consider, though it has a few less-natural ingredients is the Banana Boat kids’ sunscreen that just came out. I have a series of reader reviews at the bottom of my own review if you search “Banana Boat” in my search bar. 🙂
I just bought this based on your recommendation. Natalie’s skin is so sensitive – it seems the other “conventional” sunscreens have made her skin worse. I’m looking forward to trying this more natural one!
Mommy Gearest says
Good luck with it – let me know what you think. I am also in love with the body/hair wash and the nappy ointment from this company – ingredients are incredibly close to nature. And it’s all very concentrated. For sensitive skin issues, you may also want to read my review of Nature’s Aid…it’s great to have on-hand for just about every skin issue.
I read this review a while back and decided to give the sunscreen a whirl – it is pretty darn thick but you can tell where you’ve put the stuff which is good! Thanks for letting me know about this Canadian company!
Mommy Gearest says
So glad you found it – it is seriously thick, I know! But that’s kind of what I love about it…you really know it’s on there and if you’ve missed a spot. The kids do look like ghosts though, don’t they?!