Getting your children to wear sunscreen is never easy and, let’s face it, many of us adults aren’t that great at it either. However, the iconic film director Baz Luhrmann came up with the perfect song that not only accompanied us on road and camping trips, but also persuaded my children that wearing sunscreen is cool. “But trust me, on the sunscreen”, they would shout out at the end of the song which, if you don’t know it, trust me, check it out, it’s cool. The other thing that stopped us having ‘screen screams’ was Green People organic, eco-friendly sunscreen. At the time, they were the only sunscreen on the market that I could find that had not only natural but also active ingredients and proper SPF. We have a family history of skin cancer and so I was always careful to ensure that we had a broad spectrum sunscreen, which protects from both UVA and UVB rays, the latter being the stronger of the two, causing sunburn and skin cancer. So, I was always with Baz, and trusted him on the sunscreen.
Stopping streaming eyes
Most importantly, for my kids, however, Green People sunscreen didn’t make their eyes sting when they went in the water. Not surprisingly, given that they avoided the long list of chemicals that traditional sunscreens have in them, and no harsh fragrances either. As my lads went on to hit their teens, and skincare became a bigger issue, as it did for me with perimenopausal symptoms, we found that Green People’s products didn’t clog our pores either. Consequently, we have all been loyal customers of Green People ever since, especially as they have a much more expanded range now, including shampoo bars and hyperpigmentation creams.
I’m transparent about the fact that this article has been written in partnership with Green People. However, when we sought a partner company to recommend for natural sunscreens and cosmetics on our walking and cycling holidays, I knew which one to go for. With Green People producing quality eco products for nearly three decades now, I can safely say that I’ve been a loyal customer since the green get-go. Not only as a mum, but as a travel writer specialising in green and responsible tourism.
I must confess that it took me a while to click that if I didn’t want to lather chemicals all over my children’s bodies, I shouldn’t be wearing cosmetics and sunscreens that harm marine wildlife either when we go in the sea or rivers. And we’re all water babies, so that was a lot. It’s all very well eating organically, and using eco-friendly washing powders and so on, but if we go on holiday and cover ourselves with toxic cosmetics that then go into the sea, then we aren’t thinking about future generations. Or wildlife. It turns out that chemical nasties that I avoided putting on my kids, such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, do a lot more than sting the eyes of marine wildlife, and they are also seriously damaging to coral reefs. So much so that Hawaii has banned them in their state completely since 2021.
Still keeping things green
So, over a quarter of a century has passed and, as a travel writer, I’ve been lucky to bring my children, now adults, on some wonderful adventures, all of which have had an eco aspect. Favourite moments have been walking with a donkey in Mercantour National Park in France, cooling down in glacial streams and finishing our trip in Nice by swimming in the sea, before getting a sleeper train back to London. Or walking and swimming daily on Greece’s Pelion Peninsula and on its largest island of Crete. We have Irish roots, so there was always an annual trip back home to explore the likes of the Burren or the Dingle Peninsula, places where we not only brought Green People with us, but we were in fact living up to its brand name in our own emerald isle. Because, as the sunscreen song also advises, ‘Do one thing every day that scares you….travel! And trust me, on the sunscreen’.