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Q and A with Boots Suncare Adviser, Mike Brown

(100 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 24-May-10 09:21:46

Do you know your UVA from your UVB? Unsure about what SPF and product is best to protect your kids from the sun during the warmer months?

Boots Suncare Scientific Adviser, Mike Brown, is joining mumsnet to answer your questions as we approach the summer months. Mike has more than 24 years experience in sun care product development; including SPF testing and product formulation and is also the expert behind Boots Soltan?s ?5 star rating? system.

Send your questions to Mike here before Sunday 29th May and we'll be posting his answers shortly after.

skb74 Wed 02-Jun-10 12:53:52

At what age can/should you start applying sun cream on children? In some other countries they advise avoiding sun creams before the child is 2 yrs old and just keeping them in shade - v. difficult though with an active baby/toddler!

misscph1973 Mon 07-Jun-10 14:13:00

So when will the Q & A session be posted? I have been checking in daily but still no sign of it?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 11-Jun-10 16:15:08

Apologies for the delay in posting the answers - as you can see there were so many questions, it's taken Mike a little longer than we'd envisaged to answer, but we will def be linking to his answers from here early next week.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 15-Jun-10 12:50:53

You can now see the answers to your questions here.

Mike Brown Q and A

Many thanks to all those who sent in questions to Mike.

SparkleRainbow Tue 15-Jun-10 13:28:56

Can you please pass on my thanks to Mike Brown. I have read through all the questions and answers and it has been very enlightening, I feel much more confident about managing my dc sun exposure now. smile

mackerel Tue 15-Jun-10 17:55:32

Is a day moisturiser with spf 15 enough? I use a normal amount of it but wonder if I would need to use substantially more to achieve the proper spf protection? Should I use a sunscreen too. I have vitiligo on my hands and feet and am worried it might pread to my face.

FabIsGettingFit Tue 15-Jun-10 18:26:10

I am disappointed he didn't answer my question, especially as it would have helped lots of people.

PotPourri Tue 15-Jun-10 20:40:53

How does the once a day stuff work? I have the boots stuff and also the reimann P20 stuff. It definately works - i.e. no burning. But does it leave you unprotected in other ways, and is it suitable for children to use. And finally, if I put it on the kids in the morning as a cover=all in case I don't get the chance to be effiient in applying cream all day, then put on normal cream throughout the day would it stop working/kinda remove the once a day effects...

KickArseQueen Tue 15-Jun-10 23:26:37

Hello! Can you tell me which sunscreen best lives up to these requirements?

High protection for UVA and UVB.


Designed for children.

Must be a cream and broad sectrum.

Can contain Titanium dioxide
Avobenzone or Mexoryl SX

Must avoid

Ingredients Oxybenzone
Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate)

I would really love to know the creams that fall into that category

I you can tell me the name I will buy it


QSincognitoErgoSum Wed 16-Jun-10 08:32:49

Unsurprisingly, he did not answer my question! grin

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 16-Jun-10 10:57:18

Sorry Kickarsequeen, the Q and A is over now - you can see the answers to his questions here

Lymond Wed 16-Jun-10 11:22:22

I just read his answers - he claimed that
Green People have very poor levels of UVA.
Now, I've spent an hour trying to find evidence of the UV-A factor of Green People Sunscreen
this claims 70-74%, which is very good, surely?

Also, in the FAQ'a on Green People's site (which is a pdf and I can't link to) they claim

"In an attempt to indicate the level of protection a sunscreen offers against UVA, the
star-rating system was created. Originally developed by scientists in Australia, this was
subsequently adopted and taken over by Boots the Chemist. Using a range of 1 to 5
stars, the system indicates the level of UVA protection compared to the SPF level of the
product. The more stars a product has, the higher the proportion of UVA protection it
offers. When our products are measured against the Boot system, they score at least 3
Star Plus (*) which is classed as offering 'Superior' protection against UVA radiation."

So, yes, the boots ones are mostly all 5 star UVA, however they achieve that by using ingredients which make my children skin itchy.

I also like it that Green People say to reapply every 2 hours, where as Boots claim "up to 6 hours".

