Monday, August 12, 2013

BEWARE: Some chemicals in sunblock and water-proof sunscreens may make your skin react adversely to sun exposure and cause an allergic reaction worst than a normal sunburn!

Allergic reaction to Water-Proof Sunblock
Brand:  Banana Boat "Ultra Defense"
Max Skin Protector  FPS-100 UVA/UVB
Summer vacations may involve plenty of sun rays exposure, especially at the beach.  Using sunblock protection is highly advised, as it will help you avoid the risk of painful sunburn and also skin cancer, if you use the right product for your skin type. Some people burn particularly easily or develop exaggerated skin reactions to sunlight, this condition is called photosensitivity or sun allergy. Other people, like myself, develop allergic reactions to the sunblock use to protect the skin, (see photos).  Notice the intense sunburn in my shoulders and upper arms where I wanted "more protection" and I used Banana Boat "Ultra Defense" sunblock which contains chemicals that are known to bring an allergy reaction to some people like myself (the product does not say it contains oxybenzone, but not that this is a known allergen).

So, before you go ahead and lather up your body with a sunblock product you have never tried before (even if the brand name is familiar to you), my advice is you first test the sunblock on your skin in a small patch for at least 6 hours as you can have a serious allergic reaction to the sunblock's ingredients and end up in an hospital emergency room.  This is a serious matter! Do not expose yourself to such discomfort, danger to your skin, and vacation fun blocker.

Most people's skin will burn if there is enough exposure to ultraviolet radiation, thus the need for sunscreen or sunblock protection. However, we are not aware that many people can develop allergic reactions to sunblock products containing benzophenone, oxybenzone, avobenzone, cinnamates, PABA, and other chemicals. So beware of this ingredients as you can develop a generalized urticaria, anaphylactic reactions, dyspnea, chemical burn, etc. when exposing your body to prolong sunblock body contact, especially sunblocks that have poor wear solubility (water-proof) are truly damaging to people that develop allergic reaction to such ingredients which can create a photosensitizing effect in your skin.

My back with the sunblock allergic reaction at its peak.
I did not know sunblock and sun screen products sold as "skin protection" with high FPS, UVA /UVB etc. could be so damaging and create such terrible skin burns!!! The "Banana Boat" Ultra Defense FPS 100 UVA/UVB Protection sunblock I brought to my beach vacation did not have any "beware" or "may cause allergic reaction" information, so I did not think I could be endangering my skin and my vacation time.  I stayed off the mid-day sun rays my first five days of vacation, using a Nivea FPS 30+ UVA/UVB sunblock that worked wonders, I had a light light tan with no sunburn skin areas. 

CAUTION: One of the many sunblocks
that you may be terribly allergic to its
chemicals and not know until it is too late!
On the sixth day, I felt safe to use the Banana Boat Ultra Defense FPS 100 UVA/UVB to add a few hours of swimming during the late morning, I had lunch in the shade but still in my bathing suit and took a shower before dinner time.  By then, my skin (where I used the "Ultra Defense" Banana Boat sunblock) had become extremely sunburned, itchy, painfully red skin and hurting.  I tried apple cider vinegar to alleviate the burn & hurt, but it just itched more and hurt more, plus the red went into a deeper shape.  I wonder if the sunblock was creating an allergic reaction in me, so I "Google" for answers and found many blog entries and articles of people with my same reaction and condition to the same or similar sunblock product. Learned that some chemicals use by manufactures in "skin absorbing sunblocks" such as the one I used, have been reported to develop photo-allergic reactions in users. So why is this not told to the buyer prior to using the sunscreen? Maybe because we are a few with such horrible outcome; but for now, I rather advice  potential users than regret knowing what I know, and did not share it with others that could end up suffering same outcome.

Treating your chemical burn skin with sunburn home remedies such as patting your skin with apple cider or white vinegar, Aloe vera gel, white egg, etc. won't help when the problem was created or aggravated by your sunscreen or sunblock cream or spray.  Best, wash your skin with a neutral gentle soap on a soft sponge to take off all that "water-proof" chemical hell off your skin! If those ingredients stay in your skin, the allergy reaction and terrible burning will continue and you may end up in the emergency room. After the shower and getting off the sunblock from my skin, I took anti-allergic medicine, and a pair of painkillers. Also, I was fortunate enough to have an Aloe vera plant near me. I did cut a fresh Aloe vera leaf and gently rubbed its clear pulp and gel on, it worked wonders, smoothing a bit the skin redness and pain. Yet, I still have deep skin burns, pain, and no vacation beach fun.

If you have fair skin or an allergic reaction history like myself, you will be better off using products that contain Titanium dioxide and or zinc oxide as physical UV blockers, there is no reports of causing allergies.  These type of sunblock creams are a bit opaque and look funny on your body at the beach, but for sure will protect your skin and your vacation fun time.

For more info about how to test your skin for sunblock allergic reactions and the most common potential photo allergy components in waterproof sun-blockers and sunscreen products, visit

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Presidents of Mexico and China visited Chichen Itza archaeological site and then enjoyed a Special Gala at Hacienda Chichen Resort.

A lovely sunny day at Chichen Itza's Mayan ruins, June 6th, 2013

The Presidents of Mexico (center) and China (left) joined by Yucatan's Governor (right) arriving to Hacienda Chichen Resort, where they enjoy a beautiful Special Day and Farewell Gala Luncheon with their distinguished guests.

Hacienda Chichen Resort is well known for its excellent service and responsible sustainable hospitality.  It is located near the Maya temples of Chichen Itza in Yucatan, Mexico.  No wonder this Official Farewell Event was celebrated in such lovely property and Colonial landmark.  The hotel caters to very special groups, parties and weddings, as well as regular travelers that enjoy quality food, relaxing private ambiance, and unique pampering services.  We highly recommend Hacienda Chichen catering and special events services to anyone looking for a phenomenal experience.