The long awaited summer is finally here. Days are longer, sunnier and hotter. The blue skies in a combination with the sun put you in a good mood. The sun is beneficial not only for your mood, but also for your health. The sun rays help your skin to produce vitamin D that is important for the strength of your bones. Unfortunately the sun can also harm your skin, so you need a protection, a natural sunscreen.
Types of UV rays and what they cause to your skin
There are 2 types of UV rays that affect your skin: UVA and UVB rays. The UVA (long-wave) rays cause the wrinkles and ageing of your skin. They are also responsible for your chocolate tan. The UVB (shortwave) rays are the ones that cause sunburn and skin reddening. Both types of rays can lead to skin cancer. As UVA and UVB rays are harmful, you need a good natural protection.
What is SPF?
The SPF (Sun Protection Factor) that you see marked on each sunscreen means how long you will be protected by the harmful UV rays. So if you sunburn without a protection for 10 minutes, a sunscreen with 10 SPF will lengthen the time to 100 minutes. The SPF indicates the time your skin needs to redden. It is not equal to the amount of the protection you will get against the sun rays. So a higher SPF just means longer protection.
Why the commercial sunscreens are bad for your health?
You need not only a good protection against the UV rays, but a natural one that is not bad for your health. Many of the sunscreens on the market are full of harmful chemical ingredients that can damage your skin. You can check here if the product that you use is safe.
Can natural oils protect your skin?
Indeed some natural oils have a SPF. This sounds cool, right? You can moisturize and rejuvenate your skin and at the same time it will be protected from the sun. But is it really the truth?
Carrier oils that have SPF
Raspberry seed oil: SPF 25-35
It is important to note that the raspberry seed oil protects your skin against both UVA and UVB rays. Most of the natural oils protect only against UVB rays.
Carrot seed oil: SPF 30
Wheat germ oil: SPF 20
Hazelnut oil: SPF 15
Shea butter oil: SPF 6-10
Macadamia nut oil: SPF 6
Almond oil: SPF 5
Avocado oil: SPF 4-10
Sesame seed oil: SPF 4
Jojoba oil: SPF 4
Olive oil: SPF 2-8
Coconut oil: SPF 2-6
Essentials oils that have SPF
Sandalwood oil: SPF 30
Lavender oil: SPF 6
Do not use citrus oils as they can cause brown spots when you are exposed on sun.
Can you use natural oils as a substitute of the sunscreens?
Unfortunately, there is no clear answer. The SPF in each oil can vary. It depends on the quality of the oil and the way of storage. So if you want to use oils as natural sunscreens, do use only high quality oils.
Other problem is that the SPF is not cumulative. So if you mix for example coconut oil (SPF 2-6) and raspberry oil (SPF 25-35), you won’t get a lotion with SPF 40. If you are going to be exposed on a moderate sunlight and you don’t burn easily, you can use oils as a natural sunscreen. If you have a light skin and you are going to spend all day in the sun without a shade, I strongly suggest the use of a commercial sunscreen.
Is there a natural way to protect your skin against the sun rays?
In fact there is. The answer is: non-nano sized mineral zinc oxide. It can provide a good protection when added to your homemade natural sunscreen. The mineral zinc oxide is a powdered mineral that absorbs the harmful UVA and UVB rays. Keep in mind that you must use non-nano sized. The nano or micronized zinc oxide can enter your body through the skin and cause health problems.
The SPF of your lotion depends on the quantity of the mineral zinc oxide that is used. Use a kitchen scale to measure the ingredients of your homemade sunscreen and add the needed amount of zinc oxide.
For SPF 2-5: use 5% zinc oxide
For SPF 5-10: use 10% zinc oxide
For SPF 10-20: use 15% zinc oxide
For SPF >20: use 20% zinc oxide
Why you can use the coconut oil as a tanning oil, but not as a natural sunscreen?
I have read many posts on how great it is to use coconut oil as a substitute of your regular sunscreen. It won’t lead to anything good. The coconut oil is a great moisturizer and a tanning accelerator. The problem is that it has a very low SPF 2-8 and this is not enough to protect your skin against the sun rays. You can use the coconut oil to get a chocolate tan that won’t peel and will last months, but don’t skip the sunscreen.
Homemade natural sunscreen and tanning oil
This recipe is for mild sun exposure. If you sunburn easily, apply a commercial sunscreen along with this tanning oil.
Carrot seed oil
Few drops lavender essential oil
Combine all the oils and mix well. You can add some bronze mica powder for a glamorous glow. The mixture is liquid, so it is easy to use. Put it in a dark glass container and you are ready to go. Shake well before use as the oils separate from each other over time. Keep the container out of direct sunlight as the natural oils can oxidize and lose their effectiveness.
You can use natural oils as a natural sunscreen if you are going to be exposed to moderate sun light and don’t have a light skin. For longer sun exposure you must add some mineral zinc oxide or use a commercial sunscreen.
Have you used oils as natural sunscreens? What is your experience with them?