So you want to enjoy the beach, go hiking, biking, running, and any number of outdoor activities, but you don’t want to get burnt to a crisp !
Out comes the sunscreen and you follow the “slop” routine covering your face , ears, neck, arms and when you get home you’re very pleased because you’ve had a great day out and you are not the colour of a tomato!
Not All Sunscreens Have Been Created Equal
Then you open up a popular health magazine you bought a few days ago and find an article about the dangers of sunscreens, how most commercial sunscreens contain serious hormone disrupting chemicals, and how these sunscreens may actually promote cancer growth, so you decide the only thing to do now is stay indoors and venture out at night once the sun’s gone down.
Staying Inside Could Kill You!
But you read on to find out that if you don’t get enough sun you’ll likely to become vitamin D deficient, and this has been linked to other types of cancer including some very nasty types of breast cancer, as well as osteoporosis (weakened bones) autoimmune diseases such as MS, premature labor and a whole laundry list of problems caused by not being in the sun enough.
Can You Enjoy the Outdoors Safely?
With mounting frustration and confusion you wonder – “How do I get enough sun rays so my body can make optimal amounts of Vitamin D without frying my skin or exposing myself to toxic chemicals in sunscreens?”
Luckily for you the Sun God is smiling on you, because there are Natural Sunscreens that don’t contain nasty commercials (BUT- check the label carefully!! You may need a magnifying glass to spot precisely what is in the fine print). And there are homemade sunscreen recipes you can follow to make your own. If you want to buy a natural sunscreen check out Essone sunscreen, and the Environmental Working Group’s guide to non-toxic Sunscreens.
Natural Sunscreen Recipe
- ½ cup good coconut oil
- ½ cup cold pressed extra virgin olive oil (or almond oil)
- ¼ cup beeswax
- 2 tablespoons non-Nano Zinc Oxide powder* (buy online in NZ)
*Don’t breath in the powder!
Extras you can add in if you want to:
- Pure essential oils from a reputable brand, that smell nice to you
- Vitamin E oil (up to 1 teaspoon)
- Carrot Seed oil (ditto)
- Red Raspberry Seed oil (ditto)
- Shea Butter ( up to 2 Tablespoons)
- Put all the ingredients together in a large glass jar (about 500ml in size) except the zinc oxide
- In a medium size pot pour in about 50 ml water and heat on the stove on medium temperature
- Place the glass jar with a lid loosely on in the pot with the water
- The ingredients in the jar will start to melt together, so stir occasionally until they are nicely incorporated, and then add the zinc oxide, once again mixing well.
- Once all the ingredients are well mixed, pour from the jar into smaller jars with nice wide lids so you can easily scrape out the mixture with your fingers, when you want to apply the sunscreen to your skin
- As the ingredients cool, stir a few times to make sure the zinc oxide is well incorporated.
Advice for Using the Home made Natural Sunscreen:
- The sunscreen should last about 6 months
- This sunscreen isn’t totally water proof, so reapply after swimming, or surfing
- Adding more or less beeswax will make a thicker or smoother sunscreen, so experiment to get the consistency you like
- Store in a cool place or in the fridge
- Remember not to inhale the Zinc Oxide, so use a mask when handling it.
Does this Sound Like Too Much Work?
Here is a very quick way to make your own Natural Sunscreen:
- Grab a bottle of your favourite good quality natural skin care lotion that doesn’t contain any petroleum jell or any citrus oils
- Add 2 tablespoons of non-Nano Zinc Oxide and mix very well
Getting Enough Sun
It doesn’t make any sense to go outside and bake yourself in the mid- day sun- so, DON’T DO IT!
Gradual Exposure to the Sun to Get Vitamin D
When possible, spend time in the sun for short periods (10-20 minutes) either early in the morning, up to 10:00 am or in the late afternoon (4:30 pm onwards). If you do this regularly you won’t get too burnt (but you need to know what works for you through continuous exposure to the sun. You’ll be getting a reasonable amount of Vitamin D without getting burnt.
Apply Natural Sunscreen When You Need To
The time to apply sunscreen is when you know you’ll be in the sun for a long time, or your body hasn’t had time to adapt to the sun. So be aware when you and your children are in need of extra protection and put on the natural sunscreen. But, remember to also allow some sunscreen free time in the sun first thing in the morning and late in the afternoon to receive the health benefits of vitamin D.
Enjoy the Sun, Enjoy the Outdoors!
Don’t hide away inside – make use of the beautiful outdoors on sunny days. Just be reasonable, slip on cool cotton clothing, slap on a hat, find some shade, or bring it with you and when you are going to be out in the sun for long periods or in the heat of the day, apply natural sunscreen to your body and to your children’s.
Roll on summer!