Disclosure: I may have received a free product or other compensation for any/all products on this site in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sun Care in the Desert, with Whole Foods

I was recently asked to participate in an educational session on sun care in the Whole Foods in Paradise Valley. I love shopping in this store, so I was pretty excited to attend.  I also had an idea in mind to put some of these sunscreens to the test- this involved a small horse and a tall toddler...more about that later..

Our not so little group of bloggers was given the grand tour of the store. We were introduced to a lot of the programs the store is running like a local produce area (HOORAY!), special pricing on products,  and the various areas where skincare and sun care items were located. 

We were also treated to informational sessions from a few of their star companies and given an incredible sampling of products to try. 

Whole Foods Sun Care in the desert
This is my kind of swag bag!

Here are the products we sampled for our field trip to the horses:

Goddess Garden

DeVita Skincare

Since we live in Phoenix, where the sun is out most days, sun care is incredibly important. We also have an extremely pale toddler with us. When I say pale- I mean, I can see her blood vessels under her skin pale. Her dad was the same way at that age apparently, so it is just the way she is.

We do our best to keep her covered. She almost always wears a hat outside, and we keep her in longer pants and even add sun sleeves to her outfits when we know we will be out awhile and sunscreen will not be enough. 

We decided to give our new sunscreens a work out this week by taking a visit to my friend's horses. She has four stationed at A & M Equestrian. 

You can read about them at A Pink Horse Blog

She recently acquired a mini horse and he is about as tall as the toddler, so I thought hilarity would ensue by taking pictures of this tiny (full grown 8 year old) horse with my giant toddler. ( I picked his name too, so I HAD to see him)

Meet Tyrion

Yes- the horse and toddler are about the same size. 

The bummer part, is that after I spent hours styling an outfit for my toddler- jeans, cowgirl shirt and a cowgirl hat, the poor thing got carsick all over herself on the long drive over.

( no pictures- you are welcome.) 

We were then at the mercy of the last outfit I had in her backpack- a sleeveless shirt and capris.  At least it matched, and didn't smell like breakfast. We decided to add the sun sleeves in addition to a layer of sunscreen just to be safe.  

The really nice thing about natural, or mineral sunscreens, is that they do not require 20 minutes to be effective before going in the sun. If I had applied a chemical sunscreen before we left the house, then had to clean it all off after breakfast came up, we would have had to wait to see the horses or risk a burn. We did not need a toddler fit after being sick.

This sunscreen works as soon as it is applied! 

What did we wear?

We have a very nice selection from our bag of goodies to choose from-I decided for me- the DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer with an SPF of 30. It went on smooth, not white or chalky, and it felt light on my skin. I used it all over. 

How often to reapply? According to sun experts at DeVita- this should be re-applied every 90 minutes unless there is excessive sweating, swimming or towel drying

So we were warned by our friend that flies were out in force. I concocted an organic spray with peppermint, eucalyptus and lavender that morning, but I remembered that the Goddess Garden sunscreen had lavender in it, and I decided to see if that was enough to repel flies. I put the stinky strong spray in my bag just in case. 

The toddler was going to be sporting the Sunny Body Garden Goddess cream with an SPF of 30. It is described as water resistant, meaning it is a little heartier than a regular sunscreen, but not water proof entirely. This was fine for some time with horses. It has a very pleasant lavender oil scent, and this was going to be perfect for her.

Garden Goddess instructs us to reapply after 40 minutes of use.

I am happy to report that in spite of the insane number of flies on some of the horses, there were none on my daughter. I am not going to say it was the lavender, but I don't think it was a coincidence entirely. (I of course had it on me on my clothes and hands since I applied it to her and carried her about.)

So once we were sunscreened up, ears, neck, throat, face, arms, legs and scalp- we were ready to play with horses. It was an insanely gusty day, so the hats quickly were discarded. They were just not staying on. We resorted back to our regular sunhats. Not as cowboy stylish, but a lot more effective. 

 Small horses may give toddlers a little push when they know they are going for a run.

Toddlers and horses love to run in circles, so we were happy to let that happen. The long drive back was certain to be nap time!

If you want to feed carrots to horses, don't forget the big horses. They need carrots too! (and organic ones, available at Whole Foods;)

So back to sunscreen... both of the products we used worked great. 

Both my daughter and I have sensitive skin and can not even use regular chemical sunscreens without issues. I get welts on my skin, and she has eczema so I am not even trying it. 

Products from Whole Foods are screened by the company to make sure that not only are they safe for us, but for the environment as well. I looked at all the ingredients in the products we got samples of, and I could not see anything that was going to be an issue for us.

Did you know that chemical sunscreen has been implicated in coral bleaching?  
Octinoxate – This is a common chemical sunscreen that is found in 
many brands that claim to be natural. Octinoxate has been shown to 
bleach coral reefs and it is also a hormone disruptor.

We were naughty and did not reapply the sunscreen while we were there, and we went over the suggested time limits on both. I do not suggest this of course, but we were ok in this case. We did spend some time in the shade so I think this helped. 

We were both wearing an SPF 30 cream, so by definition, under ideal conditions, we should have been able to stay in the sun for about 5 hours before burning if we applied it correctly and didn't sweat or wipe it off. That is a nice thing to know! 

Sun Care 4 Day Promotion – May 23rd  to May 26

I am happy to report that sun care products are going to be on sale at Whole Foods, so stay tuned for the announcements on that. 

If you are on Twitter- follow Whole Foods.

Thanks so much to all the Whole Foods in Paradise Valley employees and special guest presenters from the sunscreen companies who took time to guide us through the store and tell us about all the great things they are doing with their products. I enjoyed the visit! 

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for Whole Foods Market Paradise Valley. Although several products were provided for review, the opinion I express is solely my own.