Do You Dare to Use Conventional Sunscreens? Here's How to Make Your Own

Dansk 🇩🇰

This post contains affiliate links

sunscreen.jpg

Do you dare to use conventional sunscreens?

I'm convinced that most conventional sunscreens cannot protect against skin cancer and that they may actually increase the risk instead.

Sunburn is harmful, but sunscreens are not a healthy way to avoid it.

It may sound crazy. But several things indicate that there’s something about my claim.

Firstly, cases of melanoma have increased in the years since sunscreen use began - even in children, which is a bit wild as melanoma is something that usually takes many years to develop.

Secondly, many sunscreens contain hormone-disrupting substances that are not recommended for use on children - or adults. Besides, vitamin-D is necessary for proper hormone formation, and sunscreens block our natural access to this vitamin, which is also crucial for a well-functioning immune system.

Typical hormone disruptors in ordinary sunscreens:

  • BHT is extensively used as an antioxidant in foods, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals with possible endocrine disrupting effect.  
  • Methylparaben and propylparaben are used as preservatives.
  • Cyclopentasiloxane is one of many types of silicones and acts as a softener. The Danish Food Institute DTU has estimated that the substance is suspected of being an endocrine disrupter. The EU’s Scientific Committee has evaluated Cyclopentasiloxane as not being safe to use in body lotions. Cyclopentasiloxane is also problematic to the environment where it accumulates.
  • Oxybenzone also known as benzophenone-3 also and Ethylhexyl methoxycinnamate are a sun protection filters that also are suspected of being hormonal disruptors. Oxybenzone was found in 96% of the population in a 2012 study, this is especially alarming since oxybenzone is considered an endocrine disruptor, can reduce sperm count in men and may contribute to endometriosis in women. 

Thirdly, conventional sunscreens may also be allergic, especially perfume can be allergenic. Perfume is labelled as 'perfum' or 'fragrance'.

Fourth. The nanoparticles. Methylene bis-benzotriazolyl tetramethylbutylphenol (nano), titanium dioxide (nano) and zinc oxide (nano) are the nanoparticles found in many sunscreens.

EU has approved the use of certain nano chemicals in skincare products and assessed that it’s safe as long as the product is used on intact skin and not as an aerosol spray. However, there is still some concern about the possible effects of nanoparticles in sunscreens. It is still discussed whether it may be possible for these small particles to enter the bloodstream, where they may potentially cause toxicity and side effects. So far, studies have found these nano substances to be safe, but we can expect to see more research emerge in the coming years. I for sure will not put it on my skin.

The Environment

Sunscreens harm the environment, and especially the oceans suffer.

The massive amounts of sunscreen contaminate the marine environment. Researchers estimate that over 5,000 tons of sunscreen is washed off of swimmers every year. This "swimming pollution" threatens a large part of the coral life in the ocean and indirectly many other ocean species too.

Different substances with EDTA are problematic, as they can desorb heavy metals bound to sediments and also prevent heavy metal sedimentation, thus absorbed by animals and plants and returned to the food chain where they end up on your dinner plate. Look for names that include EDTA.

MORE: The Amazing Health Benefits of Safe Sun Exposure

How I protect myself from sunburn

I want thicker and juicier skin and lots of natural vitamin D.

I can get that by avoiding the UVA rays as much as possible, and slowly adapting my skin to the UVB rays without burning, but by gradually building a healthy tan.

I have very fair skin that easily burns.

I start the tanning season by sunbathing at noon (1 o'clock - daylight saving time). I keep a close eye on my skin and check it at least after ten minutes. When I notice a slight redness, I seek shelter. As my skin begins to turn brown, I can stay out longer, but I rarely expose my skin for longer for 25 minutes on each side of my body. The sun is quite intense during springtime in Denmark, so I’m cautious then.

When I’m in areas closer to the equator, I rarely lie down to sunbath. First of all I find it hot, and secondly, the sun is a little too harsh for my Scandinavian skin. In these places I normally go for a walk along the beach in a bikini for a 10-15 minute as a starter and then slowly build up my skin's tolerance.

