When it comes to children, one of the subjects that keeps on coming up in conversations between mothers is the delicacy of children’s skin and in the summer, the issue of sun protection.
Most of the paediatricians agree that until babies become toddlers, they are better off kept in the shade, as their skin isn’t fully equipped to deal with the harsh sun rays-is it me, or is the sun becoming stronger every summer ? This year, while holidaying in Spain, I made a conscious effort to stay in the shade between the hours of 12:30pm till 4pm myself-even the Spaniards, who are more used to the sun, seem to hide under their umbrellas at ‘peak’ sun times ( saying that, every time I see a plethora of them on the beach, I instantly start humming Rihanna’s song of the same name, which blasted from every car, radio or night club a few years ago and it became my summer theme while driving through the South of France that year ).
I also noticed lots of posters in my GP surgery in the spring, warning people of the signs of skin cancer and telling people to be aware of the changes in their moles-the trouble is that the skin cancer seems to be on the rise and not only among adults, but more worryingly very young children & teenagers too!
In the past my favourite sun protection product for the children has been the SPF 50 baby spray from Kiehl’s that gave both the UVB, as well as USB protection. I have been vigorously slathering my gang with that lotion in the morning, at least half an hour before going out to the beach, after swimming, as well as in the afternoon. Even though my kids tan nicely, their never get any redness or god forbid, sun burn. It is a well-known fact that if you get sun burnt during childhood or your teens, you are more likely to have skin cancer.
Last summer, my best friend called me and mentioned something to me that made me giggle, as well as become pensive in equal measure. While applying Kiehl’s sun lotion to her children, she noticed that it seemed to remove her nail polish in the way nail polish remover does and that made me question the ingredients used in the formulation. If it removes your nail polish, what sort of residue does it leave on kid’s skin and more alarmingly, what gets into their bloodstream?
I am a big fan of Ren’s sun protection products ( both for face & body )-while using their sun protection with factor 30 last year, I ended up with the most wonderfully even tan I have ever had-and it actually faded very gradually making me feel good about myself in the winter months.
This year I started doing research on the subject of children’s sun protection in more detail and realised that most of the brands currently available on the UK market didn’t satisfy my stringent requirements of gentle, yet reliable protection my kids’ skin, while also nurturing it. Low and behold, my favourite beauty emporium Content Beauty & Well-being came to the rescue by adding American organic brand Vive Sana to their products rota. The brand makes two products that I have been testing this summer:
-for adults, a Vive Sana ‘Solar to Polar Ultra’, a moisturising sun care for face and body, that offers an SPF 40 protection in the sun, water and snow, as well as windy weather. It does have UVA/UVB screen and is water resistant(£23 for 64 mls).
-for children, big & small, Vive Sana ‘Solar to Polar Baby’, synthetic-free sun care, with an broad spectrum SPF 42 that is water resistant-you do need to re-apply your sunscreen from time to time, particularly after swimming, if you really want to protect your skin & your body (£25.50 for 66 mls).
My kids love their new sun protection cream and are keen to re-apply it, using the tube for playtime, while staying in the shade. As a mother I find it re-assuring to see that they develop the tan very gradually, while their skin is well-taken care of by this wonderful cream that leaves a very subtle white residue on the skin and easily washes off in the shower. It doesn’t block their pores, allowing the skin to breath and preventing them from developing heat rashes to which many children are prone during the hot summer months.
The adult formula uses organic nourishing botanicals, rather than filters and syntheticals. It blends zinc oxide (3.5%) and titanium dioxide (8.5%) based SPF, as well as boasting potent photo-active and antioxidant-rich organic botanicals. This overall blend matches the skin’s composition, it moisturises the skin, protects it from free radicals and is quickly absorbed.
The cream itself is quite thick and concentrated so you don’t need a lot and if anything, it feels like a luxurious, nurturing experience to spread it all over your face and body and when you re-apply it on the beach, the process is even easier, as the tube warms up a little in the summer heat and the cream comes out even easier.
Sometimes a combination of strong sun, the warmth of the air, the salt residue left on the skin post swimming play a bad trick and make the skin more reactive and unhappy-with this product, which uses the natural ingredients like olive, avocado, jojoba, apricot kernel, sunflower seed, raspberry seed oils, Vitamin E, Green Tea leaf & chamomile extracts, as well as the sun protection tube being BPA-Free,- your skin actually benefits from sun exposure rather than gets damaged by it. Every ingredient carries a purpose and works well in conjunction with the others.
Another bonus is that Vive Sana only uses known and listed (!) ingredients in its fragrance:
– Cedarwood oil
– Clary sage extract
– Clove bud, Coriander Fruit ,Guaiacwood, Jasmine, Roman Camomile & Lemon Peel oils
– Ilex Paraguanensis Leaf extract
– Russian Clary Sage
–Wheat Bran & Viola Odarata Flower extracts
and the company only uses a small quantity in the overall formulation (the scent makes 1/10thof 1% of ViveSana sunscreen).
Find more information on www.vivesana.com
Both products can be purchased in the shop or online at Content Beauty & Wellbeing in the UK: