Sunscreens have been around quite a while and we’ve all used them for sun protection.
They’re common in our homes and for everyday use but are these sun protectors even safe?
Researchers finding that even though sunscreens might protect us from the harmful rays of the sun the chemicals used in making them may be damaging to our health.
What’s Wrong With Sunscreens?
Sunscreens may wreak havoc on our health because 9 of the 15 FDA-approved chemicals used in sunscreens get absorbed into the skin.
90% of the sunscreens lose their effectiveness in the first hour of application which means that they need to be reapplied often to block the harmful rays of the sun.
Unlike mineral sunscreens which include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which remain on the surface of the skin, chemical sunscreens get absorbed into the skin and enter the bloodstream.
A single application of chemical sunscreen exposes our body to toxins, which quickly scatter into our blood, urine, and other organs.
These chemicals can:
- interfere with our hormones (especially with estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, and thyroid)
- cause abnormal development in fetuses and growing children including early puberty, and breast development in girls
- be the cause of infertility and low sperm counts
- increase chances of prostate cancer in men and breast and ovarian cancer in women.
- create free radicals that lead to cancer
Does this make you think about the brands you use?
What You Can Do
While sunscreens have their benefits and protect us from the sun they should be used carefully after thorough knowledge.
The Environmental Working Group issues safety ratings on sunscreens so you can find brands that are safe.
Around 75% of sunscreens contain harmful chemicals, but there’s still 25% left to make a choice from.
This year I bought this brand and this stick on Amazon.
I’ve learned recently that you should avoid even the natural spray sunscreens because they can easily be breathed in and you don’t really get good coverage.
However, before I learned that we used this brand at our recent beach stay and didn’t get burned.
Alba SportKidSport SPF 30Alba BotanicaKiss My FaceBeyond Coastal
You Need Some Sun Exposure
We do need some sun exposure to stay healthy.
Mounting evidence suggests that getting adequate vitamin D from the sun can protect us from many diseases.
For instance, your chances of getting the flu is directly related to your vitamin D level.
For more information about Vitamin D go to GrassRootsHealth.net.
Experts suggest getting about 15-20 minutes of sun each day to get the vitamin D your body needs.
It’s not bad to have a tan but just remember don’t burn.
What We Do To Protect Our Skin
We love being outdoors.
David fishes regularly and we spend about 4 weeks every summer vacationing in Florida at the beach.
One of the things we do to protect our skin is to take astaxanthin (read more about it here). It helps protect our skin from the inside so we don’t burn as easily.
I tan really easily but with astaxanthin I sometimes get so dark people think I’ve spent hours in the sun.
We don’t use sunscreen unless we plan to be at the pool or beach for long periods or during high UV times.
You can check the UV on the Weather app on your phone. If the UV is higher than 5 protect your skin if you plan to be out more than a short while.
When we do need to use sunscreen I find the least toxic by looking at the EWG website.
There are many natural ingredients that you can use to protect your skin. I mentioned astaxanthin that we take orally but you can also make your own sunscreen from essential oils and other natural plant oils.
Try this DIY sunscreen recipe by Crafty Christian.
Be sure to select organic ingredients since they will be absorbed into your skin.
Here are the ingredients you need:
- 1/2 Cup Shea Butter (get it here)
- 1/2 Cup Coconut Oil (get it here)
- 1/2 Cup Beeswax (get it here)
- 20 Drops of *Carrot Seed Essential Oil (get it here)
- 4 Tbsp **Non-Nano Zinc Oxide (get it here)
Melt together over low heat the shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax. Keep stirring as it melts.
Once melted together remove from heat and add the zinc oxide and essential oils.
Stir until blended.
Transfer to a small glass jar with lid.
Cool mixture before using.
*Carrot Seed Essential Oil has a natural SPF of about 40
You may want to add another 20 drops of your favorite smelling essential if you don’t like the smell of carrot oil.
**Be sure to select NON-nano zinc so the particles don’t absorb into your skin
BeeswaxShea ButterCoconut Oil,Carrot Seed OilZinc OxideGlass Jar
Will you look for less toxic sunscreen this year? Will you try making your own?