Yesterday I spent the day with a bunch of lovely ladies. It’s rare that I have such an opportunity. And I cherished every bit of it. I forget sometimes just how important spending quality times with friends can be. It’s easy to get wrapped up in work and family. Then all of a sudden you realize you haven’t even seen someone you adore in months.
There was one particular friend yesterday I hadn’t spent any time with in years. Years. It’s sad. We were once together every day. She was an intricate and very important part of my life. The kind of friend who is always there for you. The kind of person who is simply honest and caring and kind. How do these things happen? Because we let them, really.
I am blessed to know so many beautiful people.
I was chatting with one lovely momma about sunscreen. With temps unseasonably warm, it’s about time we talk about it here too.
We know we have to protect our skin from the suns rays, but what we might not know is that many of those products sought to do so, are loaded with harmful toxins. That’s right. There are dangers in sunscreen. Organic Lifestyle Magazine did a tremendous amount of research on the subject. You can read about it here.
“The shocking truth is the fact that both petrochemical sunscreens (avobenzone, methoxycinnamate, padimate-o and the like) and physical sunblocks (chemically-reacted synthetics titanium dioxide and zinc oxide) are not natural and have been found to generate free radicals when exposed to sunlight, which then can attack the nuclei of your skin cells and cause mutations. That’s right, they can cause skin cancer. Furthermore, sunscreen chemicals have been found to pass through the skin and mimic the effects of estrogen, which may disrupt the delicate balance of the body’s natural hormones.”
~Organic Lifestyle Magazine
Even more alarming, since the increase in the use of sunscreen, skin cancer rates have risen. Many reports show that sunscreen actually increases cancer risks. Interesting isn’t it? For hundreds of years there was no sunscreen and there were few cases of skin cancer. And people spent far more time in the sun than we do now. The Environmental Working Group reports that only 39 of the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective.
Did you know your diet can have a drastic affect on your reaction to the sun’s rays? Wholesome foods help our bodies immunity and ability to respond to toxins and other harmful invaders. Build your strength from the inside out. I will keep saying it, a healthy diet affects all aspects of our lives!
Ok, so now what? Even zinc oxide, used in most homemade recipes, is listed here as unsafe. This was my biggest dilemma in determining the safe route for my family. I have scoured reports and articles, books and magazines. I found that uncoated non-nano sized particles of zinc oxide are the safest form. These are found in diaper rash cream and calamine lotion.
And I have come to some delightful conclusions….
- We need some sun! Many people are vitamin D deficient because they are so afraid of the sun. But it’s actually ok to get out and get a bit of sun.
- There are a number of natural ingredients that do protect us from the sun
- We don’t need to slather on all those toxins to be “safe”
- The very best protection comes from hats and light clothing
Natural Protection From the Sun
- Coconut oil – I love this stuff!! I use it for so many things. Check out For the Love of Coconut Oil (coming later this week). It’s also great for your skin AND has a natural SPF. This is my first choice for sunscreen. I just slather it on. It can be used alone or added to other ingredients.
- Raspberry Seed Oil – This has the highest SPF of 30-50 and is very nourishing to the skin. It helps fight free radicals and is an antioxidant.
- Sesame oil – has an SPF of 30
- Carrot Seed oil – has an SPF of about 20
- Lavender, myrrh, peppermint, chamomile and marjoram are excellent added protection and skin nourishment.
- Green and Black tea – the tannin’s are great at absorbing UV rays, offer excellent protection and are great for the skin.
A Few Natural Sun Protection Recipes
- 15 drops lavender oil, 2 drops chamomile oil and 2 drops marjoram oil, 1 tablespoon avocado oil.
- 1 t coconut oil, 1 t raspberry seed oil, 10 drops lavender oil
- 1 t coconut oil, 1 t carrot seed oil, 1 T Shea Butter
Get creative! You can mix and match with whatever ingredients you have or are readily available.
1 ounce oil or oil blend (I prefer coconut and raspberry seed)
1 ounce beeswax
1 ounce butter blend (shea, mango, cocoa)
1 teaspoon vitamin e oil
0.30 ounce zinc oxide
30 drops essential oil (lavender, peppermint, carrot, myrrh, coconut extract for scent)
*Do not use citrus oils – they can cause burning
Melt oils, butter and beeswax. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, then add vitamin E oil, zinc oxide and essential oil.
*Be sure to wear a mask when handling zinc oxide and always use bowls and utensil that aren’t used for cooking.
Stir until zinc oxide is dissolved. Pour into a used deodorant container or purchase a new one from your local herb store.
An Alternate Sunscreen Recipe
1/4 c oil (grape seed, coconut or blend)
5 tsps zinc oxide
3T aloe vera gel
1/8 t vitamin E oil
10 drops grapefruit seed extract
*essential oils for scent
Heat oil and beeswax just to melted. Remove from heat and cool slightly, add vitamin E and essential oils. Put in a bowl that won’t be used for food. Add zinc oxide. Now heat water and aloe vera gel. Add to bowl and mix well. This makes a lotion. It can be thinned or thickened by adding more or less beeswax.
SPF 20 as is. It can be increased by using raspberry seed oil or adding more zinc oxide.
If you aren’t into making your own sunscreen you can check how your brand fared here.
Do you have a favorite sunscreen recipe?
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