Is Your Sunscreen Doing You More Harm Than Good?

The Not So Heroic Sunscreen

“Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.” – Buddha

I am a worshiper of the sun.  Feeling that hot sun on my back after a long cold winter is absolutely therapeutic.  Although like most things in life, too much of anything can be harmful.  Just ask anyone who has spent two days wearing light forgiving clothing, drinking copious amount of water and slathering on sticky over-the- counter aloe gels nursing a sunburn, not so therapeutic.  Thank goodness for sunscreen!  There is no debate as to whether or not we need some protection from the harsh sun, however, there is some concern as to what is actually in conventional sunscreen and what other options are out there.

Conventional sunscreens are found everywhere, and as the instructions state we apply them liberally to all the delicate areas of our body as often as needed.  The intentions are definitely good; to try and steer clear of those harsh, unforgiving UV rays.  Research has shown that UV rays can cause the type of free radical damage that can lead to skin cancers (melanomas).  This is most likely why up until now sunscreen has been a sun-worshiper’s hero.

The truth is that that our little sun hero has some secrets of its own.  Similar to most conventional creams, sunscreen contains chemicals so you can spray, roll or rub on with ease while still smelling like a tropical vacation.  These chemicals include things such as Amino Benzoic Acid, Avobenzone, Cinoxate, Dioxybenzone and Diazolidinyl, which is quite the mouthful, and trust me the next part isn’t any easier to swallow.  These chemicals are all potentially carcinogenic, which means cancer-causing. Some of these chemicals have even been linked to cardio-vascular disease, skin toxicity and disruption of the nervous system, immune system and fertility.   Which, if you ask me, makes sunscreen a little bit less like a hero, and more like the lesser of two evils.

So what does a sun-worshiper do?  Well for starters try not to get too caught up in it all.  At the end of the day we cannot control what goes into these products, but we can choose what is best for us.  So go back to your grandmother’s advice and keep covered!  Hats and shirts are necessary in a long day in the sun, and be sure to stay hydrated.  When purchasing sunscreen, be sure to look for simple labels free of the aforementioned chemicals or better yet, try to make your own.  This is relatively easy to do, it takes no more than 20 minutes and should last you the summer.  Here is my homemade sunscreen recipe free of any mystery ingredients!

Homemade Sunscreen

This can be stored in the fridge or at room temperature. Should be applied 30 mins before sun exposure.


6 Tbsp Grated Beeswax

6 Tbsp Shea Butter

3 Tbsp Coconut Oil

3 Tbsp Sesame Oil

6 Tbsp Aloe Vera Gel

2 Vitamin E gel capsules

2 Vitamin A capsules

3 drops of Calendula Oil

4 tbsp Zinc Oxide

Add 1 tsp of any extract or essential oil for a scented version.  I used coconut extract.


-Take Beeswax, Shea Butter, Sesame Oil and Coconut Oil and melt it in a double boiler or a small pot. Do not let it reach boiling point.

-Add Zinc Oxide, Vitamin E, vitamin A and Aloe Vera to the melted oil/butter.  Store it in an airtight jar and keep it refrigerated, will last up to 3-4 months.

*When looking for Zinc Oxide, look for a pure cream.  I used Zincofax.

Disclaimer: This Formulation is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition. The information on this page has not been evaluated by the FDA.  This recipe is intended for personal use and not for resale or distribution purposes.  This is a topical formula, not meant for injestion.  If


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