Updated: Jul 9, 2019
How to Find or Make Sunscreen that’s Safe
For your July 4th or summer beach vacations, we now know the importance of wearing sunscreen most of the time we’re in the sun. A JAMA Dermatology study found that 78% of people who only used an umbrella on a sunny beach day burned.
But applying enough sunscreen isn’t enough. What we don’t always look for are the chemicals and toxins that are in many sunblocks on the shelves.
Look for Paraben Free
We now know that parabens are carcinogenic (cancer causing) and endocrine disruptors so many companies have started to label their products paraben free.
Stay away from Oxybenzone
The EWG has rated oxybenzone an 8 (of 10) on their toxicity rating scale, meaning it is one of the most toxic ingredients found in cosmetic products.
Oxybenzone is one of the most commonly used sunscreen active ingredients, found in more than 60 percent of the non-mineral sunscreens, according to EWG, which lists it as not safe for kids especially. In fact, EWG called on the FDA to investigate the safety of Oxybenzone use in sunscreen, because of mounting evidence that the chemical readily penetrates the skin and could potentially disrupt the human endocrine and hormone system.
No PABA and Trolamine Salicylate either
Both are also listed unsafe in medical journals such as the Indian Journal of Dermatology.
Download the EWG Healthy Living App
This is a great resource to scan your product and see if your sunscreen is safe.
Make Your Own!
If you’re up for making your own sunblock - Coconut oil will do the trick! It has natural SPF. Here’s a simple recipe that will give you coverage and you can add whatever scent you like best:
Coconut Oil Sunblock Recipe:
3/4 cups coconut oil (SPF 15)
10 drops Lavender oil
2 tablespoons Zinc oxide powder (optional for higher than SPF 30)
2 tablespoons shea butter
First, mix all ingredients.
Melt the coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler, or heat them in a glass bowl above a smaller pot of boiling water.
Once the mixture is melted, gently stir in the zinc oxide powder, and the Lavender oil.
Place the mixture in the refrigerator for 10-20 minutes. You want it to begin to settle, but not fully harden.
I also recommend doing a detox during the summer in case you’ve had exposure to some harmful chemicals to rev up the body’s own natural ability to detoxify and unload the bodies burden. Sweating in a sauna is a great way to purge these toxins!