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Sunblock and Sunscreen Lotions
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Sunblock and Sunscreen Lotions
Another recommendation I would appreciate is a good sunscreen
that doesn't feel so greasy and does not have that ''sunscreen''
smell. She hates putting it on and it makes her face looks so
She also has ecezema so her skin is super sensitive and dry, so
I also would love recommendations for any lotions as well. She
is currently using Aveno Baby for ecezema but I would like to
find an all over body lotion that can be used on her face as
As far as suncscreens go, my whole family uses the Neutrogena Dry Touch line. It dries to a very
matte finish and you can't tell you're wearing suncreen at all. I use it on my face every day,
in fact. For our kids, we sometimes use those stick suncreens made by Banana Boat and
Coppertone. They can be a bit greasy, but it is very easy for them to do themselves, which they
often prefer to mom or dad poking at their faces.
my son has had bouts of eczema. He has had good luck with Aquaphor. I have never had to
use it on his fact, though. Our doctor told us to be sure to apply immediately after bathing,
even when he isn't having an outbreak, because it creates a good protective barrier for the
skin. I don't know if you have addressed dietary issues, but cutting back the dairy and wheat
made a big difference for my son in his eczema. Just another idea
Our daughter also has eczema. She's been using Eucerin lotion.
We apply it all over her body including her face right after her
bath. Also reapply it on her face in the morning or everytime we
wash her face. She uses Avon bug guard sunblock gentle breeze. It doesn't smell like most
sunblock. They have another scent
called cool'n fabulous but we haven't tried that yet. a mother of 2
we have been really happy with banana boat kids and regular sun lotions. they have up to spf 50
and aren't greasy feeling and most importantly, are fragrance free. we spend a lot of time
waterside and love the stuff. target tends to have great prices on banana boat products
burn and fragrance free
I use Eco Lani suncrenn in that it is non-toxic, chemical free, natural ingredients. I just
can't bear to lather the stuff on my kid where I can't pronounce the ingredients! But it does
have titanium dioxide which, although recommended in any good suncreen, is, as my kid says,
''yucky.'' I also have sensitive/exema prone skin and it doensn't irritate. I also use for
myself and child cetaphil soap and lotion (you can get it at any drug store) which is
fragrance-free and mild. good luck
My 10 month old is very rashy and every sunscreen I've tried so
far is a no-go. I've read what's on the website, and I've tried
Banana Boat and also California Baby. I'm sure there's one out
there that will work, but they're so expensive, I don't want to
spend hundreds of dollars on tubes of things I'll never use.
What works for a very rashy baby, other than a hat and an umbrella?
For KineSys sunscreen try www.letsgostrolling.com
they have tons of other great stuff and just opened a local
showroom at the Kaiser center. they can consult with you over
the phone as well- extremely knowledgable about everything they
sell and more.
Im looking for a baby suncreen that works well and provides excellent protection
but isnt the consistency and thickness of cream cheese. We are currently using
earth's best organics brand but he looks crazy! clearly, protection is more
important than aethetics, so please dont send a million emails emphasizing the
importance of sunscreen. Im just wondering if there are any other brands that are
less thick that work for your kid.
I used Banana Boat successfully with my kids when they were
babies and it didn't seem too thick.
A wonderful chemical free and non-toxic sunscreen that is safe
for children and adults is Ecolani Sunscreen. It is a great
lotion! You can buy it at Berkeley Natural Grocery and Elephant
Pharmacy. Her products were featured in the Berkeley Voice a
few weeks ago. You can also purchase them online at
an Ecolani fan
Try Kiehl's children's sunscreen. I think you can get it at
Nordstrom's, Neiman Marcus (but the price is reasonable) the
Kiehl's store (in S.F.?), or online. It goes on very nicely
I use three of my favorite sunscreens for my whole family. My
children love the Waterbabies Sunscreen (from Target) for the
body & when we go to the pool for our bodies. And they use a
Solar Defender from Spa de Esperanza for their face daily. It
starts out white and turns to clear real quick. Plus it doesn't
sting their eyes like waterbabies does. My husband and myself
use Jan Marini SPF which we also purchase from Spa de Esperanza.
That one smells good and doesn't make my skin shinny like most
do. I go to Target in Albany (they have specials on waterbabies
sunscreen) and Spa de Esperanza on Solano across from barneys
and Lola's to get Solar Defender and Jan Marini Daily Face
I tried all of the pricey, ''organic'' baby sunscreens- California
Baby, Mustela, etc. They were greasy, sticky, white, got in my
baby's eyes when he rubbed his face. I don't like the spray-on
suncreens either; really greasy, so he would look like a sugar-
coated doughnut after playing in the sand at the park. Now I
just use the REI brand 30 spf waterproof sunscreen that our
family uses- no scent, no grease, no white, and it has really
protected him! He has fair coloring, sensitive eczema-prone
skin, and it has never bothered his skin. You can buy the
sunscreens over 30 spf, but it doesn't matter after that number-
they all protect the same as long as you reapply them often and
after swimming. Give it a try!
No more greasy gummy sunblock
I use Alba Botanic kids sunscreen on my son. It has the
blocking ingredient(s) but rubs in well and doesn't make him
My brown-skinned son is going on a camping trip soon. He also
has sensitive skin that is prone to excema so I usually avoid
products with scent and go for hypoallergenic/sensitive skin
formulations. I have not been able to find a suitable sunscreen
product for him.
I need a spray because if you have dark skin you know that the
creams tend to leave you with really noticeable layer of white
gunk that can be embarassing to a kid.
Also, I need to find a sensitive formulation in a bug-
repellent. Preferably this would be a non-scented spray as well
Is there such a thing that won't absolutely break my budget??
A couple of years ago I bought an Avon suncsreen and insect repellent all in one
product. It was a cream, but did not leave any white streaks. They might make a
One of my kids used it at camp and it was really effective.
Hi. I'm not sure if this would work for your child or not, but
Lands End has children's clothing that is bug repellant. They
also have clothing with SPF40 or so. Where your childs skin is
so sensitive, this might be a nice alternative to a cream or
spray. You can check them out online at www.landsend.com/kids.
Their stuff is a little pricey, but the quality is great.
Spend our summers in Maine
I'm looking for a sunscreen I can put on my child's face that
won't make her eyes burn...eventhough I don't put sunscreen on
the back of her hands or near her eyes, it somehow gets in her
eyes and causes her a great deal of distress. She always wears
a sunhat but her little face still gets burned without
I had the same problem with my son and sunscreen, and the
solution for me was to change the application process, with the
Coppertone Water Babies sunblock stick. We call it The Pink
Stick, and it's easy to apply to squirmy kids' faces (my guy is
now two), and seems to stay put once it's applied. I've found it
Try Alba sunscreen. They make one for kids. You can find them at
longs or berkeley bowl. Their sunscreen is really great. Not
sticky, and very absorbant. Feels more like a nice hand cream
than a sunscreen, but is super protective, too.
