If you subscribe to conventional wisdom, then sandwiched between a morning shower and putting on your makeup, you slather on a generous glob of sunscreen. And if you do, then you know how getting a bit in the eye can test your religious resolve. And while you’ll certainly survive it, it’s far more painful to watch your little one endure that same obnoxious event of routine living. (Here’s a tip, by the way: next time this happens, fold a tissue in half and place the folded end just above your bottom lash line at a 45 degree angle, then close your eye. The tissue will absorb the moisture, and eliminate the irritant at the same time.)
For little faces, I love Coppertone Sport Stick. It is applied directly from the tube (kind of like a lip balm), so it never touches fingers that may rub an eye before a good handwashing. It is sweatproof and waterproof, so swimming lessons will not be interrupted with painful cries caused by migrating stinging goo. There is no apparent fragrance, and, according to the label, it is non-comedogenic, hypoallergenic, and PABA free. It comes in SPF 30 factor, blocking both UVA and UVB rays.
For exposed limbs and tummies, I go with either Aveeno Active Naturals Continuous Protection SPF 45 (The adult version; I avoid the child’s version based on it’s reported use of nano-ingredients); or Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunblock SPF 70. The latter is my favorite for personal use, as it does not interfere at all with normal application of make-up and, if anything, mixes beautifully with water based foundation for a flawless, glassy look. (Note: I faced a long time ago that there is no such thing as a flawless, glassy look from a bottle or tube; so, ‘flawless’ is a widely relative term in this instance! I can say, without exaggeration, that it actually applies and looks better than foundation alone.)
Nano-ingredients, or fullerenes, (the stuff I don’t want in my purchased stuff, though I kind of like the cosmetic effect of) wedges foot in door on a topic of growing controversy. I am relatively sure any boycott of fullerene inclusion in popular cosmetic products is akin to trying to save a sinking boat with a teaspoon, particularly when there is no current labeling disclosure requirement. But, the way I see it, ‘every little bit’. (I may recycle my glass bottles and jars, but I still opt for paper or plastic at the grocery. I’m not a hypocrite, just half hanging from that sailing ship instead of firmly planted on the deck.)
I’m no chemist, and not the best resource on nanotechnology. (I’m just glad I ever heard of it; we all need more stuff to worry about everyday, afterall!) Still, I’m happy to offer a couple of recent articles that are refreshingly easy and quick to read as an introduction:
Read a Friends of the Earth, March, 2009 article to get a snapshot of background information on the use of nanoparticles in sunscreen and cosmetics. You might also find interest in this April, 2009 Rodale News article, which features a link to Skin Deep, specifically targeting the purported safety of various sunscreen brands. You can check yours there. (We offer this link as a point of interest; we do not know whether the information provided at either site on nanotechnology or sunscreen safety and chemistry is accurate.)
Meantime, happy sunning, happy swimming, and stay safe! 1