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.