You may have noticed that we describe our Stikins ® name labels and Trons ® name transfers as being “resistant to children’s alcohol-free sun creams and lotions” and perhaps wondered why we mention sun creams as being a particular problem for name label products.
Name labels are often applied into clothing where they come into contact with skin OR onto personal items (especially lunch boxes and water bottles) that are handled a lot, which may result in sun cream being transferred from the skin onto a name label. Modern sun creams are made with increasingly advanced ingredients designed to boost the protection offered by these products (for example by increasing the level of protection, improving water resistance or durability, or simply making a product easier to apply) and, while these ingredients do make sun creams and lotions extremely effective, they can also be quite damaging to the surfaces that they come into contact with over time – including name labels.
While name labels themselves are unlikely to be damaged (they are, after all, designed to withstand repeat cycles through washing machines and/or dishwashers), the printing inks used to personalise these labels may not be resistant to some of the ingredients used in sun creams and lotions – which can result in the print disintegrating or smearing away completely.
Beating The “Blockers”
Sun creams and lotions often contain “blockers”, which are ingredients that protect us from sunlight by preventing (or blocking) ultraviolet light from reaching our skin (by reflecting, scattering, or absorbing UV rays). A common example is titanium dioxide, which is a particularly popular ingredient because it is believed to be less irritating than other chemicals – making it ideal for use in products that are intended to be used by children or individuals with sensitive skin.
While titanium dioxide is brilliant at providing protection against harmful UV light, it is also extremely damaging to some printing inks – which is why we have sourced an advanced ink for our name label products that is fully resistant to titanium dioxide (as well as other similar ingredients used to produce sun creams and lotions).
The Problem With “Alcohol”
Unfortunately, there is one ingredient used in SOME sun creams and lotions that our ink is NOT currently resistant to – and that is alcohol. Alcohols are used in sun creams and lotions for a variety of reasons; some make sun creams more opaque (less transparent) or thicker or less greasy, some act as emollients (moisturisers), some help to preserve sun creams (so they last longer “on the shelf”), and some are used as carriers – particularly in sun sprays, where the alcohol helps to propel the spray more efficiently.
The problem is that alcohols are solvents; solvents are capable of dissolving other substances and this includes some printing inks used to personalise name labels. While our printing ink is not fully resistant to alcohol (or other solvents), this doesn’t mean that your name labels won’t survive the summer.
Firstly, alcohol is only used in SOME sun cream products and many manufacturers offer alcohol-free alternatives. Sun creams and lotions designed for children and individuals with sensitive skin are – as a general rule – among these alcohol-free product ranges.
Secondly, the risk of damage tends to exist immediately after a product has been applied (i.e. while the sun cream is drying or being absorbed into the skin); as long as you allow plenty of time for your sun cream product to dry or absorb in place, there won’t be any danger of the alcohol coming into contact with, and therefore damaging, the print on your name labels.
You can find out much more about our name labels by visiting our Stikins ® Information Page or our Trons ® Information Page – alternatively, you can visit our Stikins ® and Trons ® product pages to place an order for your very own name labels that will remain firmly in place all summer – and all year – long.