Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Why Do They Make Things So Difficult?

SPF30 Once Daily 200ml EM123

I finally got around to doing some ironing yesterday. Well it's been too hot recently so there was quite a mountain. I noticed that two pairs of white trousers had nasty yellow marks all over the legs so I put them back into the wash. My sister told me it was probably the sun tan cream, she had the same problem with a top she had worn last year. 

So I went online to look for ways to get rid of the marks & to find out more about the creams & maybe which ones to avoid in future. I found a suggestion for soaking the clothes in white vinegar and detergent which I will try. Unfortunately I didn't find any information about which creams to avoid this problem in future. None of the websites selling the sunscreens tell you that their products don't stain your clothes. So I assume they probably all do!

What I did find was some really interesting information abut sun protection which I didn't know about ie the different UV radiation which requires you to look for not only the SPF factor which protects you against UVB rays but also the star rating for the UVA protection.

I have to admit that when I buy sun cream I always buy one for myself with a high SPF protection, usually 30 for my body and for my face I use an SPF 40. My husband generally uses 15 or 20 as he has darker skin than me. What I hadn't realised was that these SPFs only protect you against the UVB rays and that you also have to look for the protection against UVA radiation which has a star rating up to 5. Now why didn't I know that!!!!!

Apparently in Europe the UVA protection has to be at least a third of the SPF rating so if you use an SPF 30 then the UVA protection has to be a 10. I checked out the SPF 30 spray I've been using & it shows only 3 stars! Now how that equates to a 10 rating which is what it should be I have no idea! I checked out the website for the sun cream I've been using but it had no information about the need to use sun protection at all never mind what UVA protection is in their products. It only gave the SPF rating. 

I found a simple factual video to explain things here on the NHS website.

So why are these companies making it so difficult for people to choose decent protection for UVA & UVB? I think these companies are missing a trick here as they should be broadcasting how their products are providing this extra protection. They should also let you know whether or not their products stain clothes!!

In my meandering about the Internet I found some very interesting information about sun tan lotions and their contents on a US website, the Environmental Working Group. It has some very good information about sunscreens with a useful guide, how to choose them and which to avoid. You can search for your own specific cream/spray/lotion etc to see how it's rated, well if it's an American one. It also tells you the types of sunscreens and which contents to avoid.
What I hadn't realised in my ignorance about sunscreens is that the US is only now introducing regulations about sunscreens. According to the US Skin Cancer Foundation currently only the largest manufacturers have to follow the new labelling system. Half of the sunscreen products approved by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) for sale in the US wouldn't make it to the shelves in Europe. I had assumed that given the hot climate in much of the USA that they would have very strict regulation of sunscreens. Maybe people are like me & have assumed that they are protected with a high SPF in their creams. In the UK we often moan about the EU regulations but sometimes they really do work for us.

So if you want to check out some more facts about suncreams go to the Environmental Working Group  website. It's very interesting and informative.

Well now I feel genned up after checking all this out and I'm about to throw out my current lotions and buy new ones now I know what I'm looking for! Just hope they have the star factors or I'll be on a mission and writing to the manufacturers.


  1. Not to sound cocky, but I'm quite an expert at getting stains out of clothes. If they are white clothes I would use just a few drops of bleach on them. I know, but it works. Dab it on with some kitchen paper (test it on an area first if you like). Don't leave it on for too long, although I've never got a hole from doing it, and I do it on many white clothes, and they should go. I just dab the stained areas with clean water afterwards and rewash them. Worth a try if the stains won't come out at all.

  2. Thanks Joe, that's nice to know I have an expert I can contact. I was going to try the white vinegar & detergent soak first & if that didn't work I was going to resort to the bleach! The trousers are white cotton so they should be OK with a few drops.

  3. Thank you for this information. It's so hard to choose the right products sometimes.

  4. I never knew about sunscreen staining clothes. Nor all the other things you found out. Thanks for sharing all the info!

  5. I don't know about removing the stains but I did read once that 15 sunscreen is as good as any other and the rest are just reasons to get more money.

  6. The higher factors usd to be more expensive here but now they're mostly the same price if you buy from Aldi or places like Home Bargains. Aldi is very reasonably priced & has the 5* UVA rating but the cream does stain. Haven't used the spray yet.

    I was going around the chemists yesterday & having a good look at the ratings. I found that the most expensive doesn't necessarily have the best ratings!

  7. You iron? Wow. The last time I ironed (more than twice a year) was when Nurse Peggy had to wear uniforms to work, and that was decades ago. I was so glad when the hospital started providing her with scrubs that they laundered.

  8. Yes unfortunately I have to. There's so much cotton stuff around now & I can't bear creased clothes! Well I grew up with the Crimplene that magic stuff of the 'sixties that never creased & just drip dried with no ironing needed. One of these days it will come back into fashion!!!!!

  9. Hmmm I do the old grab it out the dryer REALLY quickly so I don't have to iron it trick...I don't remember the last time I actually ironed anything...and yet when I was in England you HAD to iron everything as we didn't use the dryer as much as you do here.

  10. Well I think people are trying to use dryers less because of the cost of electricity & to reduce the environmental impact.
    I don't mind ironing I usually watch telly or one great thing I found recently was listening to an audio book from the library. It was brilliant!

  11. I hardly bother with sun lotion these days except if I am at the beach which has been only once this year. Prefer to cover up or spend some time in the shade but getting some sun each day where possible as we do need it for vitamin D. I know that if I was going abroad then it would be different, I would use it then of course.


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