The weather has been heating up fast here in Georgia, and I am finding myself outside a lot more. My doctor has recommended that I go outside more in order to raise my vitamin D. Getting outdoors to garden certainly helps. After a random visit to the dermatologist for something else, where I happened to be the only Black person in that office, I thought to myself, should I try to get some sunscreen? I have to admit, I do not think much about it, my family tends to have great skin well into old age, but I also know that I need some protection against the sun.
As someone wary of corporations and their products, I definitely wanted a natural alternative to sunscreen that was not full of chemicals. I found there are several out there that you can buy for cheap or that you already may have in your house.
Harmful Chemicals In Sunscreen
There are two different types of sunscreens on the market. One that uses man-made chemicals like octocrylene, oxybenzone, and avobenzone, and mineral sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. These chemicals have been known to be absorbed into the body and found in your urine or breast milk. Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit working to support safer sunscreens, recommends one not use sunscreens with oxybenzone, as it can cause hormone disruption. They go one to say that while further study is needed, it’s best to avoid these chemicals where you can.
Do Black People Need Sunscreen?
While, I may have a little more protection from the sun because of the type of melanin I have, I know I still need some help to guard against aging and dryness. For many African Americans, putting on sunscreen was not a ritual we were accustomed to having in our lives. “Black don’t crack” is still something a lot of us say. With more information available, we now know that Black people still suffer from skin cancers, where unfortunately the outcomes for us are much worse than our lighter skinned counterparts. There is a great article from Healthline that goes into this on a much deeper level.
Raw Oils As Sunscreen
Red Raspberry Seed Oil- I honestly never heard of this one, but it has a 28-50 SPF, which is amazing.
Carrot Seed Oil- This has a 38-40 SPF
Wheat Germ Oil- This has an SPF of 20
Sesame Oil- This oil also blocks sunlight so you can stay in the sun longer and not burn.
Coconut Oil- This helps you produce vitamin D, it blocks sun rays to stay in the sun longer, and has an SPF of 10
More Natural Alternatives to Sunscreen
Aloe vera– You can definitely use this if you do happen to burn, but it also helps if you use some before you get in the sun.
Wear clothes that reflect sunlight
Shea butter- This one has an SPF of 6 to 10.
Eat Good– A plant based vegan diet filled with colorful food will help you protect your skin as well.
Conclusion- Check The Labels
Wearing some form of sunscreen is crucial as you work outside in these summer months. Natural alternatives are great for those looking for a chemical free solutions. You can try oils, or even combine these ingredients and add essential oils to make it your own. Are there any I missed? Let me know any natural sunscreens you may use.