Thursday, April 24, 2008

Burn Baby Burn

I am cursed. We have only had something like three beach-weather days in Connecticut and I already look like a flaming tomato.

Every year...sunburn.

As a kid I burned while my tougher-skinned parents shook their heads in disbelief. What were those crazy water-filled blisters?

As a teenager, I truly believed that I might tan if I used a lower number sunblock. With that effort I still got a sunburn while adding even more freckles. On one occasion I even got burned in the shape of a handprint. Never could wrap my brain around that one.

As an adult (an I an adult already?) I should have smartened up by now. I wear sunblock by the barrel. Still, I ALWAYS forget one body part. Two days ago it was my arms. Today it was my chest.

Damn you turtleneck in the 80 degree heat!

A few years ago I bought some easy, new-fangled spray on sunscreen. I sprayed Little guy thinking that I was keeping his sweet skin safe. Instead, he screamed in pain. "It hurts my skin mummy!' That's all I needed to look onto how safe sunscreens really are.

Wow! Are sunscreens scary! Apparently sunscreens break-down in the sun. They can release free radicals into your blood. Sunscreens can disrupt your hormones and then stick around in your body. Developmental toxicity. Cancer. Neurotoxicity.

There are NO mandatory standards for the safety of sunscreen. No one is watching. No one is squeaking.

In looking at the Skin Safe database and their list of the most effective and most safe sunscreens, the only company name that I recognize in California Baby. In looking at the least safe sunscreens, I recognize most of the names; Rite Aid, Aveeno, Bull Frog, Walgreens, Bain De Soleil, Avon...the list goes on and on.

Jasons Natural is also on the naughty list. Chalk another one up to greenwashing.

What is a fair-skinned family to do? Moving to Siberia is so out of the question. Drawing the shades and spending the summer watching TV is a no go. Moving to a happy bubble in the middle of the woods somewhere...that could happen. Until then, we need to stand-up and fight for safe sunscreens.


Erikka said...

thanks for the link to that database. definitely helpful.

Ruth Dynamite said...

Hey there flaming tomato. Good sunscreen is nearly impossible to find, so let me know when you find some.

Dagny Mckinley said...

Let me know if you find a good sunscreen you like. I work outside most days in the Colorado sun. I use Coppertone (naughty) but it works and I don't burn.

Dagny McKinley
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