Thursday, June 21, 2012

Play It Safe in the Sun

If sunscreen isn’t a part of your daily summer (if not year round) routine, it should be. It’s just one more thing to do before heading out the door, but did you know that more than 50 percent of a person’s lifetime sun exposure happens before the age of 18? That’s why it’s so important to shield little ones from the sun’s damaging UV rays.

Unfortunately, carelessly slathering tiny bodies with an SPF just won’t cut it when it comes to getting the most from your suncare protection. And, please stay far away from chemical sunscreens. The lure of easy sprayable and wipe-on chemical sunscreen application is in my mind a fantasy conjured by marketers who are not thinking of the health implications. In fact, the Environment Working Group (EWG) did a study of ‘chemical’ sunscreens and found them to have inferior stability, penetrate the skin and possibly disrupt the body’s hormone systems. Not exactly what parents have in mind when they are dousing their little with the chemical laden fine mist before they hop in the pool.

California Baby was a pioneer in the development of non-chemical mineral based sunscreens for babies and kids, and over the years, we’ve learned a few application tricks and sun safety tips to keep your family safe while having fun in the sun.
  • Chemical sunscreens are absorbed by the skin, while non-chemical mineral based versions sit on skin’s surface and block UV rays. Like all California Baby products, our natural sunscreens are concentrated so a little goes a long way. The trick is in the application: Create an even, effective layer over the skin... the easiest way to do this is to dot small amounts over dry skin and then blend (a make-up sponge makes spreading and blending even faster).
  • Non-chemical sunscreens protect from the get go but for very best results, should be applied 30 minutes prior to sun exposure to allow the product to create a protective emulsion on the skin.
  • For the best SPF coverage, apply your sunscreen in layers. Try coating skin from head to toe with a California Baby Sunscreen Lotion, then use one of our Sun Sticks on areas that burn easily, like the nose, ears and feet. The sticks work great for reapplication. And for, “I can do it myself” application.
  • Remember to reapply sunscreen often, especially when you’re outside all day; every two hours at a minimum is best.
  • Don’t rely on regular clothing to provide adequate sun protection. A white T-shirt has an SPF of about 7 and when it gets wet, the SPF drops to 3.
  • Easy on the eyes: Sun exposure can put your child at risk for eye problems later in life. The American Cancer Society recommends using sunglasses with at least 99% UV absorption for the best protection. Our California Baby Designer Baby Banz Sunglasses exceed that standard, providing 100% UVA and UVB protection, and are super comfy and cute. If your little one still refuses to wear shades, opt for a hat that keeps the sun out of his eyes.
  • Feet often feel the heat, too, as tiny toes typically hang out while strolling or sitting in the sun. Be sure to slather them with sunscreen to avoid a painful burn.
  • Sometimes, even the best sun protection methods aren’t enough and you or your kids can end up overexposed. In that case, reach for California Baby Calming Soothing & Healing Spray, it’s ideal for relieving the sting of red skin and contains aloe vera and yucca to heal and moisturize, while the Aloe Vera Cream and Summer Lotion are both cooling and perfect for cooling post sun applications. 
Ella with the California Baby Designer Baby Banz Sunglasses in our Showroom in Los Angeles