Recently, my 8 year old had a nasty reaction to a sunscreen that I bought at the supermarket and it reminded me of how important it is to go beyond the marketing.
The front of the kid’s roll-on said it was Australian made, SPF 50, water-resistant, “fragrance free” and compliant with the Hawaii Reef Bill. In a hurry, I made a quick connection with roll-on + kids + no synthetic fragrance + safe for the environment and thought it must be ok. But I didn’t look at the full list of ingredients, and several days later my dear girl was paying the price.
Thankfully, the itchy chest and facial rash cleared up after a couple of days with an oral and topical antihistamine but it was something that shouldn’t have happened. I know she’s got sensitive skin as she was my only baby who ever had a nappy rash, but I’d become complacent. It’s too easy to just trust the packaging but on closer inspection there was a whole list of ingredients linked to hormone disruption, skin irritation and even cancer.
While my 5 year old daughter didn’t have a visible reaction to the sunscreen it made me wonder how our bodies are reacting to things without us knowing or being fully aware and how sometimes it might just be that one extra product that tips us over the edge.
While it can certainly feel a bit defeating to not be able to trust the flashy marketing, I know that there are plenty of safe and effective sunscreens on the market; they’re just often not available in big supermarket chains, which means we have to be more organised if we need to purchase online.
All this to gently remind: make sure you have a safe and effective sunscreen in the cupboard.
If you’re not sure, the Chemical Maze app is a super helpful way to check ingredients and compare products so you can make the right choice for your family.