On our very fair kids, we have used, with success,
the Mustela sunscreen stick that you can get at Rockridge Kids,
Cotton & Co. and many other places -- but NOT the California
Baby brand, which is too sticky and easily broken. It's
expensive, but it's zinc- or titanium-based, so not so smelly,
it's tinted so you don't look quite so ghastly pale when it's
on, and it doesn't sting the eyes. Mustela also make another
lotion sunscreen product, which we use on arms and necks and so
I use a sunscreen stick on my daughter's face and it does not
seem to bother her as much as the lotions do. There are a couple
of good ones but the one I have is Hawaiian Tropic in a yellow
We've had much success using the stick type sunscreen. There's
a few brands--Banana Boat Faces Plus is what we use now. It
looks like the size of a glue stick. My girls willingly apply
this to their faces and I have kept them sunburn free since. We
had a bad case of sunburn when one of my girls was a baby so I
am especially careful now. My other daughter had a bad reaction
to sunscreen applied to her face at one time. She has had no
problem with the ''stick'' since it doesn't smear into the eyes,
goes on dry.
We've been using Little Forest Baby Sunscreen just about every
day for the last four years and it's never gotten in my kids'
eyes. It's really thick and doesn't run. I chose it because the
active ingredients are zinc oxide and titanium dioxide - which
form a physical sunblock vs. the chemical sunscreens.
It smells good, too!
You can find it at ABC Diaper Service on Second in Berkeley.
Best to call first for availability.
Avoid all sun blocks that contain these active ingredients:
Octylmethoxy Cinnamate, Octly Salicylate, Octinoxate, Octocrylene,
Oxybenzone, Octisalate, Avobenzone
These chemicals are very irritating to the eyes and also taste absolutely terrible
if they get into your child's mouth.
Instead use sun blocks with these active ingredients only:
Tatanium Oxide or Zinc Oxide
The inactive ingredients may vary. Some of these sun blocks will say ''chemical-
free'' on them, or they may say for ''sensitive skin'' on them. You still need to
READ the ingredients list carefully. I've come across sun blocks that say they
are for sensitive skin but still contain some of those harsh chemicals.
Sometimes even the inert ingredients can irritate some childrens eyes or skin.
My favorite is probably the most expensive, but if you only use it on your
child's face, it will last a long time
It is called Dr Haushka's sun block for children. All the ingredients are natural
and chemical-free. The best thing about it is that it is also very water resistant
and doesn't wash off right away. No silicon derivatives are in it! Just plant based
oils. it costs around $20 a bottle which is high, but it is the best I've found.
California Baby also makes a good chemical-free block cost is around $15
Another good brand is Alba Botanica ''Sun'' - look for the ''chemical-free'' one.
You can buy Dr. Haushka, California Baby, and Alba Botanica at Elephant
Pharmacy in Berkeley and at Pharmica in Berkeley on Solano ave. Also Whole
Foods may carry some of those, or Natural Grocery in El Cerrito, or any other
health food market or natural pharmacy.
If you want regular brand names that you can get at places like Longs, try
Neutrogena. They make a chemical-free block as well. I heard that Banana Boat
also started making a ''chemical-free'' block, but I never tried that one. All of
these more popular brands tend to have way more synthetic chemicals in their
inert ingredients. But if that is not a concern of yours then I would just buy the
one that is most convenient. Just remember - The active ingredient should only
Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide, or both.
Does anyone have any recommendations for sunscreen for a 6 month
old with sensitive skin? I tried California Baby and her poor
little face got all red and blotchy (but not her arms and legs,
oddly enough). Thanks!
My 3 year old son also has very sensitive skin, with severe
eczema and a ton of allergies. We use Banana Boat's Baby Magic
sunscreen on him (recommended in a Parenting magazine article)
and he's never had any problems. On the rare times when we've
used another brand, we've noticed he gets a rash, so now make
sure we carry his sunscreen everywhere we go.
I too tried the expensive, natural California Baby sunscreen and
was disappointed. My son also got blotchy red skin where it had
been exposed to sun and a little sweat, plus, the sunscreen
stayed greasy on his skin. The best sunscreen I have ever found
after trying many, many brands when I was doing lots of cycling
in the hot summer sun is the REI Bonding Base Sunblock. You can
only buy it at REI. It is in a white bottle with green lid and
little sun on the front. It blocks both UVA and UVB, is
waterproof and is PABA and fragrance free. It absorbs right in,
isn't greasy or sticky, and lasts a very long time. Although it
does not have titanium dioxide or zinc oxide that experts
recommend, I have never been burnt while using it in extreme
conditions. I tried it on my son as a last resort, and it has
worked so well! He has very sensitive skin (the Dr. calls
it ''rose-petal'' skin) and mild excema and we are always battling
dryness with him. But this is the only sunscreen that did not
irritate his skin anywhere. There is another sunscreen that I am
going to try this summer that has been used all over the world
for decades but is still not approved in this country (?)and
studies have found it to be twice as protective as any of our
sunscreens. You can buy it over the internet for about $10 for 4
oz. The ingredient is called Mexoryl SX or Mexoryl XL and some
brand names are Anthelios XL and Capital Soleil- I think at
least 1 is made by L'Oreal. The UC Berkeley Wellness Letter
(6/05) recommended them due to the fact that mexoryl does not
break down in sun, and is very mild and non-irritating, and is
twice as effective as anything else.
Love the Sun, not the Burn
Since you said her arms and legs were fine, I think her face may
simply be more sensitive, as is very common (I have no trouble
with sunscreen on any part of my body, but my face feels like
it's on fire if I put sunscreen on it).
A second issue with a baby or toddler is that they tend to touch
and rub their faces a lot, and my kids would invariably end up
screaming, with sunscreen in their eyes.
Since they were little, we've depended on sunhats. There are
many out there that are great (Flaphappy, and similar, cheaper
ones are available at Target), and ones with strings to tie or
strong velcro are best for the little ones who pull hats off
Hannah's on Solano often has a good selection of ''gently used''
ones. Happy sunning!
Last week during a play date, a friend looked at the list of
ingredients in the sunblock I was applying to my 2 year old son
and said, ''oh, I don't think you're supposed to use that.'' The
sunblock's active ingredients are Titanium Dioxide and Padimate
O, and a quick Google search confirmed that Padimate O may indeed
be carcinogenic. But that same Google search seemed to imply
that every active ingredient in sunblocks might be harmful in one
way or another -- even zinc oxide. So I'm curious to hear how
other parents have weighed the risks and benefits of different
products. I checked the web site, but didn't see any
information on this issue. Is there actually a safe sunscreen?
