SpongeBob sunblock is lightening our toxic load

As long as I can't see you, you're good to go.

Welcome to Part Two of Summer 2011 Pool Paranoia!

Is it a little late in the season to be obsessing about the effects of chlorine and multi-syllabic sunscreen chemicals? Yes and no. A good chunk of the fun in the sun is already behind us, but we still have roughly six more weeks to perfect our goo-slathered drowned-rat routines.

(Plus: We’re about to take our first-ever va-cay on the Jersey Shore, and I am COUNTING. THE. SECONDS.)

Recently, as I was plastering the Wee Lass’s mug with her daily pre-camp dose of Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces & Tender Places (her bionic nose goes bonkers over the lovely scent), several thoughts ran through my feeble brain:

1. “We’re running low on this precious Baby Faces stuff, not to mention that Panama Jack I bought in Jamaica that Hubby loves.”

2. “It’s August, can’t we just get through the next month with the drips and drabs of goo we already have?”

3. “No we can’t. But I forgot to get all freaked-out about sunscreen ingredients. What’s in this s–t? Should I nab some physical sunblocks instead of these chemical concoctions? I really need to be more freaked-out about chemicals.”

4. “Blech. I hate physical sunblocks. They sit on your skin like a wet white sheet.”

Besides the fact that I actually do speak to myself like this, here’s where it gets truly scary: Someone must have planted a chip in my head, because within 48 hours of conducting this internal rant, a big box of physical sunblocks arrived.

So last weekend at the town pool, Team Momover Lady played water-logged guinea pigs. We slathered. We un-slathered. (A few point-blank refused to disappear into the skin and could be spotted at 50 paces. None of us are down with that.)

And by the end of the day, we had some new, natural-ish, un-hyper-chemicalized friends to tag along in our beach bag.

This is what passed our cool-for-the-pool test:

From Sunbow:  SpongeBob SquarePants Sunscreen Stick SPF 45 (goes on yellow, dries clear); Dora The Explorer Sunscreen SPF 30 in a tube (goes on pink, dries clear); and Go Diego Go! Sunscreen SPF 30 liquid spray-on (goes on blue, dries clear)

From Kiss My Face: Face Factor Face+Neck SPF 30; Sun Spray Oil SPF 30; Sport Clear Spray SPF 50

Based on its core premise that our skin absorbs 60 percent of what we douse ourselves with, the Kiss My Face products contain “no nanoparticles.” That was the first time I’d seen that phrase on a sunblock, so I guess nanoparticles are the latest thing to get our knickers in a twist about.

I can’t tell you how many beauty editor presentations I’ve sat through that positioned nanoparticles as the second coming – all that great anti-aging technology, seeping right down to your cells! – but now it’s looking like they’re the utter personification of evil.

Aargh…I just want to go to my happy place. Like when I blog about the utter Zen fabulous-ness of the Kiss My Face patchouli bath brews. My my. Those are all that. But so is this nanoparticle-free sun protection.

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