As the world continues evolving and more people are becoming aware of the dangers of chemical substances to the earth, there is an increasing shift from artificial to natural or organic. This shift applies to almost everything nowadays, especially beauty and skincare products. So it is not out of place to want to know what to use instead of sunscreen, as an example.
If you are already used to using sunscreen, sunblock or others like them, then it may be hard to switch. This is especially true if you have been getting great results and have never reacted harshly to any of them.
But it is usually beneficial to have different options to fall back on. Relying solely on the mainstream sunscreen all the time may take a toll on your skin in the long run. Why? It may be due to some chemicals found in it.
Even those which are touted as natural or organic may not be totally free of chemicals. Blessedly, there are alternatives to using sunscreen that have no chemical or synthetic additives you can’t explain.
Mainstream Sunscreen – How Bad Can It Be
It goes without saying that protection of the skin from sun rays is primary, especially for pale skin. The harsh effects that sun rays could have on the skin cannot be overemphasized. Apart from massively reducing the occurrence of sunburns, skin cancer plus other blights have a lower chance of coming up.
However, excessively using sunscreen can reduce your skin’s absorption of the essential vitamin D. There is also the possibility of developing some of those blights you were trying to avoid in the first place, due to allergens in some ingredients.
Zinc oxide, as an example, is usually found in sunscreen. While it has its function in the overall effectiveness of skin protection from the sun, it could grow unstable and cause the development of allergies over time.
Viable Alternatives to Sunscreen
Since you are here, you probably already know the need to use more environment and skin-friendly skin protection methods.
So the following are some natural alternatives to sunscreen you can try:
Carrot seed oil
Oil from wheatgerm
Oil from the red raspberry seed
Let us discuss how each oil works in details.
What doesn’t this oil do, you might be thinking. It works great on hair and skin and is even used to prepare some meals. Now, it can offer protection from the sun, too?
Yes, it can and it does. Given, it may not offer the best and strongest protection but it gets the job done somewhat. On its own, it may give the equal of SPF value of 10, which isn’t strong enough for intense sunlight. But if you absolutely need sun protection even in the mildest sunlight, then you might want to try this. Besides, it smells so good and adds the needed vitamin E to your skin.
Carrot Seed Oil
What is the SPF value of carrot seed oil?
Carrot seed oil has an SPF value of about 40 which is quite effective in protecting the skin from intense sunlight. Additionally, it has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing properties. Using carrot seed oil on its own, without any other product, protects from sunlight and gives your skin a glow that lasts.
Beta carotene, vitamins A and E are some of the vital ingredients that make carrot seed oil effective. So it goes beyond just sun protection.
How much protection from the sun does aloe vera offer?
Aloe vera offers just about 15% to 22% protection from sun rays. This is not adequate enough, especially on a hot day. So you will need to cut down the time you spend out under the sun if you are going to use it as protection.
However, it takes care of a myriad of other skin issues, including inflammatory ones. The antioxidants it contains also help to fight off free radicals, eliminating the chances of a quick ageing process.
It is very popular, quite affordable and can be found in any convenience store. However, it can only protect your skin from about 30 percent of the sun rays. Much like aloe vera, you will need to take care about the amount of time you spend in the sun if this is the alternative sunscreen option you go for.
Though it offers a very low SPF value of about 10, shea butter still has other benefits it gives. While it gives mild sun protection, it deposits vitamins E and A. These two are strong antioxidants which fight off the damages that come from the actions of free radicals.
This benefit, in turn, reduces the chances of early ageing. In addition to that, shea butter restores elasticity to your skin and evens its tone out.
So you see you get much more than just mild sun protection from using this natural alternative sunscreen.
Oil from Wheatgerm
What kind of sun protection does oil from wheatgerm offer?
Oil from wheatgerm offers the broad-spectrum kind of sun protection. That is, it protects the skin from both UVB and UVA rays.
It also has an SPF value of about 20, which is better than some chemical sunscreen options without the accompanying environmental damage.
Offering SPF value of about 20, this option gives better protection than some chemical sunscreen options, without the accompanying environmental damage. Additionally, it contains vitamins K and E, which prevent the radicals in sun rays from damaging the skin.
Here’s another thing: it offers protection from both UVB and UVA rays, making it a broad-spectrum sun protection alternative.
The highest value of sun protection this oil offers is about SPF 15, which is not strong enough to protect from high sun rays. But it has other uses such as depositing antioxidants and fatty acids to boost the skin’s natural health.
Oil from the Red Raspberry Seed
While you may not find it so easily, this alternative sunscreen option offers sun protection value of 30 to somewhere around 50. That’s huge, wouldn’t you say? It also has moisturizing properties so you get a lot of benefits from it.
What Makes Sunscreen or Its Alternative Effective?
Titanium dioxide is one of the few important ingredients that make sunscreen effective. Zinc oxide is another, though it has been reported to have the ability to become unstable.
What they do is to block the UV rays from getting absorbed into the skin. This means that they cause the rays to be reflected away from the skin and scatter them.
Many sunblock and sunscreens have them but the natural oils and other options we have listed above usually don’t contain them. This is the downside of using homemade or natural sunscreen.
Summarily, these alternatives may not be as effective as your conventional sunscreen without the presence of zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or any other chemical filter that can shift UV rays away from the skin.
Video: What Does Adequate Sun Protection Mean?
The FDA explains what it truly means for a bottle of sunscreen to claim to be effective. Watch…
Bottom Line – What to Use Instead of Sunscreen
There are many sunscreen options that don’t contain harmful ingredients like parabens and oxybenzone. While everyone would rather go natural, you may not get the sun protection you are looking for with these alternatives. And even if you do get some protection, it may not be enough.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continually updates guidelines on how to identify ingredients found in sunscreen that shouldn’t be there. So the possibilities of seeing healthier and more environment-friendly sunscreens are increasing by the day.
However, in all of these, go for what makes you comfortable. If you would rather stay away from all things chemical, then you have our list to fall back on.
And always remember to seek the advice of a dermatologist before you try any new skincare product, be it natural or chemical.