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Top Natural Sunscreen Ingredients to Protect Your Skin

Detoxification Circuit

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Carrie Lam, MD; Jeremy Lam, MD

Every year, over 9000 Americans die from melanoma. Overexposure to the sun is a major contributor to the development of melanoma. Doctors recommend sunscreen. But in the effort to prevent too much sun, a large number of people expose themselves to the dangerous ingredients in commercial sunscreen. A better option involves using a natural sunscreen.

Why Use Sunscreen?

The Use of SunscreenTwo types of rays from the sun, UVA and UVB, cause damage to your skin from too much sun. Mainly, the UVB rays cause sunburn and UVA rays cause damage to your skin that leads to aging of the skin.

But UVA rays increase the likelihood that UVB rays will lead to skin cancer. Thus the need for sunscreen.

It is important to note that most recommendations for sun exposure recommend using longer sleeves, pants, and shade to get out of the sun before resorting to sunscreen. Sunscreen is best thought of as a last resort.

However, not only do the rays from the sun pose problems for your health, but the ingredients in commercial sunscreens do also.

Hazards In Commercial Sunscreen

Research findings published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that the questionable ingredients in sunscreens actually penetrate your skin and get into your bloodstream.

At least twelve ingredients commonly used in sunscreens have not been listed as safe by the FDA. These are some of the chemicals and their effects.

  • Oxybenzone - This chemical helps other chemicals penetrate your skin. It causes an eczema-like reaction on your skin. Research shows it is a hormone disruptor.
  • Paraben Preservatives - These chemicals cause allergic reactions and are toxic to your body.
  • Homosalate - This chemical penetrates your skin and builds up in your body. This build-up is toxic and disrupts hormones.
  • Octinoxate - Premature aging comes from this chemical along with the disruption of hormones.
  • Retinyl Palmitate - Because of a reaction when exposed to UV rays, free radicals that damage DNA result from this chemical.

Making Natural Sunscreen

Clearly, these are not compounds you want on your body. However, making your own natural sunscreen is fairly easy.

A number of oils, butters, and essential oils provide some natural sunscreen protection. Most of them only provide small amounts of this protection. But added to your own natural sunscreen, they can give you sufficient protection.

It can be difficult to tell what SPF natural sunscreen has, and it is more likely to wash off than commercial varieties, thus making burns more likely. This is why it is also important to use caution when in the sun; use shade and clothing to protect your skin first. However, natural sunscreen can give you some added protection.

Coconut oil, shea butter, jojoba oil, eucalyptus, and lavender oils, along with Vitamin E oil provide this protection and nourish your skin. Also, you can find natural sunscreens, usually in children's sunscreen, that have zinc oxide in them that are effective in blocking harmful sun rays.

There are a number of recipes for natural sunscreen are available online.

Healing Natural Sunscreen Compounds

Natural Sunscreen CompoundsThere are natural oils that will protect you from the harmful rays of the sun. A combination of several of these oils will provide you with the protection you need.

Coconut Oil

This oil is a very good one to use especially on your face. It's high in vitamin E and vitamin K, and it is anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and antibacterial. Some compounds derived from coconut oil are also safe to use. Coco glucoside, lauric acid, and Cetearyl glucoside, for example.

Olive Oil

In addition to its use in cooking, olive oil great for your skin. It is rich in vitamin E, polyphenols, and phytochemicals. These are excellent natural chemicals to use in protecting your skin from the sun. Hydroxytyrosol, a compound used to repair free radical damage to the skin, is found in the best organic olive oil. It adds to the protection from UV rays.

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil forms a protective coating on your skin to protect it from UV rays. It also repairs damaged skin. It contains linoleic acid and palmitic acid to nourish your skin. Because sesame oil has a strong odor, it might be better used with an essential oil and coconut oil as a neutral carrier.

Jojoba Oil

This oil forms a protective barrier on your skin also. It has been used as a natural sunscreen since the 1800s. It also rehydrates your skin.

Avocado Oil

This oil forms a protective layer on your skin with an SPF of 15. Its mono-saturated fats work to protect your skin by reducing the absorption of UV rays.

Carrot Seed Oil

This oil has the highest SPF (40) of the natural oils used as sunscreens. Because of its antiseptic qualities, it can protect your skin from abrasions. Also, it contains high levels of antioxidants to deal with free radicals and the damage they cause.

