Alternatives to Conventional Sunscreen (and After Sun Care)

We are in the middle of summer and of course; the question about the right sunscreen is one we all ask sooner or later. In today’s post I want to share with you why I would NEVER ever use conventional sunscreen, how you can make your own sunscreen, and what alternatives you can shop. I am also sharing some tips for an organic and natural aftersun care.

Let me begin by explaining why I would never ever use conventional sunscreen;

Conventional sunscreens use one or more chemicals including oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and octinoxate. Most common are oxybenzone, methoxycinnamate, and PABA which are estrogenic chemicals and are all linked to cancer. All these chemicals are absorbed by our skin and are able to enter into our bloodstream where they can easily harm our cells. Whenever you buy a sunscreen watch out for those toxic chemicals. They are in around 97% of all conventional sunscreens.

Mineral sunscreens are typically considered a safer option but you should take a closer look to make sure that the zinc used in the sunscreen is a non-nano zinc oxide.

And just as a short side note; vitamin D is an essential vitamin which we absorb when we allow the sun to shine onto our skin. When we use sunscreen, vitamin D can not be absorbed. Please note that the sun is not our enemy, the toxics in conventional sunscreens are. They are linked to much more cancer than the sun ever was. If you are intersted in the topic just google “why not to use conventional sunscreen” and you will find a whole lot of very well researched articles 🙂

So what kind of protection to use? I use two different kinds of sun protection – a homemade sunscreen/ oil and an organic ready to use sunscreen from Butterbean Organics.

So first about the homemade ones. One option is to use pure coconut oil. Coconut oil has a spf of 4-9 and I use it whenever I only spend a little bit of time in the sun and I do not need that much protection. It works great for that plus it’s awesome for your skin. Plus it’s not very expensive.

Last year I posted a recipe for a homemade sunscreen. You can find it HERE. This summer I am using the exact same recipe except for that I leave out the cocoa butter and the bees wax. So I basically just blend sesame oil, coconut oil, and carrot seed oil, and I have a nice and perfectly healthy sun protection oil with a spf around 20.

The fewer ingredients the store bought sun screen has, the better it is. As with food, I only consume those cosmetics where I can relate to the things written on the ingredients list. So here is what is in the sunscreen from Butterbean Organics: Non-nano uncoated zinc oxide, Coconut Oil, Shea  Butter, Beeswax, Olive Oil, Jojoba Seed Oil,  and Sunflower Vitamin E. That’s it! I am amazed by this sunscreen and it is the first one ever that I put on my little ones skin. So far she only got the homemade one, but now that she also likes to play in the water when we go to the lake, and hence, she gets a lot more sunshine, I am glad to have a water-resistent healthy alternative to my homemade oils and creams.

Last year I bought an organic sunscreen in a local shop but even in this organic sunscreen (which of course came in a plastic tube) there were that many unknown ingredients that in the end, I never actually used it (and I think I am going to throw it away sooner or later). I am soooo glad I found the ones from Butterbean Organics this summer! The cream is super soft and applies nicely and the little sport stick is just perfect for my littles ones nose and ears!

By the way, I got the sunscreen through the shop Monomeer which is like my new favorite for everthing cosmetics and everything household. Why? Not only are the products that you can find there organic but they are all plastic free too! How cool is that? This is definetly another reason for why I can recommend the Butterbean Organics Sunscreen – quite in contrast to 95% of all organic sunscreen and 100% of all conventional sunscreens out there, it comes with NO PLASTIC!

And after the sun bath? I cannot recommend buying any of those after sun lotions which contains loads of parabenes and other chemicals. As usual, nature is the best choice. For me and my family I use aloe vera as a after sun care. Whenever we have aloe vera leaves, I use the fresh juice from the leaf. But you can also use a 100% aloe vera juice which works perfectly cooling as well.

Another special little extra that I like to use when I want spoil my skin after a sun bath, is a facemask made from avocado and avocado oil. Just mash half of an avocado, add some avocado oil to it, and apply to your face and neck line. Wash off after around 20 minutes. You can also use the avocado oil pure on your neck or shoulders when you feel that maybe they go a little bit too much sun. By the way, avocado oil has a spf of around 4… can you see how easy it is to treat your skin and protect it at the same time without stressing it with toxic chemicals!?

So I guess that was it for today. I hope this helped some of you to understand more about the dangers of conventional sunscreen and get an idea of the many alternatives there are. I hope I inspired one or two of you to think twice before getting hands of the next plastic bottle filled with chemicals which will end up in our precious oceans in the end.

By the way, this is where we spent our Saturday and where I took the pictures of this post. We went for a long walk for the little ones nap and stopped here for a break, we picked a whole lot of blackberries on our way and enjoyed them there – together with this view 🙂

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  1. Nataly Kirei Kana
    Juli 31, 2016 / 9:49 pm

    Thanks for tips! I’m really into sunscreeens this year! But this topic is quite new for me, because I wasn’t much interested before… for no reason!

  2. August 1, 2016 / 7:07 am

    Oh my God! I used to use conventional sunscreen!!! thank you soooo much for this post my dear!!
    I think I will never use them again! 🙂

  3. August 1, 2016 / 9:35 am

    This is a real eye opener. I use sunscreen daily but never really thought about the ingredients… I’m definitely doing some more research about this subject!

    XoXo,

    Tamara – LoveofMode.com

  4. August 1, 2016 / 1:28 pm

    Thanks for sharing! There are so many harmful substances in skin products that you don’t know what to use.

