Lovea - Natural Sun Care For Kids

Friday, 3 August 2012

Wow, I can't believe that a MONTH has flown past since I last updated my blog. Shesh.

What can I say in my defence? A run of illness, a stint of solely manning the parenting fort and the seed of a business idea, demanding eyeball-burning nights of research, has meant that this little blog has sadly been sidelined. But I'm back, willing and able with a post touching on the issue of children's sun care. 

Lovea kids: fragrance, silicone and
paraben-free mineral sun care

Before BB was born I had it fixed in my mind that the only thing applied to his beautiful skin would be a 100% organic product, until said 100% organic product (with lavender oil) caused a nasty reaction that only aqueous cream could finally take the sting out of. Hmm. 

To date we have muddled along with a half-and-half approach. I use natural or organic paraben-free shampoos as he's still prone to patches of eczema on his face but, where sunscreen is concerned, I have at times resorted to easy, off-the-shelf buys after finding it difficult to source a non-chemical alternative with a decent SPF rating.

So, when we were asked if we'd like to trial Lovea Kids SPF30 Natural Sunscreen Spray we jumped at the chance and then waited (several weeks) for the rain to stop and the sun to shine. 

But why choose a natural or organic sunscreen for your kids? Well, they tend to fall into the barrier sunscreen camp, using mineral filters like zinc oxide and titanium oxide to reflect UVA/UVB rays rather than a chemical cocktail sunscreen which absorbs rays. It is this questionable absorption into the skin that has raised concern surrounding potential carcinogenic toxicity and prompted call for a review of ingredients. 

Protecting my sunshine from too much sunshine

Specifically, oxybenzone - a chemical commonly used in ray-absorption sunscreens - has been described as a 'hormone-disruptor' with research in animals revealing some estrogenic activity. This link, it should be pointed out, hasn't been proven in humans. However, a 2008 U.S study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did conclude that 96.8% of participants urine samples contained oxybenzone, supporting the fact that it is capable of entering the blood stream.

Happily, Lovea Kids is a mineral sunscreen without fragrance, silicones or parabens. Although it's certified organic, as a French product - the top selling organic sunscreen in France no less - the certification comes via EcoCert which requires a lower percentage of ingredients of organic origin than the UK's Soil Association certification. Therefore, 10.9% of ingredients are organic with 98.9% being of natural origin.

Pro's: We found this sunscreen applies without slithery greasiness but, as a sun-conscious mum, I like the fact that there's still enough residue left behind to be able to feel where it has covered. For a mineral formulation - notorious for making the skin appear ghostly - Lovea leaves only the merest hint of white on initial application. On a glaringly bright, hot day in the park it protected my son's skin perfectly causing no sensitivity or heat rash. 

Scooter fun in the sun :)

Con's: Although the bottle is described as a spray the action is definitely that of a pump. Psychologically, this takes a bit of getting used because you're expecting the delivery system to work in a way that it doesn't; however it does mean a controlled dose with no splatter-factor. Because of this, children who are keen to apply their own sunscreen might find it difficult to decant and it also takes a little bit more time to rub in than a non-mineral sunscreen -  but really not that much. 

As debate rumbles on about the safety of oxybenzone - not only in suncare but also as an additive in beauty products - skipping it in your child's sunscreen (and your own) with an effective alternative could be wise. I know it's got me thinking.

Lovea Kids SPF30 Natural Sunscreen Spray is £12.99 for 125mls and available at My Pure.

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