What will you be putting on your kids this summer, and why?
I will be looking forward to the responses you get on this post as I too am very
concerned about what goes on my child's skin. I have done some research on this,
and it seems that you definitely don't want to have a sunscreen with any bug
repellant mixed in like DEET. Unfortunately, there is no natural sunscreen so the
best advice I could find was to go with the most effective ''active ingredients'' which
are zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and/or parsol. With the idea being, the benifits
outweigh the risks. Because that does not sit comfotably with me, I try to put my
child in protective clothing that won't be too hot like light weight long sleeve shirts,
cotton pants and sunhats and only put the sunscreen on her face and neck thereby
minimizing exposure (to the sunscreen!). When that is not possible, just common
sense like trying to be in the shade and not staying out too long. I also get my
child's sunscreen at Whole Foods - I have found it to be the most ''natural'' Thanks
for bringing up this important topic - looking forward to the other contributions.
I posted about this exact issue almost a year ago and couldn't
find any product that was proven safe and effective. I'm not
sure that anyone has done the requisite studies, but a woman in
my moms group offered this piece of her advice from her
pediatrician - there are thousands of reported cases of skin
cancer every year caused by excessive sun exposure, but there
has yet to be a single reported case caused by sunblock. So I
err on the side of organic, herbal-based sunblock specifically
formulated for young children (we use Aubrey Organics Green Tea
SP25, but I'm sure there are lots of other good choices).
Wide-brimmed hat (unremovable by child, via velcro, tie-on, etc),
wet suit to cover most of the parts, and no sunscreen.
I use the highest SPF ''kids'' sunblock I can find (though I have
heard that 30 is adequate and 45 isn't really better than 30).
The benefits of slathering my kids (3, 5 & 5 mo.) with strong
sunscreen will outweigh the risks, in my opinion. My kids' uncle
has already had melanoma, in his 40's, and my husband has had a
''suspicious'' mole removed.
We're not taking any chances with the sun, which I think can be
deadlier than anything found in commercial sunscreens. My infant
has been wearing sunscreen since it's been warm enough to, and I
would have done it sooner (from 3 months on) if the weather had
Sunproofin' Mom of 3
If you are using an opaque white diaper rash cream, you are
probably already using zinc oxide on your child. It is possible
to find sunblock with a ''mechanical'' rather than ''chemical''
blocking agent at a really upscale or natural type drugstore, but
it is shockingly expensive.
FYI the American Academy of Pediatrics, whose recommendations I
consider even if I don't always agree or follow them, recently
changed its position to OK sunblock for kids under 1 year.
i just found this information on sunscreens, from ''the green guide'' ( which i think
gives really great information on all kinds of issues) :
they also have interesting things to say about the new sunscreen ingredient from
europe (not yet approved here) as well as titanium dioxide.
In response to the poster who asked about the safety of common
ingredients in sunblock, I found the following article very
informative about titanium dioxide:
I've also noticed that the EU has much stricter consumer product
testing, so you might consider going with brands that are made
for that market.
My skin seems to be becoming more sensitive as I age. Recenltly, I've
started breaking out in a rash when I wear sunscreen on my face. This
is not good, as I am very fair and need protection from the sun. Can
anyone recommend a sunscreen for mature adult skin?
We just finished designing the web site for this company, and I
have to say, I think he is selling a great product. I'm not just
saying this because he was a client, but because I got to know a
lot about his products while developing the site. The company
owner started SolarSavvy Gear after his own experience with skin
cancer, so he really knows what he's talking about. You can get
information about his sunscreen product (100% natural, no
dangerous chemicals) here:
I also have sensitive fair skin and have been very happy with
Eucherin Sensitive SPF 30. I have only found it at
Drugstore.com, but it's the only one that hasn't made me break
I really like Dr. Hauschka Sunscreen available at the Elephant
Pharmacy (among other places). Dr. Hauschka is expensive compared
to standard brands (~$25) but my skin is sensitive so it's worth
it to me. A little also seems to go a long way. I get the SPF 20
Sunscreen cream that is water resistant because it has both
titanium dioxide and zinc oxide for broad protection and have
been using it on my face almost daily. Elephant Pharmacy gave me
a sample to try so I could make sure I didn't get a reaction. Dr.
Hauschka also makes an SPF 15 with just the titanium dioxide (and
one for kids) which I haven't tried. If you search google for ''Dr
Hauschka'' you can find their website with other information about
the company and the ingredients of the product. I'd recommend
asking for a sample from Elephant and trying them it before you
buy. This saved me from buying another product that made me itch.
Try Oil of Olay ''Complete.'' It's SPF 15, non-greasy. I use it
every day. I also use it on my toddler. The special children's
sunscreen from Walgreens made her eyes sting.
My skin condition has worsened as an adult as well, in large part due to food
allergies that have appeared in the last couple of years. I have found that the
the Coopertone Water Babies and the Neutrogena sun block work okay for me,
although they initially sting for a few minutes when I put them on.
My dermatologist recommends SolBar sun screen, which I buy
online at dermstore.com since it's not easy to find in stores. It's very gentle & causes no problems for me or either of my
My family just returned from a week in Cabo and although it was a
delightful time, my daughter's skin is a mess. She is red and
scaly all over - not from the sun but from the sunscreen. Does
anyone have a recommendation for sunscreen that is very
waterproof, a high SPF and really, really hypoallergenic. I have
tried all of the supermarket/drugstore brands for children and
babies and all of them irritate her.
I suggest that you try the Neutrogena line of sunscreens. They
are non-irritating and contain parsol, which my doctor
recommends. There is a ''dry'' version that is not oily or
sticky, which my children prefer.
I like the brand Aubrey fom the health food stores or Elephant
Pharmacy. Many but not all from the ''natural'' brands are much
gentler, particularly if you get one of the brands made in
Europe where the standards are much stricter about which
chemicals are acceptable for human use (I can't remember the
name but there's an expensive German brand that is very non-
allergenic also at Elephant.)
Also, I have read that SPFs above 15 SPF have many, many times
more chemicals that irritate the skin and do not in fact last
much longer than the 15 so it is really best to use 15 and re-
apply more often.
I like the products made by Pharmaceutical Specialities, Inc.
They have the cleanest personal care products that I have been
able to find. Here is the web address:
Try SolBar sunscreen. Our dermatologist recommended it for my
daughter who has very sensitive skin. You can't usually find it
in stores, but you can order it on the web. We prefer the cream
rather than the liquid.
My children are half caucasian and half african american. I am
desparate to know if it is recommended that children of mixed
race use sun block. My white family is sure that my kids need
it. My husband insists that god gave them melonan (sp?) to
protect them from burning.
