Friday, June 1, 2012

Sunscreen? No thanks, I'll pass!

My children suffer from allergies and eczema.  My 2nd child was allergic to baby wipes and one of my twins broke out in red spots anytime she was in water.  We later found out that the water was so hard and was causing her red spots.  After so much discomfort I decided to try to fix everything myself.  It started with eliminating all toxins that would touch my children's skin.  First to go was any body wash, soap, and hair products. I replaced them with the most natural and safe products I could find.  We moved and within a week my daughters red spots went away.  I was in shock how hard water  of all things was the problem.  I started reading labels on everything and that is when I went into shock. I didn't know what things were let alone even pronounce them.

Skip ahead to today. I feel as if I am pretty good at getting around toxic products.  That is until the summer time comes. I have a hard time finding any sunscreen that has safe ingredients.  Or if I do find a safe product its just way to expensive.  I know I want my kids to be safe but honestly these products are just too expensive for the average family to afford. And don't get me started on all the plastic packaging  that they come in.  So it got me thinking. What can I do about this?

Sun can damage skin in as little as ten minutes.  That being said ten minutes of sun can be good for you as well.  Avoid the sun and you won't get your daily dose of vitamin D.  So don't completely avoid it just limit your time. Another thing to remember is that even on a cloudy day you can get burned.  So no matter what weather remember the ten minute rule.

Indoor exposure.  Yes you read that correct.  UV rays can go right through glass.  No need to worry! You can buy UV blocking films to put on your windows. 

UV blocking clothing. This is a great option for those who have skin allergies.  Coolibar, L.L.Bean, REI,  and SunGrubbies are great places to start looking.  A great way to save money is to buy after the season is over.   Remember to buy local whenever possible! This year I am investing in some clothes for my children. 

Avoid middle of day sun exposure.  Go outdoors in the morning or later in the evening.

Avoid direct sun exposure. Babies especially need to be in the shade. Hang out under a tree or umbrella.  Most sports stores carry Sports Umbrella's or can be found online.  I personally own one of these and they are lifesavers! At first we used them for soccer games but then we started bringing it everywhere with us.  They can fit a family of 4-6 easily! Found mine at Costco years ago but you can start finding them around this time of the year. Usually cost around $40-$60.

Reflective surfaces!  Be especially careful if you are around water, sand, snow, or any surface that will reflect and therefore intensify the sun's rays. Remember, the sun’s rays are more intense the higher you get in elevation. So be prepared no matter where you travel!

For those who don't have skin allergies but want a good healthy product then your in luck. These days there are some amazing products that can help.  I always recommend going to your local health store. Grab yourself a knowledgeable worker and ask for recommendations.  Look for a local product, recyclable packaging, all natural ingredients and a budget friendly option. 

Ive asked my fellow Women Eco Warrior bloggers out there and they have plenty of advise.

Paige recommends Vive Sana Solar To Polar Ultra. Their site states "Safe and Sustainable. Vive Sana Solar to Polar Ultra is synthetic-free, 100% Natural and 70% Organic (30% Natural Minerals which cannot be organic.) and sustainable! The BPA-free, recyclable packaging is made right here in the USA."

Michelle from Mkokopelli shares her story of her daughter who broke out in hives.  She found a product that works for her with no reactions.

Lisa Sharp from Retro Housewife Goes Green recommends Badger Sunscreen.

Brenna from Almost All The Truth warns of the exposure to Endocrine Disruptors and sun safety.

Amity from Green Gifts Guide reviewed a sunscreen called Eco Logical Sunscreen.

Lisa from Condo Blues shares how she greened her sunscreen.

Danika recommends using Miessence and has written a few things about sunscreen.  EWG Sunscreen List Misses The Mark and Why You Should Avoid Titanium Dioxide In You Sunscreen is a great place to start! But don't forget to read how Fit Pregnancy gets it wrong.

For now I will try to teach my children how to avoid the sun and play safe.  I am on the search for good UV blocking clothes for us at a good price.  And I will continue to find a safe, non toxic and hopefully local sunscreen company.  I will never settle and always strive for better!

1 comment:

Brenna Burke said...

What a great source of information! Sun safety is such a hard thing to figure out. We need some (especially here), but not too much. I love that sport-brella though! May have to think about that for this summer and upcoming soccer season!