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Sunscreen update

We get more questions about sunscreens than just about anything else.

Everyone is different. Some people react to one sunscreen, others to another. Here are our current recommendations based on failsafe facebook group feedback BUT try it and see. If it doesn’t work, try another (and tell us). Note that ingredients change all the time.

UPDATE September 2019

The US body that regulates sunscreen has just declared that 12 of the 16 popular active ingredients might not actually be safe. Only 2 ingredients can actually be considered safe and effective: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

The sunscreens recommended below remain failsafe. Avoid any that have chemical UV filters.

In most countries, including Australia, sunscreens are lightly regulated as cosmetics and not as drugs. In the USA they are regulated as drugs because they make health claims that require clinical evidence, which is why the USA is leading on this issue.



RPAH say it is most important to seek products that are free from fragrances and do not contain nut oils, PABA (p-amino benzoic acid) or menthol. Nearly all sunscreens contain some preservatives.

Current most popular:

Moogoo - https://moogoo.com.au/sun-safety/natural-sunscreen-spf40.html – many have said no reactions. 25% zinc oxide, no chemical UV filters, fragrance-free.


Invisible Zinc - tinted dayware in various formulations including Junior uses only non-nano zinc oxide with a preservative. https://www.adorebeauty.com.au/invisible-zinc.html , supermarkets and various pharmacies including online. The general consensus is that various invisible zinc types are not quite so invisible.



Cleure sunblock sensitivehttps://www.cleure.com/Broad-spectrum-sunblock-for-sensitive-skin-p/ski10spf.htm is pricey from USA but well-tolerated. Active ingredient: Zinc Oxide 13.5%, Titanium Dioxide 8% Inactive Ingredients: Purified Water (aqua), Methylcellulose, Methyl Glucose Sesquistearate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Euxyl PE 9010 (mild preservative, globally considered safe and non-irritating). “I found it works really well and it's nice and smooth to rub on with no smell." - Ruth


RPAH suitable list:

Cancer Council - many members report reactions to these currently and many types have a strong smell. The new Sensitive Invisible might be worth trying. 22% zinc oxide, fragrance-free and with three preservatives. https://www.cancercouncilshop.org.au/product/sunscreen-sensitive-invisible.html

Ego Sunsense - members liked older formulations of these http://www.sunsense.com.au/products/

SunSense Sensitive SPF 50+ and Invisible SPF 50+ are non-nano titanium dioxide and zinc oxide based, no chemical UV filters, and fragrance-free. SunSense Junior SPF 50+ contains chemical UV filters but no nanoparticles and is fragrance-free.

Sunsense reader review from an extra sensitive family: With few other choices, we use the RPAH recommended Sunsense Sensitive Sunscreen. It uses Titanium Dioxide as a physical blocker, and uses no chemical blockers. It contains hydroxybenzoate preservatives. My extra sensitive sons seem to cope with it for going to the beach or all day school athletics carnivals etc, but we don't use it every day. Mostly (if not swimming) we just use hats and shade.

Hamilton’s Sensitive - http://www.hamiltonsun.com.au/products/#sensitive contains both chemical UV filters and preservatives. Some negative reports.

Soul Pattinson’s Ultrablock – appears to be no longer available by that name in Australia but may be found in NZ. Contains both chemical UV filters and preservatives.

Zinclear - appears to be no longer available by that name in Australia, possibly following fall-out from marketing as nano-free when it was not. Advance NanoTek Limited (ASX: ANO) may be supplying zinc oxides to other sunscreen manufacturers.