They don't burn in the sun just get a dark tan. But I don't want
to be the cause of them developing skin cancer or sun damage.
Any advice would be appreciated.
yes, you should use sunblock, i use sunblock. ignore dad and
block out the UV rays that cause melanoma.
I have a multi-racial family and my neice who is half African
American use sunblock but she saysn it's just to not get any
darker. she suns to the shade she likes and then uses sunblock.
can she get sunburned? I think yes but it takes a lot more sun -
like when we used to spend weeks river running in utah when I
the risk of skin cancer is quite small for dark-skinned people
but as with any thing in medicine, there are no absolutes.
My mixed race sister-in-law who didn't use sunscreen and
grew up in Santa Cruz had a basal cell cancer on her face in
her 30s. I'd say use sunscreen.
There are some important differences between blacks and whites, but
skin cancer does not discriminate.
I am a mixed race kid and yes, you need to use sunblock. It is true that
the risk of skin cancer is somewhat lower (similarly, fair-skinned whites
have a higher risk than olive-skinned whites), because of the increased
melanin, but we are not immune. Please protect your beautiful babies'
Here is a real difference (and it comes with one piece of unsolicited
If you have a girl (and you are white), please please get some
instruction on how to comb the child's hair (try Denise at Ringlets Salon
on Broadway in Oakland).
Mixed race hair is not white hair. Generally speaking, it cannot be
washed every day. It must be conditioned more heavily. It must be
combed in most cases (with a wide-tooth comb), not brushed (which can
break the curly cuticle and make your kid look like Don King). And you
cannot let it go, even for a day like you can with the more smooth cuticle
of white hair. If you've grown up with it, you get it. If you're new to the
black hair thing, there's no shame in getting some help. This is true
even if you want to a) keep the hair in a natural state, or b) dread the
hair. Believe me, your daughter's hair will be healthier, she will be
spared relentless teasing and you will be spared tremendous frustration,
if you learn from the beginning how to care for black hair.
My son is half Jewish, half (East) Indian. We totally use
sunblock on him and I slather it on in the sun too. My dad (I'm
the Indian one) is very dark and he burns easily in the sun.
It's not that darker people can't burn, it just takes longer or
it doesn't necessarily turn red. Our pediatrician recommended
Water Babies, which we used on our 3-month old when we went out
to the pool on our recent vacation to San Diego. Baby was fine
and we felt better knowing we were protecting him. The
pediatrician also recommended shady areas and a hat (hats are
keys, especially for dark-haired people).
So, use sunblock. At the very least, how does it hurt??
You sould use sunscreen but only on their ears, face, and
back (possiby neck) as these are the most sensitive places.
Children of african american decent still can get skin
Absolutely use sunscreen! Melanin does not protect you from
developing melanoma. Even Bob Marley had melanoma...and he later
died from cancer. Black skin can also burn, so protect your kids.
Your children absolutely, definitely MUST be protected from the
sun. It is a myth that African-Americans don't have to wear
sunscreen -- we get melanoma/skin cancer just like Caucasians
and, in fact, are more likely to die from melanoma when we get
it. Additionally, going out in the sun without protection
causes prematuring aging of the skin. I am biracial
(black/white) and wear sunscreen every single day. When I am
out in the sun exercising, I wear a hat. Here are a couple of
websites that address this issue:
or just enter ''African-American'' and ''sun protection'' in your
browser and you will find lots of information on this topic.
haven't tanned since the 80's
Absolutely use sunblock!! I am not biracial but am a light
skinned African American. Thinking that ''black folks don't burn'',
when I was fifteen, I sat out in the sun all day at the beach
(had never burned before - notice I said BEFORE!). I woke up the
next morning with a completely swollen face - sun poisoning!
Ever since, I have learned to be careful and use sunblock (and it
seems since I had sun poisoning my entire body is much more
likely to sunburn). It is true that many African Americans DON'T
use sunblock (and many don't seem to burn), but I wouldn't risk
it - especially if your child is rather light skinned.
Hi! I am a mixed race kid all grown up and never had sunscreen
as a kid and so far so good. Of course, in this day and age
everyone should use it. My kids are 1/4 dark and I use SPF 30
on them. For myself though, I find that too strong and use SPF
15. They say that sun is stronger than ever.....
I believe there are 2 types of damage from the sun. UV A rays cause
Aging; and UV B rays cause a Burn. Your children may not burn, but
they still need protection from UV A. Be sure to read the label on the
sunscreen, that it contains the chemicals that protect from both types of
My children are also mixed, I am Black and my husband is very
fair skinned with blue eyes and burns easily (melanin-
challenged). I always put sun block on my children, especially
when we go to Hawaii or if they are spending a lot of time in
the sun. I often use it myself. I know black people who burn in
the sun very easily so they carry sun block with them
everywhere. It is a reasonable precaution.
Of course a call to your pediatrician would clear up your
question in about 2 minutes and be more reliable than a
personal opinion like mine, but I believe the story is that
EVERYONE needs sunblock, no matter the color of the skin. I
just recently read something about it again (there are always
articles in various parenting magazines every springtime)
saying that whether you burn first or not, a tan is simply
evidence of sun damage, and that even dark skinned
people ''burn,'' even if it doesn't look red like on fair skinned
people. It may or may not be true that the rates of skin
cancer are lower among darker skinned people, I don't know the
statistics, but I would not take the risk of increasing your
kids chance of developing skin cancer (or other related
problems) later in their lives by ignoring this relatively easy
I used to work at the American Cancer Society and we had
an annual campaign specifically targeting non-whites about
skin cancer and the necessity for sun protection. It is a
misconception that people with darker skin don't need to
use sunblock. The damage is still happening--it just may be
harder to see! Even if your child isn't getting seriously
burned (although that is not the only way skin is damaged
by sun) protecting your child from the sun won't hurt, so why
not be on the safe side?
scared of skin cancer
Everyone needs sunblock every day especially on their face and hands (areas
that will be exposed 365 days a year for a lifetime). There are two interesting
weblinks from the American Academy of Dermatology. The first one deals with
the rise in Melanoma in African Americans and the second lists answers to
common questions about who should use sunblock, when, where to apply, etc.
Don't think that just because a person is not getting a sunburn that they are
not at risk for melanoma. Please look at these sites, show them to your
husband and put sunblock on your kids.
hope this helps.
I don't have any advice, but I got a good chuckle from your
question, because my husband and I have the same exact on-going
disagreement about our mixed-race daughter when it comes to
sunblock. Looking forward to the answers.
