Sunscreen

Casey - posted on 06/08/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Sunscreen was never a part of our trip when we went to amusment parks and things like that. Now that I have two kids, I am hearing more on how sunscreen is important for people of color? How do I know what sunscreen is right for my kids/family? How do I choose?

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Nicole - posted on 06/23/2010

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the sunscreen search ...i know this all too well >< my daughter is 3 months old and i use aveeno baby. i sampled blue lizard and netrogena baby from her dermatologist and they were ok but on the expensive side. Since summer is now in full swing i have not been able to find either and blue lizard is only available by online retailers. neutrogena is really good whether it be their baby or their adult. My daughter has sensitive skin and after her episode with huggies diaper cream i didnt want to try the huggies brand sunblock... spf 15 is the minimal amount of protection any one needs. 15 is enough to keep you from severe burns for the avg skinned person.

at this point some people may question why the hell would i put sunblock on a 3 month old but because of her condition it is necessary.. to find the right sunblock for you you can always ask your local pharmacist as well too. titanium oxide, zinc oxide type sunblocks are best for the younger children as its like painting your kids skin cause the block stays on top and is water proof . the chemicals in others rely on a chemical reaction that in some cases can be harmful on the smallest of kids by seeping into their skin.

Ariel - posted on 06/09/2009

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On babies under six months I'd just keep them out of the sun as much as possible, use shade, lightweight but covering clothes, and hats. Older than that and a sunscreen is a great idea. Most of them use tons of chemicals to protect the skin. I recently picked up some Burt's Bees Hemp Seed Oil sunscreen for my son, because his skin is so sensitive I can't use the chemical ones on him. The Burt's Bees is a natural sunscreen that uses fine minerals to cover the skin and block UV rays. It is not water or sweat-proof, so has to be reapplied regularly. But it's much less likely to be irritating as well, and because of the natural ingredients it's not likely to be incredibly toxic if they suck on their hands a lot.

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Here's a good article from BabyCenter.com. With my son, who is very fair skinned, like his redheaded mommy lol, we use regular zinc oxide. It's really thick but it gives total protection and can be used right before you go in the sun. With the other, more lotion like sunscreens, you have to apply half an hour before sun exposure and then reapply every few hours depending on if they sweat or get wet or toweled off, etc. I am like Megan, I avoid the higher SPF's and the ones with the chemicals that have to absorb into the skin to be effective. I'm very fair skinned and have lived in Florida my whole life and I never use anything over SPF 30. My dermatologist told me years ago that anything over 30 is a moot point and you are actually getting less protection. Good luck and have fun in Florida!



http://www.babycenter.com/404_what-kind-...

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My husband is about the same shade as your guy (in your profile picture). When we went to Spain and played on the beach most of the day for about 5 days, he got really sunburned! That was a new experience for him since he normally gets darker and darker but doesn't burn. So it is possible! Now he uses the same SPF 30 that I use on the kids if we're going somewhere where we'll be in the sun all day. Our dermatologist is still of the belief that black people are at very low risk for skin cancer because melanin DOES protect from the sun. That's why you tan, the pigment comes to the surface to protect the skin. That's also why Irish chicks like me are so prone to skin cancer- I have no pigment to speak of. I use SPF 60 and still sometimes burn if I'm out too long. There are also factors other than pigment which contribute to Western Europeans being more prone to skin cancer, so there is some genetic factor involved. I do think it's a great idea to use sunscreen, even for people of color. The problem you run into is that I'm sure, like most black people in the US, you are not 100% black and you may have some of that genetic tendency. Also, because your skin is dark already, you are less likely to notice if an area becomes questionable so it's important to take the extra precaution.

Angie - posted on 06/08/2009

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Be careful about applying a sunscreen with too high and SPF. The chemicals can outweigh the safety of the sunscreen. Check with your pediatrician to see what he/she recommends.

Chrystal - posted on 06/08/2009

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Quoting Casey:



Quoting Katie:

Probably we all need sunscreen nowadays. My husband is very dark skinned and has never had a sunburn. Our baby is very light skinned. I have asked other friends who are black and some have had sunburns. I am so sensitive to sun and very fair, I have had many many painful sunburns and even sun poisoning. About baby sunscreen though, it seems so oily. Does anyone know of a baby sunscreen that is not?






