Sunscreen for our kids

And so another season of warm weather unfolds – time to wade through the quagmire of toddler/ kid sunscreen to find one that will not give my children something worse than the melanoma which I am trying to avoid. It’s absolutely shocking to me that the majority of sunscreens available at supermarkets and pharmacies in Australia have ingredients that are so very dangerous. The US website Environmental Working Group has a cosmetic safety database called Skin Deep that you can access to find out about individual ingredients, which is an invaluable resource if you have the time to do the research 

Recently I bought the Sunsense Toddler Milk sunscreen from a pharmacy. I see this brand everywhere so assumed it to be safe. How wrong! This product has many potentially harmful actives. Here is a summary of one of the ingredients:

Oxybenzone 2.0%   This chemical scores  9 out of a possible 10 = Very High Hazard
– Linked to cancer in goverment or academic studies
– Linked to developmental & reproductive toxicity, can range from infertility and reproductive organ cancers to birth defects and developmental delays in children
– Prohibited for use in cosmetics or subject to restrictions according to government regulations from US, EU, Japan & Canada
– Linked to immunotoxicity, or harm to the immune system
– The ability to affect the body at a cellular or biochemical level
– Enhanced capacity to absorb through the skin by virtue of chemical properties or small particle size (incl nano) or where it is applied on the body (ie infant skin)
– moderate evidence of human endocrine distruption

How can it be that this product is allowed to be slathered on our children? Or at least that this information is not commonly known?

Friends of the Earth in Australia have a frequently updated list of companies that use – and don’t use – nanotechnology in their products: well-known and seemingly trustable companies like L’Oreal, Nivea & Ambre Solaire treat their creams and sunscreens with this process, which in a very layman’s nutshell splits the minerals like zinc and titanium oxides into such tiny particles that they are more readily absorbed into one’s skin for cosmetic appearance. This is not known yet whether it will be a big problem, especially for young skin, as studies have not yet been completed. Check out their list, also mentions non-chemical products

So – using these two sites for my own information, I’ve gleaned that 3 of the 9 brands in the ‘Nano & Chemical Free’ section are locally available to me:

Woolworth’s Select
Invisible Zinc
Cancer Council

I’ll let you know how I go…

Categories: Health | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Sunscreen for our kids

  1. Summer left with me tans! AM gonna surely be prepared the next time the sun comes around!

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