I always put sunblock on my mixed-race kids so that they do not
burn. I am a relatively light-skinned african-american, and I
burn. I don't burn as easily as my fair-skinned friends, but it
does happen if I am in the sun for long periods of time without
It is a myth that people that aren't ''white'' don't need
sunblock. True, the effects of the sun are harsher on people
that don't have as much melanin, but they can still be affected
by being exposed to the sun for too long. My children aren't
biracial, but they have light complexions and I am very adamant
about them using sunblock. I am slightly darker and use it
because I peel if I don't. Think of it this way, it certainly
can't hurt if they use it.
Yes, of course you want to protect your children's skin by using
sun block. They do have more melanin in their skin but need
sunblock too! If you need to know for sure and need a
professional's advice simply ask your children's doctor.
Use Sunblock on My Mixed Kids
Even my darkest African-American friends use sunscreen. The suns
rays are damaging period. No offense to your friend but the
comment about melanin is hogwash. Although you may not see the
sunburn on darker skin, it can happen. And with mixed race
children, there is usually less melanin so they are more at
risk. It may take longer to burn with dark skin, but it still
can and will happen if not given the porper protection.
I also have a mixed race child. He is rather fair skinned, like
his mother (lots of Irish in us) so I do use sunscreen on him. I
have noticed that he is developing a nice tan from being at the
park, and out in the yard, but I feel better safe than sorry.
Whether your children are red, white, or pink (a combination of
the two!), sunblock is always a good idea. Every skin type,
regardless of race or skin tone can benefit from sunblock. ;-)
Black Mother of 2 Black Children ;-)
I always use sun-block on my mixed race children. Even
dark-skinned African-Americans should be using
sun-block. I've been burned (and even pealed) even though
I'm pretty brown!
The short answer is yes, they should wear sunscreen. My son is
bi-racial as are my brother and sister. Even though dark(er)
kids don't burn the way my plain white self does, that doesn't
mean they don't and can't burn. My sister and brother had many
a burn growing up, complete with peeling, and they are a very
dark mix naturally. It doesn't matter what color the skin is,
the damage is done beneath it. Melanin gives people their own
personal hue, as it does hair color and eye pigment, but it is
not your own personal SPF.
I would encourage you and your family to wear sunscreen every
I am Af Am and my children are biracial (Black/White). I put
sunblock on them most of the time especially if it is
particularly hot or sunny outside. I am somewhat fair skinned
and I still burn ocassionally although my sunburns are more of
a tolerable dull soreness usually on the shoulders. I'd rather
not have my kids go through any damage no matter how mild it
may seem. Also, even though people of color do have more
melanin in their skin we can still suffer sun damage (burns,
skin cancer, etc). Protect your kids.
I have definately heard that the sun block on mixed race and
even african american skin. The sun is so strong these days.
My daughter is mixed race, and although I don't fret about her
the way people with very white children do, I put sun block on.
There is so much skin damage these days and from what i've
heard, it's affecting all races.
I'm a mixed race doctor. All races can get melanoma and other
forms of sun damage. You, your husband and your children
should all use sunblock.
I'm sorry but I had to chuckle at your note. I am a fair
skinned african american who grew up loving sun and
thinking 'black people don't burn'. I'm here to tell you, they
do - and it can get very painful. My two kids are also fair
skinned and every time I take them out in the sun, they wear
sun block. While our tolerance to sun might be greater, we're
still open to all the harmful effects of overexposure as
My daughter is white/Black biracial. She must use sunscreen as
well as SPF chapstick. Her father and half-brother, both dark
shades of brown, do too. They all ''burn.'' While they do not
turn red, their skin gets dry, very irritated, and can peel and
crack after a day in the sun. It is a myth that sunscreen is
Hi - anyone know of any truly unscented sunblock which is minimum SPF 30? My
daughter has always been extremely sensitive to smells and gags/spits up at all
sorts of odors that for most would be relatively benign. Thanks!
My dermatologist recommended Sol Bar, which seems to me to have
no scent at all.
California Baby Sunscreen is *really* unscented, but look out because
there is a scented version and an unscented version, so you gotta read
the label. Also, be aware that it is more expensive than other
sunscreens, but I think worth it- my fair skinned charge has never had a
sunburn and when he rubbed his hands into the sunscreen and into his
eyes one time, I freaked out but he didnt even flinch. So: no smell, no
eye irritation, no sunburn. I'd say bite the bullet and head to Elephant
Pharmacy (thats where we bought ours).
Our blond-haired, fair-skinned daughter absolutely refuses to put on sunblock. She
is 5 1/2 years old. While I know we should have continued putting on sunblock
year-round, I admit we stopped in the winter and now that the weather is so nice,
we're back into sunblock mode and I want to be really vigilant about it. I always wear
sunblock, my husband needs a gentle reminder, and my daughter refuses. I insisted
that she couldn't go out of the house without sunblock. She ended up refusing all
weekend and stayed in the house all weekend as a result, driving my husband and
me nuts (though we ended up taking turns going out alone today so we wouldn't go
stir crazy). We've talked to her about how important sunblock is and why. Obviously
we can't keep her home from school if she refuses sunblock on school days. I'm
really not sure what to do. At this point I'm going to revoke privileges for refusal
during the week. Any advice on how to get her to get with the program with wearing
sunblock daily would be much appreciated.
At my wit's end
This may sound harsh, but there are some times in parenting when I
have had to use physical force to get something essential done.
This includes giving a child medicine, taking out a splinter,
putting on a bike helmet, putting a child in a carseat -- you get
the picture. When it has to do with the child's health and well-
being, there is no possibility of negotiation, and the child has
to know that you mean business. The sunscreen ALWAYS has to go
on, no arguments, no pussy-footing. She can put it on herself
(under your supervision to ensure proper coverage), you can put it
on with her assistance or acquiescence, or one of you will hold
her down and the other will put it on. To send her the message
that this is a choice she can make (I'll skip the sunscreen and
stay inside) is not useful, as it is not really true. Even
leaving aside the question of what you will do when she starts
school, you and your husband have to be able to live a normal
life, too -- you shouldn't be held hostage to her willfulness; it
sends the message that she can be selfish and that's OK. I don't
use physical force to discipline my child, but I will use it when
it's necessary for his health and safety and I need him to
understand that there is no other choice.
Is it the type you use she doesn't like or sunblock period? I
know there were some my daughter found very repellant, some
because of the smell and others because of the feel. We had the
best luck with oil-free spray-on types, which we came to prefer
as well. If she hates sunblock period, I have no clue. Good
My kids refused sunblock because it was cold and sticky to
apply. Then I tried warming it to body temperature before
applying, and this helped a lot. I warmed it by carrying the
tube under my arm for 15 minutes before applying. The same
techinque works well for eyedrops, too.
