While we’re constantly being told how slathering on SPF-rich sunscreens is essential for preventing burns and skin cancer, in recent years, many reports show that most sunscreens raise skin cancer risk. Some of the potential reasons may be the fact that many sunscreens contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as oxybenzone, which is known as a hormone disruptor. It’s not recommended for use on children and it has been banned in many locations worldwide, but somehow we are still buying sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and put our health at risk. Fortunately, sunscreen isn’t the only option when it comes to sun protection, so keep reading to learn more about sunscreen alternatives.

Seek shade and cover-up

Vitamin D is one of the essential vitamins we need to stay healthy and have our hormones function properly. Sun exposure is by far the best source of vitamin D, but only when you’re not sacrificing the health of your skin. What this means is that you should expose your skin to the sun but only when its intensity isn’t the strongest. Going out after 3 pm or early in the morning when the sun has just risen will get your body a sufficient dose of vitamin D without causing damage to your skin. If you need to be under the sun around noon when the UV rays can seriously hit you hard, try to seek shade and cover up well with breathable clothes, sunglasses, and wide-brimmed hats.

Use coconut oil

Cocooil baby oil on desk

Photo by deanna alys on Unsplash

Instead of exposing your body to not so healthy sunscreens, opt for a better, healthier alternative – coconut oil. In the case of sunscreen, coconut oil provides the equivalent of SPF 10. While it may not be the most suitable for strong sunlight, coconut oil still blocks about 20% of the sun’s rays and contains vitamin E which will keep your skin soft and healthy, while making it smell delicious as well. Coconut oil will moisturize your skin, lessen inflammation, and smooth out blemishes while protecting you from the sun.

Consider natural products

white and black glass bottle

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about switching to natural products, or maybe mixing up a sunscreen yourself? Aside from homemade sunscreens you should also consider healthy hydration skincare products and offer your skin more moisture along with sun protection. Check the labels when shopping for sunscreens and go for those that do not contain oxybenzone and other harmful ingredients.

Apply sesame oil


Sesame oil is available in every supermarket, and it will help you block up to 30% of the sun’s rays from your skin. Unlike conventional sunscreens, sesame oil is also more affordable, so you’ll be saving money while making sure your skin is out of harm’s way. Just remember to reapply it frequently so that you could protect your skin for a long time and avoid burning up.

Wheatgerm Oil


Wheatgerm oil offers SPF protection of approximately 20. This makes it considerably more effective than some of the other oils. In addition, it’s rich in vitamin E and K which aid skin health and prevent premature aging. Wheatgerm oil targets free radicals caused by UVA and UVB rays and prevent potential damage they could cause.

Carrot Seed Oil


Carrot seed oil is rich in beta carotene, vitamin E, and vitamin A, all of which offer antioxidant properties that counteract the effects of free radicals. With carrot seed oil you can have SPF protection of between 38 and 40, which makes it more effective than most sunscreens on the market. What’s more, carrot seed oil will moisturize your skin perfectly and help heal sunburns and wounds.

Final thoughts


Sunscreens are not what they used to be. Or maybe they were never as effective as we’ve been taught, they were. Either way, switching to alternative solutions to sun protection will certainly be a much better choice. This is especially true if you opt for natural solutions such as sesame, coconut and carrot seed oils, which will not only protect the skin from the sun but also offer an array of other benefits. 


About the author

Lauren LaPorte

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