Sunscreen is not something that I really thought about much until I had children. When applying it to their faces it got in their eyes and they would scream that it was stinging... gawd! 'What is in this stuff?'
What ingredients are actually in chemical (mainstream) sunscreen?
Where does it go when you swim in the ocean?
What is a physical sunscreen?
What does SPF even mean?
Let me quickly touch on a few of the answers I have found to these questions.
(Click on the links if you'd like more information)
What ingredients are actually in chemical sunscreens? Many sunscreens contain Oxybenzone, a known hormone disruptor that is not recommended for use on children. Think about this: Vitamin D = necessary for correct hormone formation. Sunscreen ingredients like Oxybenzone = endocrine disruptors that inhibit correct hormone formation. Many sunscreens also contain Vitamin A which has photocarcinogenic properties, the possibility that it results in cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight.
26 seconds is all it takes for the ingredients in your personal care products to enter your bloodstream!!
Where does it go when you swim in the ocean? Sunscreens are made up of several complex chemicals and when you enter the water after application it can start to wash off and spread into the marine environment. The seemingly harmless action of applying sunscreen has now prompted scientists to notice the damage being done to the ocean and specifically the coral reefs. Statistics state that there are currently between 6,000 and 14,000 tonsof sunscreen being washed off and then entering our coral reefs each year. This is a noticeable amount considering that you only need a concentration of 62 parts per trillion, which is the equivalent of a drop of water in an Olympic swimming pool, to cause toxicity in the ocean. This hols is why it’s a better option for you and the planet to choose a physical sunscreen!
What is a physical sunscreen?
Physical sunscreens protect the skin in exactly the way their name suggests: they create a physical barrier between your skin and the sun. These products don't absorb into the skin but remain on the surface. Physical sunscreens are naturally broad-spectrum, protecting against both UVA and UVB rays and are a better option for the future of our water and reefs.
What does SPF even mean? SPF, or Sun Protection Factor, is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect skin from UVB rays, the kind of radiation that causes sunburn, damages skin, and can contribute to skin cancer.
The SPF scale is not linear:
SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays.
Interesting huh! Higher SPFs don't provide much more protection in my opinion. I personally think using a SPF 15+ natural physical sunscreen and applying it more often is the way to go.
The natural sunscreen in the pic below is what I make myself, my whole family use it and love it. It is natural, safe, costs very little make and is a super easy recipe.
1/2 cup almond oil
1/4 cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4)
1/4 cup beeswax
2 TB Non-Nano Zinc Oxide(Be careful not to inhale the powder)
Up to 1 tsp Carrot Seed oil
2 TB Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5)
1 tsp Cocao Powder (you can add more if you would like it darker)
doTERRA essential oils: 6 drops lavender, 2 drops Myrrh, 4 drops Roman Chamomile. (These are just what I choose to nourish the skin a little more, feel free to add what you love BUT please make sure they are NOT citrus essential oils as they increase sun sensitivity)
Combine all ingredients except zinc oxide, cocoa powder and essential oils in a pint sized or larger glass jar.
Fill a medium saucepan with 2 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 take off heat and let cool slightly, then add the zinc oxide, cocoa powder and essential oils, stir in well and pour into a container for storage. Small jars, tins or plastic containers 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 and cocao powder are incorporated.
Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.
If you don’t have doTERRA in your life yet and would love to get your hands on these beautiful essential oils and everything else doTERRA has to offer, I’d love to help you! Simply email me and we can work out what’s best for you to start with.