I spend a lot of my weekends out on the water, at the beach, in the garden, pretty much anywhere I am able to be out in the sun enjoying the warmth and energy that it provides. This means that I am pretty sun aware since I don’t want to end up with leathery old skin. So what are some sun safety tips so you can get ready to get back out into the sun?
I learnt how to care for my skin from my Grandma. She is a very lily-white skinned English woman who came to Australia when she was about 10 years old. She prided herself on her beautiful soft white skin. Grandma grew up and spent most of her adult life in far north Queensland either on the coast or out in the dessert. She loved the outdoors and in Mount Isa she had a beautiful big flower garden that she tended nearly every day to grow flowers for her church so she was out in the harsh hot sun most days.
Grandma’s skin today is beautiful for a 90-year-old woman. It is soft and white like when she was young only with wrinkles now and she earned those wrinkles (See photo below). She was a nurse who apart from now that she is in a home, never went to the doctor and I never saw her taking medications.
Grandma’s skin routine consisted of sun smarts and natural products only. She would only go out into the sun early in the morning or late in the afternoon, she wore a big floppy hat and a light long sleeved shirt and she covered all of her exposed skin in lard. Lard is a hard white fat similar to coconut oil only from animals. Now, you might be grossed out by the thought of rubbing lard on your skin, but don’t be. You can go down the path of learning how to render your own lard at home and using it, however; I have just used the principles of Grandma’s routine and applied it in an easier, more convenient way.
My skin routine involves keeping chemicals at a minimum, using natural whole products where possible and staying out of the sun in the heat of the day. My go-to is coconut oil. I use it for so much! It is a great moisturizer, makeup remover, and sunscreen. Plus I use it for oil pulling so it keeps my mouth and gums healthy.
Below I have put some natural sunscreen recipes to use if you need a little more than just coconut oil and you have the time and inclination to give them a go. I just want to cover a couple of quick things on skin cancer though before I jump into the recipes. Did you know that the rate of sun cancer has increased from 1 in 500 in 1935 to 1 in 55 today? There are lots of contributing factors to this number but considering the increase in awareness and all the media campaigns around wearing sunscreen, shouldn’t this number be going down?
The skin is one of the body’s biggest organs that act as a barrier between your internal organs and the external world however; it is not impermeable. What we put on our skins can be absorbed into our body and sunscreen has many components that are designed to be absorbed, in fact many have absorption enhancers added. Many of the chemicals in sunscreens are hormone disrupting and can cause issues around reproductive and thyroid hormones. Human exposure to hormone disrupting chemicals have been linked to numerous cancers.
So, without waffling on for too long, changing to more natural, less risky sunscreens just makes sense to me.
Below is a list of carrier oils and their SPFs:
Red Raspberry Oil – SPF 30-50, and protects against both UVA and UVB. Also great for eczema and psoriasis.
Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 40 (Definitely needs a carrier oil)
Wheat Germ Oil – SPF 20 (Packed with vitamins)
Macadamia Oil – SPF 6
Avocado Oil – SPF 4-10
Olive Oil – SPF 2-8
Shea Butter – SPF 3-6
Almond Oil – SPF 5
Sesame Seed Oil – SPF 4
Hemp Seed Oil – SPF 6
Jojoba Oil – SPF 4
Coconut Oil – SPF 2-8
(Sourced from – Using Natural Sunscreens to Survive Summer)
Personally I only use coconut oil but if you want to try some other blends, I have put some recipes below from – Using Natural Sunscreens to Survive Summer
Sunblock 1 – about SPF 20, no zinc oxide
3/4 cup coconut oil
2 tbsp. beeswax
2 tbsp. shea butter
15 drops red raspberry seed oil
Melt the coconut oil, beeswax, and she butter together. Allow to cool a bit and add the raspberry seed oil. If you want to boost it to a 30-40 SPF, add 2 tbsp. zinc oxide.
Sunscreen 2 SPF About SPF 20
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup shea butter
1/4 cup beeswax pellets
1 tsp. carrot seed oil
1 tsp. raspberry seed oil
1 tsp. vitamin E oil
1/4 cup shea butter
2 tbsp. zinc oxide
Melt shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax until it’s liquefied. Combine the zinc with a small amount of oil, or with your essential oils, then add everything to the liquefied carrier oils.