Most sunscreens contain toxic ingredients or endocrine disrupting chemicals that in many cases may actually promote skin cancer growth and free radical production in the body. Even natural, commercially available sunscreens often have toxic ingredients!
Considering many people these days are actually Vitamin D deficient, I consider lack of sun exposure to be a much bigger problem than too much exposure. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many types of cancers including the most deadly types of breast cancer. Lack of Vitamin D has also been linked to problems during pregnancy including pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature labor, and more.
As a society, we’ve literally cut off our nose to spite our face when it comes to sun exposure. To avoid skin cancer, we’ve shunned the sun and the Vitamin D our bodies produce with sun exposure.
On top of that, sun exposure itself is not the only factor linked to skin cancer, and many other factors, such as Omega-6 Vegetable Oil consumption can have a big impact on skin health!
Wellness Mama stops here
With skin cancer now the most common form of this deadly disease in the world, everyone knows how important it is to protect the body’s largest organ when going out in the sun. But many health conscious people are wary of slathering on thick layers of chemicals on a daily basis, and with good reason. Simply reading the list of ingredients on a common commercial sunscreen product usually reveals an extensive assortment of impossible to pronounce compounds.
Fortunately, those who do worry about the dangers of overexposure to the sun yet do not want to rub potentially toxic substances into their skin do have some wonderful alternatives: natural oils. Many cold pressed oils from common vegetables, nuts and seeds have the ability to filter the sun’s powerful rays, diluting them so that you can enjoy more time in the outdoors. Natural oils also usually contain powerful substances that protect your skin from damage at a cellular level, providing additional benefit when used as sunscreen.
1. Carrot Seed Oil
This rich oil is one of nature’s best skin guarding oils, providing a level of protection from the sun that matches high end commercial sunscreen products. Carrot seed oil is very concentrated and should be mixed with a carrier oil to create a highly effective natural sunscreen that can be used on a daily basis. According to a 2009 study in “Pharmacognosy Magazine” natural sunscreen products containing carrot seed oil have an SPF of 38-40.
Carrot seed oil is also a rich source of the antioxidant beta-carotene, which gives it (and carrots themselves) their orange hue. This powerful natural compound has been found to have a slew of positive benefits on human health, including the ability to protect against certain kinds of cancer and boost the immune system. Because it has been found to specifically protect against UV damage, beta carotene is also used extensively in the skin care industry.
2. Raspberry Seed Oil
Highly absorb-able and packed with skin enhancing properties, red raspberry seed oil is probably nature’s best full spectrum sunscreen. With SPF levels between 25 and 50, it provides protection from not only UVA and UVB rays, but even UVC as well. For this reason, red raspberry oil is frequently added to high end sunscreens produced by cosmetic companies.
But red raspberry seed oil does much more than just protect your skin from the sun when applied topically, it can also drastically improve skin quality. This is due to the high proportion of omega 3 and omega 6 oils that it contains as well as vitamins A and E. Red raspberry oil is used as a natural cosmetic and moisturizer and is even credited with being able to reverse severe damage like scars and stretch marks.
3. Coconut Oil
Inexpensive, easy to find and sweet smelling, coconut oil is a staple skin care products of traditional tropical societies all over the world. Worn when going out in the sun it provides a moderate level of protection against the sun’s rays; it was found to have an SPF rating of 8 in a 2010 study published in the scientific journal “Pharmacognosy Research”.
Coconut oil is also extremely moisturizing, and is known for giving the skin a radiant and healthy glow as well as a silky soft texture. This due to its high level of medium chain fatty acids, which penetrate deep into the skin and preserve its moisture.
4. Olive Oil
The deep green-yellow color of cold pressed virgin olive oil is a sign of its natural sunscreen ability, as it provides medium level protection from UV rays. It was given a rating of SPF 8 by the study in “Pharmacognosy Research”.
Olive oil also contains a class of antioxidants known as polyphenols that give it health promoting properties when consumed. When applied to the skin, these same polyphenols help prevent age and environment related damage, including wrinkles and fine lines.
5. Almond Oil
The golden oil of this delicious nut is another common and easy to find oil that makes a great light natural sunscreen. The same study mentioned above found that almond oil provides a natural protection level of SPF 6, on par with many suntan lotions sold commercially.
Almond oil is also rich in vitamin E, which rejuvenates the skin’s surface and as an antioxidant and protects the cells and membranes of the skin.