I grew up in Southern California in the 80’s and early 90’s. My memories of this time seem to resemble more of a John Hughs movie than it probably actually was but So. Cal was in it’s hay day and the place to be. In the summer, my parents would drop my older sister and I off at the beach and come get us at the end of the day. It was pretty awesome…dude! We were armed with our beach towel and that was about it. No cell phones (well, no one had cell phones because at that time the battery was about 10 lbs and required it’s own bag), no umbrellas, no sun shirts, no hats and, gasp, no sunscreen.
My heritage is part native and, even though you wouldn’t know it by looking at my pasty, Vancouver, alabaster skin, I used to be very dark and olive in tone and because of this I didn’t tend to burn and when we moved to Washington it took 2 years for my tan to fade. Honestly, I still remember the day my tan lines disappeared and I became as white as my white parts. I was never overly fearful of the sun. I had a great relationship with it. Slow and steady at first and once I got a good base I was good to go.
Fast forward 20 years (OMG! 20 YEARS?!?!?!?) and I am faced with the big question. I know the answer for myself, but, when it comes to your kids… I don’t know about you, but I always make better choices for my kids than I do for myself. Tobin has skin that will burn on a cloudy day in the shade, Oliver has more my skin and Miss Isla, well, she seems to be sun sensitive too. So, to sunscreen or not to sunscreen?
The past couple of summers I’ve had little ones running around I was totally pro-sunscreen. I slathered and sprayed to protect my little monkeys while they played but this year something happened. I sprayed Isla and Oliver and they got a rash. No big deal, I thought and went on with my day. The next day I sprayed them again and they complained about the sunscreen stinging. I thought they were just being silly but then I sprayed it on myself and my skin started crawling and by the end of the day Isla not only had her little rash on her face but broken capillaries on her cheeks too!
At this point I said NO MORE SUNSCREEN! and went to trusty google to find an alternative. I knew from my ingredients training when I did my CIDESCO certification for esthetics that some natural ingredients have a natural SPF to them , like avocado oil, so I was on the hunt. Funny enough, right then, a friend posted on FB an article about all the amazing uses of coconut oil (oh, I will share later about my love affair with coconut oil) and one of them was that it has a natural SPF of 4 and that’s a good start for me!
I have found great looking recipes online for homemade sunscreen but I haven’t gotten around to gathering the ingredients and to be honest, I choose limit exposure, hats, shade, coconut oil and when we go out to the spray parks, sun shirts and that’s good enough for all of us. No ones been burned, everyone is getting their doses of vitamin D and no scary chemicals are being sprayed on us or being absorbed into our biggest organ.