Wear Sunscreen

A friend's beloved Chaco feet
No, despite the title, this post is not about graduating or even speeches for that matter. It's a post about wearing sunscreen. I'm heading to Phoenix this weekend for a girls trip. I've never been to Arizona, but I have a feeling that sunscreen will be the most important product I take since I know we'll be spending a lot of time by the pool.

As much as a I love to layout and soak up the sun, I am not keen on sunburns and my pasty, white skin doesn't just get golden, it fries. I truly wear sunscreen almost every day, and I haven't ever really given it much thought.

Last weekend I realized, after lathering on a whole heap of sunscreen, that I have no idea what is in this stuff. I'm usually so conscious of what chemicals are on my body and try to avoid almost anything harmful. Interesting that I have never considered my sunscreen.

Before I head out this weekend and throw the Coppertone in my bag, I thought I would research a natural recipe for sunscreen. I immediately grabbed The Natural Formula Book for Home & Yard on my shelf. To my surprise, it was not promising.

Here is the formula they suggested.

Suntan Lotion
2 ounces salt-free mayonnaise
2 ounces black tea
juice of 1 lemon
5 400-IU vitamin E capsules
Mix the mayonnaise, tea, and lemon juice together in a blender.  Pour this into a storage container, and squeeze the contents of the vitamin E capsules in it.  Keep in the refrigerator for no more than a week. 

It guarantees to give you color without the harmful rays. Now, I love this book and stand by several of the formulas found inside, however, I do not want to be sitting by the pool smelling like rotten mayonnaise.

I researched more recipes and found several that included pure zinc oxide but most came with large warning labels about using caution with gloves and masks. I don't really feel like repeating chemistry class two days before my trip.

I switched gears thinking there must be a natural company already making safer sunscreen. I landed on the
Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep website and discovered a 2011 report on sunscreen with a rating system. Many products are listed with a given rating of 0-10. Zero being the best possible choice and 10 being the worst. The one concern I have is the little amount of data that has been collected on each product and their ingredients. For example, a product that has a rating of 0 may have limited to no research findings on the ingredients making it hard to justify, in my mind, a good rating. On the plus side, it listed a slew of products that I had not heard of before giving me a chance to read some labels. Sticking to my rules about label reading, few ingredients, words I can pronounce, and non-processed items, I quickly made a short list of possibilities.

Narrowing the list, the most appealing was an SPF from
Badger. It's lavender scented and according to directions, if rubbed in well, it won't leave a white film on your skin. organic, natural, sunscreen, sun, uv, protection
Wearing sunscreen is vital and I hope I can find a more natural product that doesn't make me dress in long sleeves and large, brimmed hats all summer.

Do you have any suggestions for natural sun protection?  I would love to hear about them in the comments below.