I think I have been sunburned before and I am now wondering what kind of sunscreen I should use for myself. My husband has dark skin and my dermatologist explained that my skin is just between white and a brown color so anything that happens to my skin is visible and I am going through it right now, with the dark blotches. I am trying to figure out ways to cure it. Does dry skin and peely skin mean there is sun damage?



 





If you are peeling it means that you had some blistering...some are hardly noticable to you and others can be painful.  It's part of the skins healing process.  Those areas will feel dry, when that happens to me, I make sure to use moisturizing lotion.  I wouldn't necessarily use it on area's that are painful or wet as some lotions have ingrediants that will aggrevate it..If you do I would suggest something like lubriderm or lanolin, they are very mild.

Jacklynn - posted on 06/08/2009

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Casey, most any sunscreen you buy at Wal Mart, Target, Babies R Us, etc..is going to be fine to use. Maybe stay away from the generic brands. Just make sure you buy the kind made for babies. It really isn't as complicated as it seems. I know people have opinions about organic, natural, etc. and that's fine, but most major chains are not selling sunscreen that's going to harm your child. Trust me, my entire family uses these brands, have for years, and no one has grown a third ear or extra nipple. I'm sure Babies R Us would have more selection as far as sunscreen for children/babies.

Casey - posted on 06/08/2009

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Quoting Megan:

You do have to be careful what sunscreen you use because so many contain toxic and harmful chemicals. Here are a few ingrediants to watch out for: octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), dioxybenzone, oxybenzone (benzophenone-3), DMDM hydantoin, triethanolamine. There are more but those are ones especially to beware of. Check out the California Baby brand or the Earth's best. Here are some good websites to look at too. www.mercola.com and www.cosmeticdatabase.com.



Thank you so much for that info. So now I know to look out for anything containing the chemicals you mentioned. I will most certainly do this. Thank you so much for your help

Casey - posted on 06/08/2009

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Quoting Katie:

Probably we all need sunscreen nowadays. My husband is very dark skinned and has never had a sunburn. Our baby is very light skinned. I have asked other friends who are black and some have had sunburns. I am so sensitive to sun and very fair, I have had many many painful sunburns and even sun poisoning. About baby sunscreen though, it seems so oily. Does anyone know of a baby sunscreen that is not?



I think I have been sunburned before and I am now wondering what kind of sunscreen I should use for myself. My husband has dark skin and my dermatologist explained that my skin is just between white and a brown color so anything that happens to my skin is visible and I am going through it right now, with the dark blotches. I am trying to figure out ways to cure it. Does dry skin and peely skin mean there is sun damage?

User - posted on 06/08/2009

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You do have to be careful what sunscreen you use because so many contain toxic and harmful chemicals. Here are a few ingrediants to watch out for: octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), dioxybenzone, oxybenzone (benzophenone-3), DMDM hydantoin, triethanolamine. There are more but those are ones especially to beware of. Check out the California Baby brand or the Earth's best. Here are some good websites to look at too. www.mercola.com and www.cosmeticdatabase.com.

Jacklynn - posted on 06/08/2009

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There are loads of kids sunscreen products on the market. I'd say choose one that is formulated specifically for children or infants and then use and SPF of at least 30 (I'm pretty sure they don't make anything less than that for kids). I use 50 on my son. It needs to have UVA as well as UVB protection to provide full coverage. It's also a good idea to put it on about 15-30 minutes before sun exposure and to reapply often if you're out all day. You need to reapply every time your child gets out of the water if they are swimming and at least every one-two hours otherwise. It's a lot of work!! I use Banana Boat products. There are also spray sunscreens that are very convenient...I use that on my son's scalp. They also make shirts now with built-in sunscreen. I put one of those on my son when we are at the beach or pool and I try to always put a hat on him if we are outside. Just a few tips from someone who has used a LOT of sunscreen throughout her life and also had a few sunburns. The sun is serious business.

