Why Sunscreen is Needed
Sunscreens protect again several different kinds of radiation, namely:
Ultraviolet-A (UVA) - known for damaging the layers of skin beneath the surface which essentially means, these are the rays that give you age spots, wrinkles, sagging skin and melanoma- aka the deadliest form of skin cancer.
Ultraviolet-B (UVB)- which are know for damaging the outer layers of skin- aka- visible sunburn, age spots, wrinkling and can also cause skin cancer as well
Chemicals in Sunscreen/Sunblockers
There is a wide range of not-so-healthy chemicals found in sunscreens and sunblockers:
UVA Blocking Chemicals:
- avobenzone: Lab tests in animals indicate mutation of internal organs including ovarian/egg mutations
- benzophenone- studies indicate use of this chemical causes endocrine disruption and is classified as toxic/harmful and bioaccumulative
- oxybenzone- studies indicate this chemical causes allergies, is an immune system toxicant, photoallergenic toxicant, endocrine disruptor, is it believed to accumulate in the system and cause developmental and reproductive issues/toxicity. This chemical mimics estrogen and may be a cause of endometriosis (abnormal uterine tissue growth that causes severe pain)
- Sulisobenzone- this is not overly effective on it's own, but is used to enhance the effects of other chemicals in the forumla, One or more animal studies show broad systemic effects at high doses
UVB Blocking Chemicals
Commonly used UVB blocking chemicals include: minobenzoic acid, cinoxate, homosalate, octocrylene, octyl methoxycinnamate, octisalate, padimate O, phenylbenzimidazole sulfonic acid, sulisobenzone and trolamine salicyate
- Homosalate- Research indicates it is a weak hormone disruptor, and sunlight breaks down the chemical into harmful byproducts.
- Octocrylene- Produces excess reactive oxygen species that can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, lead to cell death and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease.
- Octyl Methoxycinnamate- there are over 600 studies linking this to various illness, disease, mutagenic qualities, etc
- Padimate O- research shows this chemical releases free radicals, damages DNA, has estrogenic activity, and causes allergic reactions in some people - This chemical interferes with cellular signaling and is known to cause mutations that lead to cell death & is believed to cause cardiovascular disease.
Some sunscreens even contain harmful chemicals such as Padimate-0 and parsol 1789 (aka avobenzone) which is believed to cause DNA damage when exposed to sunlight. One of the UV-filters, BP-3, has been found in 96% of urine samples in the US and several UV-filters in 85% of Swiss breast milk samples.
Broad Spectrum Options
Options that provide Protection from both UVA And UVB are called Broad spectrum chemicals and include:
dioxybenzone, oxybenzone, ulisobenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide
We use either titanium dioxide or Zinc Oxide as our sun block for several reasons- first, it is one of the very few that block both UVA & UVB rays, secondly, it is a Physical Sunscreen- which means that it turns your skin white before it is absorbed- it works instantly and doesn't need 20 before you go into the sun to start working. It's also excellent for those with sensitive skin & those who may have allergies or sensitivities to various chemicals. It's the least toxic and reportedly the safest option we've found, shy of avoiding the sun altogether (which would simply result in a Vitamin D deficiency, but that's another post altogether.
Did you know that the use of Certain Sunscreens on your skin can chemically alter the hormones within your body and CAUSE skin cancer? Check out the Dr Oz video link below to see a special episode explaining more dangers of sunscreens
- Sunscreens: are they beneficial for health? An overview of endocrine disrupting properties of UV-filters
- No Hype Facts about Sunscreen & what's in them
MYO No Sweat Sunscreen Stick
This No Sweat Sunscreen stick can be applied without getting it all over everything and having a stinky, greasy mess. Glide the stick over your skin and then use a single hand to rub it on evenly. This sunscreen lasts 5-7 hours without reapplying, but if you have little ones swimming, we recommend reapplying after 2-3 hours.
You'll Need (For an Approximate SPF 35):
DO NOT DOUBLE THIS RECIPE!! IT WILL NOT WORK IF YOU DOUBLE IT!
4 Tbs. pure sweet almond oil (Natural SPF 5)
4 Tbs Coconut oil (Natural SPF 4-10)
2 Tbs Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide Powder (approximate SPF 20-25)
2 Tbs Beeswax (or 1 Tbs Beeswax & 1 Tbs Cocoa butter)
1/2 tsp Vit E Oil
1 Empty Deodorant Container or clean mason jar
In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil, beeswax (& cocoa butter if using it) and sweet almond oil together over very low heat (or use a double boiler) until all the ingredients are fully incorporated and the beeswax is completely melted.
Remove from heat and add the Titanium dioxide powder, it is imperative that you wear a face mask and DO NOT BREATHE in the dust. While this ingredient has been deemed perfectly safe to apply to skin, it is NOT safe to breathe it in ANY amount. Stir it in gently to avoid causing dust to enter the air, I used a mini whisk. Add the vitamin E, stirring well. Pour the sunscreen into an empty deodorant container or into a glass jar like this one:
Let it cool and harden completely before use. Use as you would any sunscreen.
We're not saying this method is for everyone, but this is what I'm using for our family to help reduce the amount of toxic chemicals we're putting into our bodies.
For additional recipes check out:
- No Secrets Deodorant- a DIY option that is chemical free and actually works all day
- Laundry Sauce- super concentrated no-fail homemade detergent
- Cosmetics & Beauty Recipes
The Titanium Dioxide is about $20 a bag, but will last you for the rest of your life, lol. It will make a large number of recipes and can be added to other homemade cosmetics and beauty recipes as well. The total SPF is about 35 depending on which oils you choose as a carrier.
Free Printable Labels for your Homemade Sunscreen
If you'd prefer to use a different oil rather than Coconut, here are some alternatives:
List of 10 oils with natural UV-ray protecting properties:
Carrot Seed Oil: SPF 38-40
Raspberry Seed Oil: SPF 28-50
Wheatgerm Oil: SPF 20
Avocado Oil: SPF 4-15
Coconut Oil: SPF 2-8
Olive Oil: SPF 2-8 (NOT Recommended)
Macadamia Nut Oil: SPF 6
Almond Oil: SPF 5
Shea Butter: SPF 3-6
Jojoba Oil: SPF 4
DO NOT DOUBLE THIS RECIPE! When you double the recipe the ingredients settle causing the LAST Sunscreen stick to be extremely Potent and contain ALL of the sunscreen properties, rendering the others completely USELESS.
Disclaimer for Sue-Happy People who prefer to get ahead in life the easy way: You are responsible for your Self, by using this site you agree to this site's TOS, we are not doctors, physicists or chemists, nor do we play one the internet, this is just what we personally use.