Did you know— sunscreen edition

The Florida heat and sunshine is upon us! šŸŒž Ā In our quest to safeguard our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, we often turn to sunscreen as our primary defense. However, research has shed light on some concerning aspects of traditional sunscreen ingredients and their potential impact on our health.

Many sunscreens contain toxic chemicals such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, and octocrylene which penetrate the skin and disrupt hormone function. Some of the chemical sunscreen ingredients are absorbed into the bloodstream raising concerns about long term health effects.

In a 2010 study, the Indian researchers identified the sun protection factor (SPF) associated with various edible and essential oils as follows:

  • SPF 8- Coconut oilšŸ„„, Olive Oil
  • SPF 7- Peppermint essential Oil, Tulsi essential oil
  • SPF 6- Castor Oil, Lavender Essential Oil
  • SPF 5- Almond Oil
  • SPF 4- OrangeĀ Essential OilšŸŠ
  • SPF 3- Mustard Oil, Chaulmoogra Oil, Eucalyptus Essential oil
  • SPF 2- Sesame oil, Tea Tree essential oil
  • SPF 1- Rose Essential oil

Coconut oil was at the top of the IndianĀ researchers list with an SPF of 8. The Mayo clinic asserts that coconut oil can block “an estimated 20 percent of the sun’s rays”.

There are two other ways that one can avoid sun damage: strategic sun exposure and a nutrient- dense diet.

By exposing yourself to the sun in increasing amounts daily brings melanin to the skins surface. Melanin- found inside cells, in layers in the cell wall and outside cells– is the browning pigment in the skin that blocks sun damage. Those with darker skin have more melanin that those who are pale. As the sun gets stronger in the spring months, building up your time outside during the day, a little at a time will bring melanin to the surface of the skin naturally and offer protection from sunburn.

Building your exposure to the sun is best when combined with consuming a nutrient dense diet loaded with beta- carotene-filled foods. Foods highest in beta-carotene include orangeĀ vegetables such as carrots, butternut squash,Ā pumpkin and even red peppers.

Stay tuned for another future email with a DIY sunscreen recipe!


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