Each summer, not only do we contend with the sun’s brutal rays seeking to penetrate our children’s delicate skin… it’s practically a wrestling match to get sunscreen on them.
Personally, I understand the appeal of spray sunscreens. There’s likely a chance at least some SPF protection will land on them as they desperately try to wiggle their way out of your grip towards the playtime waiting under the giant sunburn-producing ball outside.
But as a passionate owner of a local spa that focuses on total body wellness – and that means from the inside out – as well as a huge proponent of organic products, I’m here to share the many reasons why it’s worth the minimal effort to find a good, natural, lotion-based sunscreen for you and your kids this summer.
What to Look for in Natural Sun Protection:
- Until your baby reaches six months, it’s important to use physical barriers to protect them from the sun, such as blankets, SPF clothing, hats and sunshades.
- Seek out natural, organic, mineral-based lotion sunscreens that can be evenly applied. These won’t have the chemical components found to disrupt hormones or other delicately balanced systems in your child.
- Find SPFs between 30 and 50, anything higher is unnecessary as they seem to get applied less frequently and usually contain more chemical-based “filler” ingredients.
- Avoid spray sunscreens that aren’t able to be applied consistently and contain chemical ingredients and propellants. When the can is left in heat, it also breaks down the active ingredients faster and separates the formulation. Thus, you could be applying pure chemicals to your body.
- Look for ingredients that offer natural sun protection, such as titanium dioxide, zinc oxide, shea butter, coconut oil, and raspberry or carrot seed oils.
- Avoid ingredients containing allergens and cancer-causing carcinogens, such as parabens, polyethylene and/or propylene glycols and oxybenzone.
- Watch for ingredients that can be perceived as “natural”, but in reality can be harmful to children and parents, such as talc (a respiratory toxin that has been found to contain asbestos, also linked to ovarian cancer), mineral oil (made from a petrochemical that suffocates skin rather than enriches it) and glycerine (unless it states “vegetable glycerine” it’s usually made from a cheap petrochemical).
- Reapply sunscreen once every hour for optimal benefits, especially when active or in the water, once every two hours if not.
- It’s always a good idea to check expiration dates. Sunscreens are designed to remain at the original strength for up to two to three years. Remember, to discard sunscreen that is past its expiration date.
It’s odd that what you use to protect your family can actually do additional harm to them, but if you take a little time to look at the ingredients and seek out a natural sun protection alternative, you’ll all be better for it in the long run.
Visit us at Dolce Vita Wellness Spa for some great options, or you can usually find them at your local pharmacy.