With summer around the corner and some parts of the country already in full sunscreen mode, many of you have questions about what sunscreen is safe for your child with peanut or tree nut allergies. I'm happy to share some of my findings and suggestions with you as we head into the sunny season!
First, an important note: I'm speaking as someone who is not required to avoid coconut or shea butter for my child. Coconut (a tropical fruit, not a nut) has been labeled a tree nut by the FDA, but it's still usually not a problem for tree nut-allergic people. Shea is likewise thought to be low in allergy reactions.
That said, skin care and skin sensitivity tends to be very individual, so please let your own needs be your guide when determining skin care and consult your allergist if you are concerned about any ingredients--food-derived or otherwise. Many ingredients in skin care products can cause hives and rashes that have nothing to do with tree nuts or peanuts. That's why it's so important to know your child's skin and call the doctor if you see any problems.
For more information about either coconut or shea, here are some helpful articles on shea butter and coconut.
Another sunscreen concern that many parents of kids with peanut allergies have is regarding these two ingredients: arachidyl glucoside and arachidyl alcohol. Why? "Arachis" refers to peanut and "arachis oil" and its derivations refer to peanut. If arachidyl glucoside and arachidyl alcohol are in the sunscreen you want to use, I would recommend using something else until you can consult with your allergist. For some people these ingredients might not be a problem and for some people they might. Again, your individual needs will be your guide. In my case, I just avoid anything related to peanut.
Because of my daughter's allergies, I limit the brands we will try, but there are a few brands we've used without problems: some Neutrogena product, Coppertone Water Babies and Vanicream. Click on each of these links for a list of ingredients; you can also call companies or e-mail them if you need more info.
If you are looking for organic products, the California Baby brand is widely available and a favorite among readers.
Another widely available and popular organic product is the All-Terrain brand. They make sunscreen and insect repellent, but be aware that coconut oil is used. Click the link for the company web site
Note: None of the products mentioned in this article reflect any endorsement of my blog on the part of said products. As with any product mentioned on this blog,the consumer bears responsibility for product choice and usage. If you have any questions about ingredients that are safe for your child, please consult your allergist. Thank you!