Avoiding the sun is just as dangerous as excessive exposure, and it’s important that everyone strike their individualized balance, based on their skin tone and environment. If you aren’t comfortable venturing out into a sunny day without protection, nix the toxin-laden over-the-counter sunscreen and buy products that use natural ingredients like the one's we cover in our sunscreen buying guides. If you are more of a DIY person, you can always make your own natural sunscreen using natural and safe ingredients.
The sun is an enemy just as much as it is a friend – exposure to sunlight is necessary for the production of vitamin D that supports numerous bodily functions, but when limitations are abused, sun burn, skin damage, and even skin cancer are viable outcomes. For those who can’t control exposure to sunlight and are at risk for overexposure, the application of sunscreen is often necessary. However, the sunscreens available on the market are known to be dangerous to your health that the setbacks outweigh the benefits. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and absorbs whatever is applied to it. For this reason, it is important to opt for a sunscreen that is as pure and natural as possible. There are healthier store bought sunscreen brands available, but homemade sunscreen is also a great way for you to control whatever goes into the mix, and eventually, on the skin of your family and yourself.
Scouring the internet for homemade sunscreens may lead you in the wrong direction. While most recipes you find are far better than their pharmacy-bought counterparts, they often include zinc oxide, which may not be as safe as it’s assumed to be. Zinc oxide is a popular natural ingredient in both store-bought and homemade sunscreens for its ability to block the sun, but researchers at Missouri State University recently found that when exposed to sunlight, zinc oxide may actually create free radicals, destroy cells, and increase the risk of skin cancer. To avoid this danger, you should keep your homemade sunscreen as bare bones as possible.
What many of us don’t know is that common oils offer a natural source of SPFprotection without the harmful toxins. These include red raspberry seed oil (SPF28-50), carrot seed oil (SPF38-40), wheat germ oil (SPF20), soybean oil (SPF10), macadamia oil (SPF6), and jojoba oil (SPF4). Other oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, sesame oil, hempseed oil, and shea butter offer low SPF protection but are still valuable additions in your homemade sunscreen, as they are moisturizing and fragrant. The following recipe allows you to enjoy the sun with a bright and healthy face.
- 1 ounce oil with SPF listed above (or any combination of them)
- 1 ounce coconut oil, cocoa butter, or shea butter
- 1 ounce beeswax (offers waterproof protection)
- 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oils
Combine all ingredients in a glass jar. Fill a saucepan a couple inches high with water and turn the heat to medium. Put a cap on the glass jar without sealing it closed, and place the jar in the pan filled with water. As the ingredients in the jar get warm and soften, mix until completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Apply as a sunscreen throughout the summer.
Photo Credit: earthly delights