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Image – Frugallysustainable.com (via web archive)
According to American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), sunscreens are safe to use because they do not cause health hazards. In fact, wearing of sunscreen is highly recommended by the academy because it (apparently) helps prevent premature skin aging and skin cancer. 
However – not all voices are singing the same tune – and some are stating the exact opposite. Organic Lifestyle Magazine published an article exposing the ingredients commonly found in sunscreens, even going so far as to say that they have not found any ingredients in conventional sunscreens which they consider safe. Another of the dangers reported is that sunscreens give users a false sense of security by preventing sunburn – while actually doing little or nothing to prevent skin cancer or the accelerated aging of the skin caused by sunlight. 
Sunburn usually occurs when the amount of UV rays exceeds the melanin’s ability to protect our skin. It is often characterized by symptoms like tender and red skin as well as blisters. The affected skin areas usually begin to peel a couple of days later. In severe cases, patients may suffer from nausea, chill, fever and rash. Constant exposure to the sun can cause skin damages which range from sunburn to cancer. Further research reveals that it may trigger the occurrence of many premature aging symptoms which include wrinkles and leathery appearance of the skin.
Did you know that some pure, natural ingredients have a natural SPF (sun protection factor) of up to 30? It’s true. These natural substances include raspberry seed oil, shea butter, carrot seed oil, wheat germ oil, peanut oil, avocado oil, soybean oil, coconut oil, sesame oil and hemp.
We have discovered an amazing homemade sunscreen recipe that is made using natural ingredients which are known for their SPF properties.
Note that the formula also uses zinc oxide – typically not a natural ingredient. Zinc oxide does occur naturally as the mineral zincite but most of the zinc oxide used in products is produced synthetically.  The formula avoids all the other chemicals often found in sunscreens. If you are opposed to the use of zinc oxide (somewhat controversial), you can simply omit it from the recipe but be aware that your safe time of exposure will be reduced.
Here is the link to the full recipe: http://frugallysustainable.com/2012/03/a-recipe-for-natural-homemade-sunscreen/ (via web archive)
We also found a link to a huge review of sunscreens form the Environmental Working Group – listing hundreds of sunscreens which met their criteria.
A little sun is beneficial to our skin. But even if you are going to make natural sunscreen, don’t overdo exposure. Long, loose clothing and a wide hat are time-honored protection that will give you great protection against overexposure.
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