Who doesn’t love the sun? We all need vitamin D and it’s best obtained from sun exposure. But…we also know the sun can damage our skin and have heard that sunburns increase our risk of skin cancer. Unfortunately, the toxic chemicals in most sunscreens contribute to the risk of cancer and some are endocrine (hormone) disruptors.
When it comes to spray-on sunscreens, you know they’re bad when even the FDA advises against using them on children. To me, second-hand spray is like second-hand smoke: If you must apply it, please stay at least ten feet away from my space so I don’t have to breathe it or cringe while you apply it to your child.
So how do we protect ourselves and our children? Is there a healthy balance?
I’ve made a personal decision that my vitamin D deficiency probably carries more cancer risk than the amount of sun exposure I get so while I also continue trying to elevate my vitamin D with supplemental D3, I don’t use sunscreen unless I’m going to be out for longer than 30-45 minutes. That may not be the best decision for you because the risk and timing are different for each of us and should be based on your skin type.
When I am going to be out in the sun longer, I use a non-toxic sunscreen to avoid getting a sunburn or cover up with clothing like our ancestors did before sunscreen was created. Can you envision a group of proper ladies sitting together outdoors with their white gloves and parasols? That’s not how I cover up, but perhaps they were actually smarter than us.
So which sunscreens are non-toxic?
I haven’t tried making my own sunscreen yet, but it can be done using non-toxic ingredients that are naturally protective such as almond oil, coconut oil, zinc oxide, shea butter, red raspberry seed oil and carrot seed oil. The SPF of zinc oxide will vary depending on how much is used and if you use powder, be sure not to inhale it. If you’ve made your own sunscreen before and/or have a recipe for one, please share it in the comments.
I buy sunscreen based on the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG’s) Sunscreen Guide. The EWG has produced an annual sunscreen guide for the last 10 years, which you can access at https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/.
So what else can we do to protect ourselves?
Nature always has an answer if we look and where better to look than our diet. It is surely no accident that sun protection comes from the inside out and certain foods are protective. We can best protect ourselves by eat an anti-inflammatory diet with plenty of protective fats, which help the body anti-inflame and heal. Avoid gluten, refined grains, dairy, soy, vegetable oils, hydrogenated oils and sugar. If all grains and legumes inflame you, avoid those too.
I received the info below today about foods that help boost the body’s ability to tan and avoid sunburn. This info came courtesy of one of my favorite supplement companies, Biotics Northwest, to use as a client handout, but who needs to kill trees when you have a blog, right?
7 Superfoods to Eat to Prevent Sunburn
How about a Sun Protection Smoothie?
This smoothie uses Biotics products including their whole food concentrate, Biotics NitroGreens, which I also love in brownies. Biotics NitroGreens is a unique, all organic blend of greens, veggies, fruits and sprouts. This recipe just came to me today so I haven’t tried it yet, but when I do, I’ll use my favorites that I have on hand: collagen, coconut milk, berries and either Beta-TCP or grated beets. I think beet kvass would be really good in it, but it would take several weeks to ferment. If you try it, please leave me a comment and let me know what ingredients you used and how you liked it.
Biotics products are only sold through healthcare professionals. I am not affiliated with Biotics other than having an account with them (I have accounts with other supplement companies too). If you see Biotics products on Amazon, they may not be authentic and have been found to not contain the actual Biotics product. If you want any of the products in this recipe, contact me and I’ll hook you up with the real stuff or suggest alternative ingredients.