With summer approaching it is time to start stocking up on those summer essentials to keep our skin happy and healthy. But be wary of what you put on your body.
The average drugstore sunscreen contains toxic chemicals as well as endocrine disrupting chemicals that studies have shown to promote skin cancer growth as well as free radicals in the body. Many of these ingredients are even found in some “all-natural” sunscreens.
Making your own sunscreen is simple, but it does require some tools and materials that cannot be found at your local grocery store. If you prefer to stick with the store bought stuff or need some sunscreen on the go, stick to the brands listed here. These are the best on the market. My personal favorites are Badger and California Baby, both relatively easy to find at your local Whole Foods and some drugstores.
Be aware that the sun provides are bodies with vitamin D, an essential vitamin for health. We need about 20 minutes of full face and arm exposure (no sunscreen) every day for adequate vitamin D absorption, even more in the winter months. As most people do not work outdoors, it can be a challenge to get enough sun, especially when the majority of people apply lotions or makeup with sunscreen on a daily basis. Vitamin D deficiencies have increased with the rise in use of sunscreen products as has skin cancer.
Do not use sunscreen every day and steer clear of any sunscreens with harsh chemicals. When planning for a long day in the sun, limit your exposure by wearing a wide brimmed hat and clothing that provides more coverage. In a situation in which sunscreen is required, either pick up one of the brands noted above or try this homemade remedy from Wellness Mama:
Natural Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup oil (coconut, olive, almond or grapeseed are good)
- 5 tsp Zinc Oxide (available online or in many stores on the diaper aisle, just make sure it is pure zinc oxide)
- 1 TBSP Beeswax or emulsifying wax
- 3 TBSP natural aloe vera gel (not the kind with alcohol or propylene glycol)
- 1/2 cup distilled water or brewed green tea (strained)
- 2-3 capsules of Vitamin E oil (optional)
- 10 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional)
- Essential Oils of Coconut Extract for scent (optional) [Note: do not use citrus essential oils since they can actually cause burning]
How To Make Natural Sunscreen:
- Heat Oil and beeswax on double boiler until just melted.
- Remove from heat, and add vitamin E and essential oils.
- Put into bowl that will not be used for food, and add zinc oxide powder, set aside.
- In small pan, heat water or tea and aloe vera until just warm.
- Add the water/aloe mixture slowly while whisking vigorously or use an immersion blender.
- Add any additional essential oils or fragrances (except citrus)
- This sunscreen is not completely waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming
- Make sure not to inhale the Zinc Oxide- use a mask
- This recipe has an SPF of about 20, though adding more Zinc Oxide will increase the SPF
- Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smooth sunscreen
- I recommend coconut or vanilla extract or lavender essential oils for fragrance
- Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge
- I prefer to store in a small canning jar and apply like a body butter. It will be thicker, especially if you use coconut oil in the recipe.
Enjoy, stay safe, and have a wonderful summer!