I felt this was a good time to talk about sunscreens because many of you are on vacation as we speak... and the rest of us are here at our desks slaving away... at any rate, we all run out to the sun in the summertime (ya-hoo! can't wait!) and I found an interesting article in this months W magazine where they report on sun protection. Did you know that since 1978 the FDA has been trying to finalize a monograph, or set of rules, governing UVA and UVB sunscreens? It seems it's comes down to a lot of red tape and there was a close monograph published in 1999 but it did not cover the issue of UVA. And while it looks as though something will be brought forward this year (finally) the new packaging will not be seen in stores until 2011.

Currently, the US 'SPF' system only looks at the UVB light (these are the rays that cause sunburn), the new system will be looking both at UVA and UVB rays (UVA = wrinkles but can also lead to skin cancer). Europe, Asia and just about everyone else has a system in place already that looks at both UVA and UVB rays. The cap on the new system will put SPF protection at 50+ (UVB) and then there will be a star system that rates the UVA rays (from one to four stars). There is also a discussion about the word "waterproof" yes, it seems that a product is not 'waterproof' if you swim in a pool all day and then jump out and wipe it (yourself) off with a towel... oops you just wiped off your sun protection. Waterproof will be replaced with the term 'very water resistant'.

Well because W magazine is W magazine they can't upset any of their advertisers and tell you that most of these US made sun protection products are full of chemicals anyhow, we will just tell you what what we do...in our family we just don't use them and we stick with only Dr. Hauschka sun protection--it follows all of the European standards so I also feel that it has safer labeling (it says "very water resistant" already). And you may crucify me for this but we usually put Dr. Hauschka on in the morning (before we leave the house so that it can soak in a bit, it's so expensive this all we can afford!). This is usually it for sun protection for the day, now we do not spend the hours of noon - 3pm at the beach so this usually works for us (both of my kids have never had a sunburn) and I feel that the vitamin D they get from the sun later in the day is better than blocking out all of the sun completely from their skin. I must add that we live in Rhode Island and I think the California sun, and the like, have a completely different story (so please share with us what YOU do all of you Californians!). But I think it's important to have some time in the sun without products (yes, this is usually at about 4-5pm so the sun is not so harsh) but it's healthy. (oh, I can just feel some comments coming on... I know this is a sore subject!) So please comment and let us know 'what' you are using, 'how long' you use it, if you don't what do you do... all of that!

and now some real NEWS:
as I went to make the link for you to the Dr. Hauschka website to buy their sun care products I found this bit of alarming information:

New European regulations for sunscreens will soon require levels of UVA protection that are impossible to achieve with natural mineral sun filters such as the titanium dioxide in Dr.Hauschka Sunscreens. In order to meet the requirements of these new regulations and maintain our products' SPF ratings, we would be forced to reformulate using synthetic filters.

Our unwavering dedication to pure, holistic skin care and BDIH guidelines for natural ingredients prevent us from using synthetic sun filters in our preparations. As a result, Dr.Hauschka Skin Care has made the difficult decision to discontinue our existing sun care range.

As of January 1, 2009, Dr.Hauschka Sun Care products will no longer be available in the U.S.