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Staying Safe In The Sun: Sunscreen, Bug Spray, and Tips to Protect Yourself

Summer’s coming up, which means that protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays is of the utmost importance.

But could the sunscreen we’re using be doing more harm than good?

In this blog, I’ll be taking you through the best sunscreens to buy, and what types of sunscreen are better for your skin than others.

Many of you are using sunscreen that is SPF 50 thinking it’s protecting you while you lay in the sun all day.

Getting sun exposure is good for us, but it becomes a problem when our skin burns.

Tips For Staying Safe In The Sun

Beyond sunscreen, using coverings is the best way to prevent burning. Wearing sunglasses and a hat is incredibly important for protecting both your skin and your eyes.

Another tip that you may not think helps protect you from the sun, but what you eat matters.

Eating sugary and inflammatory foods will just load you up with free radicals.

Try eating hydrating foods like cucumbers and watermelons if you know you’re going to be out in the sun.

These not only hydrate you, but also give you electrolytes and fiber that help offset sugar.

Just be sure not to eat too much of them, or it could lead to high blood sugar or high blood pressure.

You should also be taking natural anti-inflammatories such as omegas and turmeric to protect yourself both inside and out.

If you know you’re going to be out in the sun, try to go out earlier or later in the day, not at midday when it’s hottest.

The Problem With High SPF

Now, the problem with high SPF sunscreen is that the higher it goes, the lower the ratio is for the prevention of UVA rays.

UVA rays cause a lot of free radical damage, which is what we want to prevent.

You might prevent your skin from burning, but you’re not stopping the sun’s rays from doing damage on the inside of your body.

This is why we see sunscreen everywhere these days, but still have more skin cancer.

There are specific disruptors that you want to avoid in the sunscreen that you’re buying, including:

  • Oxybenzone: A hormone and organ system disruptor.
  • Octinoxate: Another toxic hormone disruptor that’s toxic for the environment.
  • Homosalate: Also disrupts hormones and is toxic for the environment.
  • Nanoparticles: These have not been properly assessed for human or environmental health effects, but primarily come from aerosol sunscreens

If you find a sunscreen in a store that uses any of the four ingredients, that means they contain synthetic chemicals, versus other brands that use zinc oxide.

Types of Sunscreen

Spray-on Sunscreen

Spray-on sunscreen is a bad option because it contains nanoparticles, which come from titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.

Titanium dioxide is more harmful for the body in terms of heavy metals that harm your body.

Spraying on sunscreen may be convenient, but you’re inhaling those particles into your lungs.

If you do use spray-on sunscreen, I recommend at least spraying it onto your hands and then smearing it on.

Even then, you’re still breathing it in, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil won’t protect you for a lengthy amount of time because it has an SPF of around 8, but it’s a good, healthy option to use if you’re in a pinch.


One of my favorite sunscreen brands is called Badger.

They have options that are SPF 30, and you don’t need to go higher than that.

It’s zinc-based, which I like a lot better than brands that use titanium.

Their sunscreens are also water-resistant, non-GMO, nanoparticle-free, and biodegradable, so it’s also friendly for the environment.

It also includes sunflower oil, which gives your skin vitamin E, and fruit extract, which is fantastic for the skin.


ThinkBaby is another brand that is safe and has an SPF of 30. It’s small, but uses a lot more ingredients than Badger.

It doesn’t contain any of the 4 ingredients you should avoid, and the main active ingredient is zinc oxide.

It’s nanoparticle-free, water-resistant, BPA-free, and has UVA and UVB protection.

DIY Sunscreen

You can also try making your own sunscreen using some shea butter and vitamin E.

Sunburn Recovery

The best sunburn relief you can find is aloe straight from the plant, or as close to pure organic aloe vera as you can get.

Alba Botanica’s After Sun Gel uses some natural oils, xanthan gum, and sodium benzoate, so there are a few things in there that help the skin.

Keep in mind, though, that the more ingredients there are in a product, the more chemicals you’re introducing to your body.

What I do like is when products have no parabens, phthalates, or synthetic fragrances.

There’s no need to make the aloe vera smell like something else, or put in things that are known hormone disruptors.

Badger also makes an aloe that uses fewer ingredients, including xanthan gum, water, sodium benzoate, and primarily aloe juice.

If you have access to the plant itself, that would obviously be the best option, but these are great options as well.

Combine some aloe with coconut oil and a bit of lavender oil to make your own refreshing sun-recovery aloe.

Bug Repellant

If you’re using DEET on the bugs around you, that’s a chemical, but are there other, natural options that you can use?

One of the best ways to get natural bug spray is by making your own. You can make it by mixing lavender, peppermint, and tea tree oil.

Badger also has a bug spray that is kept clean and primarily uses oils as its ingredients.

The best part about this is that it’s a spray that you’re inhaling, but it’s only made with natural essential oils.

Buzz Away is another brand that is DEET-free and uses castor, geranium, soybean, cedarwood, citronella, peppermint, and lemongrass oils.

These are really great options for natural bug repellent.

Bug Bites

Normally when you get a bug bite, you want to start scratching it, but that actually starts releasing more and more toxins from the bite into your body.

The first thing you can do for the bite is apply heat through a heat pack or an air dryer.

You can also try boiling water to get a spoon hot (but not too hot!) and put it on the skin.

That’s going to stop the proteins in the bite that the insect injected into you. You can also try using our silver serum, which is good for any bites or microbes.

Badger also makes a foam you can use post-bite to start recovering from it.


If you follow all of these tips, you’re not going to be smearing toxins all over your body during the summer, which is what everyone else is doing.

Now you can protect yourself from the free radical damage that the sun is creating, but did you know that you can also protect yourself through your diet?

Get some omegas in to stop inflammation, and eat some antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables on the days that you’re in the sun.

By doing that and using an SPF 30 or lower sunscreen, you can feel confident knowing that you’re protected from the sun’s UV rays.

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