Embrace the Sun Safely this Summer: With Sun Protection That Fits Your Family’s Lifestyle
“Being born under the tropical sun, I learned a bit about healthy sun protection…..that can be chemical free!” says Connie Ozdil, local mom and owner of Ami Sol. Ami Sol offers organic and natural protective sun wear for children. Read on for helpful sun safety insights from this generous Sono-Ma sponsor:
Meet Mom-Preneur, Connie Ozdil
I grew up in sunny South America where my brothers and I spent every free minute outdoors, and I’m so grateful to my parents for being aware of the importance of sun protection. They made sure that we always wore a hat and a plain white t-shirt at the beach or in the pool to protect us from the harmful rays of the sun. This simple measure protected us effectively at that time. We were free to play outdoors to our heart’s content and embrace the sun without worries.
I founded Ami Sol to offer a second generation of children opportunities for safe summer play. Our goal here at Ami Sol is to provide comfortable, stylish clothing that allows children to play in the sunshine, absorbing healthy vitamin D, without suffering the effects of harmful UV rays. Our clothing exceeds rigorous Australian and New Zealand standards 4399 of UVB and UVA protection. Our garments are completely free of chemical sun-protection treatments. Our sun protection comes from natural fibers only. And better yet, our cotton is organic!
The Importance of Vitamin D the “Sunshine Vitamin“
Vitamin D, is most commonly obtained through sunlight (between 80% and 90%), according to the National Library of Medicine. The sun rays themselves don’t actually contain any vitamin D; instead, skin that is penetrated by specific ultraviolet rays works to synthesize this energy into vitamin D. A Harvard Health article states Vitamin D helps ensure that the body absorbs and retains calcium and phosphorus, both critical for building bone. Building bone is crucial for our growing children.
Other sources of Vitamin D include: Cod liver oil, Salmon, Mushrooms, Tuna, Vitamin D fortified milk, yogurt and orange juice among others.
(For more details about Vitamin D, please read Sono-Ma Contributor Dr. Sloan’s article here.)
Chemicals In Sunscreens
Most of us are familiar with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which offers a wealth of up-to-date information about the most common chemicals in sunscreens. According to the EWG, these chemicals should be avoided: oxybenzone, octisalate, octinoxate, and avobenzone. EWG states the most common, oxybenzone, can trigger allergic reactions, and is a potential hormone disruptor. Other chemical ingredients to avoid may include: Methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC), 3-Benzylidene camphor, Octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), and Padimate O. (Find details on EWG here.)
When you can, also ensure that common ingredients such as Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide are labeled as “NON-nano-particles.” If not labeled, rub the sunscreen against your skin. It should appear as a white paste and it should not be absorbed by your skin. Instead, this sunscreen will have more of a band-aid” effect by layering over the skin, but not absorbing.
(If you like “apps” check out the EWG’s sunscreen buyer app here.)
Homemade Remedies for Minor Sunburns
The best way to prevent sunburn is prevention! Wearing a sun hat, some UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing and staying indoors or in the shade during the hottest points of the day (between 11 am and 4pm.)
However, if you do end up with a sunburn, try one of these natural remedies:
- Cut up some potatoes. Just get 2 potatoes, wash them, cut them into small cubes and blend them in the blender or food processor. Gently pat your child’s skin with the pureed potato. You can also place the pureed potato on a clean gauze and place on the burn.
- Slice some cucumbers. Wash them well and cut them into small thin layers. Place the cool slices on the burn.
- Take a soak in a cool oatmeal bath.
- Cold milk, besides being a good source of vitamin D, can also relieve pain from sunburn. Soak a soft facecloth in equal parts cold milk and cool water, wring it out, and gently press it on the minor burns.
Enjoy the outdoors and remember: everything with moderation.
Connie Ozdil, Owner
(Connie thanks Click Oh! Photography http://www.facebook.com/clickohphotography for taking the gorgeous color photos in this article.)