We began the process of packing for our first ever vacation as a family of six. We are headed to Hilton Head Island. (I promise to post lots of pics upon returning). The kids are beyond excited. I'm hoping to read a book while they are entertained by the endless surf and sand. Earlier this week we began shopping for all the items we would need to have a fun and safe vacation. Then, I ran across this information which made me re-think the sunscreen that I would be packing for our family. On the same day that I referenced EWG's Sunscreen Guide, BJ told me that Rush Limbaugh talked about a chemical in sunscreen that is a proven carcinogen. Lucky for me I was already educated on the issue. So today I ran out to the grocery store for traveling snacks and some new, non-toxic sunscreen.
My biggest concern is for Charlotte, who is only two years old, and Griffin, who is four. Griffin's epidermis is already compromised by severe eczema. That means his skin is very sensitive to certain chemicals and fragrances. In addition, eczema weakens the protective outer layer of skin and even deeper layers within. When working properly, the protective layer blocks out harmful substances while absorbing moisture and expelling waste. Griffin's damaged skin doesn't do that well so I'm more careful about what I allow on his skin, including laundry detergents, soaps, shampoos, and lotions. The past two years I had only used on him an extremely sensitive (and expensive) sunscreen that was sold by his dermatologist because everything else would cause burning pain when I applied it. And even more convincing, last week we sprayed a "baby" sunscreen on all four kids, and two of them ended up having a reaction involving an itchy rash. That stuff went straight into the trash. Now that I know more about the chemicals in some sunscreen, I'm not sure I want anyone in our household slathering it on until I've thoroughly checked the label.
I ended up purchasing BabyGanics Cover Up SunScreen Spray and BabyGanics Cover Up SunScreen Lotion, which met EWG's criteria for non-toxic. I purchased both from Toys R Us/Babies R Us, but they also carry this brand at Target. For a while now we have used BabyGanics Foaming Body Wash & Shampoo on all four kiddos because it is not as expensive as other natural, non-toxic, and sulfate-, phthalate-, paraben-free brands.
After discovering the dangers of some sunscreen, I'm even more convinced that I need to be more adamant about what chemicals, lotions, soaps, shampoos, etc. that I allow into our home. We cannot assume that anyone - the government or consumer goods companies - are looking after the best interest of our families. That duty falls on us, the gatekeepers of the home, Moms!
6 days ago