I keep away from sun exposure in the morning and afternoon because UVA radiation may seem mild, however these rays penetrate deep into the layers of your skin and cause wrinkles and dryness.

I almost never use sunscreen. Cause I daren’t. Instead, I cover my skin with clothes or hit the shade.

If for some reason I have to stay outside for long periods of time and I’m unprotected, or if I have to drive my car in the sunshine, I use SPF, and then I’ll use my own make.

What you should know about UVA and UVB rays

UVB:

  • UVB produces vitamin-D and melanin. 
  • UVB is low in the morning, evening and winter, and high at midday in spring and summer. 
  • UVB only penetrates the top layers of the dermis. They are the rays that burn the skin, but also the ones that provide the essential vitamin-D.
  • UVB rays provide a delayed pigmentation - approx. After 3-7 days, and that’s the pigmentation/ colour we want, and it lasts for several weeks.
  • UVB rays increase melanin in the skin, and melanin is what gives skin colour. The purpose of melanin is to protect the skin against sunburn. So we have a built-in mechanism that naturally protects us. Once we have a tan, it’s harder to get burned. Furthermore. Melanin help make the skin moister and a little thicker.

UVA:

  • The UV-A rays are the ones that damage and age the skin. UVA is relatively constant throughout the day and the year. Although it’s only about 15% of the UVA rays at noon, that cause redness, they inevitably penetrate into the deep layers of skin where they destroy elasticity and collagen.
  • UVA rays also penetrate through glass and car windows ...
uvauvb.jpg

Natural Sunscreen Recipe

If you are going to have long exposure wear layers or use a natural sunscreen with no man-made ingredients. This one is all natural, it protects efficiently and only takes 10 minutes to make. Or you can buy the one I make.

Homemade Sunscreen (blocks out both UVA and UVB)

Note that one kind of oil can do the job too. So if you only have coconut oil or olive oil in the house, that's what you go with. Just remember that the zinc oxide is quite essential for adequate protection.

Coconut oil, olive oil and shea butter all have a little natural sun factor - about 2-4 SPF.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons zinc oxide (This is a non-nano version that won’t be absorbed into the skin. Be careful not to inhale the powder).
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons shea butter
  • Optional: 1 tsp. vitamin-E oil
  • Optional: Essential Oils, Helichrysum*, Ylang Ylangor Chamolile or other natural extracts to suit your preference. But avoid citrus oils like orange, grapefruit, lime, lemon etc. because these oils are photosenitive and can damage your skin when exposed to the sun.

*) Helichrysum (also named Immortelle) is a fabulous essential oil that can help hydrate burnt skin and relieve the pain following sunburns. It can also decrease signs of ageing and age spots on the skin and block UV-light.

Instructions:

  • Melt the olive oil and the shea butter over medium heat.
  • Remove from heat as soon as it’s melted.
  • Add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
  • Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.

Use as you would regular sunscreen. Always shake well before use. Best if used within six months.

Additional Notes:

  • This sunscreen is somewhat, but not completely, waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming.
  • This recipe has officially an SPF of about 15, but the zinc oxide actually act as a quite and efficient sun blocker, but you can always add more  zinc oxide to your recipe if you want to further increase SPF.
  • I recommend coconut or vanilla extract or lavender essential oils for fragrance.
  • Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.
  • I prefer to store in a small canning jar and apply like body butter.
  • Remove the zinc oxide and this makes an excellent lotion recipe and still has some protection.

Sources

Dislaimer:

All information in this blog is strictly for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. The statements made in this blog have not been evaluated by The Danish Health Authority. The products linked to in this book and any information published on this blog are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The information provided by this blog is not a substitute for a faceto-face consultation with your physician, and should not be construed as medical advice. The entire contents of this blog are based upon the opinions of Hanne Robinson. By reading and using this blog, you agree to only use this publication for personal informational use and not as a substitute for medical or other professional advice.