You are the boss! If she refused to wear a seatbelt, would you let her
into never going anywhere by car? It's time to put your foot down.
Hi! Is there something in particular that your daughter doesn't
like about sunscreen? My boys complained about it being cold...
then I started to microwave it (for about 10 seconds) before
putting it on which seemed to help. If it's just a control
issue, maybe a chart with stickers would help? That might be a
more positive approach than taking things away (to start with,
Well, the trick is to make the sunscreen seem fun, i think. What if
of you picked out another kind--one with bright colors on the bottle or
something, a ''big-girl'' formula,etc. Another form might go over
too. Have you considered a spray on? (Spray on hands first for face).
That could make the application process more fun for her.
Unless the sunblock irritates her skin or she doesn't like the
way it smells or something physical related to the sunblock,
this situation is probably a general power struggle. Try making
her feel more involved in the decision making, like letting her
go to the store to pick out her own sunblock. Good Luck.
I never remember until we're frying
Maybe she doesn't like the sunblock you are using. Try unscented
or no tears baby sunblock. Another idea is to use long sleeves,
long pants and a hat instead of sunblock. Still another is to go
out early in the morning or in the afternoon when the sun is not
so strong, or to go out for short periods of time.
It sounds like you are doing exactly the right thing by modeling
the behavior of using sunblock, insisting that no sunblock = no
outdoors time, and explaining the importance of sunblock.
Staying consistent here should finally produce results.
Although I haven't had to fight this battle with my fair skinned
kids, I have seen my sister fight the battle. I can also tell
you that when my nephew is under my care, he doesn't fight
sunblock because ''I can't make my Aunt mad.'' Perhaps assigning
the task to someone else will help? Does your daughter fight
her teachers when they apply sunblock?
Finally, consider UV protective clothing (available from many
catalogs and sports stores), and check out this article from the
American Academy of Pediatrics:
(Sorry for the ridiculously long URL.)
I just want to applaud your invoking and enforcing consequences
around your daughter's not participating in the outside world if
she refuses to be sunscreened. I have seen melanoma sufferers,
up close and personal, some of whom were saved by a radical and
disfiguring excision, and others, including three friends, who
died from melanoma.
There is no question but that melanoma can be traced, largely, to
a bad childhood sunburn/chronic and unprotected sun exposure;
twas the scenario in all of the profiles of melanoma that I knew
While staying in your house is not much fun for you know that,
eventually, your consistency and persistence will pay off, and
your daughter will submit.
I liken insistence on sunscreen (and sunglasses, too, frankly;
I've seen a lot of macular degeneration in my life) to the same
insistence about our children (and us) wearing seatbelts. I
wouldn't dream of driving without my children belted in, and I
would not let my children out into the world without sunglasses,
sunscreen (physical block is more effective than chemical block,
which breaks down after 10 minutes exposure to UV, anyway), and a
Hang in there and keep insisting.
Sounds to me like a girl who doesn't really want to go outside!
I have one of those. In that case depriving her of it doesn't
put her out in the least and it punishes you. Rule #1 when
inventing consequences: make sure you can live with them yourself!
I suggest you give her the option of wearing a long-sleeve shirt,
pants, gloves and a widebrimmed hat when you go out, or
sunscreen. I think she'll tire of the getup after not too long
and accept the sunscreen. Either way, you are all outside and
she is protected from the sun. Sounds like a power struggle so
make sure not to make the clothes sound like a punishment for
refusing to wear sunblock. Instead, she simply has two, and only
two, choices: she can wear clothing that protects her from the
sun, or she can wear sunblock. If she refuses both you have to
calmly enforce one or the other option. She is not going to
keep the family inside, nor is she going to go out unprotected.
She can chose herself, but if she doesn't, you will chose for
her. Be very matter-of-fact. You can even commiserate and say
you understand that she doesn't like either of the options, but
it is your job as a parent to make sure she takes care of her
body until she is old enough to do it for herself.
I've heard conflicting advice about using sunscreen on babies.
Our pediatrician recommended avoiding it until one year (some
say 6 months). I've also heard that sunscreen isn't actually
harmful but ''they'' tell you not to use it because they don't
want people to think direct sun exposure is okay. Does anyone
have any actual hard data on this? Also, for parents who have
chosen to use sunscreen, is there a brand/product you recommend
that is less toxic/full of junk?
wanting to be safe in the sun
I've used Water Babies on both of my kids from 6 months (if not
younger)on with no problems. Only one that I would shy away
from is Mustela's - it stains clothing!
Some European countries have much stricter regulations on the
chemicals that are used in sunscreens so I think the very best
and most non-toxic brand is called ''Lavera'' from Germany have
seen in Elephant Pharmacy and Whole Foods. It is very expensive
but I would use that one for sure on under one year olds, then
there are other natural brands that are probably fine for
babies; I think the concern is no direct sun until pigmentation
is more mature but also, chemicals in sunscreen are absorbed
through the skin.
Try any wholefoods store or 'healthfood' store. I buy products
at Rainbow grocery collective in SF but i know in other towns or
across the country any 'healthfood' store will carry several
lines of baby suncare lotion. I would call one locally and see
what they stock or recommend. It is also important to cover your
baby for the majority of the sun intensive hours and get them to
wear a sunhat if they tolerate one.
we asked our pediatrician the same question (I have very white skin). he said he has
seen infants brought in for sunburn, but never for a reaction to sunscreen. we used
the medela or california baby products, and i keep a stick in the diaper bag. we also
have a uv suit.
Hello, I'm looking for a lotion with SPF for my 11 month old.
She goes to daycare and they often go on outings. I've noticed
that her cheeks are redder than usual probably due to the sun
exposure. I want to put sunscreen on her but don't want her
smelling like it all day. Does anyone know a baby-friendly
lotion with SPF that I can give my daughter?
We have successfully used the Banana Boat lotions for babies
with good results. You may want to test a small area first and
check with your physician. We also have used the sunscreen
shirts but the kids weren't too into to those when playing in
the water. They seemed to make them colder.
Use a sunscreen with zinc or titanium dioxide as the only
active ingredient to avoid chemicals. These and that parasol
1789 (avobenzone) are the only ingredients that provide
Of course, clothing and hats are helpful too.
Hi! I took my 2 year old daughter to Waterworld this weekend
and applied sunscreen on her before we went in the water and out
in the sun but the next day she broke out with a rash on her
face and still sun-burnt on her little shoulders.
Can anyone recommend a sunscreen for sensitive skin?
My two-year-old son has sensitive skin, so whenever we are at
the beach instead of sunscreen, he wears either a SPF wetsuit
(we bought his at Costco) or a pair of regular swim trunks and a
white long sleeve SPF t-shirt (his is from One Step Ahead).
