I am a big fan of sunscreen- it keeps us from getting skin cancer and age spots and even wrinkles. It's especially important to cake it on our kids before they go outside.
Now that the weather is getting hot, I was reminded by a reader (thanks, Lara) that sunscreen is a huge issue for coconut-allergic individuals. Here is part of her email:
My son gets free sunscreen at daycare from a melanoma foundation. He broke out in an angry rash everywhere that it touched. The sunscreen turns out to be high quality and "hypo-allergenic", but it's based on coconut oil. -Lara
You would think that sunscreen for babies would be our best bet, since they watch the ingredients in them so carefully, but in actuality, kids' products have even more coconut that you could imagine. Even a super high-end HelioSol that we got from our dermatologist has small amounts of Laurel-y stuff in it.
I use these with no problems (no guarantee that they are perfect for everyone, but it works for me):
Trader Joes sunscreen, and
Badger sunscreen, found at Whole Foods and other small local health food stores for half the price of what whole foods sells it for!
I'm sure there are plenty of others, so just make sure to read labels because sunscreen sticks like glue and I know putting the wrong kind on makes my eyes puffy, my lips swell up, and gives me a huge headache and makes me dizzy. Others will just get a rash, but please be careful!
More than anything, I use hats and shirts that block sun, see the Sunscreen Solutions page.