Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Sunscreen Dilema

There are few things that I know for sure about living in Arizona in the summer. I know that the sun shines a lot. I know that the sun can provide us with needed Vitamin K that can not be replicated with any vitamin. I know that many, many people are worried about the UVA and UVB rays that may damage your skin with too much sun exposure. I know that when you have light skin your chance to burn is greater than if your skin is dark. I know that when you have children everyone seems to be concerned about how you protect your child's skin and apparently it is their business. I also know that these concerned people really do care, and I love them(mom).

I don't know when I became aware of the dangers that may be present in lathering on the sunscreen. Maybe it was the year that I was becoming more aware of the toxins in our world and trying to understand the need for my 15 preschool children to have 15 different sunscreens with their names on them so that no child would put on another child's lotion. At the time, this seemed absurd. Now that I am more educated however, it is not so crazy. The amount of time, effort, and (soon to be) money that I am putting into what type of sunscreen I should use on Tasha (and myself) is astronomical! I've been gathering information, mainly from other moms, for 2 years, and now I have spent at least 2 hours on the Internet trying to distinguish the differences between all the many oxides. After all this studying I don't want anyone putting anything crazy on my kid unless her normally covered skin is going to be in the sun for an extended period of time during the worst hours of the day. Do I want to prevent a 3rd degree sunburn? Sure. Do I worry about a little pink? Nope. Will I freak out if someone puts sunscreen on her? Nope, I know they are just concerned.

So my biggest dilema has been trying to determine which compound in sunscreen is most effective at stopping the bad rays, while at the same time not promoting free radical production (whatever that means!) on the skin and bloodstream of my precious little 4 year old. I thought one very smart mom was onto something when she recommending titanium dioxide. So I researched it and found this article:

http://organicpassion.info/zinc-oxide-sunscreen-vs-titanium-oxide-sunscreen/

From this article I did a lot of linking, grabbed my ancient bottle of Coppertone, and did several more Google searches. I guess the titanium oxide isn't all it's cracked up to be, but who really knows?! It is pretty hard to find a sunscreen with ONLY zinc oxide as it's active ingredient. Even Burt's Bees has titanium oxide in it. Most will have one form or another of some sort of octinoxate,oxybenzone, ect. I did find one, UV Natural Sport with an SPF 30+. It is $30.80 for 4.4 oz. available at REI:

http://www.rei.com/product/769130

Or maybe here:
https://www.allnaturalbaby.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=3_9&products_id=1056&zenid=69bd5f5b191f243a1b77646ea89a0b3a&OVRAW=zinc%20oxide%20sunscreen&OVKEY=zinc%20oxide%20sunscreen&OVMTC=standard&OVADID=855090521&OVKWID=5113727521

So what's a mom to do? The simplest answer would be to keep your kids and yourself out of the stinking sun, cover up, and stay in the shade. Of course that is easier said than done but maybe I'll have to try harder...

And in case you want to really read some crazy stuff here's an article about how sunscreens don't prevent cancer and how the estrogenic chemicals in some sunscreens are affecting gender traits:

http://www.skinbiology.com/toxicsunscreens.html

8 comments:

April said...

Ohhh, tell me which one you've chosen in the end. I think about this too but have taken a head in the sand approach and go for convenience, except when my kids are babies. Can't wait to HERE which one you pick!

Rachel said...

Yes please, tell me which you picked, I've been going crazy b/c S. burns like crazy after two minutes in the sun. She's never even going to get to wear short sleeved shirts, poor poor white baby! Did you go with the UV natural sport? Do you think that is good for babies. I just don't have time to research it, so please just tell me what you did. Sometimes I just wanna follow.

The Turley Times said...

Sounds like you've been reading that crazy book by what's his head again. You know who I'm talking about. I only sunscreen my kids if we're swimming and so far neither has had a serious burn...let me know what you come up with!!!

The Turley Times said...

Wait, I didn't mean to imply that I don't believe that sunscreen is not benign perhaps even dangerous. I like what's his head even though he freaks me out.

H said...

AAAAAAAAAH!!! I was sure you ladies would have the answers. Darn you for making me do the research on this one.

H said...

Oh, and Sara :) Yes, the conspiracy guy got me thinking about all the toxins but I don't remember him addressing sunscreen directly...

Rachel said...

Who the heck are you and Sara talking about? I want in on the inside talk!

H said...

Kevin Trudeau, He wrote "Natural Cures They Don't Want You to Know About". It really is a very informative, thought provoking book IF you can get past all of his hatred and conspiracy talk. Although, I guess if everything he says about his life and the families he talks about is true, the conspiracy is true for them. Yada, yada...I can't live in a world where I can't trust anyone. And finally, I certainly can't trust him: a man who spends thousands of dollars on an organic bed mattress because it's the only kind that won't do us harm; a man who leeches money from people desperately seeking hope for a fatal disease; a man who uses his book to promote not only his views but the far-reaching views, cures, and expensive "miracles" that coming pouring into your mail box...
Whatever! Rachel, you're a smart lady you could take the good from him without being bled dry.
Oh, and he's quite attractive in that "I'm-healthy-because-of-the-way-I-live-and-the-government-would-have-my-head-if-they-could-and-give-me-your-money-money-money" kind of way. Personally, I find that very UNattractive.