*Updated 18th June – see bottom paragraph*
One of the less unpleasant side effects of the chemo regime I will be subjected to, is an increase in sensitivity to sunlight. I have it on good authority that factor 50 is the SPF to go for and much to my surprise, this does not actually mean white emulsion. In fact, I am rather pleased that I have ended up with one of the Independent’s best suncream recommendations for 2016!
I have bought Neals Yard Organics Lemongrass Moisturising Sun Lotion SPF 50 in readiness for those days I am up to sitting in the garden. I have a large hat too. I wanted Neals Yard because they do not use chemicals in any of their products that can disrupt or cause overproduction of oestrogen. This is especially important to me as my cancer was/is oestrogen receptor positive meaning oestrogen feeds it. Suncreams are particularly good at including chemicals that do this so I am choosing to avoid such products as much as possible. I am gradually working through my toiletries and sifting out those that include harmful ingredients. Nothing like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted.
More information on Neals Yard is here but this is a summary of what they avoid when making their products:
I am sorry to report that the Neals Yard Lemongrass Sun Lotion was something of a disaster. Well, maybe this isn’t entirely fair as it worked brilliantly as sun protection and smelt fantastic. However, everything, and I mean EVERYTHING that came into contact with it was stained a virulent yellow. All suncreams stain a bit so the disclaimer on the packaging warning to keep out of contact with fabrics, did not unduly concern me. Nothing could have prepared me for the amount of staining. My lovely new (expensive) mastectomy swimsuit was ruined, so were several towels and some clothes. It is fair to say that this product is not fit for purpose. Unless you are a naturist. With a fabric aversion. In that case, it is the suncream for you. In fairness to Neals Yard, I wrote and told them of my problems and they gave me a ‘good will’ payment of £75 which more than refunded the cost of my creams. Since then I have ordered an SPF 30 from The Green People on the understanding that the jump from 30 to SPF 50 only affords a further 1% of sun protection. Here’s hoping.