In my last post, I discussed some of my favourite summertime skin oils to use for healthy skin and protection. Now, I want to talk about whether or not you could use those oils instead of sunscreen.
My answer: maybe
If you’re only going out for a little while, you don’t burn easily, and/or if the UV index isn’t too bad, then you can forgo the sunscreen and use a bit of raspberry seed oil.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be out in the sun for a prolonged period of time, you burn easily, have a history of skin cancer, are older in age (with thinner skin) or younger in age (like a baby), and/or if the UV index is high, then perhaps opting for a sunscreen is a good idea.
Some other factors to consider include the antioxidant intake you have (lots of fruits and veggies?), how dark your skin is, if you are on medications that make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure, where you live (closer to the equator or closer to the poles?), and much more.
Other ways to enjoy the outdoors in the summer is wearing a hat (and sunglasses), wearing clothes that cover your skin, seeking shade, taking breaks by going indoors every now and then, avoiding mid-day sun etc.
Sun exposure is important - it helps us in a variety of ways, a lot of which are unknown; one which is known is the conversion of vitamin D to an almost usable form. But, UV rays can also cause damage, so you always want to take a balanced approach to sun exposure.
SUNSCREENS & TOXICITY
There are LOTS of sunscreen brands out there… and many of them are filled with chemicals that have not been around much (and we know how that can go: BPA and phthalates anyone?) and haven’t really been tested to see what kinds of effects they can have on/in the body and environment. Not all “natural” brands are amazing either.
Non-nano zinc oxide (most commonly found in spray-ons)
NO oxybenzone (a hormone disruptor)
NO vitamin A/retinol (can sensitize the skin and has been associated with increased skin cancer lesions)
No phthalates, parabens, polyethylene glycol etc.
RELATIVELY SAFE SUNSCREENS
Below are a few companies that make decent sunscreens that I’ve tried (I have no affiliations to these products or companies and I'm sure there are lots of other good ones out there). I check my products against the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database.
Feel free to let me know your favourite in the comments section below
If you want to read some more about this topic, you can check out the EWG and David Suzukiwebsites.