For years, I slathered my face with toxic chemicals before going out in the sun. Yes, this practice did seem to prevent my skin from premature aging. But I hate to think of what it did to my body.
It’s a balancing act. There may be toxic compounds in your chemical sunscreen.
But skin cancer prevention is important too. That’s why I urge everyone to work closely with their doctor.
My skin tone is olive. So I don’t need to be as aggressive with sun protection as some people.
I’ve decided on a moderate approach. I don’t spend long hours at the beach. I make use of shade, as well as a beach umbrella. I wear a sun visor. I use DIY sunscreen made with essential oils.
This is what works for me. But I’m not claiming it’s right for everyone.
Sunscreen With Carrot Seed Oil
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Now, when I plan to spend time in the sun, I use a DIY sunscreen made with natural carrot seed essential oil. Whether such a solution is right for you is something I can’t tell you, and I urge you to discuss it with your doctor. But this aromatic mix seems to be working for my Mediterranean complexion.
I bought into the hype that sun exposure isn’t good for you. However, the opposite is true. We need some sunshine. Our bodies are made to be in the sun, in moderation, of course.
There’s also mounting evidence that Vitamin D deficiency (our body manufactures this essential nutrient from sunlight) raises one’s risk of developing serious conditions such as multiple sclerosis and cancer.
So you need to balance your need for sunshine with your need for sun protection.
Should I Use Natural Sunscreen?
Even dementia has been linked to low levels of Vitamin D. In 2014, the medical journal Neurology published findings showing that people aged 65 or older, with insufficient levels of this vitamin, had an increased risk of developing dementia and other forms of cognitive dysfunction.
However, with sunlight, the key word is moderation. Or at least that’s how I like to live. Please understand I’m not a doctor, so I can’t give medical advice as to how much sunshine anyone needs. You’ll need to check with your own doctor to come up with a sun exposure plan that’s right for you. All I can do is share my approach to protecting myself from burning, while getting enough sunlight so my body can make Vitamin D. If I go out in the sun for any length of time, I like to wear a natural sunscreen made with essential oils. But I figure I can do without the potentially dangerous chemicals.
How worrisome are those coconut-smelling 30+ SPF solutions we’ve been led to believe are good for us? The Environmental Working Group has issued a paper called, The Trouble With Sunscreens, in which it listed specific ingredients that could pose a health risk, citing oxybenzone, which mimics the female hormone estrogen and appears to have negative effects on the male reproductive system. Other chemicals of concern were listed as octinoxate, homosalate, octisalate, octocrylene, titanium dioxide, avobenzone and mexoyrl SX.
Carrot Seed Oil Sunscreen
What I do, since I want to avoid these questionable chemicals I just listed, is to make my own natural sunscreen using just two ingredients. Here is the recipe I use, which can be doubled or tripled if needed.
- 1 Tbs. of coconut oil.
- 4 drops of carrot seed oil. I rarely buy multi-level marketing oils because there’s usually no need to do so.
If you don’t already own carrot seed essential oil, you can order it here. Store this mixture in a glass jar, away from the light.
Update: I wrote this post several years ago. For my next batch of homemade sunscreen I’m going to be adding 2 drops of lavender essential oil, which is often found in DIY all natural sun protection formulas.
There are a number of very good products on the market that don’t contain phtlalates and parabens, chemicals that function as hormone disruptors, and may potentially fuel hormone-driven cancers. One of the best is Teva Sunscreen, made with herbs and essential oils, along with natural zinc oxide, for an SPF factor of 30.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils, unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.