    Jasmine x

  5. August 2, 2016 / 1:36 am

    Oh wow, thanks for sharing such useful information with us, I didn’t know that those ingredients commonly found on conventional sunscreens were potencially dangerous chemicals.
    The alternatives you suggested are amazing and I might even want to try them out myself!! thanks lovely!!
    xx

    http://www.stylebydeb.com

  6. August 2, 2016 / 2:02 pm

    Very smart post! As I’ve written you before, I use rasperry seeed oil for that purpose – i tried it and its perfect, I ahould also buy another jar of coconut oil, cos I used it few weeks ago and I forgot about it. I should use it like you, whenever I’m in the sun just for a bit. Oils are great:) I’ve spent my weekend really great, on Saturday we went for a small trip to see a Teutonic Knights’ Castle near our town and we took a long walk out there in the castle and outside. Then we went for a picnic and basically spent a long day outside, we were surprised by the rain in the forest, so refreshing:) And Sunday as always we spend with our family – I got a huge bag of yellow zucchini from my parents’ neighbours, so happy:) I’ve made ratatouille already:P Have a great week, hugs:)))

  7. August 2, 2016 / 5:21 pm

    I am always excited to read posts about alternative ways to protect our skin that offer us alternatives to synthetic manmade products. Great post!

    Rae | Love from Berlin

  8. August 2, 2016 / 5:41 pm

    Liebe Larissa, danke für diesen Post. Ich muss nämlich gestehen, dass ich mir bisher noch nie Gedanken über meine Sonnencreme gemacht habe und bin jetzt direkt erleichtert über die Alternativen, die Du hier aufzeigst. Es fasziniert mich immer wieder, wie viel Du weißt und wie bewusst Du praktisch in allen Bereichen bist. Danke, dass Du Dein Wissen so offen und frei teilst.
    xx Rena
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

  9. August 2, 2016 / 6:04 pm

    I loooove your blog, especially cause I wanted to try healthier lifestyle and I hope I will eventually switch on that 🙂 Thank you for sharing a lot of amazing stuff on your blog :))

    http://nikolinahajdinic.blogspot.hr/

  10. August 2, 2016 / 10:42 pm

    Yet another insightful post, girlie! I’ve heard how carrot seed oil has a natural SPF, as well as Shea Butter. I was once applying shea on a daily basis, but wasn’t really sure if it was protecting my skin so I stopped. I was also scarred of applying it on my face, since I have oily, acne prone skin and since the shea is thick, I didn’t know if it would clog my pores? You always share such wonderful healthy and easy alternative, which I greatly appreciate! Also, I responded to your comment on my blog about the jacket! I hope you have a great week ahead, beauty, and thanks so much for sharing!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

  11. August 3, 2016 / 4:45 am

    Thank you for the tips! I will be checking the sunscreens I currently have on my shelf and I bet none of them are organic. I’m on the lookout for more natural (but also inexpensive) skincare products too here in the Philippines. Will keep you updated on what else I’d find. 🙂

  12. August 3, 2016 / 11:14 am

    Das kommt jetzt leider schon etwas zu spät, Sonnencreme habe ich schon gekauft und eingepackt… Die finde ich aber generell wirklich wichtig. Bin eh so blass, ich muss da echt aufpassen. Und demnächst auch etwas mehr auf Inhaltsstoffe achten…

    Ich denke das Sommerloch kennt jeder. Es sind halt so viele im Urlaub und na ja… solche Phasen gibt es immer wieder. Selbst in der Firma meiner Eltern und die betreiben das nun auch schon über 15 Jahre. Zum Glück gibt sich so was immer wieder von alleine.

    Haha, da hast du natürlich recht! Ich hätte ich nichts dagegen, wenn diese Mädels einfach fragen würden, ob sie mal ein Shooting bei mir buchen können. Aber die meisten wollen einfach Fotos umsonst und denken sie wären halt so tolle Models, dass die eine Bereicherung für mein Portfolio werden. Das wird halt doch recht schnell unverschämt…

  13. August 4, 2016 / 7:40 am

    Very interesting post! I’ve only recently started wearing sunscreen and just went for whatever was on offer… I didn’t even think about the ingredients. Silly me. Thank you so much for all the information, you provided a lot of food for thought 🙂

  14. Lenya
    August 4, 2016 / 3:23 pm

    To protect out skin from the sun is so important esp these days, tho. I use different brands but always at least with an SPF +50 but mostly it’s an SPF +70.
    xox
    Lenya
    FashionDreams&Lifestyle

  15. August 4, 2016 / 3:33 pm

    I have never really come across organic sunscreens, and always used branded chemical stuff. Your reviews are so great and with a greener perspective. Seriously trying to be as less plastic in real life and using resources free of plastic. Your plastic free bathroom idea touched me. I shared it with hubby and he was so happy too.
    Hope you are having a fab week and weather there.
    love
    xx

    ✿thefashionflite

  16. August 4, 2016 / 6:23 pm

    Oh man, das war mir alles nie bewusst! Ich hab mich immer schön fett mit Sonnencreme eingeschmiert und dachte, damit tue ich mir etwas Gutes!

    -Kati

  17. August 5, 2016 / 3:31 am

    I am going to have to look for some sunscreen alternatives! I burn really easily so I do need sun protection if I am out in it for more than a few minutes. Thanks for this great post!

  18. Amy Arnold
    August 18, 2016 / 10:43 pm

    Glad you found an organic and and homemade version. Unfortunately I am very sunbrun prone and need more than SPF 20.

  19. August 18, 2016 / 11:06 pm

    I love the background for these pictures and the top is really super cute! This shade of pinnk it totally my favorite one 🙂
    Thank you so much for your last comment! Sending much love : )

  20. August 19, 2016 / 4:46 am

    Your plastic free bathroom idea touched me. I shared it with hubby and he was so happy too.
    Hope you are having a fab week and weather there.

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