Daily sun exposure is essential to your overall health; it’s overexposure that could cause some issues. To protect against sunburn, use a non-toxic sunscreen like coconut oil, a do-it-yourself (DIY) sunscreen or opt for a low-risk, safe sunscreen that doesn’t contain health-compromising ingredients like the ones mentioned in Sun Exposure & Sunscreen: Friend or Foe? Part 2.
A Brief Explanation on UV Rays – Why You Want Broad-Spectrum Protection in Your Sunscreen
Sunlight consists of two types of ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun: UVA and UVB. UVA rays are less powerful than UVB rays, but penetrate deeper into the skin. UVA rays are primarily responsible for skin damage from excessive sun exposure that can lead to cancer and skin aging. Small daily doses of UVA causes long-term skin injury, even without signs of sunburn. UVA light is used in tanning booths and made be 20 times stronger than natural sunlight.
UVB rays don’t penetrate the skin as deeply as UVA but has more energy and therefore does more damage to the skin. Although UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn and skin cancer, they are necessary for your body to produce its own cancer-protective vitamin D. UVB is only partially blocked by clouds or fog so beware on those gray overcast days. I actually got second degree burns for spending too much time outside on an overcast day.
Coconut Oil – A Natural Sunscreen?
“Bruce Fife, ND, author of Coconut Cures: Preventing and Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut Oil, explains that coconut oil applied on the skin protects against sunburn and cancer. Unlike sunscreen, unprocessed coconut oil doesn’t completely block the UVB rays that are necessary for vitamin D synthesis. It protects the skin and underlying tissues from damage excessive exposure can cause. Instead of burning or turning red, it produces a light tan, depending on the length of time you spend in the sun.” per Natural Society Ditch the Toxic Sunscreen; Use Coconut Oil Instead
DIY Natural Sunscreen Options
If you want to make your own, check out these recipes for natural homemade sunscreens. I haven’t tried either but they look quite easy to make. You can find plenty of other recipes online. I did read one doctor say to be weary of the SPF protection. Just be smart, do your homework, and avoid becoming a sun worshiper!
Natural Sunscreens Options
If you’re not a DIY-type and you’re not sure which natural sunscreen to get, check out the Environment Working Group’s 2013 Sunscreen Guide. I use their Skin Deep Database as the first step in all my research. You will find a few of the options marked as safe in the Sunscreen Guide at XLvita.com.
Which brand of sunscreen is your favorite and why? Have you made your own sunscreen before? I’d love to hear from you.
♦ Natural Society Ditch Toxic Sunscreen Use & Coconut Oil Instead
♦ UCSF School of Medicine UV Radiation