Katie - posted on 06/08/2009

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Probably we all need sunscreen nowadays. My husband is very dark skinned and has never had a sunburn. Our baby is very light skinned. I have asked other friends who are black and some have had sunburns. I am so sensitive to sun and very fair, I have had many many painful sunburns and even sun poisoning. About baby sunscreen though, it seems so oily. Does anyone know of a baby sunscreen that is not?

Sabrina - posted on 06/08/2009

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Quoting Casey:

I will be in a wedding that consist outside of the the Orlando Airport Marriott Hotel. Also we will be visiting other areas, but I just want to make sure the kids are taken care of as far as their skin goes, because it was not one of our topics in my house growing up. But they will be outside most of their visit and I am nervous as to finding which sun screen would be best for them. But I see I should start NOW in order to find the perfect one, lol!



hope you have a safe and fun visit. we are planning on taking the kids to universal studios for our daughters first birthday. and that way the kids can have a nice trip before they go back to school. and i could use  vacation after the summer of dealing with them.lol. good luck on the sunscreen.

Megan - posted on 06/08/2009

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I like to use aveeno baby sunblock lotion SPF 55 proof on our whole family. It is natural and creamy (burts bees our second choice is pasty). We use spf 55 but because you are darker skinned you may need only SPF 30 or 15? We are irish/northern european heritage and so we need SUPER SUNSCREEN... They say that sun protection should be used all the time by everyone... it helps prevent cancer and aging factors and more so it would be wise to lotion your family up anytime you are out and about! Whatever you get i would try to get natuaral frangrance free stuff with UVA and UVB protection because both can cause skin problems!

Chrystal - posted on 06/08/2009

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That is what I believe..definitely one that shields against UVA as well as UVB rays..I seriously hate what I might look like if I took one of those pictures that you see on commercials that shows a persons sun damage. I haven't always used sunscreen..and I have an area on my forehead on the right side that has a bit of a darker pigment than the rest of my forehead, ever since I took my first trip to Galveston back on 02. I was out on the beach for 10 hours with some close friends and that dern thing is still there! Since then, I have been adament about using it.. on myself and my kids. Damage may already be done tho. Can't really see the spot in my pic..make up covers it up pretty well!

Casey - posted on 06/08/2009

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So higher in SPF but protects from both UVA and UVB. Got it, I am going shopping now, lol!! Thank you so much for your help!

Kelly - posted on 06/08/2009

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I know the advice in the past was that the darker the skin, the less danger there was, but sunscreen is important for every person, regardless of race. Darker skin may not burn easy, but the main damage is done underneath. I'm not sure about adults, but I think if you're child is under 6 months, they should be kept out of the sun altogether, and after that use sunscreen (at least SPF 15 for dark coloured skin), a hat and UV sunglasses (if they'll keep them on!). Try to cover as much of their skin as possible with loose, cotton clothes, and use a parasol on their pram if you can. Its best to try and avoid the hottest part of the day, around 11am-3pm, but I know thats not always possible!

Casey - posted on 06/08/2009

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I will be in a wedding that consist outside of the the Orlando Airport Marriott Hotel. Also we will be visiting other areas, but I just want to make sure the kids are taken care of as far as their skin goes, because it was not one of our topics in my house growing up. But they will be outside most of their visit and I am nervous as to finding which sun screen would be best for them. But I see I should start NOW in order to find the perfect one, lol!

Sabrina - posted on 06/08/2009

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yes but like the other mom said get one that protects both uva uvb. that is important too. what will you be doing here in florida and what part of florida.

Casey - posted on 06/08/2009

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@Sabrina: I will actually be in Florida in August (hot month, lol) That is interesting. So I am assuming by everyone's reply that the higher the spf the more protection I am getting? Is this correct?

Chrystal - posted on 06/08/2009

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You know, they carry sunscreen all the way up to what they call spf 100+ now? I am of the opinion that you can never protect yourself too much, but, on the other hand I am not going to keep myself or my kids from having fun in the sun either.. Both of my daughters are fair/sensitive skinned, and we use anything from a 50-85 spf. All 3 of us have no problems getting a tan, but none of us have been burnt in the last 2 years either.





