“I make my own sunscreen because most of the products that are being sold in the stores are hormone blockers and toxic.”
Being in the sun has many benefits but we can all agree that sunburn is harmful. This is why protecting our skin is so relevant. Shop-bought sunscreens contain approved UV-filtering compounds that block UVA and UVB rays—harmful rays that penetrate the skin and can alter the DNA in skin cells and cause skin cancer—and also facilitates the production of vitamin D and other antioxidants from cholesterol (e.g. vitamin E or C), which neutralize the harmful effects of free radicals. But are we really doing any good when we apply these products?
A lot of information came out recently about the harming effect of some sunscreen products containing ingredients that may disrupt hormones and be harmful for the environment. This, unfortunately, is true not only for non-natural but for organic products as well. What can we do in order to protect ourselves then? Well, you can, for example make your own sunscreen at home from ingredients you know and understand.
I make my own sunscreen because most of the products that are being sold in the stores are hormone blockers and toxic (especially for children), and they also block the benefits of the sun and the natural Vitamin D. Down below you can find the recipe I follow when preparing my own product.
My recipe is as follows. With the zinc oxide it should give you about SPF 10.
- 3/4 of a cup of organic shea butter
- 1/2 cup coco butter
- 3 TBS of zinc oxide
- 30 drops of neem oil—this helps as an insect repellant
- 1/4 cup of organic and pure aloe vera gel (no colours or additives)
- In a double boiler combine the above ingredients with the exception of the zinc oxide.
- Fill the lower pot with about 2 inches of water and place on the stove over medium heat. Place the other pot with the ingredients on top of the lower pot and heat up until the ingredients are liquid.
- Once melted and liquid, gradually add the zinc oxide till fully blended.
- Place content into glass jar to cool and refrigerate until used.
The sunscreen will be solid but will quickly become liquid once in room temperature. It is also oily upon application, and will need to be reapplied after being in the water. A word of caution is to beware that when using this sunscreen, you limit your time in direct sun. For me it means 30 minutes in the sun, then 30 minutes in the shade but for you it can be different so please, be really cautious. Remember, this is not for shake and bake but for natural sun exposure to get your natural Vitamin D.
Maybe you wonder what the toxic ingredients in commercial sunscreens could be. Well, there is a list below, so you can check the sunscreen you are currently using. By taking a closer look at these ingredients, you will see these are the names of some of the most popular chemicals used in conventional sunscreen brands:
- 4-methylbenzylidene camphor
Sadly, most of these chemicals were tested only to find hormone disruptors. These chemicals were also found to cause increased skin absorption, which is not something you want since they have the potential to disrupt your body’s hormones. In comparison, natural sunscreens will often have one or more of the following active ingredients:
- Benzophenone-3, also known as Oxybenzone
- Cylcopentasiloxane / Cyclomethicone – reproductive toxin and endocrine disruptor
- Formaldehyde (Diazolidinyl urea, Quaternium-15, DMDM Hydantoin and Hydroxymethylglycinate) – human carcinogen and ecotoxin
- Homosalate – hormone disrupter
- Octinoxate / Octyl methoxycinnamate – endocrine disruptor that can mimic hormones
Next time you will be shopping for sunscreen, read the label carefully and choose the one that won’t be harmful for neither you nor the environment. Or prepare your own sunscreen from carefully selected ingredient. What I like to do after sun exposure and cleanup is to re-hydrate the skin and restore the moisture barrier especially on the face since the fat layer is thinner; I use DMAE Concentrated Restorative cream mainly because I know the purity of the ingredients and what it can do for dermal health. Whatever you choose make sure you limit your time spent in direct sun to really enjoy the maximum benefits of what it can offer.