Safe Fun in the Sun
The sunny weeks of summer have been great in encouraging outdoor play, but it does remind us about the importance of sun cream, particularly as, according to Cancer Research UK , over the last thirty years, the incidence of malignant melanoma has increased more than for any other common cancer in the UK. There are many sunscreen products out there targeting our kids, but so many - if not all – with a whole host of toxic ingredients that Green Families felt compelled to provide a quick guide on our research so that you can chose one that works for your kids.
The most common ingredients in non-mineral sunscreens are oxybenzone, octisalate and avobenzone, all found in over 50% all sunscreens on the market. Oxybenzone, can trigger allergic reactions, is a potential hormone disruptor and penetrates the skin in relatively large amounts. Some experts caution that it should not be used on children based on their impact on the critical development years – particularly as oxybenzone is a synthetic estrogen that penetrates the skin and enters the body.
Other common sunscreen ingredients are suspected to be or known carcinogens and/or hormone disrupters, including diethanolamine, triethanolamine (DEA, TEA), padimate-o, octyl dimethyl PABA, benzophenone, homosalate, octyl-methoxycinnamate (octinoxate), salicylates, and parabens. Studies show that some of the chemicals in sunscreens are absorbed into the bloodstream in significant amounts that increase with time. And so many of these ingredients are in the products designed specifically for our children, which is quite alarming.
But don't despair! There are some really great and safe choices out there - including Green People's Organic Children Sun Lotion and Big Green Smile's Lavera's Baby and Child Sun Spray. And just remember all of the non-lotion protection that you have as a first line of defense
• Shirts, hats, shorts, pants all shield your skin from the sun's UV rays without the goop
• Find shade – or make it
• Plan around the sun – if your schedule is flexible, go outdoors in the early morning or later afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky
• Sunglasses are a must – and there are some great kid-friendly options.
So enjoy the sun and protect your family with an organic/natural sunscreen!