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Treasure: Dr. Robin

June 2, 2010

My 2010 Favorite Sunscreen Pick

Last summer, I balked when it came time to slather up my seven month old daughter’s body with sunscreen.  That brand new baby skin was just too brand new to infuse with ingredients such as “Water, Isohexadecane, Ozokerite, Cetyl/PEG/PPG 10/1 Dimethicone, PEG 8, C30 38 Olefin/Isopropyl Maleate/MA Copolymer, Glycerin, Sodium Citrate, Sodium Chloride, Aloe (Aloe Barbadensis) Leaf Juice, Tocopheryl Acetate Vitamin E, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Retinyl Palmitate, Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Isopbutylparaben, Disodium EDTA, Alumina.” That’s the ingredient list for Banana Boat Baby Sunscreen.  At least I recognized one ingredient…water.  Without doing much research other than beelining straight to the natural foods section of Wegmans, I grabbed a container of Earth’s Best kid’s sunscreen and glopped it on Little Friend.   While the ingredient list was friendlier and more recognizable, the lotion consistency had more in common with toothpaste than sunscreen.  It seemed like I was going to have to make a sacrifice: health or convenience.

One year and several gloppy months later, I’ve finally found a sunscreen that I love: Dr. Robin for kids.  It’s healthy and convenient.  The retro packaging appeals to the side of me that does judge a book by its cover.  A cheerful robin armed with circa 1910 doctoring paraphernalia perches just above the magic words on the box: “All Natural, Chemical Free.”  Pediatric Dermatologist Patricia Treadwell, writing for, recommends choosing “a ‘physical’ or ‘chemical-free’ sunscreen made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide …Unlike chemical sunscreens, which may cause irritation or allergic reactions because the skin absorbs the active ingredients, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide sit on top of the skin, forming a barrier against the sun’s rays…Also, sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide start protecting as soon as you put them on, whereas chemical products need to be slathered on 30 minutes in advance so the skin has time to absorb them.”

Dr. Robin’s Sunscreen for Children uses Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide to block those nasty UVA and UVB rays, and while I was worried about toothpaste-like consistency, the Dr. Robin’s formula actually absorbs smoothly and quickly.  The sunscreen is fragrance free, so no bubblelicious smell wafting from Little Friend’s squirmy body, but the lotion’s natural fragrance is earthy and pleasant.  My porcelain-skinned, tow head adventurer has bronzed a bit in the sun, but no sign of ugly red flare yet.  I put my trust wholeheartedly in Dr. Robin.

As our Pittsburgh May has given us a combination of November and August weather, Little Friend has just recently been introduced to the joys of kiddie pools and sprinklers.  Out comes the white eyelet swimsuit bought on steep clearance from Janie and Jack last summer.  Out come the beach towels smelling of last year’s detergent.  We arrange play dates with friends who have older toddlers and have made the investment in blow-up swimming pools.  We schlep swim diapers and extra outfits to picnics.  I hover on the sidelines as she navigates the slippery surfaces and rotating sprays.  I’m worried about slipping and knocking out teeth, falling and inhaling water, tripping and suffering concussions, but skin rashes and sunburns?  Not on my worry list when Dr. Robin is on the job.

More information from Dr. Patricia Treadwell and informative discussions following her expert answers can be found at  Another excellent resource for healthy and effective kid’s sunscreens can be found at  For more detailed information about Dr. Robin’s Sunscreen for Kids, visit the company’s website.  3.4 oz tubes can be purchased for $24.00 here.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 2, 2010 1:09 pm

    Like this. Wish I’d had it when you were kids!

  2. Martha permalink
    June 7, 2010 1:01 pm

    I wonder if this would work for adults too? I absolutely hate the feel of sunscreen on me. It actually makes you skin feel hotter to me. But, I think I will invest in this for out 2yo fair-haired, fair-skinned grandson. Does it have to be bought via the internet?

    • June 7, 2010 8:30 pm

      I’m with you on adult sunscreen! I’m tempted to buy some Dr. Robin’s for myself as well. So far, I haven’t had luck finding it in stores around me. Perhaps you’ll score big though if you check some natural foods stores in your area. If all else fails, order online:


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