Is your sunscreen toxic--

The Truly Disturbing Truth About Sunscreen. Here’s How to Make Your Own Instead!

I remember as a kid having sunscreen lathered all over me, I am particularly sensitive to chemicals though and remember many of them actually BURNING my skin before I even went out in the sun, I couldn’t go near the Banana Boat brand with a 10ft pole and mum eventually found one that I wasn’t too sensitive too, though I’m sure it still would’ve had less than ideal chemicals in it.. who would’ve known though? Lather your kids in sunscreen they said, it will protect them from skin cancer and getting burnt they said, it’s completely safe even for babies 6 months and older they said.

WRONG AGAIN!!!! It kind of sucks how we keep finding out more and more of the things we’ve been told over the last 50-100 years are so far from truth and what is safe for ourselves and our kids!! But there are almost always naturally alternatives.

So why is conventional sunscreen so bad for us??

As Dr Axe explains in this post

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) just published their 2014 guide to safe sunscreens. They reviewed over 2000 sunscreens and over 257 brands. They found more than 75% of the sunscreens contained toxic chemicals that can increase your risk of cancer and other health issues.

According to research from the EWG: Our review…shows that some sunscreen ingredients absorb into the blood, and some have toxic effects. Some release skin-damaging free radicals in sunlight, some act like estrogen and disrupt hormones, and several can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation. The FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients. Sunscreens haven’t been regulated since 1978 in the USA, and the SPF factor only tells you how effective a sunscreen is against UVB rays which cause sunburn.

Sunscreens are ToxicSo in review, some ingredients may

  • Absorb into the blood
  • Release free radicals in sunlight
  • Act like estrogen
  • Disrupt hormones
  • Cause allergic reactions
  • Cause skin irritation
  • Have no rigorous safety standards

A recent study published in Environmental Science Technology has also shown the common sunscreen ingredients oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, and PABA are estrogenic chemicals linked to cancer. That’s right, I read the labels on not only my food products, but on anything I’m putting on or near my body, and you should too. If your sunscreen contains any of these chemicals I’d throw it away right now!

List of Unsafe, Toxic Chemicals in Sunscreen

  • Para amino benzoic acid
  • Octyl salicyclate
  • Oxybenzone
  • Cinoxate
  • Dioxybenzone
  • Phenylbenzimidazole
  • Homosalate
  • Menthyl anthranilate
  • Octocrylene
  • Methoxycinnamate
  • Parabens

You NEED some sun exposure without sunscreen

But please don’t twist this, this will be different for each individual depending on skin type/tone and this is not an excuse to get burnt in the sun or lie around all day heavily tanning, however each and every day it is ideal to get as much skin exposed to the sun as possible for a short period of time and the middle of the day is actually the best time to do so!

Vitamin D is essential for health and the best way to get it is through sun exposure, when you get approximately 20 minutes of direct sunlight (for some it may only be 5-10 minutes, again depending on skin type, you will know your body best), your body naturally generates enough Vitamin D3 (Calciferol), and you body also knows the right amount to generate without overdose.

Vitamin D3 has been one of the most researched nutrients over the past 5 years and it has been shown to naturally help boost the immune system, help fight cancer and improve mood.

Why choose MINERAL sunscreen instead of conventional

Non-mineral sunscreens penetrate the skin and go into the blood stream, can disrupt hormones, cause allergic reactions, and  can release free radicals when they break down. Oxybenzone is the most common ingredient found in sunscreens. Scientists recommend not using sunscreens containing oxybenzone on children because of this hormone disruption.

Mineral sunscreens use zinc, or titanium.  These do not breakdown in sunlight, are not usually absorbed ( so do not disrupt the body’s hormones), are not allergenic and are more effective at blocking UVA rays than non-minerals.  These sunscreens are a good choice for children and according to EWG have the best safety profiles of the choices in the United States.

How to make your own



  1. Combine all ingredients except zinc oxide in a jar.
  2. Place a saucepan with 2 inches of water on stove over medium/low heat.
  3. Place jar in saucepan and stir contents until ingredients start to melt.
  4. Once all ingredients are combined, add in zinc oxide and stir well. Store in a cool place.

Or try these brands for a natural store bought sunscreen

These healthier sunscreens contain Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide as a more natural form of sunblock. However even these ingredients aren’t flawless as you’ll see in the EWG ratings system. I only use sunscreen if I’m going to be in the sun all day, otherwise I prefer to cover up with a hat and clothes.

Wotnot Family Suncreen Spf 30+

Ecotan Natural Coconut Sunscreen Spf 30+ TINTED or UNTINTED  (the tinted is my favourite)

Eco All Natural Baby 6 months + Spf 30+

What you eat plays an important role

According to the American Cancer Society, oxidative damage can increase your cancer risk, this is why it is SOOOOOOO important to avoid toxic vegetable and seed oils like margarine and other spreads that are high in free radicals and cause oxidative damage as well as vegetable and seed oils like canola, cottonseed, corn, soy etc. Eat GOOD natural fats like coconut unrefined, olive oil (100% cold pressed only), avocado, animal fats from healthy grass fed animals and butter and ghee.

There are also other foods that can be used to support the skin including-

  • Resveratrol (blueberries and red grapes)
  • Omega 3 fatty acids (salmon and fish oil) (ask me about doTERRAs supplement range)
  • Astaxanthin (salmon and fish oil) please search for WILD CAUGHT not farmed
  • Catechins (green and white tea) go for Organic brands
  • Vitamin E (pumpkin seeds, almonds, and asparagus)
  • Beta-carotene (carrots and red bell peppers)

Remember to

  1. Get sun exposure on as much of your body as possible for a short period of time every day
  2. Cover up with light clothing BEFORE you get burnt
  3. Wear natural sunscreen either DIY or from the above options if you’re going to be in the sun for long periods of time
  4. AVOID oxidative stress and eating toxic fats and eat foods high in antioxidants for further skin protection
  5. If you get burnt use aloe vera, coconut oil and lavender essential oil to soothe the skin or try making this skin soothing spray. Take precautions and don’t get burnt though!!

Kunisue T, Chen Z, Buck Louis GM, Sundaram R, Hediger ML, Sun L, Kannan K. Urinary Concentrations of Benzophenone-type UV Filters in U.S. Women and Their Association with Endometriosis.  Environ Sci Tech 2012 Apr 17;46(8):4624-32. Epub 2012 Mar 29.

*This post is for information purposes only, please seek the advice of a health care professional where appropriate. This information is not intended to treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any disease.

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