Sometimes I think it would be easier if parasols and bonnets were all the rage instead of nicely tanned skin!
I am a freckled redhead who burns easily. Two of my children also have red hair, and my baby burns in the shade. My mom recently had skin cancers removed from her face and an acquaintance of mine died earlier this year at the age of 36 from melanoma. It’s safe to say that sunscreen is on my mind.
A couple years ago, I didn’t really think about sunscreen beyond knowing that I needed to use it. Using my Extra Care Bucks from CVS or Register Rewards from Walgreens, I bought, and used, whatever I could get for free.
Then I started hearing about the harmful chemicals in sunscreen. I learned that there has been an increase in melanoma in sunscreen users and that vitamin A in sunscreen might speed the development of cancer! Scary stuff – especially to me – a person who has used sunscreen religiously as an adult after burning the crap out of my skin as a teenager.
Last year my solution to the problem was to buy big hats and rash guards for all of my children. I avoided sunscreen altogether. We stayed in the shade and none of my kiddos got a sunburn.
This year, I had to find a sunscreen because my baby is burning in the shade and won’t keep on her hat. Using EWG’s list here and talking with friends who are conscientious about sunscreen, I decided on two different sunscreens. I bought Blue Lizard Baby and Neutrogena Pure and Free Baby. We’re still wearing rash guards and hats, and staying in the shade as much as possible. But I feel better now because my baby is better protected and the sunscreen is supposedly a lot safer than the other varieties I used to get for free.
I also stopped using a moisturizer with sunscreen on my own face. Next, I need to get a rash guard for myself. It’s important to protect my kids, but I also need to think about me!
What do you do about sunscreen? Do you recommend a particular brand? I’d love to hear! How do you balance the desire for a “healthy” tan with the information that tanned skin is damaged skin?
This post is linked to Simple Lives Thursday at Spain in Iowa.