Both are extremely lightweight and offer a UPF of 50+, which is
the highest sun-block rating available. He is always very
comfortable, and never gets too hot.
We looove Durascreen. My daughter, also 2, has relatively
sensitive skin (I have to use ''Free & Clear'' varieties of laundry
detergent) and is pretty fair skinned. You can order Durascreen
in a lotion and a in stick for the face, both are SPF 30,
waterproof and seem to last all day (there have been a few times
that I have forgotten to reapply for afternoon park excursions,
with no adverse results). The only drawback? Expensive, but
I'll never use anything else on her.
Despite the widespread cautions to use sunscreen, the following offers another
point of view.
The points made include the importance of getting natural vitamin D from the sun,
going slowly to build up tolerance to the increasingly stronger rays, eating an
antioxidant-rich diet, and avoiding harmful chemicals found in common
My son is allergic to the hypoallergenic sunscreen we use
(Banana Boat Kids). He breaks out with a rash all over his face.
I'd love to hear what the allergic folks have had success with.
I use Trader Joe's Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 or 50. It has
Titanium Dioxide in it. I have used it for my child since he
was a toddler and it never irritated his skin and it does a great
job. He is very fair and also has trouble with rashes.
Trader Joes sunscreen is also very reasonably priced ($3.59).
Our favorite sunscreen for our very sensitive daughter is SolBarPF
Cream, SPF 50. It is paba free, unscented, and goes on easily.
Make sure you get the 50, not the 30 SPF. I bought it recently at
Long's off Piedmont Ave.
We have also had good luck with all unscented sunscreens from
Neutrogena, but the SolBar seems to really work best at preventing
sunburn while being easy on the skin.
What will help your son depends on what he is sensitive to in the
sunscreen. I react to almost all of them, except of course PABA, which is almost impossible to find. The reaction is worse when I am exposed to
the sun. Anyway, there are a couple alternatives I have found that work:
1. He may be ok with a lower spf.
2. Neutrogena sensitive skin: active ingredient: titanium dioxide spf 17.
This works for me and I am extremely sensitive to the other stuff.
3. Low spf sunscreens where the active ingredient is only something
called ''homosalate.'' This is generally up to spf 4 or 6.
In general, you will need to learn the active ingredients and which
bother him. Unfortunately there are all kinds of names and mixes. It is
also likely that he will have to use lower spf stuff, and that means that he has to get smart about not staying in the sun too long, wearing a hat, etc.
Probably the best idea anyway. Perhaps there is a way to get
sunscreens made to order, if someone knows that, let us know!
Several children at my family child care have sensitive skin
and are allergic to regular childrens' sunscreen. We've
noticed a dramtic improvement by using the Trader Joe's SPF 30
sensitive sunscreen. The two little guys I'm thinking of who
had such trouble with Banana Boat have switched to this and
have not had any skin issues since.
Hope this helps!
Try Neutrogena. They have a sun block that is for very
sensative skin. The main ingredient in this formula is
titanium dioxide. It does not contain ingredients found in
regular hypoallergenic sunscreen. We use it especially
when we are on vacation and have to put a lot of sunscreen
on everyday. Both me and my daghter discovered that we
break out in rashes from the regular stuff due to over
exposure to the chemicals. We found the Neutrogena to be
a big relief. I recommended it to a friend of mine who's
daughter is terribly allergic to regular ''hypoallergenic''
sunscreen. She told me that the Nutrogena is working out
great, and she has tried everything. Check the label and
read the ingredients. Make sure it is the Titanium Dioxide
Try a sunscreen with only physical UV blocks - zinc or titanium
dioxide. These work on the surface of the skin. They reflect
UVA and UVB and are better for people with allergies. The
chemical sunscreens like PABA, etc. combine with elements in the
skin to form a barrier and are therefore more likely to cause an
Neutrogena makes a ''sensitive skin'' formulation with titanium
Congratulations on making sunscreen a part of your child's
life. You are doing a great thing.
I have very sensitive skin. I tried many brands (Banana Boat --
like you) and other more specialty, boutique brands and have
been surpised to find that the Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces 50 is
the most gentle and non-reactive with my skin. Both my three
year old son and I use it.
My son's face gets all red when I use regular baby sunscreens
from the drugstore, but he does fine with California Baby brand
from Whole Foods. It's expensive, though -- about $13 for a
We have found that Coppertone Sensitive Skin works very well. It
is in a white bottle with blue cap and they sell it at Target.
My daughter also got a rash with Banana Boat. My dermatologist
recommended Pre-Sun, and we all use that. It's not easy to find
(try Long's) so I stock up when I spot it.
I am allergic to Clinique sunscreen, which is hypoallergenic,
but have no problem with Coppertone!
Sun Precautions carries a wide variety of sunblocks for
various uses. There are several that are for extremely
sensative skin that contain only titanium dioxide or zinc
oxide or both. And they have one that is waterproof. Sun
Precautions main selling item is SPF clothing. They have
cloths for kids too. So if you get tired of sunblock you can
cover your child up in clothing that will protect them better
than regular cloths. The styles and choices are not that
great, but it is well worth a look. The prices are a bit high
too, but that is because of the special fabric they use. Here
is their website: www.sunprecautions.com
My kids had an allergic reaction to Banana Boat sunscreen as
well. We now use Neutrogina for sensitive skin and they are
It's that time of year again when I again search for the perfect
high SPF waterproof sunscreen for my face. I have used Avon,
Waterbabies, Coppertone, etc. and each causes my eyes to sting
horribly after I swim (or even sweat). Any suggestions would be
appreciated, either products or a different way of applying.
no more watery eyes
My (very white skinned) child would not let put sunscreen on her
face when we went skiing or biking because it would run, with
sweat or snow from skiing or swimming, into her eyes and sting.
And because it was waterproof, very hard to get out of the eyes.
Then I tried Bullfrog stick! It comes in a large stick similar
to chapstick. It does not run! Now she even puts it on herself
and rubs it around. There are other brands of sunscreen sticks
around now but Bullfrog is the best if you can find it.
try SkinCeuticals. You can buy online or in some spas--various
levels of SPF--it's a bit expensive but really good.
You might try the sunscreen sold by Paula's Choice (online only;
website addres: http://www.cosmeticscop.com/shop/skincare.asp)
Her products tend not to include coloring or fragrance ingredients that
can sting; she also uses titanium dioxide and other physical blockers
instead of the chemical blockers that I personally have a hard time with.
I use a brand called ProSport that I originally found in a
Hawaiian surf shop. I love it so much that I found it online
and now order it by the case. It is not greasy and it pretty
much lasts all day. It also does not run into the eyes. It
also says it's suitable for children 6 months and over and for
people with sensitive skin. (I have very sensitive skin and
sunburn very easily, but not with this stuff). I started using
it on my daughter after Baby Banana Boat did run into her eyes.