Almond Oil

Almond oil has a low SPF (5) and is a source high in vitamin E. Due to the vitamin E, it may encourage younger-looking skin.

Raspberry Seed Oil

Carrying an SPF of 30, raspberry seed oil offers sun protection at the same time as it works to erase stretch marks. It is high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. This is the only natural compound that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Because of this, its protection makes it the best natural sunscreen component.

Macadamia Nut Oil

Used a great deal by Australians, macadamia nut oil is rich in phosphorus, vitamin E, potassium, and cinnamic acid. This latter ingredient is a natural UV protective compound.

Wheatgerm Oil

With an SPF of 20, wheatgerm oil is also rich in vitamin E. Because of the vitamin E, wheatgerm oil helps you repair previous damage to your skin from overexposure to the sun.

Sunflower Oil

Beta-carotene, a substance that converts to vitamin A, comes in large quantities in sunflower oil. Vitamin E, also present in large quantities, works as an antioxidant and aids in healing your skin from previous sun damage.

Shea Butter

Derived from the shea tree, shea butter carries a fair SPF level. It moisturizes and helps heal your skin.

Zinc Oxide

The powder form of this compound sits on the surface of your skin and protects UVA and UVB rays. It works best when combined with one or more of the oils mentioned above.

Unnatural Sunscreen and Adrenal Fatigue

NEM Stress ResponseStress is very common in our modern society, and if you are suffering from the effects of stress, it can reduce your body's ability to detoxify the dangerous chemicals in commercials sunscreens.

Your adrenal glands serve as your first line of defense against the effects of stress. They release cortisol, the major stress-fighting hormone, and other hormones when stress hits. As stress continues, the demand for cortisol increases to fight the effects of stress.

Because of this increasing demand, your adrenal glands eventually become overwhelmed and unable to produce and release sufficient cortisol. This begins the symptoms of adrenal fatigue.

NEM Stress Response

When your adrenals become fatigued and unable to provide enough cortisol, your body brings into play the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress Response. This is an inter-related combination of six circuits in your body that helps you handle stress.

Each of these circuits contains three organs and systems that work to fight the effects of stress.

These six circuits interact with each other through overlapping organs and systems. Because of this overlapping, what affects one circuit affects others as well. When one of these circuits becomes overwhelmed due to the physical and psychological effects of stress, it becomes dysregulated and symptoms develop.

How Sunscreen Toxins Affect The Detoxification Circuit

The part of your body most affected by the chemicals contained in commercial sunscreens is the detoxification circuit. This circuit carries the responsibility for cleansing your body of toxins before they can cause damage. Your liver, interstitium, and immune system make up the detoxification circuit.

In order to understand how this circuit works, you must understand the concept of metabolites. Metabolites are by-products of the breakdown of substances that enter your body.

Every substance entering your body goes through a process of being broken down for either absorption into the body or removal from it. Because of this, metabolites result. The harmful chemicals in commercial sunscreens also go through this process. Therefore, using commercial sunscreens could possibly be causing more harm to your body and possibly worsen health problems like adrenal fatigue.

Liver

The Human LiverYour liver holds the responsibility of removing metabolites from your body. Because of other conditions, such as adrenal fatigue, your liver may not function well enough to rid your body of these metabolites. Therefore, the metabolites may back up in your liver or in your bloodstream. When this happens, they become toxic to your body.

If the level of these reactive metabolites becomes overwhelming, a condition called reactive metabolite overload (RMO) occurs. This condition produces severe damage to your body. If you have adrenal fatigue, you are at a higher risk of developing RMO from toxic sunscreens and severe symptoms. That is why it is best to consult an adrenal fatigue specialist who can help guide you in your recovery.

Conclusion

Enough evidence exists showing the effects of too much sun to warrant the use of sunscreen. Many people use commercial sunscreen and expose themselves to the effects of the harmful chemicals in these sunscreens.

Natural sunscreen provides sufficient protection from the UVA and UVB rays from the sun without the harmful chemicals. A number of natural butters, oils, and essential oils give you some added protection from the sun. There are many recipes for making your own natural sunscreen available online.

 
© Copyright 2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Lam's Key Question

Natural sunscreen is needed because commercial sunscreen products contain very harmful chemicals that can exacerbate detoxification problems. These chemicals serve as a source of stress on the body as well. There are several recipes that can be found on the internet for making natural sunscreen.

© Copyright 2001-2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
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