Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Sunscreen Alert!

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.


Holly Tried It said...

I'm allergic to coconut, also. I didn't realize until recently that I might be allergic to palm, also. Have you had to remove palm oils and products from your diet?

Becky said...

I don't have any reactions to palm that I know of, however, I have noticed that if I eat a lot of something with palm ingredients (granola bars and certain ice creams and processed desserts come to mind)I get a stomach ache the next day. Nothing big, but after awhile I started catching on!

Holly Tried It said...

My stomach aches were so bad I was convinced I was pregnant! But, no, just another allergy.

Did you have discomfort during your pregnancy due to allergies?

Unknown said...

Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen lotion has coconut oil in it and my son got a bad case of hives when I used it on him. Eucerin kids is safe.

Unknown said...

Banana Boat Kids Sunscreen lotion has coconut oil in it. My son got a bad case of hives when I used it on him. Eucerin is safe.

Becky said...

Banana boat has changed their formula over the years, and you're right, I don't buy it anymore, sorry I forgot to edit the post. I now use Badger sunscreen almost exclusively, but trader joes still works, too.

Amy said...

I ordered Badger and am eager to try it! My husband has a terrible contact allergy to a preservative used in some sunscreens so I was trying to find something as natural as possible. Then I have to deal with my daughter's contact/food allergy to soy (which is in some natural sunscreens). Plus now we know my toddler has a contact allergy to coconut.

Daniel Meyer said...

I'm so happy this blog is here. I just found out I am allergic to coconut after 34 years of rashes and reactions. Now that I've eliminated coconut from my shampoos soaps and lotions the reactions are gone. I have found it is extremely difficult to find products without coconut in them. Spending time finding coconut free products can take up to an hour in the aisle.
I live in sunny California. Finding sunscreen that coconut free has been very difficult.
I really like the badger sunscreen listed above. I have also found it at REI comparatively the price is less expensive than whole foods.
Kiss my Face has come out with an organic face and body sunscreen SPF 30 which is coconut free and seems to work just as well. I purchased it at Whole Foods for $7.00 3.4oz

Pictures in the links below

Mary Marshall said...

I hace found coconut oil in almost everything. I am allergic not to just the oil or the coconut but every derivativeffort of it - Coca mide MEA & DEA. I am finding that reading labels and making my own products tend to be the "safest " way to go.

And I have been told by doctors no epipen bease my allergy is "prevenatable". Odd.

Anonymous said...

I have the same allergy...though my allergist didn't prescribe anything, neither did she say it was preventable. I recently found a really great company that has an entire section of coconut-free products. The products on the list are all-natural but don't contain coconut or its derivatives. It's not cheap, but buying a few things (say, a shampoo bar or lotion) might alleviate some of the time pressure that making your own products does :) The company is called chagrin valley soap and salve. Also! Badger unscented sunscreen is safe.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the tips on sunscreen without coconut , i'm highly allergic to coconut oil breakout terribly get very very nauseous even bring on huge times I consume it. I'm fighting harder lately to find products that are naturally-based without some type of coconut oil or product in it.

Mocha1980 said...

I just checked that badger sunscreen and it has
Coco-Glucoside in it (which is from coconut). So sad, it is so hard to find coconut free sunscreen (or any products). And if I do find a coconut free one then it ends up having something else I can't have.

PrincipalMommy said...

Cocamide, cocapropyl betaine, and a few other spellings are on the list my daughter's allergist gave us to avoid. They're in shampoo, hand soap, sunscreen, and all except our eucerin lotion. Her rashes are bad enough that she does have an epipen. Thanks for this blog.

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