No discussion of a trip to a tropical location would be complete without talking about sunblock. When I first became vegan, I was content to simply use vegan products. No animal byproducts and no animal testing and the product was good enough for me. Then I came across a group called the Environmental Working Group and found out about product ratings according to risks of developing cancer, reproductive/developmental disorders, allergies, etc. They have a database (http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/) that lists thousands of products (makeup, sunblock, lotion, etc) and rates them according to safety. I must admit that knowing about this website has made me feel a lot better about choosing and using products, but that it has taken up hours of my time searching for products that are both vegan and have low scores. (Once I knew that the things I was using were toxic, I just couldn't use them anymore.) Besides the time consideration, the more pure products tend to be more expensive. A bummer, but true!
(Sweet baby skin definitely needs to be protected from the sun!)
So, one company with mostly all vegan products and consistenly low scores of toxic risks is California Baby. I use their shampoo/body wash for my kids, and I use their Fragrance Free, SPF 30+ sunblock as well (http://www.californiababy.com/no-fragrance-spf-30-sunscreen-lotion-2-9-oz.html). On our trip, I brought along a new kind of sunblock (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001E1334O?tag=wwwewgorg-20&camp=213381&creative=390973&linkCode=as4&creativeASIN=B001E1334O&adid=1CXXHVASQF2HWQGQA5N4&
that I hadn't tried before because I liked the other products in the same line. It's called Desert Essence Age Reversal SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen. I like this product, and it didn't make my face breakout. These two types of sunblock are mineral-based instead of chemical-based, thus their better safety-rating. The only drawback to mineral-based sunscreen is that is so thick and white that you look a little ghostly until it sinks in (and honestly, the whiteness doesn't completely away). One day I didn't use sunblock on my face and I burned my forehead. When I applied sunblock to the red area the next day, the bluish-white sunblock made me look purple! A nice beach look!
I have yet to find an everyday sunblock for my face that is both vegan and nontoxic. If any readers know of any, please comment about it because I'd love to know of it, and I'm sure others would too! =)
So, there you have it! An awesome trip to Maui, vegan style, with my three kids plus a niece in tow, and all of us survived and had fun! Now, when are you going to go?