Thursday, June 7, 2012

It’s that time of year again!

Here we go again, after a mild winter and rainy spring, summer is suddenly upon us! The last few days have been hot and humid, with lots of gorgeous sunshine. With that sunshine comes some intense UVA and UVB rays. Skin protection is important for the entire family and ever year I find myself looking for the best sunscreen available to slather on mine and my children’s skin. We must go through 2 or 3 bottles a summer! That being said, today’s sunblocks are often loaded with chemicals and toxins. One out of every four sunscreens available on the market contain excessive levels of Vitamin A, an additive that can accelerate the growth of skin tumors and lesions. The Environmental Working Group has exposed many of these sunblocks, finding “from hormone-disrupting compounds to lung-damaging nanoparticles, ingredients in sunscreens may protect the skin but pose other kinds of health risks.” Since our skin is our largest organ and 60% of what we put on it is absorbed into the bloodstream, we must choose carefully the products we use. This last Memorial Day weekend I was on the hunt for some good, safe, NON-TOXIC sunblock to put on my children. After reviewing the many, many different varieties available, I decided to go with the recommendation from a co-worker to grab a bottle of the Loving Naturals Clear Face sunscreen. Loving Naturals is a company based in New Hampshire. The couple that started the company in 2005 were concerned about the heavy burden of toxins and chemicals every person on the planet has to carry, starting prenatally. They set out to make a new line of products that were as gentle and natural on the body as possible. So far, the line includes sun care, baby bath products, children’s bath products, moisturizers, body washes, and all natural insect repellant. The sunscreen boasts two different types. The Adorable Baby product is formulated specifically for delicate baby skin. The Clear Face line is appropriate for use on the face, but can be used on the whole body. The Loving Naturals SPF 30 is an adult sunscreen that is for the entire body, but is a bit heavier in texture. Both of these types are also available in a convenient stick. All sunscreens are formulated with non-nano zinc oxide as the main protecting ingredient. Zinc oxide offers a wide range of protection from UVA and UVB rays, while staying safe, pure, and non-toxic. Other ingredients include organic sunflower oil, organic shea and cocoa butters, beeswax, organic hemp oil, coconut oil, organic raw sugar, and aspen bark extracts. They are water resistant, cruelty-free, and completely vegan. The Adorable Baby product is also gluten free. Feeling comfortable with these ingredients, I went ahead and grabbed a small bottle (2.5 oz) and a large bottle (4.3 oz). The sunblock itself is pretty thick, I had to warm it between my hands to make it a bit softer before applying it. Once it is softened, it spreads very easily and doesn’t leave any funky traces of white on the skin. None of these products have any weird or overwhelming artificial scents added to them. I applied the whole body sunblock once in the morning (manufacturer recommendations are to apply 30 minutes before sun exposure) and then several hours later as the kids weren’t swimming, just playing a lot in the sun. I noticed that the sunblock does tend to be somewhat greasy, and leaves almost a thick protective barrier on the skin. This might bother some people, but I would rather take a more natural product loaded with antioxidant oils then something artificial and toxic any day. I chose the Loving Naturals all over sunblock for myself and then I forced my husband to put some on his arms and neck(MEN!). I am so glad I made my entire family put this on! When I looked at my skin and the kids later that evening, we were COMPLETELY burn free! I am very pleased with Loving Naturals and I will absolutely be purchasing more products from them soon. Next up is the Loving Naturals Insect Repellent. I have already heard some excellent reviews, so I am excited to try it on my family while camping this summer. Try out the sunblock, you won’t be disappointed!

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