Hey folks! Well, here we are in the dead of summer, and what is everyone gabbing about? Sunscreen. Our relationship status with this stuff would definitely be “it’s complicated”. Feel me?! It’s either too greasy, too sticky, too stinky, or just icky. Not to mention, most sunscreens have a load of chemicals in them.
The following comes directly from the Environmental Working Group’s website:
“The most common sunscreens on the market contain chemical filters. These products typically include a combination of two to six of these active ingredients: oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Mineral sunscreens use zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide”
Oxybenzone can cause allergic skin reactions and may disrupt hormones (Rodriguez 2006, Krause 2012).
Additionally, (also from EWG’s website):
“In addition to oxybenzone, other chemical filters appear to be endocrine disruptors. Nine researchers from Denmark and Switzerland reviewed the available evidence on hormone disruption for three common UV filters (oxybenzone, homosalate and octinoxate), three uncommon UV filters (Benzophenone-2, PABA and OD-PABA), and two European ingredients (3-BC and 4-MBC) (Krause 2012). They report that a large number of studies in animals and cells have shown that the chemicals affect reproduction and development by altering reproductive and thyroid hormones, although the evidence was mixed for some studies. Animal studies find lower sperm counts and sperm abnormalities after exposure to oxybenzone and octinoxate, delayed puberty after exposure to octinoxate and altered estrous cycling for female mice exposed to oxybenzone. Recently Danish researchers reported that eight of 13 chemical sunscreen ingredients allowed in the U.S. affected calcium signaling of male sperm cells in laboratory tests, which the researchers suggest could reduce male fertility (Endocrine Society 2016).
It is difficult to know the implications to human health from exposure to a mixture of hormone-disrupting ingredients in sunscreen. Intentional dosing studies in people are rare. One research group has applied a mixture of three hormone-disrupting sunscreen ingredients to human volunteers and reported alterations in inhibin B and testosterone, male sex hormones and thyroid hormones (Janjua 2004, 2008). The researchers concluded these differences were normal variation and not attributed to sunscreen exposure, but critics argue that the exposures were too short to be conclusive (Krause 2012). A Swiss survey for the ingredient octinoxate suggest that young children might have short-term exposures that put them at risk for thyroid disruption on days they use sunscreen (Manová 2015).
Preliminary investigations by a team of researchers at the NIH and SUNY Albany suggest a link between higher concentrations of oxybenzone and related benzophenones and increased risk of a variety of reproductive effects. Specifically:
Men with higher benzophenone-2 (BP-2) levels in bodies had poorer sperm quality, no association was found for other benzophenones (Louis 2015),
Male exposures to BP-2 and 4-hydroxyoxybenzone were associated with longer time to partner’s conception (Buck Louis 2014),
Male and female BP-2 levels were associated with greater odds of a female baby, and male’s 4-hydroxybenzophenone exposure was associated with an increased odds of a male baby (Bae 2016),
Female exposures to oxybenzone and related chemicals was linked to increased risk of endometriosis (Kunisue 2012).”
Whew! Ok, I know that was long winded, but if you are going to lather something on to your or your child’s body day after day, it’s important to know if it has the potential to harm you.
Thus, my search for a non-greasy, non toxic sunscreen that both works and feels great!
Well, I found it, thanks to Rama from her Freshly Grown blog! You can find her article, here. It provides a recipe for sunscreen from the chemical fillers, and it doesn’t leave a layer of sludge on my skin! Yea! So, let’s get started!
2 Tbs. + 1 tsp. shea butter (unrefined) – find it here
1/2 c. coconut oil – find it here
1/4th cup grape seed oil (you can use jojoba, olive, avocado, or almond as well) – find it here
1/4th cup beeswax pellets – find it here (you can use candelilla if you are vegan or allergic to beeswax)
3 Tbs. zinc oxide powder (non-nano) – find it here. This zinc oxide is a little more expensive, but is safe to use on babies.
15 drops dōTERRA Lavender essential oil** – find it here
15 drops of dōTERRA Lemongrass essential oil** – find it here
Go Gear Squeezable Travel Bottles-find it here
**Side note, but super important. Buying essential oils from Walmart & Amazon is dangerous. There is no way to ensure that the oils you are purchasing are pure, free of impurities, and harmful synthetics. I experienced this personally when I bought several brands of EO’s (including dōTERRA) from Amazon, The smell and viscosity of the oil was very different from the real dōTERRA oil. I experienced dizziness with the Amazon bought oil, which I do not experience with the same oil bought from dōTERRA.
I encourage you to do your own research into buying essential oils. This is an excellent (non brand biased) site that will provide you with loads of information! Don’t put your families health at risk. Buy directly from the brand!
How to make:
Using a double broiler (which I don’t have, so I improvised with a mason jar sitting in gently boiling water). Place first 4 ingredients in the mason jar and stir until melted.
Remove from the heat, and let it cool slightly.
Using 1 tablespoon at a time, stir in the zinc oxide and mix well to a smooth consistency. Be careful not to inhale the zinc oxide. Add the essential oils, making sure the mixture is not too hot, and stir well. Heat will kill the constituents that make the oils so powerful.
Using a funnel or a steady hand, pour the mixture into the containers. It will fill two 3 oz. containers, please a little extra.
A little goes a long way. I keep mine in the fridge, so it’s extra refreshing to put on! It will solidify in the fridge, but use your hands to warm it up a bit is all it needs.
Finally, a guilt free option that is actually good for your skin, and keeps you protected. You and your skin will love this stuff!
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