Why Chemical Sunscreen is BAD plus Some Healthy Sunscreen Options and a DIY Sunscreen Recipe!

Trish ~ Labor Nurse Mama
May 28, 2019

Image Credit by  Deanna Alys

I am on a mission.

I want to get healthier.

Outside in. I am starting right now, with what I choose to put on my body and onto the little bodies of my babes.

Related Post: Never underestimate the power and influence of New Year’s Resolutions for Moms!

We have choices every single day that affect the lives of our families. Including teaching them healthy habits and that they have to be proactive in choosing what to put in and on their bodies. (or if you are like me, what you say about your body..ouch)

The other day at work (I'm a labor and delivery nurse) everyone was talking about safe sunscreen and how it's been all over the news. I didn't have a clue about what they were talking about.

Why I am here and who I am:

Hey mama, I am Trish— AKA Labor Nurse Mama. I am a labor and delivery nurse with over 15 years of high-risk OB experience. I am also a mama to 7 kids and have given birth to 6. This means I am quite familiar with the postpartum period and how to navigate it. I am the online birth class educator for Calm Labor Confident Birth and The VBAC Lab birth classes and the mama expert inside our Calm Mama Society, a pregnancy & postpartum membership community! I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey! You can find me over on IG teaching over 230k mamas daily. I am passionate about your birth and motherhood journey!

We make a small commission from some of the links (you don’t pay any more for using our links); however some of the recommendations, we do not earn anything; we love ’em and want you to know about them. Click here for our full disclosure. Thank you!

I was thinking MORE SUNSCREEN, HIGHER SPF? OMG, can we even go outside anymore? But then I heard someone mention they were talking about chemicals in sunscreen. The thing that stopped me in my tracks was that studies found that 30 minutes after applying chemical sunscreens, toxins were found in the bloodstream.

Into the bloodstream, means into the placenta and into the baby!

WHAT THE HECK? Aren't we good moms by lathering everyone up before we go outside? If they can slide there suits down without getting stuck on their sunscreen coated thighs, then we didn't put enough, right?

Yes and no. Yes, use sunscreen but no, not chemical sunscreen.

Also, this post may contain some affiliate links (which means if you purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Click here for our full

Chemical vs. Mineral Sunscreens

The first thing I did was research the whats and the whys.

Chemical Sunscreens

Four chemicals readily used in toxic sunscreens and not in the healthier sunscreens are avobenzone, oxybenzone,  ecamsule, and octocrylene. The FDA flagged all of them and is suggesting that they need to be investigated further for the safety of use.

Yes, please!

Um…Hello! Shouldn't all the chemicals that we are putting on our bodies be investigated further. 

Did you know what your largest organ is? It's your skin. Your skin covers about 20 sq yards. Think of it as a coat; it's on to protect you. Unless your coat rips, it protects your internal happenings.

Chemical sunscreen goes right through your coat into your bloodstream. Girl, that is not good for you or your babies!

FDA has put the entire sunscreen industry on alert by proposing that in just two instances do we have enough safety information about ingredients to determine whether they’re safe and effective: zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. For 12 other ingredients, the FDA has said there isn’t enough data to determine whether they’re safe. In particular, FDA raised concerns about the substantial skin absorption of oxybenzone, its potential to affect hormone levels and the increased absorption susceptibility of children (FDA 2019). Lab studies shows that some chemical UV filters may mimic hormones, and physicians have reported sunscreen-related skin allergies, which raises important questions about unintended human health consequences from frequent sunscreen application. EWG.ORG

 Four Common Issues
      1. Skin Rashes
      2. Hormonal Disruptions
      3. Pregnancy Exposure
      4. Fertility Issues

We will skip rashes, cause most people won't continue to use if they get a rash. But let's briefly talk about the hormonal issues. I know I don't need any more hormone problems in my household.

The studies found that the toxic ingredients in sunscreen, especially oxybenzone, lowered testosterone in men and adolescent boys. People argued that it is not that much but compared to the amount of exposure, it's pretty significant.

