If I had a dollar for everytime I was told that I am the “whitest white person” that someone has ever met I would be one rich lady.
My fair skin (and the comments that come along with it) doesn’t bother me at all…that is until I go out in the sun. Then I BURN, and burn quickly. “How quickly?” you ask. I will tell you how quickly – When I was a teenager, living in Texas, I had marching band practice for 2 hours everyday after school and if I did not put on SPF 40+ sunscreen at least twice during practice I would be red hot burned by the time I got home. NOT…FUN.
So I think it goes without saying that I go through a lot of sunblock.
When I was younger I would use whichever sunscreen was cheapest but as I had kids, 2 of which are redheads and even fairer than me, I began to learn about the chemicals that are in conventional sunscreen. My oldest had sensitivities to fragrances, dyes and other chemicals in any and all soaps, detergents, lotions, etc. practically from birth so I was definitely cautious about the products I put on her.
In my research I came across information about the 4 types of sun protection
1.SUNSCREENS – Uses ingredients like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate to filter or absorb the suns raditation.
2. SUNBLOCKS a.k.a. Mineral Sunscreens – Uses ingredients like titanium oxide and zinc oxide to create a physical barrier on your skin that blocks the sun’s radiation
3. Formulas that use a mix of both sunblocks and sunscreens.
4. Physical Protection – Things like long sleeves, hats, and sunglasses to block the suns rays.
I usually opt for options 2 and 4, sunblocks and physical protection, for me and my family. (The reason I avoid sunscreens is that the chemicals used to protect against UV rays can also cause skin irritaions, allergic reactions, and some studies show that they may cause hormone disruptions. )
So we stay out of the sun during the peak UV hours of 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. if possible, stay in the shade, wear items to physically block the sun rays, and use mineral sunblock and lots of it.
The “greener” sunscreens are all pretty pricey so I wasn’t too excited about having to buy an entire bottle in order to try it so I started contacting all the companies who had highly rated sunscreens on the Environmental Working Groups Guide to Sunscreens Best Sunscreens List and requested samples. I figured I would get a couple samples and at least one of the sunscreens would work well enough for me to want to buy a full bottle. But boy was I surprised when I recieved samples from not just 2 or 3 companies but 18!
Basically I had enough sunscreen for an entire summer just by contacting companies and requesting samples!
How To Tackle Requesing Sunscreen Like Amber –
1. Go to the company’s website and find their “contact us” page.
2. Use the contact form on their page or the email provided to send a message with what you are requesting, why you are requesting it, and your name and address.
(I wrote about how my kids are fair skinned and sensitive and that I was trying to find the best sunscreen for my family. If I had used a product by the company I would include a note about which products of theirs I already enjoyed. If I had never used their products I wrote about why I wanted to try something of theirs.)
3. If you can not find contact info on their website use their Facebook page and contact them through direct message.
4. Get emails back saying “Yes, your sample is on the way!” “No samples, but here is a coupon!” “Sorry, we don’t have samples at this time.”
5. Email all those people back saying “Thanks! You are awesome.” or “No problem. Thanks for taking the time to respond!”
5. Get a bunch of sunscreen samples in your mailbox over the next 6 weeks!
I will get of the list of the companies that sent me samples or coupons up as soon as I can!
Happy tackling! – Amber