I went out working on our landscaping project about a month ago on a sunny but cool day, not thinking about sun protection yet only to find myself burned all over. This got me thinking about sun protection in the garden early this year! I use to be one of those people avoiding the sun like a vampire and slathering on sunscreen constantly (I want to look young as long as possible), until I started thinking about what is probably in my sunscreen.....
Today I read an article "The Sunscreen You Should Never Use".
I threw out my sunscreen after reading this article. It had some of the bad stuff listed in the article. I hate throwing out anything, so if I do you know it's bad. I began researching into natural sunscreens. I concluded that mercola's sun screen was actually a good deal when looking at per oz cost and I liked the fact that he has an option with astaxanthin, (the most powerful antioxidant there is). However, I didn't want to wait to have it shipped. So I went to Walgreens and bought a natural Aveeno version out of pure convenience
(I was dropping off a red box movie anyway). It says it's sourced from 100% natural ingredients. It had funky sounding ingredients, but I know that sometimes natural ingredients can sound like scary chemicals if they use there scientific names so I gave it the benefit of the doubt and bought it. I came home and researched the first 3 ingredients and they sound fine as far as I can tell. I'm sure it's not the best natural option but at least their are options that are widely available to everyone. It was on sale for $10 at Walgreens this week. There is also a natural mineral based Neutrogena version as well. Just make sure that your natural susnscreen's active ingredients are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide. Both are natural minerals that deflect the sun.
Here is my summer plan for dealing with the sun while gardening:
- wear a visor that is light colored but not white (since I like to play with dirt), my white floppy hat kept falling off and was to fussy, and my black baseball hat is too hot.
- make a light thin cotton loose tunic and wear it gardening on not super hot days (I'll post when I make mine)
- wear a wide pair of shades to protect the skin around my eyes.
- use a natural mineral based sunscreen (with active ingredient zinc oxide) when I plan to be outside for longer than 15 min gardening.
- go out gardening early in the mourning before the sun is at it's strongest for the day, I went out at peak sun strength last year without thinking about it.
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Make Your Own Sunscreen and Bug Repellent With Your Own Lotion