If you are looking for an effective and 100% natural sun protection for you and your children, one that is not only non toxic, but actually nourishing for your skin and body, this post may be of interest for you.
Sylvia on the Facebook page ‘Wholesome Living‘ shared a very interesting post showing a natural SPF sunscreen experiment. She (and her husband whose back was used) divided his back into separate squares with masking tape (ouch!) and applied different oils on each exposed part.
The oils Sylvia used are not essential oils but thicker, more viscous, spreadable plant oils. They are not essential oils that have no SPF, but they are carrier oils that have SPF.
(Before anything else, I still absolutely recommend avoiding the sun between 11AM and 3PM, or even a wider portion of the day if you are fair-skinned. Nothing ‘under the sun’ is perfect (except maybe masking tape!).
Now you can see their results:
Full, Original Images
I share her full text with her permission:
A number of plants produce natural oils with sun protection properties, and I have been using them exclusively as sun protection for the past 3 summers here on Mallorca (Spain), including on the skin of my now 20 month old daughter, who has never been touched by commercial sun screen.
Few days ago I decide to test a bunch of them as sun protection on my husband who agreed for me to use his completely pale skin as a test subject, and you can see the results on the attached pictures. This is from 1 hour of exposure, 15:00 to 16:00 on Mallorca, Spain.
Brands and Oils Tested for Sun Protection:
1. Carrot oil – Fushi -(edit in photo: I used Carrot Oil and not Carrot Seed oil)
2. Organic Wheatgerm Oil – Naissance
3. Wheatgerm Oil – Belenos Therapy
4. Raspberry Seed Oil Cold Pressed – Naissance
5. Nothing – bare skin
6. Coconut Oil Bio – Natursoy
My Sun Protection Experience:
Carrot Oil Properties
Rich in Carotene and Vitamin-A, both of which are powerful anti-oxidants, it helps promote youthful and supple skin.
1. Organic, Cold-Pressed Carrot Oil – Fushi
Orange in color with a delicate smell of beta carotene (you know it if you ever took beta carotene supplements).
This oil requires a little care in handling because of its color, which can rub onto your clothing.
The good news is, in my experience it does not stain permanently and washes off without a problem and it also gives your skin a nice sun-kissed glow.
I’ve used it to maximize the sun protective factor or diluted with coconut or wheatgerm oil.
I use it on my skin during the mid-day sun, without ever getting burned.
Wheat Germ Oil Properties
Wheat Germ Oil contains high levels of Vitamin E as well as other vitamins, minerals, protein, linoleic, oleic, palmitic, and stearic fatty acids. This oil helps dry and cracked skin, Eczema, stretch marks, dull complexion, scars and sun burns.
2. Organic Wheatgerm Oil – Naissance Convive
Light brown in color with a nice and fresh smell of unripened wheat grain if you ever had the pleasure of smelling it. It give the skin nice glow. Based on the result of my test, this brand seems to be more sun protective than the oil produced by Balenos Therapy.
3. Wheat Germ Oil – Balenos Therapy
This oil is light brown/orangy in color and has a slightly toasted smell, similar to the smell of crushed mature wheat grain. It strains a little when not rubbed in entirely thus you may want to be careful when wearing light colored clothing. The bottles are plastic and have a convenient applicator which makes using it easier, however the slightly toasted smell may not be to everyone’s liking. It also seems less protective to the other brand.
(I also found this Wheat Germ Oil which has more than over 90% Amazon 4 star and 5 star reviews, many for its effective sun protection).
Raspberry Seed Oil Properties
This oil is a very rich source of essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. The polyphenols help improve skin tone and elasticity and aid skin regeneration. It also helps maintain moisture while offering anti-inflammatory properties.
4. Raspberry seed oil – cold pressed Naissance
Light gold in color and with an appealing, fresh and leafy smell similar to the aroma of freshly dried hey.
This one is ideal to use on the face and on areas that tent to get burned easiest such as nose and shoulders. It undoubtedly has a very highly sun protective properties and I would recommend it to anyone with pale and sensitive skin, including babies.
(I found this RASPBERRY SEED OIL 100% Virgin. Cold Pressed, which is a favorite for sun coverage with a high SPF.)
5. I used nothing as a control, and
6. coconut oil
As we all have different skin color and sensitivity to sun, I would encourage you to start with the oil with higher factor like Carrot Seed Oil or Raspberry Seed Oil and observe your skins tolerance and reaction to find what works for you.
Re-applying is also essential.
Note: There is a recorded synergistic effect of mixing the oils which makes them even more effective against photo damage thus it maybe work getting two instead of one. Grapeseed is a another great UVA absorber according to one study.
What She Used
Most importantly, what I would like you to get out of this is that, there are safe and natural alternatives to commercial sun screens, which can be purchased in health food stores or online (I get mine from Amazon).
It is estimated that between 4,000 to 6,000 metric tons of sunscreen end up in the oceans worldwide, resulting in 10 percent of coral reefs being threatened by sunscreen-induced bleaching.
Last year Hawaii went as far as trying to ban sunscreen all together to protect their coral reefs. By adopting new practice of using natural oils over commercial sunscreen and by sharing this information with our family and friends we can help protect the oceans and ourselves from unnecessary toxins.
My list of safer sunscreens if you are not interested in using natural oils.
Stay Tuned For UVA and UVB Lab Tests
Sylvia has also been compiling studies testing the photo-protective properties (UVA and UVB) of the oils in a laboratory setting.
It seems like a logical thought that oils would cause skin to burn by intensifying the sun’s rays. What makes a difference is the content of photo-protective compounds these oils contain. She has confirmation that they protect from UVA and UVB, and it will be published here and on her FB page once its ready.
After working for 12 years in a luxury travel industry, Sylvia retired from working for the rich and famous to start a family. Becoming pregnant pushed her into researching the many chemicals our modern lives are full of and subsequently made her turn to natural and non toxic alternatives. She now devotes herself to being the best mom to her amazing (unvaccinated) daughter by going back to her roots of attachment parenting, growing veggies, making sourdough bread, cooking healthy pants based meals and turning to natural remedies when needed.
She recently started a Facebook page called Wholesome Living where she shares studies and articles promoting health and well-being of body, mind and spirit while respecting mother nature and our place in it. She settled with her husband and daughter on the Spanish Island of Mallorca, where they live off the grid, producing their own electricity using solar and wind energy to minimize their impact on the environment.
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