Now that school is out and it's summer, a lot of families are spending time at the beach and outside. Which leads to one of the biggest questions I get asked! "Dr. Holly, what do you think of sunscreen, and what do you recommend?"
My first response is that the sun is GREAT for us because it provides critical Vitamin D, which is essential for proper hormone function. Also, the majority of people are Vitamin D deficient. When we're always slathered with sunscreen, this blocks the body from absorbing Vitamin D. The BEST time to be in the sun is during the more gentle rays in the early morning and later afternoon/evening. However, if we (or our children) are out for long periods of time during the hottest times time of day, it is a good idea to protect ourselves so we don't get burned by the sun. So, then, comes the next question. "What type of sunscreen do you recommend?" There are TWO types of sunscreen (which is based off of how it works). One type of sunscreen uses chemicals to block the sun's UV rays, and the other type uses minerals to block the sun's UV rays. I don't know about you, but I would much rather go the safer, more natural route using minerals to block the sun's rays!!
The Environmental Working Group just published in 2014 that 75% of sunscreens contain toxic chemicals that actually INCREASE your rate of cancer and health conditions (1). Many of these toxic chemicals cause issues such as hormone imbalance, endocrine disruption, skin problems, autoimmune issues, thyroid issues, and many more.
The main chemical used in sunscreens is called Oxybenzone and was found in 97% of the population in a recent study done by the CDC (2). This is alarming because Oxybenzone is considered an ENDOCRINE DISRUPTOR and is linked to decreased sperm count in men and a link to endometriosis in women. Oxybenzone is also not recommended for children, pregnant women, or breastfeeding women.
So, then, what do we do?! The other type of sunscreen (how it blocks the sun's UV rays) is MINERAL based instead of CHEMICAL based. The two minerals that can be used are non-nano zinc oxide and titanium oxide. This is great because it provides a way to block the harsh sun rays but still provide a natural, safe sunscreen. Just make sure the minerals are non-nano...this means that they won't enter into the skin and body.
Here in our video below, we are going to show you just how to make your own DIY natural sunscreen with Non-nano Zinc Oxide and how safe and easy it is!
Natural DIY Suncreen Recipe:
-1 Cup Natural lotion or homemade lotion (here is a link to our super easy homemade lotion)
-1-2 TBSP (1 Tbsp per 10 SPF; 2 TBSP per 20+ SPF) Non-nano Zinc Oxide
-10-20 drops Essential Oils (optional)- We use Young Living Brand for purity
What about buying sunscreen? Below, I have listed my favorite brand, Badger, that uses Non-nano Zinc Oxide and is a very clean sunscreen. Just check the label and make sure it doesn't have any harsh chemicals and look for a natural brand that uses one of the non-nano minerals. You can also check for the safety of sunscreens on the EWG website. Enjoy!:
-Badger Baby Sunscreen
-Badger Kids Sunscreen
-Badger Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
-Badger Sport Sunscreen
After Sun Care:
If you get too much sun or get burnt, make sure you use a high-quality aloe vera:
Dr. Mercola's Aloe Vera
Also, you want to make sure you eat healthy foods that contain healthy fats and antioxidants!:
-Vitamin D3: helps protect the body against sunburn and skin cancer (3)
-Fermented Cod Liver Oil: helps protect the body against the sun
--Astaxanthin: one of the highest antioxidants that helps protect from free radicals from forming
Here is a list of some of the highest antioxidant-rich foods:
Goji berries: 25,000 ORAC score
Wild blueberries: 14,000 ORAC score
Dark chocolate: 21,000 ORAC score
Pecans: 17,000 ORAC score
Artichoke: 9,400 ORAC score
Elderberries: 14,000 ORAC score
Kidney beans: 8,400 ORAC score
Cranberries: 9,500 ORAC score
Blackberries: 5,300 ORAC score
Cilantro: 5,100 ORAC score Enjoy getting ready for summer and the sun, and enjoy making family memories in the sun!!!
2. Calafat AM, Wong L-Y, Ye X, Reidy JA, Needham LL. 2008. Concentration of the sunscreen agent, benzophenone-3, in residents of the United States: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2004. Environmental health perspectives 116: Available online March 21, 2008. 3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21733837