For what its worth, the Ironman Triathalon also uses it as it's
sunscreen of choice. I normally don't sounds like a commercial
about skincare products or other products for that matter, but I
have had a lot of success with this stuff. You can find it at
their website at http://www.sunblockshop.com/ProSport.htm#
Do you think I should put sunscreen on my baby's face to protect from sunlight while in
the car? Although I have a back window sunshade, the sun shines in above the top of the
shade. When we're driving away from the sun, the light sometimes beams in so brightly that
baby's poor little face is totally illuminated. I use the stroller's very protective sun
canopy (it adjusts and covers very well) as soon as we step out of the vehicle. I put
sunblock on him at the playground, but I'm cautious (paranoid?) about putting sunscreen on
him every day, even though we use a natural one. The Whole Foods skin care dept. person
cautioned me against using sunblock, even natural kinds on a child under two because of
the absorption of ingredients through the skin while their bodies are so small. What do
you do/have done? Sunscreen every day, including just for car rides and dashing indoors,
or sunscreen only while outside in direct sunlight?
--Confused first time mom
I don't believe UV rays can get through glass, so your baby should be
fine in the car. For outside, a good hat is your first line of protection.
You don't say how old your baby is, but I agree with the folks at Whole
Foods: I don't like to use any sunblock on kids under 1 because of the
absorption problem you mentioned, and I certainly wouldn't use any
on a baby under 6 months under any circumstances. Instead, keep
your darling out of the sun, and cover him/her up with a wide-brimmed
hat and long sleeves.
This may seem like an overly obvious response to your posting
but I couldn't tell from what you wrote whether or not you have
the windows down or a sun roof open in your car. Only if
sunlight is hitting your baby's skin directly and not through
glass -- i.e., the sun is coming in through an open window or
the sun roof -- is your baby exposed to the Sun's ultraviolet
radiation. Shut the sun roof and windows and you won't have to
use sunscreen. If it's hot and you don't have air conditioning,
just make sure your baby is not near an open window that the sun
is shining through.
Also, your baby needs SOME exposure to direct sunlight because
that is what produces Vitamin D in our bodies (including our
babies' bodies). So I would definitely not put sunscreen on
your baby just for dashing in and out of doors. I don't know
what pediatricians recommend, but I would imagine you don't need
to use a sunscreen until/unless you think you will exceed 10
minutes exposure to constant, direct sunlight at midday.
When my kids were infants I put a hat on them when in the car on
Glass blocks most UV rays, so you don't need to put sunblock on
your child for car rides.
I have done a lot of research re: UVB lights and sun radiation
because we have a family history of melanoma.
Only very small amount of sun radiation can go through glass, so
sunscreen would not be needed during car rides.
Outside of car rides, the effect of sun radiation over human
lifetime is cumulative. This means that it does not matter that
you never get a severe sunburn (as a single event) - every
little sun exposure adds to all previous sun exposures in your
life and at some point (individual for everyone) your body just
had enough and it starts growing cancerous cells (without you
knowing of it obviously).
Baby skin is extremely susceptible to sun burn. It is generally
recommended by the American Assn of Peds that babies always wear
long pants and long sleeves. You must use sunscreen on any open
area of skin, and SPF must be at least 30 (15 is NOT enough!).
Obviously, the lighter the natural color of your skin is the
more susceptible you are. You can ask your doctor or
pediatrician for a whole list of criteria (having freckles, for
instance) to determine the general degree of your
You should not rely on just clothes for sun protection either.
An average clothes' SPF is around 8! This is not enough at all,
and this is average. Light summer clothes hardly protect you at
Another important thing to remember - sun radiation gets through
to you in any whether - sunshine or not.
A lot of my info comes from warnings by medical doctors
specializing in skin cancer prevention.
Every sunscreen must be reapplied to your skin every two hours,
despite what manufacturer may claim, per U.S. Dept of Consumer
My final note: Once you start taking this issue seriously, it is
very easy to teach your children to respect the sun rules. My
children would not come out of the house without sunscreen all
over their bodies - They just stop at the door and come back for
sunscreen - They know it's more important than not being late to
school. My older daughter reapplies sunscreen to herself before
coming out to every recess at school, and the teachers do it for
my younger one.
I may seem paranoid, but I have seen people (as young as 3) live
with and die of cancer.
I'd like to correct some misconceptions people have about
exposure to ultraviolet rays through car windows. The excerpt
below is from the University of Florida College of Health and
Web Site -
A portion of sunlight consists of invisible ultraviolet
radiation that is divided, by wavelength, into UVC, UVB and UVA
rays. Each of these wavelengths can cause skin cancer and skin
damage. But neither UVC rays (and most of which are absorbed by
the earth's ozone layer) nor UVB rays (the rays that actually
cause sunburn) pass through glass.
Only UVA rays penetrate glass -- and these rays are particularly
damaging. They can be 1,000 more intense than UVB rays, invading
deeply into the underlying tissue. Besides leading to cancer,
UVA rays are the primary cause of photo skin aging -- wrinkles,
dryness, and age spots.
In addition, children are especially vulnerable to the UVA rays
streaming through auto windows. They frequently sit in the back
of the car, where the intensity of these rays is highest. And
they already spend more time in the sun than adults -- receiving
about 50% to 80% of their lifetime ultraviolet exposure by age
18. Infants are even more at risk, because their melanin (the
skin pigment that provides a small amount of sun protection) is
not fully developed. In addition, people with certain medical
conditions, such as lupus erythematosus, are particularly
sensitive to UVA rays.
Auto Protection. Automobiles are not completely at the mercy of
UVA rays. The plastic interleaf of windshields (which keeps them
from shattering in an accident) absorbs nearly all UVA
radiation. But there is little to stop UVA radiation from coming
through the side and rear windows of the car. The lightly tinted
factory auto glass available for side and rear windows absorbs
only a very modest amount of this light. (Federal regulations
allow auto manufacturers to only slightly tent their window
glass, except for a narrow strip on the top of the windshields,
because of concern that tinted windows can reduce the visual
acuity, especially for older drivers).
To protect yourself and your passengers from UVA radiation,
there is a wide variety of tinted as well as clear protective
auto window films available from professional applicators or do-
it-yourself kits. For example, Llumar UVShield, a new,
transparent, micro thin, film, which carries the Seal of
Recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation, is said to
protect car occupants from virtually all UVA radiation. In sun-
intense climates like Florida, these relatively inexpensive
films are an excellent investment in good health. For a review
of various products see Auto Trim and Restyling News:
this page was last updated: Feb 21, 2010
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