I try to use as many natural products as possible. I'm especially concerned about the chemicals in things I use on or give to my daughter (lotions, food, you name it). So when it was time to buy sunscreen for the little angel I made sure to do my homework. I spoke to some people at a more natural pharmacy in Seattle called Pharmaca. Their staff is knowledgeable about natural products and chemicals to avoid. I also did some research on the Internet. The consensus was that the main ingredient you want to avoid is Oxybenzone (Benzophenone). Other chemicals to avoid are DMDM Hydantoin, Triethanolamine, phthalates and any of the various parabens so commonly found in lotions.
I'm a big fan of California Baby sunscreen & Dr. Hauschka sunscreen. California Baby is great and rated well on the Environmental Working Group's Cosmetic Safely Database. I use a lot of Dr. Hauschka sunscreen for myself and my daughter so I was sad to read that their sun care products will no longer be carried in the U.S. as of January 2009. Apparently they cannot continue to provide the most natural sun care products given new regulations. I did find it at Whole Foods today so maybe that just pertains to future sales??? I snatched up a few tubes just in case it disappears soon.
On a similar note, I'm also a fan of the Sun Busters UV swimwear for little ones who might be out in the sun for any extended period of time. These suits are made from chlorine resistant fabrics and block 98% of both UVA & UVB rays.