Other sunscreens mentioned by members, but NOT FAILSAFE:

Arbonne – non-nano zinc but botanicals. Not failsafe. https://www.arbonne.com/discoverau/products/liquidsunshine.shtml

Aveeno - chemical UV filters, preservatives and fragrance. Not failsafe.   http://www.aveeno.com/category/skin+-+hair+solutions/sun+protection.do

Cetaphil – chemical UV filters, benzoate preservatives. Not failsafe. https://www.cetaphil.com/daily-facial-moisturizer-spf-50

La Roche-Posay - nano titanium dioxide, chemical UV filters and benzoate preservatives. Not failsafe.   https://www.laroche-posay.com.au/products/needs/UV-Protection-Sunscreens-cnd2234.aspx

Wotnot – zinc oxide based, no titanium dioxide but has grapeseed and sesame oils. Also contains NaticideTM, an organic skincare preservative. Not failsafe. https://wotnot.com.au/products/30-spf-sunscreen

More reading:



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Food intolerance

Some of the many symptoms of food intolerance that can be helped by diet:

Airways: Asthma, Stuffy blocked or runny nose/ nasal polyps, Frequent nose bleeds, Catarrh, chronic throat-clearing, Sinusitis, Frequent ear infections, Frequent tonsillitis, Frequent colds and flu, symptoms of Samter's Triad, hayfever, allergic rhinitis Skin: Eczema, Urticaria (hives), Cradlecap, Other skin rashes, Angioedema (swollen lips, eyes, tongue), Geographic tongue, Pruritis (itching), Rosaceae, Allergic shiners (dark circles under eyes), Pallor (pale skin), Flushing, Excessive sweating, Body odour, Sore vagina in children, Alopecia (patchy baldness) Digestive system: Irritable bowel symptoms (IBS), Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), Recurrent mouth ulcers, Indigestion, Nausea, Bad breath, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Stomach ache, Bloating, Reflux in babies, adults, Constipation, Colic in babies, adults, Sluggish bowel syndrome (feeling of "more to come"), Encopresis, Soiling (sneaky poos), Dairy intolerance, Gluten and wheat intolerance, Eating disorders (ed), anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder (BED)  Bladder: Bedwetting, Daytime incontinence, Urinary urgency, Recurrent inflammation (cystitis) Skeletal: Growing pains, Gout, Arthritis, joint pain, arthralgia Eyes: Nystagmus (involuntary movement), Blurred vision Muscles: Low muscle tone, Myalgia (muscle pain), Tics (involuntary movement), Tremor, Leg 'jiggling', Heart: Rapid heart beat, Heart palpitations, Cardiac arrhythmias, Pseudo heart attack (feeling of impending doom, chest pressure, pain down arm), Tachycardia (fast heart beat), Angina-type pain, HHT Central nervous system: Headaches or migraines, unexplained tiredness, Chronic fatigue, Feeling 'hung-over', Confusion, Dizziness, Agitation, Tinnitus (noises in ear), HyperacusisAuditory sensory processing disorder (ASPD), Paraesthesia (pins and needles), Dysaesthesia (numbness), Hypoglycemia, Salicylate-induced hypoglycemia, Epileptic seizures, Fits, Sensory symptoms of multiple sclerosis, Scents and perfume sensitivity, Symptoms of lupus Anxiety: Panic attacks, Depression, Obsessive ruminations (repetitively focusing on bad feelings and experiences from the past), Self harm, Suicidal thoughts, actions, teeth grinding (bruxism) Impaired memory: Vague or forgetful, Unable to concentrate, Won't persevere, Unmotivated, Disorganised, Easily distracted, Difficulty reading and writing Speech: Loud voice (no volume control), Speech hard to understand, Speech delay, Selective mutism, Stuttering, Repetitive noises, Talks too much (empty chatter) Coordination: Poor handwriting, Poor coordination, Frequent accidents, Vertigo Sleep: Difficulty falling asleep, Restless legs syndrome (RLS), Persistent night waking, Insomnia, Nightmares/night terrors/sleepwalking, Sleepless babies, Sleep apnoea Mood: Brain snaps, Mood swings, Premenstrual tension, Grizzly or unhappy, Cries easily or often, Irritable, Uncooperative Oppositional defiance: ODD, Loses temper, Argumentative, Refuses requests, Defies rules, Deliberately annoys others, Blames others for own mistakes, Touchy, easily annoyed, Angry, resentful Other behaviour: ADHD, ADD, Autism, Aspergers, Inattentive, easily bored, unmotivated, 'Unable to entertain himself', Restless, fidgety or overactive, Head banging, Hyperactivity, Fights with siblings, Difficulty making friends, Destructive, aggressive, Unreasonable, Tantrums, Demanding, never satisfied, Disruptive, Discipline is ineffective, Pervasive Development Disorder

