I am about to embark on a 6-month trip throughout South East Asia in search of sand, surf and salty hair. This trip is different this time round though – as my knowledge in holistic health has grown exponentially and I am taking extra measures in nourishing my body. It’s funny, with all my past travels I have really come to know how to pack a backpack. My brother looked at the floor the other day where I had everything laid out before me and he said ‘Wow, I thought you would have more clothes than that!’. I laughed, he was right. I looked around and I had different bags full of supplements, tinctures, supplies and accessories fit for a travel junkie. It all has come with experience but this time with a few new twists. My latest home remedy for travel: homemade sunscreen!
Most sunscreens contain toxic ingredients and endocrine disrupting chemicals that in many cases actually promote skin cancer growth and free radical production in the body. It’s quite scary the amount of journals, documents and reports out there that state: since commercial sunscreen became available, most sunscreen actually raise skin cancer risk! What the f*#$!
Considering many people these days are actually Vitamin D deficient, I feel as though a lack of sun exposure to be a bigger problem than too much! Vitamin D promotes healthy bones; reduces risk of flu, reduces risk of diabetes, cancer prevention, promotes healthy pregnancy and has been proven to boost your mood.
If you live in a climate like myself, Vancouver, obtaining enough Vitamin D exposure from the sun can be quite tricky. Here is a list of foods you can eat that have a larger supply of the sun vitamin than most:
-Fatty fish like salmon, trout, tuna and mackerel
-Cod liver oil (best taken throughout winter in supplement form, my favorite brand: Green Pasture’s BLUE ICE Fermented cod liver oil)
So when the chance is there – chose natural sun exposure to obtain this crucial vitamin and be sure to get the adequate amount without burning. Play safe by wearing a t-shirt for periods of times, or a hat to prevent sunstroke.
In the event of living on the beach for days, weeks or months at a time – we still need to take the extra step in taking care of our skin. After some fine-tuning research, I have found the top natural oils in nature who supply a natural SPF that can be used to create homemade sunscreen.
-Carrot Seed oil: spf 35-40
-Raspberry Seed oil: spf 28-50
-Wheat germ oil: spf 20
-Avocado oil: spf 4-15
-Coconut oil: spf 8-10
-Olive oil: spf 2-8
-Shea Butter: spf 3-6
-Jojoba oil: spf 4
When using the above oils, it is important not to use the top 3 listed directly on the skin. These are too strong for the skin and need to be mixed with a ‘carrier oil’ such as coconut, olive, avocado or shea butter. If I were making sunscreen from my home I would add other ingredients such as shea butter, vitamin E, lavender essential oil and beeswax. But, because I am travelling I need to make it easy and light as every ounce counts! Here is my simple, travel sunscreen that can be made before hand or topped up along the trip:
-1 small jar of cold pressed, organic, virgin Coconut oil
-30-40 drops of carrot seed oil
Mix the 2 and that’s it! The benefit of making this sunscreen in a hot climate is the coconut oil will be a liquid due to the heat. Adding the drops of carrot seed oil, closing the jar and giving it a gentle shake will mix the two and create a sunscreen with a natural SPF of 25-35. Additionally, as I will be living in the land of coconuts, seeking out coconut oil will be easy peasy. So I’ve opted to travel with 3 tiny tinctures of carrot seed oil and make the sunscreen throughout the trip ? Enjoy!
Wellness Wednesday Wisdom from Breathe in Life guide and nutritionist Meghan Trompetter