☀️ It’s officially summer and that means people are rushing out to buy sunscreens all over the world. Sunscreen for their face, sunscreen for their body, spray on sunscreen, makeup with sunscreen in it, sunscreen for your lips, etc., etc., etc. Learning how to make your own DIY Non Toxic Mineral Sunscreen is a lot easier than it sounds.
In case you haven’t heard, sunscreen is a big deal to a LOT of people.
It should be simple enough: it’s summer, you need sunscreen, you go out to buy sunscreen from your favorite store or just the most convenient store and you expect all the sunscreen options they offer you to be safe because…why wouldn’t they be? Would companies really put harmful, toxic and even carcinogenic products in sunscreen? Could the very disease you are trying to prevent (cancer) really be lurking in that bottle of Coppertone? Could that really expensive sunscreen from Sephora with the French name really just be chemical soup in a pretty bottle?
The answer is yes. There are a TON of toxic chemicals in the most common and the most exclusive sunscreens on the market. So what is a person covered in skin supposed to do?
Well, you can spend a few hours online sifting through the varying (and contradictory) reports on the safety of sunscreen which will eventually cause you to abandon the reconnoissance mission and reach for a bottle of wine instead…
OR…you can scroll down and read up on the research that I’ve found and, as a bonus, watch a video on how I made my own sunscreen. (I know, it just keeps getting better 😉)
It’s about to get reaaaal simple 😊
First thing’s first:
- There are TWO types of sunscreens: chemical and mineral and I bet you can guess which one is better for you.
- SPF stands for Skin Protection Factor, SPF protects against UVB rays, and it is actually unnecessary to entertain SPFs higher than 50 as the added protection of higher SPFs is minimal
- SPF 15 blocks 93% of the sun’s UVB rays. SPF 30 blocks 97%. SPF 50 blocks 98% and SPF 70 blocks 98.5%. See what I mean?
- A lot of companies touting 70, 90, and 100 SPF don’t mention that for that fraction of increased protection you’re actually getting almost double the toxic ‘inactive’ ingredients. So, make sure to use a sunscreen that is at least 30 SPF and no higher than 50 (unless you made it yourself and used non-toxic ingredients) *A great rule of thumb for skincare and cosmetics: if the ingredients list is more than 10, pull out your phone and get to Googling those 11+ word ingredients and see what you find. Chances are, it won’t be pretty.
- UVA vs UVB rays
- UVB rays are what causes sunburn
- UVA rays cause radiation, aging, and skin cancer
Ok, so SPF protects against UVB rays which cause sunburn…whoop-dee-do, they’re annoying but they’re not deadly. UVA rays sound way more scary so how the heck do you protect yourself from those? Is that even possible?
Yes, yes it is my friend.
Zinc Oxide protects against both UVA and UVB rays.
I know. Thank God, right?
Are you sitting down? Because zinc oxide is also totally safe. You can purchase it here.
ZINC OXIDE is a natural mineral which provides the safest and most effective protection against UV rays. Unlike chemical sunscreens, zinc forms a physical barrier on the skin, reflecting the sun’s rays rather than absorbing them. Zinc Oxide is the best performing ingredient for blocking both UVA and UVB rays. Zinc is nontoxic and less irritating to skin than chemical sunscreens.
ZINC OXIDE is found in the Earth’s crust as natural mineral zincite. Most zinc is manufactured by French process, in which the zinc is melted, vaporized and cooled to produce zinc particles.
- Do a patch test to make sure you’re not allergic.
- If you want an SPF of 20+ from the zinc oxide alone, use 1 oz. which is about 6 tsp.
- If you use more than 6 tsp, you risk increasing the white cast that the sunscreen will leave so add a higher concentration of a carrier oil (like coconut or jojoba) to counter this.
I came across a few other DIYers who used Red Raspberry Oil in their recipes. Red raspberry seed oil provides an SPF of 28-50 against UVB rays and an SPF of 8 against UVA rays.
When researching the safety of Red Raspberry oil, I found this:
Federal studies indicate that it [red raspberry oil] may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions when applied to skin in the presence of sunlight. Vitamin A can spur excess skin growth which is the initial stage of sun cancer
Excess Vitamin A seems to be the culprit. Vitamin A is added to dairy products and people consume wayyy too much dairy as is, so is it the Red Raspberry oil or our dairy addiction and the toxic chemicals in sunscreen that are causing this government reported connection between Vitamin A and skin cancer?
Let’s examine this further.
Studies on dairy intake and Vitamin A:
“Based on recommended intakes for dairy products in Spain, the consumption of three standard portions / day provide about 16% of the RDI for vitamin A (1000 ug/d). The same consumption but using fortified/ supplemented milk and yoghourt, may increase the contribution up to 39% (vitamin A).”
-From The National Center for Biotechnology Information
“There is no evidence that the vitamin A palmitate added to milk is associated with health risks. In fact, it helps prevent nutritional deficiencies in the Canadian diet.”
So they say Vitamin A in dairy is safe but wha about in sunscreen?
“Take retinyl palmitate (Vitamin A). One study found that when mice were coated in a retinyl palmitate cream and exposed to UV light, they had accelerated growth of skin cancer. But Zeichner stressed that the results of a lone study done on mice in a lab can’t really be applied to humans in the real world. The fact is that no study shows the ingredient can up the risk of skin cancer in humans.”
Check out this funny example of yellow journalism from The Daily Mail:
“Organic enthusiasts are risking contracting skin cancer by using DIY sunscreen, doctors warn.
In a worrying trend on the internet, alternative health bloggers are advising people to use coconut oil and beeswax to protect their skin because shop-bought sunscreen has ‘toxic ingredients’.
Some advocates claim that ingredients such as carrot seed oil and red raspberry seed oil have a sun-protecting SPF of up to 50 – a claim dismissed as ‘absolute nonsense’ by medical experts.”
Now check out yet another contradictory report:
Can high oral doses of vitamin A reduce melanoma risk? A 2012 study suggests it can, contradicting recent speculation that retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A commonly added to sunscreens and low-fat dairy products, increases users’ risk of skin cancer when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light. More than two million people will be diagnosed with skin cancer in the US in 2012.
So federal orgs and derms OK’d the thousands of chemical sunscreen products on the market that include Vitamin A, but now that more people are starting to make their own recipes that include Vitamin A but WITHOUT the chemical soup, all of a sudden Vitamin A causes skin cancer? Sounds like a hit job to me. If you find that hard to believe, check out the recent propaganda that was recently released on the ‘dangers’ (lol) of coconut oil.
I’m sure the canola oil industry had $omething to do with that. The report was written by the AHA (the American Heart Association). This is the same company that takes lobbying money from the meat and dairy industry and suggests red-meat skewers as healthy food for your heart lol. If you haven’t already, please check out the film ‘What the Health’ on Netflix. This documentary will. change. your. life. For the better 🙂
So, here’s my take on this: excess Vitamin A could very well lead to higher rates of skin cancer. However, Vitamin A in organic sunscreens is not the culprit. The average American consumes slightly less than two cups of total dairy each day, and the USDA recommends an even higher amount: 2-3 cups. Also interesting to note is that the countries that have higher rates of dairy consumption also have higher rates of skin cancer (Denmark, France, Netherlands).
It sounds like high fortified dairy consumption compounded with slathering your skin with toxic chemicals (see a list of common carcinogens lurking in your store-bought sunscreens below) is the skin cancer culprit.
So if all of this expensive research goes into the safety of sunscreens, then why do some of the most popular sunscreens contain carcinogens such as these:?
- Para amino benzoic acid
- Octyl salicyclate
- Menthyl anthranilate
Things that make you go hmmm…
Now that that’s out of the way, here’s how to make your own non-toxic sunscreen with an SPF of about 35
DIY Non-Toxic Mineral Sunscreen
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 1/8 cup coconut oil
- 1/8 cup jojoba oil
- 1/8 cup zinc oxide
- 1 tsp red raspberry oil
Melt down 1/4 cup shea butter in a double boiler. Take a sauce pan and fill a bit less than 1/2 full and bring to a boil. Place a glass bowl on top of the pan to mix the ingredients.
Add in 1/8 cup jojoba oil
Add in 1/4 cup coconut oil and bring to a simmer
Slowly stir in 1/8 cup zinc oxide powder and mix well
Remove from heat and carefully pour into a glass jar
Add 1 tsp red raspberry oil and stir
Let cool overnight (refrigeration is optional)
- If you want to add essential oils to your sunscreen for fragrance (optional), do not use citrus oils with high levels of furanoids which can be phototoxic and/or will cause photosensitivity. Sweet orange and tangerine oils are fine because they do not contain high levels of furanoids.
- 1/4 cup = 2 oz, 1/8 cup = 1 oz
If you don’t have the time or the inkling to make your own diy non toxic mineral sunscreen, you can just mix zinc oxide powder with your favorite lotion (be sure to check the ingredients though) and you’re good to go.
Here’s the sunscreen in action (unedited) pictured next to an arm without sunscreen. You can see that there is hardly any white cast left on the skin after rubbing in completely. If you find that yours leaves a white cast, then stir in more of a light carrier oil like coconut (melted) or jojoba.
1. Get 20+ minutes of sunshine daily
2. Cover up with light clothing before you get burnt
3. Wear natural sunscreen if you’re going to stay out for a long period of time
4. Eat a diet high in anti-oxidants to protect your skin
5. If you get burnt, use a mixture of aloe, coconut oil and vitamin E on your skin afterward
Bonus Tip: an even faster way is to take a non-toxic lotion and add a few tsps of zinc oxide and mix well. Make sure the lotion does not have any citrus in it since it blocks zinc absorption.
Watch the DIY non toxic mineral sunscreen recipe tutorial here:
- Does higher SPF protect better? Answer here
- Most conventional sunscreens are toxic. Read more here
- The problem with Vitamin A? Read the propaganda here and a contradiction here
- Does Vitamin A really interfere with zinc absorption? Answer here
- Read about Vitamin A in dairy here
- Read about American Dairy Consumption here
- Countries with highest rates of skin cancer
- Countries with highest rates of dairy consumption
- What is Zinc Oxide?
- Another recipe here
- Yet another recipe here
- One more here