Exposure to oxybenzone during pregnancy is also a risk. The study also claimed a few specific issues concerning pregnancy.

  • Shorter pregnancies in mamas carrying boys.
  • Higher birth weights in baby boys
  • lower birth weights in baby girls.

For all the other risks, including the lower sperm rates and length of time to conceive, read the article. It's super informative.

Mineral Sunscreens

So the low down and the point of my post is that we have healthier options. Remember that I am on a healthier living kick right now. (I had a health scare, and well, that's that!)

We now know to avoid toxic chemicals in sunscreen, but what should we look for in healthier sunscreens? That's easy. Natural ingredients.

Healthier options for sunscreens use a mineral based product. The most common main ingredient being zinc oxide.

Yes, I know that one reason we don't like mineral-based healthier sunscreens is the white overlay it leaves on us. But girl, if this Florida girl can get over that, so can you!

Young Living

(CONTAINS NON-NANO ZINC OXIDE, which provides a physical barrier, preventing sunburn while not being absorbed in the bloodstream!)

You can buy it now through my link (join as a member and get 24% off or continue as a retail customer)


Badger sunscreen is all natural and certified organic, making them one of my number one choices for healthy sunscreen.

Available in: Tinted, unscented, sport stick, baby, and face!

You can also buy it on Amazon! 


Available in: Clear, unscented, sport stick, face, and baby!

You can also buy it on Amazon!

Raw Elements

Available in: Clear, stick, tinted, face, and baby!

You can also buy it on Amazon!

DIY Recipe

This final option may not be your thing, but I have been on a healthier living DIY kick. (Sign up for my email newsletter to get my latest DIY healthy living recipes. (Laundry soap is coming next!)

I found several recipes, but this one is mainly from WellnessMama.com with my twist.

Keep in mind, there is no way to know the SPF for sure!! You can guess, but when it comes to sun exposure. Don't guess!! BE smart. Use a hat, sunglasses, shade, reapplication, and common sense!

1/2 cup Almond Oil

1/4 cup Coconut Oil

1/4 cup Beeswax

2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide Powder (***be sure it is nano version to avoid being absorbed into your bloodstream***)

1 teaspoon Carrot seed oil (I use young living, who supports Farming and Seed to Seal, and I get a big discount, get it here or go to Amazon)

2 Tablespoons Shea Butter

1/4 teaspoon Almond Extract (choose any you like as long as it is a natural extract)

Essential Oils: (No citrus as it may compromise the sunscreen)

These are based on your personal preferences, but I chose:

10 drops Lavender or any essential oil besides citrus!

      1. Melt coconut oil, shea butter, almond oil, Vitamin E oil, and beeswax in a double boiler (I use a mason jar inside a shallow pan of water). Keep in mind: the beeswax will be the last to melt.
      2. When the mixture melts, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
      3. Carefully add zinc oxide powder, taking care to cover your nose and mouth, so you don't inhale the dust. I'm a nurse, so I wear a mask! Mix thoroughly.
      4. Cool the mixture in the fridge for 15-30 minutes, until it starts to set up.
      5. Using a mixer, beat it. Add carrot seed oil and any essential oils, if using them and continue beating until it is light and fluffy.
      6. Store in a dark glass container in the fridge between use.
Additional Notes:
  • Not waterproof and will need to be reapplied after getting sweaty or swimming.
  • Add more beeswax ='s thicker sunscreen, less ='s smoother sunscreen
  • I recommend lavender essential oil for fragrance
  • Take away the Zinc Oxide “wahlah” you have an excellent lotion gift for a mama to be!
  • Store in a cool, dry place or the fridge
  • Apply like a body butter because it is thick girl, think coconut oil!

DISCLAIMER: The statements I've made have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure, or prevent any disease. This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.

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labor nurse mama trish ware

Just a little Disclaimer: As always, I am just writing my thoughts and what I’ve learned along the way. Although I am in fact a labor and delivery RN, This is not medical advice. You should always seek and follow the advice of your care provider.

This post may contain some affiliate links (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission, but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Thank you! For our full disclosure read here)


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