Sun damage prevention with Natural Sunscreens

by on January 1, 2012

Research has shown that long term use of chemical sunscreens can trigger facial wrinkles.

Going “Natural” has its own set of advantages. Research has proved that chemical sun protection products like sunscreens, sunblockers etc. have lots of side effects. So, making use of effective natural sunscreen protection will not only help you avoid sun damage, get rid of wrinkles but will also ensure you don’t get the disadvantages of chemical skin care products. Before we discuss to tackle sun damage, let’s be clear on the following points to ensure you get the maximum benefits from your skin care regime.

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These simple rules will help you to maximize the stay young potential of your skin.

Protect your skin from sun damage. UV light is primarily responsible for speeding up skin aging. Wear make-up that contains a sunscreen, or use a sun-protective moisturizer every day, even during winter.

The delicate skin around the eyes is susceptible to premature wrinkling from exposure to the sun. Use high quality protective sun glasses when out in direct sunlight.

Stop smoking – it depletes your skin of vital nutrients and creates toxins in the body that hasten the aging process.

Eat a healthy diet. Vitamins A, C and E have been found to help fight free radicals, which form in the skin after exposure to sunlight, damaging the skin’s supportive fibres, collagen and elastin.

Be gentle with your skin – never drag it when you wash.

Take care of your teeth – they affect the shape of your face. Get any gaps or crooked teeth fixed.

Diet carefully. Crash dieting then piling on the pounds encourages sagging skin. When it comes to make-up, remember less is more effective the older you get.

Heavy make-up tends to accentuate lines and wrinkles. Avoid it.


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The sunscreen manufacturers continue to capitalize on the fear that people believe sunshine causes Cancer.

I am not against sun screens as they are absolutely essential for most people if they only have irregular exposure to the sun. It is certainly not healthy to get burnt. However, ensure that when you use a sunscreen that you don’t use one so powerful that the beneficial rays of the sun are totally blocked. Also, make sure that this same principle is applied to your children so they can tan without getting burnt.


Only use sun screens that block the suns rays by applying a barrier on the top of the skin. In other words sun screens that contain zinc or titanium oxide. These sun screens put a thin white layer of the oxide over your skin. It is not all that obvious until you go to wash it off. That is generally when you notice the white film.

The majority of the sun screens on the market today are responding to consumer demand to ensure that the sunscreen feels good. So, the manufacturers have reverted to chemical sun blockers that get absorbed by the skin and are not sticky or leave a residue like the ones containing zinc or titanium. These chemical sun blockers are smooth and feel good on the skin so they are now used extensively not only in sun screens but also in Face Creams and make up with an SPF factor.

But, the question is, are they harmful?

Side effects of chemical sunscreens

Rashes caused by sunscreens may or may not have blisters that weep fluid or become crusty, and they may spread to areas of the skin that were not originally exposed to sunscreen. Seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

If you want to know in detail about the problems with chemical sunscreens , this site has more comprehensive information.

Well, the short answer is…no one knows. Some of them are certainly toxic if ingested so there is a real possibility that they may be harmful over the long term. It is important to consider that when a chemical is infused into your skin as these are, then a certain amount of the chemical finds its way into the blood stream. I am sure a little bit occasionally will do little harm, but what about the continual use of it over decades? Some scientists believe that they could trigger off Cancer.

Some ingredients of sunscreens can cause the skin to become more sensitive. If a sunscreen causes redness or irritation, wash it off and stop using it. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about using another sunscreen product with different ingredients. Chemical Sunscreens may cause skin irritation, acne, and tightening or drying of the skin.  In rare cases, sunscreens can cause skin symptoms including itching; stinging; burning; clogged hair follicles; pain in areas that are hairy; redness or swelling that appears early after use; and rashes that appear later after use.

So, the bottom line in is one should try to avoid sun screens that do not use either zinc or titanium sun blocks. It is just not worth the risk.

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Suntan Lotion

2 ounces salt-free mayonnaise
2 ounces Black tea (brewed very dark)
Juice of 1 Lemon
5 (400 IU each) Vitamin E capsules

Mix mayonnaise, tea and Lemon juice in a blender. Pour into a storage container and squeeze contents of Vitamin E capsules into it. Keep refrigerated no longer than 1 week

Natural Tanning blend

If you insist on risking sun damage, this blend will hasten a tan, and provide Antioxidant protection.

20 drops Sea buckthorn Berry CO2 for Antioxidant and sun protection, Vit.A and C.
10 drops Carrot seed For vitamin A and a small amount of sun protection.
5 drops Lavender For healing.
1 oz. Jojoba Many sources say that Jojoba has a slight SPF value. For extra protection, blend the oils with a higher SPF commercial sun screen product Cocoa Butter Suntan Oil

1/2 cup light Sesame oil
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 tablespoons Cocoa Butter

Mix together all ingredients in a clean microwave-safe container. Heat the mix gently, stirring together all the ingredients. Place the container in the microwave for 1 minute on HIGH, or heat it gently in a double boiler or water bath on the stove top. Let the mixture cool completely. Place the suntan oil in clean jar or container with tight-fitting.

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A good sunscreen has two purposes: To begin with, it helps the skin maintain its natural oils and moisture, which cam be lost through exposure to the sun’s radiation. Secondly, sunscreen also protects the skin against UVA and UVB rays, whose damaging effects have increased markedly with the reduction in the atmosphere’s ozone layer.

