Here in the UK we are getting an unusually big dose of sunshine, and my family’s pale skin needs protection from the harmful UV rays. Up until last year I used Yaoh’s ‘hemp’ sun cream, thinking it must be a good option because anything with hemp in has got to be healthy, right? Sadly I was mistaken: some of Yaoh’s suncare range relies on a chemical barrier called Octinoxate which listed on The Campaign For Safe Cosmetics website as something to be avoided. Only their new Natural SPF-25 Sunblock uses non nano zinc oxide as the active ingredient.
This year I’ve switched to a ‘barrier’ cream that uses a layer of minerals to block out UV rays, and I try to minimise time in the sunshine over the hottest part of the day (11am-3pm March-October). The NHS website has a useful page of advice about preventing sunburn. If you’re looking for a natural, plastic-free option, Shade cream is made with only four ingredients and comes in a fully recyclable aluminium tin. If you’re in a hurry and need to get something at the shops, lots of healthfood stores and pharmacies stock Green People* who make an amazing range of sun creams, including after sun lotion and even organic fake tan!
For young children, covering up is essential, and luckily there are lots of super cool ethical sunhat options from Frugi* and Toby Tiger*. I’ve found it hard to find a new ethical sunhat for myself, but I kept an eye out in the charity shops and recently bagged a nearly-new paper-straw trilby for only £1.50. If you love second-hand but haven’t got the time for trawling the chazzas, try Oxfam online* for some options.
Finally, my ultimate top tip for coping with the heatwave is super simple: pop your hot water bottle in the freezer for a few hours, and enjoy deliciously cool toes all night long!