GreenGenie Wed 16-Jun-10 14:49:49


QSincognitoErgoSum Wed 16-Jun-10 16:44:39

Soltan is also on the list of sunlotions to avoid, because it contains cyclopentasiloxane (a danger to health and the envirment) og H3CC (causing allergies).
(along with Nivea, amongst others)

Article in Norwegian newspaper here:

GraceK Wed 16-Jun-10 18:39:16

Hi there

I (as a very pale skinned lady who's uncle died of malignant melanoma) have always been very careful with suncreams. Can definately recommend P20 which had it's formula updated last year - now does both UVA & UVB, no longer stains clothes orange, is a liquid (so is qick & easy to apply / doesn't get sand stuck to it), is water-proof & lasts all day, plus a bottle lasts ages. Have used it on my DD since she was 9 mths old with no reactions.

Am constantly surprised by how many people with small children haven't heard of it & spend large amounts of time at the beach, etc chasing them round with sticky, non-water-proof creams. You just have to remember to apply it before you go out as it takes 15 mins to start working.

I do find it annoying that most children's hats have such pointlessly small brims - so they just get a hot, sweaty head with no sun protection for their eyes / necks.

KickArseQueen Wed 16-Jun-10 21:35:20

qs can you translate that? I don't read Norwegian grin

Gracek That is really interesting, I haven't previously looked at P20 for my children and I just looked at their site. I can't see an ingredients list on there tho, do you thik you could have a look for me and see if it contains Oxybenzone, cyclopentasiloxane or Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate). Sorry to be cheeky, but it looks like a really good product.

swallowedAfly Wed 16-Jun-10 23:18:11

Message withdrawn

swallowedAfly Wed 16-Jun-10 23:18:53

Message withdrawn

Sonilaa Thu 17-Jun-10 09:05:37

swallowed - I want to know that too, plus why do suncreams smell so horrible. my skin starts to itch just from the smell.

swallowedAfly Thu 17-Jun-10 11:58:40

Message withdrawn

GraceK Thu 17-Jun-10 19:29:22

Dear KickArseQueen - I've had a good look & there's a list of the ingredients on Amazon - I hope it's okay for you to try.

I'm allergic to biological washing powder & quite a lot of make up but have never had a reaction to it even on my face. I've been using it for many years & it's really works for me & my kids.

KickArseQueen Fri 18-Jun-10 16:43:23

Hi gracek Thankyou very much for finding that
I found the ingredients list, the trouble is that I'm not a chemist so I'm never sure if a similar sounding word is actually the same chemical iyswim?

I think I may post that as a question and see if any mumsnetting chemists can tell me the answer, It definatley contains one of the items on my list - highlighted but I'm not sure about the others, its not an allergy issue its more about avoiding putting harmful things on my dc, I'm not sure if they really are harmful or if they are how serious it is, but I would love to have protection from the sun for my dc's without the risk that the protection itself harmful. Ideally I am looking for something with a higher spf than 20 30/40 would be fine.

My avoid list is Oxybenzone, cyclopentasiloxane or Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate).

Alcohol Denat.
Octocrylene Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate Hexyldecanol Aqua PPG-15 Stearyl Ether Homosalate Cyclopentasiloxane Acrylates/Octylacrylamide Copolymer Hydroxypropylcellulose

( I'm not sure if Hydroxybenzoyl is the same as oxybenzone)

Not too picky am I? Thanks for all the info

GraceK Fri 18-Jun-10 21:44:39

Glad to be of service KickArseQueen - hopefully someone will be able to tell you what's what.

Personally we don't wear it every day - only when it's hot (which isn't that much in this country) & if we're going out all day - I'm a big believer in hats the rest of the time. I figure that if you're out all day then some protection is better than none & only having to put it on once means only one load of chemicals & one lot of complaints / chasing (both children & DH).

Although it says it's only Factor 20, I don't get burnt & have only tanned with it whilst pregnant (weird hormonal reaction) - am so careful / white that the (weird IMO) people who like to be brown used to take the mic about me only pretending to go on holiday!

Hope you find something that meets all your requirements soon!

KickArseQueen Sat 19-Jun-10 16:41:17

I just got back from boots. Iasked for advice on the sunblocks and was told that the absolute best option for me and the dc's inc my 9 month old was a garnier factor 30 spray oil. hmm I was also told that Cyclopentasiloxane does not get absorbed by the skin ever as it is a sillicon.

At that point I left.

I give up.

So much for asking instore for advice!

baz63 Thu 09-Jun-16 23:39:57

Where do I find the expiry date for boots soltan sundaes lotion? I have a bottle of 50+ and can't find it anywhere.

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