Summertime means longer days and more time outdoors. Juicy watermelon, fresh salads and lots of sun-ripened fruits are things that also come to mind when I think of summer. The summers here in Switzerland for the past two years have been fantastic. Longer than usual and we have spent a lot of time in the water and outside.
The hot weather and sunny days mean that I need to use some sunscreen when I know we’re going to be outside for a long time. While I don’t use a lot of sunscreen because I prefer to get some vitamin D, I put some on after about 20-30 minutes of direct-sun contact. If my kids are playing outside for an extended period of time or we are spending the day at the pool, I’ll also use sunscreen on them.
Revealed Dangers of Commercial Sunscreen
I think many people are aware of the dangers of plastics. We have been warned for years about not heating plastic items with food in the microwave because of the dangers of the chemical BPA and phthalates leaching into food. (1) These chemicals are endocrine disruptors, or in other words, they disrupt your hormones. Many of these chemicals mimic estrogen. Our body is a symphony of hormone coordination so an imbalance of hormones in any area can eventually lead to a cascade of problems.
But, what about sunscreen? Commercial sunscreens use a cocktail of chemicals to block UVA and UVB rays. Some of these chemicals are used to enhance absorbability. Here’s a list of the most common ones. (2)
The chemical used most commonly and has the greatest concern is oxybenzone. Recent research is suggesting that this chemical has shown to be an endocrine disruptor. (3) Not every chemical on the list is an endocrine disruptor, but we are not yet aware of the unintended consequences of repeated chemical exposures and their effect on human health.
Steer Clear of Nano Particles, As Well
The 6 most common chemical ingredients listed above are to be avoided. However, other common and non-hormone-disrupting ingredients can also cause issues. Zinc oxide and titanium oxide. These ingredients are common in ‘mineral sunscreens’ and used by people who are sensitive to chemical sunscreens.
Nano particles have been seen to show up in the liver and should be avoided. (4)
What To Do?!
If you are wondering what to do about all these chemicals that seem to wreak havoc, you have an option. You can make your own sunscreen! It’s very simple and easy to do. Here are the items you’ll need.
- A spray bottle or container
- 100 ml or 1/2 cup of coconut oil (find it here)
- 79 ml or 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tbs of non-nano zinc oxide (find it here)
- a few drops of essential oil (optional) (find it here)
1. Add the coconut oil, olive oil and zinc oxide to a pan.
2. Once the oils and zinc oxide start to heat up, mix together.
3. Add a few drops of your essential oil of choice (I used lavender) and, voila! You’re done!
- 100 ml or 1/2 cup of coconut oil
- 79 ml or 1/3 cup of olive oil
- 2 tbs or 15 grams of zinc oxide
- a few drop of essential oil of your choice (I used lavender)
- All all the ingredients in a pan and heat on medium. Stir all ingredients together then pour slowly into a bottle or jar.
The combination of the coconut oil and lavender in our version is just heavenly and feels so luxurious! It’s the only sunscreen my daughters will use now because it smells so good!
Wishing you all peace and wellness,
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