Summah-time, n' the livin's easy... well not exactly. There's so much misinformation out there on sun protection, and the "dangers" of sun exposure. And so many decisions to choose from when it comes to sunscreens. It can be very stressful trying to keep your family safe. Did you know that vitamin D is crucial to your health and immune system? And the very best source of vitamin D is, you guessed it, the sun! So be sure to catch 10-20 minutes of sun a day on as much of your skin that you can legally expose.
Many mainstream sunblocks and sunscreens contain harmful chemicals that can actually CAUSE cancer, making them very much counterproductive. There are some safe options out there, but many are not safe. And if the SPF is over 30 then there is likely dangerous, even carcinogenic chemicals in it to make it a high SPF. Though many oils from nature, like carrot seed oil or red raspberry seed oil, are a natural SPF (some even higher than 30 and are very safe). Even coconut oil and shea butter are said to have an SPF of at least 4.
If you are planning on being out in the sun for long periods of time, a nice, safe, natural sunscreen may be necessary. Here is a wonderful natural, organic, nano-free, chemical free, DIY sunscreen recipe you can make right in your kitchen at home. The children may even like to help you in making this. (Though be very cautious and have everyone wear a mask when handling the zinc oxide as it is not good for the lungs if inhaled). It can be a great learning opportunity not only to teach them about measurements, but that making homemade products for the family can be healthier for them and save the family money.
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Here is the recipe:
¼ cup coconut oil (organic, raw, and unrefined)
¼ cup beeswax (organic and cosmetic grade)
2 Tablespoons non-nano zinc oxide
*Be careful not to inhale the powder!
Up to 2 teaspoons Red Raspberry Seed Oil or Carrot Seed Oil
2 tablespoons Shea Butter (organic, African, raw, unrefined)
Optional: Use a couple drops of essential oil for fragrance. (Do not use citrus essential oils as they increase sun sensitivity). I reccomend vanilla and/or lavender
*Remember our skin is the largest organ of the body and absorbs whatever we put on it with 26 seconds. Be sure to buy organic ingredients whenever possible as to not poison your body with toxins.
In a double broiler, or mason jar in a small pot of water, stir all the ingredients except for the zinc oxide and essential oils. When all ingredients are liquefied and mixed well, remove from heat and stir in the zinc oxide and essential oils. Remember to be careful not to inhale the zinc oxide powder. Keep stirring occasionally until cooled so the zinc stays evenly distributed. Store in the refrigerator (or cooler on a hot day).
I quadrupled this recipe and it filled three 8oz jars, plus a couple ounces extra I put in a smaller container for reapplying to my childrens' faces when we are out and about on sunny days.
Find Lil' Olive Tree Organic Non-Nano Sunscreen at Dimora di Pace in Mullica Hill, NJ.
For those who aren't the DIY type of people, here are some safe-for-the-whole-family sunscreen options you can purchase online:
Blue Lizard Baby
Badger Baby Certified Organic
For extra sensitive skin and those with eczema, I recommend:
ABC Arbonne Baby Care Sunscreen (This is what I use on the whole family when we are on the go and are either in the sun for a long period of time, or by a body of water)
Trukid Eczema Daily Sunscreen
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Hope you all have a happy, fun, and healthy Summer!