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A Safer Sunscreen to Protect from the Summer Sun

 width= In recent decades, we have been scared off enjoying sunlight and coerced into slathering on sunscreen for when we do go into the sun - and the manufacturers of commercial sunscreen have loved their high sales figures as a result. But the higher the SPF, the more synthetic chemicals are used in the sunscreen and the less the possibility of any vitamin D being manufactured. We might slap them on several times a day for “our time in the sun” but, at the same time, we are adding harmful toxins (many of which are carciogenic) to that same absorbent skin. SPF is the sun protection factor and a relative measure of how long a sunscreen will protect you from ultraviolet rays.

Natural protection WITHOUT sunscreen

It is time to put those fears of the sun to rest. We all need some sunshine to help boost our vitamin D levels but we should not suffer from sunburn. We should also avoid commercial sunscreens. There are simple ways to ensure we don't get too much sun:
  • Move into the shade as soon as your skin starts to turn pink.
  • Wear light, loose clothing to cover any exposed skin once it has had sufficient sun.
  • Wear a large brimmed hat.

You can make your own natural sunscreen

But if you do have to be out in the sun for longer than is wise, then apply this natural homemade sunscreen for safer protection. One of the ingredients is zinc oxide (non nano) which is a non-toxic, usually non-irritating, effective broad spectrum sunblock. The protection comes from its particles that stay on outer layer of your skin, scattering and absorbing UVA and UVB rays while protecting the skin below. Be sure to purchase a non nano zinc oxide that has particle sizes as large as possible so that they are not absorbed into the skin. The other thing you need to know about the zinc oxide is that different amounts are needed depending on the SPF required. The SPF must be a certain percentage of the weight of your ingredients (before adding the zinc oxide). Use a kitchen scale when making your sunscreen. For example, if you have 2 ounces of lotion and you’d like to make SPF 10 sunscreen, according to the values below you will need to add .2 ounces of zinc oxide to the lotion. Use the zinc oxide recommendations below.
  • 2-5 SPF: Use 5% zinc oxide
  • 6-11 SPF: Use 10% zinc oxide
  • 12-19 SPF: Use 15% zinc oxide
  • >20 SPF: Use 20% zinc oxide

Here is the basic recipe

You will need:

  • 1 oz. good quality organic coconut oil (contains natural SPF properties).
  • 0.8 oz. shea butter (naturally protects skin).
  • 0.1 oz. jojoba, sesame or sunflower oil (any of these oils are easily absorbed into the skin as well as providing some natural sun protection).
  • 0.1 oz. Vitamin E oil (nourishes and moisturizes the skin and acts as a natural preservative for the homemade sunscreen).
  • 30 drops essential oils (for example lavender essential oil as it helps to soothe and repair the skin). Do not use citrus essential oil as it can increase sensitivity to sunlight.
  • zinc oxide (non nano) powder (determine amount for 2 oz. of lotion as above).