I grew up at the beach. I was a surfer year-round. In summer it wasn’t uncommon for me to spend all day on the sand. Being a surfer, I was pretty well educated about the dangers of sun exposure. I was lucky that my generation knew that sunburns can eventually lead to skin cancer, and so we tried to avoid them at all costs. I can remember going as much as a year or more before a slip up where I was caught without sunscreen and suffered a burn.
But that wasn’t the complete story.
At the age of 33 I had my first daughter, Adeline. I couldn’t wait to get her to the beach. At 5 weeks old, we caught a great weekend of warm weather in early Spring and for the first time our little family packed up to spend the afternoon at our favorite beach.
Before we headed out, my wife reminded me that until 6 months old, doctors advise against putting any sunscreen on children, so Adeline would have to stay in the shade the whole time. A few months later Adeline was mobile enough to crawl out from underneath the umbrella’s shade, and that’s when sunscreen became an imperative.
That’s when my life changed. It was the first time I took a long look at the products I had been putting on my body for nearly three decades, and really considered if I wanted those same products on my daughter.
I knew sunscreen prevented burning, but I didn’t know what negative side effects those chemical might have. In all my time using sunscreen, I never gave a second thought to what was going on my skin (aka your bodies largest organ). We know hormones and pesticides in food can be toxic to your body. We certainly know alcohol and smoking wreak havoc on your organs. But what were these chemicals doing to my skin… and did I really want to expose my child to that?
And that’s when I started buying every type of natural and organic sunscreen I could find. We tried dozens of brands, products and delivery systems. Then one day a friend brought the first run of Auctiv sunscreen sticks to a pool party and I watched how easily he applied it not just on himself, but on his 2-year-old son. After trying them myself, I was sold… this was the best sunscreen I had ever used. It was made with all natural and organic ingredients. It was easily applied. And it smelled amazing. I had yet to find that combo in any other product on the market.
After three decades on the water and in the sun, it wasn’t until I had to put sunscreen on my 6-month-old daughter that I really started thinking about sunscreen in a complete way. I will be thanking her for it for the rest of my life.
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