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What you might not know about aerosol sunscreens

Have you ever used an aerosol sunscreen? Then please read this.

The need to protect our skin and that of our families’ from the damaging effects of the sun’s UV rays is a way of life for every Australian. And there are so many sunscreen options on the market now to help do this…… lotions, creams, balms and even sticks. 

Natural sunscreen lotion

There are also aerosol sunscreens, that are mess-free, don’t leave sticky hands and on the face of it seem very easy to apply.  But they are not easy to apply properly, with much of the product ending up in the air and their potential for misuse outweighs any benefits.

Any product used incorrectly can be damaging to your health and to our environment, but aerosol sunscreens are unique for two reasons:

  • they contain a cocktail of flammable and toxic chemicals if inhaled
  • their design means that they can be so easily misused

NOT TO BE INHALED

“Keep out of reach of children. Avoid inhalation.”

Manufacturers of aerosol sunscreen know that they contain chemicals that are dangerous if inhaled and the packaging clearly states to “avoid inhalation”. While an adult may find this easy to do it is not so easy with babies or  small children. Particularly while they are hopping around on the beach with excitement, or at a park trying to race after their friends or at a friend’s house ready to jump in the pool??

Parents can ask their kids not to breath while the aerosol sunscreen is applied but we questions whether this is realistic. Kids don’t understand long term consequences, never mind babies. 

Australia has one of the highest rates of melanoma in the world, so we teach our kids to wear sunscreen from a very early age and, as they grow a little older, to apply it themselves. No sunscreen should be marketed for kids that contains a warning “Keep out of reach of children. Do not inhale". 

We believe that any product intended for use on the body & face, especially that of a child or baby, that is known to be hazardous if inhaled should not be in an aerosol.

FLAMMABLE WARNING

“Extremely Flammable. Protect from sunlight”

Another issue with aerosol sunscreen is that they must be protected from direct sunlight and kept away from naked flames.

 “The Food and Drug Administration reported incidents in which people wearing spray sunscreen near a flame suffered significant burns that required medical treatment.”**

HAZARDOUS WASTE

Aerosols can be hazardous to our environment too. Empty, intact aerosol cans can be safely recycled along with other metal packaging. However if the aerosol can isn't completely empty, it is considered hazardous waste.

Natural baby sunscreen wotnot naturals

 “SLIP, SLOP, SLAP, SEEK, SLID & SKIP

One of the most successful health campaigns in Australia was launched by a friendly seagull in 1981. Wearing board shorts, t-shirt and a big hat he came alive on our TV screens singing “SlipSlopSlap!” . It was simple, easy to remember and kids loved our winged friend.  This slogan has been recently updated to include 2 more guidelines:

Seek” shade whenever possible especially in the midday heat and

Slide” on your UV protective sunniness.

We would like another guideline added, “SKIP” aerosol sunscreens.

 Slip slop slap seek slide skip

There are so many natural alternatives like Wotnot’s All Natural Baby Sunscreen that can be used from babies as young as 3 months old. These sunscreens protects sensitive skin while being nourishing, clean and natural.

Find out more about 4 unexpected ways natural sunscreen can change your skin for life here

* https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-effects-do-aerosol-cans-have-on-the-environment.html

** https://www.consumerreports.org/sunscreens/right-way-to-use-spray-sunscreen/

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