Some causes of food intolerance:

Food additives: Artificial colours: (food dyes, artificial colors) tartrazine 102 (E102, FD&C Yellow No.5), quinoline yellow 104 (E104), sunset yellow 110 (E110, FD&C Yellow No.6), azorubine, carmoisine 122 (E122), amaranth 123 (E123), ponceau, brilliant scarlet 124 (E124), erythrosine 127 (E127, FD&C Red No.3), allura red 129 (E129, FD&C Red No.40), indigotine, indigo carmine 132 (E132, FD&C Blue No.2), brilliant blue 133 (E133, FD&C Blue No.1), green S, food green, acid brilliant green 142 (E142), fast green FCF 143 (E143, FD&C Green No.3), brilliant black 151 (E151), brown, chocolate brown 155 (E155)  Natural colours: (colors) Annatto (annatto extracts, bixin, norbixin, 160b, E160b) Preservatives: Sorbates: (sorbic acid 200, E200, sodium sorbate 201, E201, potassium sorbate 202, E202, calcium sorbate 203, E203) Benzoates, hydroxybenzoates, parabens: (including benzoic acid 210, E210, sodium benzoate 211, E211, potassium benzoate 212, E212, calcium benzoate 213, E213, ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate 214, E214, sodium ethyl para-hydroxybenzoate 215, E215, propylparaben 216, E216, propyl 4 hydroxybenzoate 217, E217, methylparaben 218, E218) Sulfites, bisulfites, metabisulfites: (200-228, sulphites, sulphur dioxide, sulfur dioxide 220, E220, sodium sulphite 221, E221, sodium bisulphite 222, E222, sodium metabisulphite 223, E223, potassium metabisulphite 224, E224, potassium sulphite 225, E225, calcium sulphite 226, E226, calcium bisulfite 227, E227, potassium bisulphite 228, E228) Nitrates & nitrites: (249-252, potassium nitrite 249, E249, sodium nitrite 250, E250, sodium nitrate 251, E251, potassium nitrate 252, E252 Propionates: (bread preservative, mould inhibitor 280-283: propionic acid 280, E280, sodium propionate 281, E281, calcium propionate 282, E282, potassium propionate 283, E283, 'natural' preservatives in bread, cultured or fermented wheat, dextrose, sugar, flour, whey or anything) Synthetic antioxidants: Gallates 310, 311, 312 (E310, E311, E312), tBHQ 319, E319, BHA 320, E320, BHT 321, E321 Flavour enhancers: (flavor enhancers) glutamic acid and all glutamates, MSG monosodium glutamate 620-625, yeast extract, hydrolysed vegetable protein HVP, disodium guanylate 627 (E627, DSG, GMP), disodium inosinate 631 (E631, DSI, IMP), ribonucleotides 635 (E635, I&G, nucleotides)  Flavours: (flavors)  Natural food chemicals: Salicylates: salicylic acid, sodium salicylate, acetylsalicylic acid Biogenic amines: vasoactive amines (tyramine, phenylethylamine, histamine and others) Glutamates:  Natural foods: Dairy: milk, yoghurt, cheese, butter, lactose-free milks Wheat or Gluten: (wheat, rye, barley, oats) Soy: Sugar free sweeteners:Sugar free sweeteners: polyols, sorbitol, mannitol

On this website, failsafe refers to foods that are Free of Additives and Low in Salicylates, Amines and Flavour Enhancers. Note that copyright applies to the commercial use of the term "failsafe" in the food and health context so as to control inappropriate use by the food and health industries.