The American Academy of Dermatology estimates that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer at some point in life. One of the best ways to protect the skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays is to apply sunscreen, but most commercial sunscreens contain ingredients that harm the skin and threaten the health of coral reefs. That is why we are supplying you with a natural sunscreen that protects the skin without harming it.
What Makes An Effective Sunscreen?
Sunscreen is a difficult product to understand, primarily because the ingredient list contains ingredients that you can’t pronounce. When purchasing sunscreen, people look out for SPF level, broad spectrum, and sun-blocking abilities. Let’s explore a few of those below.
Broad Spectrum: These sunscreens protect the skin from both ultraviolent B (UVB) and ultraviolet A (UVA) rays. UVB rays are closely linked to skin cancer, while UVA rays can penetrate the skin and cause early signs of aging, like wrinkles.
Sunblock: This term describes products that protect the skin from absorbing UV rays. Sun-protecting products typically contain a mix of sunblock and sunscreen ingredients.
SPF Level: Sun protection factor (SPF) is a numerical estimate of how well a product protects the skin from UVB rays. In order to keep the skin safe from UVB rays, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends using products with an SPF of 30 or higher.
Why Should You Use A Natural Sunscreen?
Most natural sunscreens use the active ingredients in plants to create a protective layer on the skin that essentially reflects UV rays. Natural sunscreens rely on minerals like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide instead of the chemicals in commercial sunscreens to protect your skin.
The Vitamin D Factor: The body needs vitamin D, and some commercial sunscreens prevent the body from absorbing it. Chemicals like oxybenzone (a known hormone disruptor) are not beneficial for the body, especially if you are deficient in vitamin D.
Protect Coral Reefs: According to recent research, an estimated 5,000 metric tons of sunscreen wash off beach goers into the ocean every year. The reason that sunscreen threatens coral life is because certain compounds can awaken dormant viruses in symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae, which feed coral and give it the vibrant color.
No Hormone-Disrupting Ingredients: Is it coincidental that skin cancer rates began to rise once people started using commercial sunscreens? Many scientific reports say that sunscreens contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals, which can be harmful to children. Chemicals like oxybenzone, a common chemical in sunscreen, are banned in certain areas around the world.
A Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup beeswax
- 2 tablespoons zinc oxide
- 1 teaspoon red raspberry seed oil
- 1 teaspoon carrot seed oil
- 2 tablespoons Shea butter (optional)
- Add all of the ingredients (except the zinc oxide) to a pint-sized or larger heat-safe glass.
- Pour a couple inches of water into a medium saucepan over medium heat. Place the jar in the saucepan and shake it every so often to help the ingredients melt.
- Once the ingredients are fully melted, remove from heat and stir in the zinc oxide. Allow the mixture to cool before screwing the lid on.
- Store this sunscreen at room temperature or in the refrigerator to increase shelf life.
- This is not a waterproof sunscreen and will need to be reapplied if you go in the water.