All Natural Sunscreen – Essential Oils are a Chemical Free Alternative!
An all natural sunscreen can be easily made from essential oils. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to prevent sunburn, treat burns and sunburn successfully!
Did you know that the Egyptians mixed Myrrh with animal fat to prevent Sunburn? Yes, we have seen the Egyptians drawings showing men and women with “cylindrical cones” on their head and thought oddly of this tradition. But, the cones actually contained the all natural sunscreen mixture!
Why Use or Make All Natural Sunscreen?
Like so many of our hair, skin and personal care products, most sunscreen ingredients are toxic for the body and create many of the skin conditions we encounter today.
Using safe sunscreen that we can make is good for the planet, our animals and our children. Therapeutic grade essential oils can form the base of an organic, biodegradable and chemical free sunscreen! And we get all the benefits of using essential oils as well. So why not use them?
What Types of Sun Burns can be Remedied with Essential Oils?
All types of burns will benefit from using therapeutic grade essential oils. Sunburn is considered a first degree burn or a minor burn where only the outer skin in damaged. For second degree burns, please see the section on burn home remedies.
What Essential Oils are best for Natural Protection?
Essential oils that have natural anti-inflammatory and sun blocking properties are the best. Here are a few suggestions:
• Lavender Essential Oil
• Helichrysum Essential Oil
• Myrrh Essential Oil
• Roman Chamomile Essential Oil
While you could apply most of these oils NEAT (undiluted), it is best to mix them with a base or carrier oil.
What Oils can I use as a Carrier Oil?
There are natural vegetable oils that provide great moisturizing and sun protection as well. Here is a list of suggested oils:
• Coconut Oil
• Jojoba Oil
• Sesame Oil
• Avocado Oil
• Wheat Germ Oil
• V-6 Mixing Oil
Of course we want to use the best quality oils available because they are absorbed into your skin! Organic virgin oils are the best. V-6 is a mixture of several vegetable oils that I use to dilute my oil remedies. One can also use aloe vera gel; although personally, I tend to use this more in the after sun or sunburn remedies.
Coconut oil is my personal favorite. I gave up buying body creams and lotions many years ago. Its not too heavy and it is good for your body of course. If I am going to the barn I coat myself in coconut oil and Ortho Sport if I am going to the beach or pool its coconut oil and lavender!
Most people gasp when I tell them this because they only know the strong artificial coconut oil smell that is in the commercially made sun tan oil. But I can ensure you, the smell is very faint and mixed with the lavender I actually smell quite pleasing!
What Oil Amounts Should I Use for All Natural Sunscreen?
A good rule of thumb is 5- 10 drops of essential oil per ounce of vegetable oil. But for safety reasons also read the recommendations for the individual oil as well.
I use a little more when I haven’t seen the sun in awhile and use a little less when I have. If one is fair skinned, then err on the higher end! Or when you know you will be in the sun longer. And of course, re-apply after you get wet.
If one is using all natural sunscreen with essential oils on their pet, then again follow the guidelines outlined in the appropriate animal sections as far as dilutions, since cats are rather sensitive creatures!
The home made sun tan oil should be stored out of the direct sunlight and in a cool place when you are out of the sun so it does not degrade. Once oils are mixed with vegetable oils they start to breakdown to some extent so my advice is to make the sunscreen in small batches as needed!
What Essential Oils Should I Avoid in the Sun?
Remember to avoid essential oils that contain citrus; and this includes your blends! These oils are photosensitive and can create skin spots or discoloration of the skin. Make sure you review the information on the individual oil for important safety information such as this.
What if I get Sunburn?
There are essential oils that provide first aid for sunburn as well. Review the section on home remedies for sunburn for oils that fit in this category.