Anyone who reads these blog posts will have noticed that I am a great believer in the importance of vitamin D. And the best source of this feel good hormone is of course safe and sensible exposure to sunlight.
For several decades, both the media and health care professionals have warned us all of how dangerous and damaging the sun is. They have made such a good job of it that we now have many Western populations who are seriously vitamin D deficient. You have been told that the sun will cause wrinkles and age you prematurely and, of course, greatly accelerate your risk of cancer.
You need to avoid sunburn but you do not need to avoid sunlight
The ingredients used in most commercial sunscreens can actually cause more damage than they prevent. Remember that wearing sunscreen effectively blocks your body’s production of vitamin D by as much as 97.5% to 99.9%. We all need sunlight to help in this production process.
But most people will need some sort of protection if they have to stay out longer in the sun than the recommended 15 to 30 minutes per day between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm (depending on your skin tone). To this end, I have found a recipe for an all natural sun screen that you can make yourself at home. For optimum protection, include natural mineral zinc oxide (and even titanium oxide) in your recipe.
Ingredients (these are not cast in stone) for a natural sunscreen
- 1 ounce oil blend (use any combination of the oils listed) - raspberry seed oil; carrot seed oil, wheat germ oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, hemp oil, avocado oil, soybean and/or peanut oil.
- 1 ounce beeswax (to make your sunscreen more waterproof).
- 1 ounce butter blend (for example mix Shea butter, mango butter and/ or cocoa butter).
- 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil (pour out the contents of a vitamin E capsule).
- 0.36 ounces zinc oxide powder.
- 30 drops essential oils of choice (optional) - sun protecting essential oils include myrrh, carrot seed oil and peppermint.
- A push up or roll up type of dispenser – one suggestion is to re-purpose a used deodorant or lip balm container
1. Gather ingredients and kitchen tools.
2. In a double boiler and over a low heat, melt the oils, beeswax and butters.
3. Remove from heat, allowing to cool slightly before adding in the vitamin E oil, zinc oxide powder and, if used, essential oils.
(Just a word of warning - wear a mask when working with zinc oxide because although it has not been proven to be harmful when used topically, inhaling the substance itself can be dangerous.)
4. Stir until zinc oxide is dissolved.
5. When complete, pour into your dispenser, allowing to cool and harden on the counter overnight.
Even if you are not up to making your own natural sunscreen, avoid the commercial brands and always choose a natural version from a health store or available online.
And that threat of premature wrinkles? Here is your answer...