I love, love, love essential oils! From keeping me healthy during the cold and flu season to respiratory support during the allergy season to creating inviting aromas that can transform your mood and make a room smell great, I can always find an oil for what I need assistance with! But not all oils are great for sun exposure. With so many people making their own insect repellant, sunscreen and other natural solutions I want to look at some oils to be cautious with.
When used externally, photosensitive oils may cause the skin to become temporarily darkly pigmented, red (sunburned), or irritated. When using a photosensitive essential oil topically it is recommended that you avoid sunlight for up to 12 hours after use.
For safety and convenience doTERRA has identified and labeled the following essential oils and blends as photosensitive:
doTERRA On Guard®
Slim & Sassy®
When it comes to sunscreens have you read any of the ingredients listed in commercial sunscreen lately? Yikes! I have been using the recipe below for several years now and I love it. It's super easy to make and it's so moisturizing I have made it without zinc to use as a moisturizer.
All-Natural Sunscreen Recipe
½ c Almond or Olive Oil
¼ c Coconut Oil
2 T Shea Butter
¼ c Beeswax Beads
2 T Zinc Oxide
1 t Carrot Seed Oil
10 drops of Helichrysm Essential Oil
10 Drops of Vanilla Essential Oil
Combine all ingredients except Zinc Oxide and Essential Oils in a double boiler over medium heat. Stir occasionally as needed. Remove from heat when all ingredients are melted.
Stir in Zinc powder and essential oils.
Pour into a jar with a lid. Store in a cool dry place.
Note: This will be more like a body butter than a lotion. If you would like a lighter texture you can whip it in a food processor or mixer. Start whipping it just before it has cooled completely on high for about 4 minutes.
Drawing upon Mother Nature’s blueprint, scientists have developed insect repellent formulations (e.g. sprays, creams, gels, and lotions) based on the unique protection afforded by plant-based essential oils. Many essential oils including Arborvitae, Cedar, Cinnamon, Citronella, Clove, Geranium, Lemongrass, Spearmint, Peppermint, Rosemary and Thyme have known repellent properties, and are considered safe for repelling insects, when used appropriately. In choosing an essential-oil-based repellent, look for one that contains one or more of these essential oils or that share similar chemistry. Also, essential-oil-based repellents tend to lose efficacy relatively quickly-they are volatile, aromatic compounds after all. So it is important that the formula should contain a "fixative" ingredient, like Fractionated Coconut Oil to help keep the essential oil on the skin longer thus helping increase repellent efficiency. Vanilla absolute, which contains vanillin, is also a great addition to any essential-oil-based repellent, because it can also prolong the effectiveness.
All of the ingredients listed in the recipe above including jars are available at Timeless Remedies in Canton GA, 25 minutes north of Marietta.