Now that the days are longer, summer is nearing, and COVID-19 restrictions are relaxing, it’s time for fun in the sun. More people will emerge from their bubbles and head for the beach, lake, pool, or park to absorb natural vitamin D. Undoubtedly, there will be droves of people with rosy red or pink skin, the signature mark of sunscreen application failure. If you don’t want to fall into that category, lather up with the mineral sunscreen in this article.
More and more research points to the fact that many store bought sunscreens contain ingredients that harm the body. What most people don’t know is that the FDA allows sunscreen manufacturers to sell products with ingredients that are “GRASE,” or generally recognized as safe and effective. A few decades ago, the FDA required more testing from manufacturers for the safety of consumers. Because sunscreen has been around so long, it got grandfathered into the FDA’s surveillance system without rigorous safety testing.
Why Commercial Sunscreens Are Dangerous
Recently, the FDA revealed that the body can absorb common UV filters in chemical sunscreens in substantial amounts. These include ecamsule, avobenzone, octocrylene, and oxybenzone. The six active ingredients in common chemical sunscreens are homosalate, octocrylene, avobenzone, oxybenzone, octisalate, and octinoxate. While they filter the sun’s harmful rays, the body can easily absorb them and hold on to them for up to three weeks. This drastically exceeds the FDA threshold.
Several research studies found that oxybenzone can affect sperm function, breast development, and infant weight at birth. Additionally, this chemical contributes to the killing of coral reefs in the ocean. Because of this, the state of Hawaii banned the sale of sunscreens that contain octinoxate and oxybenzone in January 2021. In several tests, these chemicals were found at elevated levels in the blood, meaning they are not safe.
What Should You Do?
Nowadays, many commercial sunscreen brands are taking a much more responsible approach to manufacturing sunscreens. With the health of the human body and environmental preservation in mind, name brand sunscreens have eliminated many harmful chemicals. These newer sunscreens are not only reef-safe, but also safe for the body. It also helps that they protect your skin from UV rays via sun exposure. If they didn’t do that, then there would be no point in buying them!
If you still don’t trust commercial sunscreen brands, there are natural sunscreens that offer protection. Some people argue that sunscreen isn’t necessary, given that UV rays from the sun help the body make more vitamin D. This is true, but excessive exposure to UV rays without sunscreening up can increase the risk of skin cancer. More recently, skin cancer cases are on the rise, meaning the skin deserves protection!
Why Choose Natural Sunscreens?
A homemade mineral sunscreen may not last for six hours, but it certainly offers protection for a couple hours in the sun. Zinc oxide works to effectively block UV light waves that make it into the earth’s atmosphere. It shields your skin to support optimal health and well-being. Beeswax may not offer UV protection, but it gives homemade sunscreen waterproofing power. Finally, both shea butter and coconut oil help to offer mild sun protection factor (SPF).
DIY Homemade Mineral Sunscreen
- 90 grams coconut oil
- 65 grams sweet almond oil
- 27.5 grams shea butter
- 28.5 grams beeswax
- 30 grams non-nano zinc oxide
- 10 grams cacao powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vitamin E oil
- 25 drops lemon essential oil
- 25 drops lavender essential oil
- Add the coconut oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, and beeswax to a double boiler over low heat.
- Once all of the ingredients are melted, stir to combine.
- Remove from the heat and add the non-nano zinc oxide and cacao powder to the mixture. Stir well until there are no clumps.
- Pour in the vitamin E and essential oils and whisk to combine. The sunscreen should start to thicken up at this point.
- Once the sunscreen completely cools and thickens, transfer it to containers and store in a cool, dark place.
- To use, apply a thin layer of the mineral sunscreen to the skin every two hours. If you sweat or go in the water, consider applying every hour.