Sunlight causes skin pigment cells, called melanocytes, to synthesize increased amounts of melanin, giving the skin a protective pigment or tan. But, while increased melanin can act as a natural filter to keep harmful UV radiation from penetrating further into the skin, using sunscreen with a high SPF is still important, especially if you are fair-skinned or have a family history of Cancer.

As well as containing moisturizing properties, Avocado oil, Sesame oil and Shea Butter contain a low SPF sunscreen. However, they have only a limited VA/UVB filtering ability, thus you should not use them as your only skin protection. For a natural sunscreen with a higher SPF, use a commercial sunscreen with titanium dioxide.

Perishability and storage

To keep homemade sunscreen from spoiling, use only clean utensils for preparation and storage. Store lotions in the refrigerator, where they will keep for about 3-4 weeks.

Proper application

To achieve maximum protection from the sun, apply sunscreen to dry skin 30 minutes before exposure. Limit your sun exposure time to less than one hour; actual amount of time depends on your skin type.

Skin types

There are four basic skin types, each with a different level of tolerance to sun exposure. People with light skin and blond or reddish hair are Type I, and their natural protection time (amount of time skin can be exposed to the sun without burning) is 5- 10 minutes.

The natural protection time of people with skin Type II, who have a somewhat darker complexion, is up to 20 minutes. People with skin Types III and IV, those with much darker skin tones, can stay in the sun for 30-40 minutes. To determine how long a sunscreen will protect you, multiply your natural protection time by the SPF Of course, if you have a family history of skin Cancer, you should always use a sunscreen with a high SPF.


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Natural-Protection Cream

3 tbsp. unrefined Sesame oil
1 tbsp. unrefined Avocado oil
1 tbsp. unrefined Jojoba oil
1 tbsp. walnut or Almond oil
1 tbsp. Shea Butter
2 tbsp. Cocoa Butter
1 tsp. Beeswax
1 tsp. soy-lecithin liquid
2 tbsp. Aloe Vera gel
2 tbsp. Rose or Lavender water
1/2 tsp. borax powder
20 drops Carrot-seed Essential Oil
3-5 drops coconut fragrance oil (optional)

Melt the first 4 oils, butters and Beeswax in a double boiler over medium heat until just melted. Add the soy-lecithin, and stir to blend. Remove from heat. In a small saucepan, gently warm the Aloe Vera gel and Rose or Lavender water, and stir in borax powder until dissolved. Remove from heat. When the oil and water mixtures are still warm to the touch and about the same temperature, set the small saucepan into a bowl of ice.

Drizzle in the oil mixture while mixing rapidly with a small whisk; a cream will quickly form. Add Carrot-seed Essential Oil and coconut fragrance oil, if desired; blend thoroughly. Take care! If you use perfume oils, avoid citrus oils – such as bergamot, Orange, Lemon or Lime. They may cause unpleasant skin reactions when exposed to the sun. They also reduce a sunscreen’s effectiveness.

For After-Sun Relief

To help reduce inflammation and cool and Moisturize sunburned skin, apply a thin coat of yogurt or Aloe Vera gel to reddened areas. Spray pure Lavender water or hydrosol freely on sun-damaged skin to keep skin hydrated, help prevent peeling and promote the regeneration of cells. Add 2-3 drops of Lavender oil to 1 tsp. of a Carrier Oil, such as sweet Almond oil, and massage into affected area. Or apply diluted St. John’s wort oil.

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2-1/2 ounces Sesame oil
1-1/2 ounces of Cocoa Butter
1/2 ounce Beeswax
4 ounces distilled water
2 tablespoons zinc oxide

25 drops Grapefruit seed extract (as a preservative; available in health food stores) Melt the oils and Beeswax in a double-boiler over medium heat. Remove from the heat, add the water, and mix with an electric handheld mixer until thick and creamy. Add the zinc oxide and preservatives. Makes 1 cup.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes Shelf Life: 6 months Storage: Glass jar with screw top.

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Used to soothe and heal sore, chapped and sunburnt skin.

You will need the following;
3 handfuls fresh marigolds
1 pint of boiling water.
Pour the boiling water over the flowers, then cover them and leave for 2-3 hours.
Strain off the liquid and then bottle.

Sunburn Bath
6 d. Peppermint oil
4 d. Lavender oil
Put oils in 2 Tbsp of Epsom Salts or Baking Soda and add to bath when water is
running. Soak 15-20 minutes.

Sunburn Cooler
1 oz Aloe Vera Gel
1 oz Lavender Hydrosol
10 drops Lavender EO
8 drops Roman Chamomile EO
2 drops Peppermint EO

Mix together, shake well. I put it in a squeeze bottle and keep it in the refrigerator. Works wonders!

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Summer Skin Moisturizer

Tea Tree 4 drops
Lavender 6 drops
Peppermint 3 drops
Helichrysum 3 drops
Frankincense 2 drop
Colloidal Silver 1 T
Aloe Vera Gel .5 oz.
Nature’s Fresh 1.5 oz.


Mix Essential Oils, colloidal silver, Aloe Vera gel and Nature’s Fresh in a 2 oz. amber bottle. Shake well and label bottle. To use, spray three to five times daily. This blend is also refreshing and hydrating to the body and mind after spending any length of time in the sun.

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