The Safety and Effectiveness of All-Natural Sunscreen
Many people are becoming concerned about sunscreens and the chemicals that are used to create them. Some can cause significant long-term health issues and many studies have shown that sunscreens alone do not prevent skin cancer. In addition, sunscreens block the beneficial UV rays that produce vitamin D in your skin – a vital process and product for nearly all 70 trillion cells in your body!
If you’re concerned about the effectiveness of all-natural sunscreen or their chemical-heavy counterparts, it might be worth mentioning that the time of day plays a big role in sunburn prevention.
This is when the maximum production of VitD is triggered because of the angle of the sun’s rays. The key is healthy exposure – limiting the time spent in the sun uncovered and when you’re planning to be out in direct sunlight, no matter the time of day, finding options to temper the sun’s rays is a must. Thin, white, lightweight long-sleeved clothing like cotton or linen can act as a natural sunscreen.
There are options for homemade sunscreens that can replace the chemical-laden commercial sunscreens. They can be as simple as crushing Vitamin C tablets and mixing the powder into your favorite lotion, or a bit more complex like this recipe I found for an all-natural sunscreen that our family is definitely going to try!
*Please note, the link to the recipe has an optional ingredient adding essential oils to the mix – we’ve been advised to remove this from the recipe, as some essential oils do not work well in connection with sun exposure. Please do not add essential oils unless you know what you’re doing.
1/2 cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
1/4 cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4)
1/4 cup beeswax
2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide (This is a non-nano version that won’t be absorbed into the skin. Be careful not to inhale the powder). This makes a natural SPF of 20+ or more can be added.)
Combine ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I have a mason jar that I keep just for making lotions and lotion bars, or you can even reuse a glass jar from pickles, olives, or other foods.
Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.
Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.
As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
Use as you would regular sunscreen. Best if used within six months.
In honor of Heart Health month in February, Weld Family Clinic will host a Heart Health Class on February 22nd at 6:15pm. We’ll be discussing the important role cholesterol plays in the health of your brain and the dangers of cholesterol-lowering medications like “statins”. Join us!