But you might be reluctant to use sunscreen. It has a long list of chemicals in it (especially spray sunscreens, go on clear sunscreens, and some waterproof sunscreens). And we’ve traded convenience—needing to apply sunscreen less often—for more chemicals. Plus, don’t we all need a little sun in order to make sure we’re getting enough Vitamin D?
Unfortunately, sunscreens are the best way to prevent sunburn if you’re going to be getting direct sunlight—swimming, at a park, etc. If you’re willing to do some leg work, there are decent sunscreens out there (just research the ingredient list). If you’re lazy, you can buy an organic sunscreen for a high price.
There’s also an all natural option. It won’t give you the same protection as sunscreen, but for incidental exposure, it my work for you. (And if you’re dead-set against chemical sunscreens, these options are better than nothing!).
Castor oil, cod liver oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil and coconut oil are all natural sunscreens that have been used for thousands of years. Cod liver oil is by and far the best (*almost* comparable to low SPF sunscreen, blocking about 90% of UV rays).
The easiest, cheapest natural oil to use as sunscreen is coconut oil—you probably have a jar in your pantry—but it’s also one of the weakest options, blocking only about 20% of sunlight. Still, if you wear a hat, stick to the shade, and reapply often, you might be able to make it work for you (plus, it’s great for your skin anytime).
Before jumping in and using something like coconut oil for sunscreen, experiment, and adjust based on your skin type and where you live (fair skin, high altitudes and closer to the equator it is less likely to be enough). Start by applying it before getting your daily Vitamin D exposure (about 20 minutes, full body—again, adjust based on skin color and location. A Canadian will need to stay in the sun longer than a Floridian or Coloradoan to get their daily Vitamin D). See how well that worked out for you—I’m not super fair, but I can still tell pretty easily how much sun I’ve gotten in a day, and whether it was too much.
No matter what type of sunscreen you choose to use, make sure to always wear a good pair of sunglasses. Even on overcast days you can still easily burn your eyes!
And if you do get sunburned? Try our topical colloidal silver cream. Colloidal silver has traditional (and current!) uses as a burn ointment, and the cream version mixes it with skin healing ingredients like aloe.
Have you ever used coconut (or another) oil as sunscreen? Did it work for you?