My advice to you, is, try a few of them out. What works for one doesn't always work for others...and like with parenting..its all about trial and error.

Sabrina - posted on 06/08/2009

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i too live in florida so we are always using it. i have used water babies and also huggies. i havent heard anything about the spf but have always used an spf of 50. also if you are going to be out for a long time like a theme park or something. huggies sells special stickers you can wear and when they change color then it is time to apply more.

Casey - posted on 06/08/2009

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Thank you all so much for the quick responses. I didn't want to sound dumb about this, but naturally when I was going up I heard that people that have a darker skin color never need to use sunscreen, because we could not get sun burned. But today is totally different. I am hearing all kinds of stories on how all people (of all colors) should use sunscreen. My family and I will be going on alot of trips that require us being outside and now that I am educated on the sunscreen and who should use it, when I go outside and find that I have not sunscreen for my family or kids I immediately feel bad, because I know they should have it on their skin. I will definately take each of your advice and do some research on my end as well. We have family dermatologist who we made an appointment with and we can find out from him as well. I thought I would ask around and see what others thought as well. Thank you all again for your help.

Patricia - posted on 06/08/2009

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I love water babies! It's easy to put on, it doesn't hurt if it gets in the eye, and it has a faint scent that is so pretty...I'm a red-head with pink skin so I've used all kinds of sunscreen but this is the best.

Erica - posted on 06/08/2009

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From what I understand, melanin doesn't protect you from skin cancer so you should screen yourself regardless. Being a person of fair complexion I have a lot of experience in that area: I use SPF 50 on my son who is Hispanic simply because I believe that there is no such thing is too much protection. For my nephew; an 8 year old of color & myself; white as you can get, I use SPF 30 at the beginning of summer and once we have been exposed to a lot of sun switch to SPF 15. I never go below the 15 simply because you are well protected but still can get a little color. You cant go wrong if you go with SPF 15 all season long if you are unlikely to burn which is what my husband does. As far as a brand goes, I prefer the brands that moisturize, why not treat yourself to a little extra moisture!? I hope this helps!

Ashley - posted on 06/08/2009

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Sunscreen really depends on skin tone. My daughter is fair skinned, light hair, and blue eyes. I'm using a 55 SPF for now and I'll see what it does. My nephew is naturally tanned. My sister only uses a 15 or 20 SPF on him. It really just depends on skin tone. Fair or tanned. If your kids have very different skin tones then it's best to use two or more different sunscreens.

Natasha - posted on 06/08/2009

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I think it's recently that doctors have really started realizing that skin cancer is a risk for everyone. The rays that can cause cancer are dangerous for all of us and don't have to cause a sun burn to cause damage. Depending on how young your children are, I would suggest a child specific sunscreen such as Water Babies. They are more gentle and also have a higher SPF. Most come in sprays now which are very easy to apply and you can also find solid sticks which are great for faces, noses and ears. The key though is to find one that blocks UVA and UVB rays. One causes sun burn which might not be such a problem for someone with darker skin and one causes damage which could lead to wrinkles and skin cancer.

Jennifer - posted on 06/08/2009

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It is very true that sunscreen is important for everyone regardless of color you can still have too much sun exposure and get sun burned which can later lead to cancer, etc. We live in Florida, so are constantly at amusement parks, the beach, and so on out in the sun with my daughter and have always just used coppertone baby 50 spf in the spray bottle or the "kids" version and she has never gotten burned. For every day "they" say spf 15 is plenty but if you're going say out to the pool obviously you'll want more. Since your kids are dark skinned an spf 30 or so may be all they need, but as far as I know it's better to have a higher spf than you need than have one that's too low.

Natasha - posted on 06/08/2009

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I go to a baby program and sun safety was the topic last month. They say it depends on how old your kids are. Babies under 6 months should not wear sunscreen. Its not good for them. But I've been told that diaper rash cream works pretty much the same and its safe. For older babies you should apply it often and nothing over SPF 30.

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