Updated: Aug 28, 2019
I have always enjoyed being out in the hot summer sun feeling that heat penetrate my skin and body. It feels warm, delightful and is like the sun is re-energizing me. As I’ve gotten older I still enjoy the sun but realize I can’t just go sunbathe coated in baby oil anymore.
Sunscreen is a popular item this time of year. We keep some by our back door to apply before heading to the yard or pool year round but it gets used most when the temps really start to heat up. As I prepare for our family vacation in a couple weeks to spend some much needed time taking in the surf and sun, I’ve got on the list to include sunscreen in our luggage.
The intent and purpose of sunscreen is to prevent burning and provide a barrier between our tender skin and the bright hot sun. The sun’s vibrant rays are good for our health but a little can go along way sometimes when it comes to the ultra violet rays the sun emits. Keeping our skin coated with a good sunscreen can not only prevent feeling miserable from a burn that night but also longer term prevent skin cancers and other conditions.
SPF means Sun Protection Factor. Think of it as a thickness of the coat of sunscreen that will shield you from the sun. The theory is the higher the SPF the more protection we can count on.
This post from WebMD has some great information about what exactly is in our common sunscreen and what that could do to your skin:
There are 3 ingredients listed in this article that I want to call your attention to because these exist in the majority of sunscreens available off the shelf.
Some dermatologists feel that the research suggesting a connection between retinyl palmitate and skin cancer — in lab tests on mice — is worrisome.
Some sunscreen makers are removing retinyl palmitate from their products. Only about a third of sunscreens contain it.
Other experts say the ingredient is safe.
“Those animals [in lab tests] are prone to develop skin cancer in the first place and the amount [of retinyl palmitate] they were exposed to is significantly higher than what a human would be exposed to,” says dermatologist Henry Lim, MD, former vice president of the AAD.
Vitamin A derivatives are used to treat skin cancer as well as acne. “It’s been in use for at least 30 years, and there has not been any signal to show that it would result in the development of skin cancer. Bottom line: It’s safe,” Lim says.
Oxybenzone: Oxybenzone, a common UV filter, has been shown to interact with hormones when fed to animals in large amounts. Dermatologists say this is no reason to toss your sunscreen.
“If you covered your entire body with oxybenzone in the concentrations that are in sunscreens and used it every day, it would take over 30 years to get to the point of what these rats were fed in these studies,” says dermatologist Darrell Rigel, MD, FAAD, who is a clinical professor of dermatology at New York University Langone Medical Center.
Nanoparticles: Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide offer broad-spectrum protection in what’s called “mineral sunscreens.” People who find chemical sunscreens irritating may prefer these mineral forms.
Now what is really concerning is that even if the sunscreen is mixed with chemicals that have been previously exposed to chemicals it can be labeled “hypo allergenic” and sold as a natural sunscreen! Talk about a loophole in labeling standards!
After reading this and other sources discussing these ingredients I just couldn’t apply it to my family’s bodies. I honestly had the thought no sunscreen was better! After I calmed down though I started to dig into what was possible.
Did you know that almonds contain natural SPF?
I was amazed at the amount of foods and plants that contain some level of SPF naturally just by existing!
Looking at this list it seems to be that if SPF is what we need to protect our skin and a higher dose is recommended for children and those with tender skin then something like a Carrot Seed Oil or Raspberry Seed Oil needs to be considered.
Actually I find that combining a couple of these oils with some other ingredients makes a fabulous sunscreen that actually smells good too! No more fake coconut smell!
Here’s the recipe I use:
8 oz jar or bottle2 tablespoons shea butter1/2 cup beeswax (yellow or white)2 tablespoons zinc oxide1/2 cup olive oil1/2 cup fractionated coconut oil1 tablespoon raspberry seed oil1 teaspoon vitamin E oil10 drops doTERRA Helichrysum5 drops doTERRA Myrrh5 drops doTERRA Frankincense
The doTERRA Helichrysum, Myrrh and Frankincense are incredible at protecting and healing our skin so if you forgot to reapply or started to burn these oils are already working to heal your skin!
After Sun Spray
Sometimes no matter what we do there is a little sunburn or discomfort on our skin. It feels good to have that cool relieving spray of a sunburn relief product spritzed on your skin. However, like sunscreen these products too can often contain ingredients that do nothing to heal our skin and could in fact cause some issues for our health.
A wonderful alternative is this DIY after sun spray to keep on hand:
16 ounce glass spray bottle1 cup aloe vera juice1/4 cup fractionated coconut oil1 teaspoon vitamin E oil8 drops doTERRA Lavender8 drops doTERRA Melaleuca8 drops doTERRA Roman Chamomile
Shake well before each use.
These oils are fantastic at relieving and cooling that burning feeling on your skin. They work fast to calm and start the healing process. If you don’t have this spray ready made simply using Lavender can provide some much needed love to that skin.
Interested in more?
Enjoying summer doesn’t have to mean the sticky, gooey white sunscreen that smells bad and is bad for your skin and health have to be used. There are incredible natural ingredients that work extremely well and don’t contain the harmful elements.
If you have questions about this post please reach out!
The doTERRA essential oils mentioned in this post can be purchased through me and you can enjoy at least 25% off your purchase today! Simply click here: