So all Sunscreen is "Poisonous." What Should I Do?

Well, the sunshine has finally found its way to Seattle! The days are longer and warmer and it’s time for me to get out my linen shorts and start making sunscreen part of the daily routine again. I know we’re a bit late in the game on the sunshine front, but I thought I’d walk you through my choices and thoughts on choosing my sunscreen for this summer.

So...all the sunscreen is “poisonous” What should I do?

This is a pretty big problem for a blonde haired, blue eyed, fair skinned person like myself. It’s very possible that my sunburn of 1997 incident is the reason they created SPF 50+ sunscreen. My entire life, EVERYONE, has been pushing the sunscreen. My mom, my whole family, complete strangers around pools and on beaches. I get it. I gotta keep the sun away from my pale, pale skin. So, for 28 years, I did what everyone said was best...what I believed was best. I slathered on the sunscreen and always kept a pair of Jackie O sunglasses on hand.

Until a couple of years ago, when I started hearing that all the sunscreen is poisonous and is going to give us cancer. Rumor has it that the sunscreen is now more dangerous than the sun herself. Alright. I mean, let’s be real here. It seems everything ever is going to give us cancer these days. The TV, the microwave, deodorant, the list goes on and on. The truth is, we have to be wise in what advice we take and what we decide to pass on. We’re constantly bombarded with information--most of the time very contradictory information--and so we have to create some guidelines and make some choices.

That being said, this is absolutely not a post to tell you that all sunscreen is awful and you should never use it again. This is a post about the choice I made with the information I was given, and perhaps some insight if you’re still somewhere on the fence with the whole sunscreen debate. This is not at all a deeply researched piece explaining to you the pros and cons of different sunscreens and the scientific research behind my decisions (Though I do include several links with a lot of great information.) I just want to be clear about that.

I have landed, I suppose, on the more natural side of things. For me, this makes sense. For as long as I can remember, I have only liked realistic things. I didn’t like Barbies, only very life-like baby dolls. I didn’t want doll clothes, I wanted real baby clothes. I just don’t like fake. So, I guess it follows that I don’t love products or foods or anything really that is at all fake. I love to read a label and know what every ingredient is and I love to know that they’ve remained in their purest, realest forms. That’s just who I am. I have slowly incorporated this into lots of areas of my life. One by one, I’ve found natural solutions to replace all of the synthetic stuff. Last year, that was in regards to sunscreen. Below are some great thoughts, some more information, and some options if you do decide to take a more natural route in your sunscreen shopping this summer.

Suggestion #1: Make your own
This can be a little bit time consuming and involved, but if you love a fun weekend project, then it’s really not too bad. Get some girls together and have a fun Saturday morning!

Thankfully, I was already on the essential oils train and had a friend who was a pro in all of this natural stuff. So, we spent a day whipping up a homemade, essential oil, all natural ingredients sunscreen. I am posting the recipe below as well as an Amazon list of all the products you will need. It is a little bit of an investment, however, all of these ingredients can be used across the board. You can make creams, lotions, bath salts, and a whole slew of other things with the same set of things. Maybe have everyone bring a couple of ingredients to split up the cost!

I should let you know, I (who burn easier than anyone else on planet earth) used this sunscreen exclusively on my trip to Israel last year in the middle of July. That’s right, this stuff protected my skin from the Middle Eastern Desert summer sun! I was a little nervous but so impressed. Sure I got a little bit of color, but nothing ridiculous, which for me is saying a lot.

Here is a recipe exactly like the one I used (I like that she explains her steps and purpose for each ingredient. This blog has some great insights and thoughts that expand on mine above.

**I feel the need to note here, DO NOT include any citrus oils in your recipe. Citrus oils actually increase sun sensitivity and can cause worse burns. I used a combination of peppermint and lavender in mine and absolutely loved it. Not to mention, lavender is great for the skin and peppermint added a bit of coolness when applying. 

This is me riding a camel in a gas station parking lot on the border of Jordan. In the middle of July. This sunscreen works people!

Standing on top of Masada. Literally as close to the Israeli desert sun as we could get. 120 degrees plus. And no sunburn!

Here's everything you need for this recipe on Amazon:

1. Beeswax
2. Almond Oil
3. Zinc Oxide Powder (**you need to make sure to cover eyes and mouth when using)
4. Carrot Seed Oil
5. Shea Butter
6. Vitamin E Oil
8. And...some cute storage ideas…
9. Essential Oils (I use doTERRA)

Suggestion #2: Info and Options
Including some links below with a lot of great options in all different price ranges. These links include a lot of good information and food for thought and go a bit deeper into the debate about sunscreen. They’re worth scanning!

Organic Authority: The 31 Best Natural Sunscreens of 2017

Suggestion #3: Affordable Options
Here are the most affordable options that I found. All of these are available on Amazon and at Target. I included the Target links that show you a great sampling of products within each brand, but you can always price check against Amazon.

Alba Sensitive Mineral Sunscreen $10-$15

Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion/Spray $8-$15

Trader Joe’s Mineral Sunscreen Stick 
Obviously not available at Target, but it is on Amazon if you don’t have a store near you! Super tiny and easily tucked in any purse or wristlet.

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