Shea butter instead of sun screen? Need advice ASAP! - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-27-2010, 04:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi wise ladies,

I need your advice.

I'm leaving for a beach vacation tomorrow. I keep hearing about shea butter being used for sun protection. I bought an unrefined one. But I was wondering just how good and reliable its sun protective properties are? My face isn't doing very well with a combination of sun scream (even an Aubry organics one) and sweat, it gets all irritated and painful. So if I use just the shea butter instead would that actually protect my face skin just as good as a sun screen? Also is it enough to put just a little of shea butter on the face or do a need a thick layer of it in order to not burn?

thanks in advance!
Yulia
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:46 PM
 
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plain shea butter has an SPF of about 6. that wouldnt do for my ds2 who has red hair and blue eyes and sees a dermatologist yearly for cancer checks, but it would probably work for a darker skinned person who is less likely to burn.

if you are looking for a truly pure sunscreen, try UV Natural. it is oil-based and has no water, so there is no need for preservative to be used, however, it is castor-oil heavy and therefore can be slightly drying if you are prone to dry skin.

what i have done for my ds is to use a double boiler to blend together UV Nat and plain shea butter. best of both worlds!

also, and this is from BTDT, it is way better to to use clothing and hats to reduce the use of any type of sunscreen/sunblock altogether. we love coolibar.

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Old 01-27-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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Shea butter is not an effective sun screen. Its SPF is variable, from zero to 6.

Here is a thing on natural sunscreens http://www.thedailygreen.com/environ...screens-460608

But like the previous poster said, the best thing is clothing, hats, umbrella

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Old 01-27-2010, 10:21 PM
 
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I personally like coconut oil. It just leaves us tan I also like california baby sunscreen If we are going to be n sun for a long time without any shade around. But DD and DH are half Italian so they don't burn easy

When we are the beach we make sure to have an umbrella for sure!
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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Coconut oil has no SPF properties. That would be more of a tanning oil than a sunscreen.

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Old 01-27-2010, 11:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mom61508 View Post
I personally like coconut oil. It just leaves us tan I also like california baby sunscreen If we are going to be n sun for a long time without any shade around. But DD and DH are half Italian so they don't burn easy

When we are the beach we make sure to have an umbrella for sure!
if your dh is half italian, then your daughter would only be a quarter italian, no? and really, it doesnt matter. i am exactly one half italian, and also a tiny fraction AA, but the little bit of eastern european that crept in made me quite fair skinned and burn-prone. be careful, being tan is not healthy in most cases.

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Old 01-28-2010, 12:02 AM
 
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I heard too that Shea could be used a sunscreen I have never tried it though.

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Old 01-28-2010, 12:10 AM
 
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Shea has a bit but really if you are going to be in the water then it would rinse off pretty fast, too fast to be very effective.

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Old 01-28-2010, 03:25 AM
 
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It's probably too late unless you live in a place with good natural foods type places but the California baby super sensitive is the one sunscreen that my extremely reactive child handles well.

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Old 01-28-2010, 12:38 PM
 
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Oh please mama, don't rely on shea butter or coconut oil for sun protection.

I had melanoma last year and it was the most painful, terrifying experience of my life.

Please, please mama, protect your skin. Wear sleeves, wear a hat, wear sunscreen. Eucerin has a really good one with SPF 30 and it's specific for sensitive skin.

I know you want all natural but, you're probably not going to find it. I would sacrifice all natural for good protection.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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Coconut oil has no SPF properties. That would be more of a tanning oil than a sunscreen.
yes that's why I said it leaves us tan I also recommended California baby for sunscreen and using shade to protect your skin.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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if your dh is half italian, then your daughter would only be a quarter italian, no? and really, it doesnt matter. i am exactly one half italian, and also a tiny fraction AA, but the little bit of eastern european that crept in made me quite fair skinned and burn-prone. be careful, being tan is not healthy in most cases.
I have to disagree I think sun in moderation every day is very healthy. We all tan easily so 20-30 mins in the sun leaves us tan Gotta get that Vitamin D
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Oh please mama, don't rely on shea butter or coconut oil for sun protection.

I had melanoma last year and it was the most painful, terrifying experience of my life.

Please, please mama, protect your skin. Wear sleeves, wear a hat, wear sunscreen. Eucerin has a really good one with SPF 30 and it's specific for sensitive skin.

I know you want all natural but, you're probably not going to find it. I would sacrifice all natural for good protection.
I'm sorry I couldn't imagine how scary that would be and yes you should be careful in the sun but you also have to be careful with the chemicals in mainstream sunscreens as they are said to contribute to skin cancer. Its imperative imo to get adequate sunshine daily if possible.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:05 PM
 
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I'm aware of the link between those who wear sunscreen and higher rates of skin cancer but, the studies don't say it's the chemicals in sunscreen that cause cancer. Actually, they don't know why the rates are higher.

Personally, I believe the rates are higher because those who wear the most sunscreen probably live in high sun exposure areas and are probably not wearing enough sunscreen or reapplying sunscreen as needed.

I do not believe and nor do my dermatologists and oncologists believe that sunscreen causes cancer and, they're very aware of the studies.

But, they do believe that you need a sunscreen with titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as they are by far the most effective and don't allow rays to penetrate your skin.

Edited to add that no tan is healthy. Tan skin means damaged skin. It just does. Tans are not healthy no matter what. I do believe that some sun exposure is healthy but, exposure that leaves your skin tanned is way too much exposure. It is skin damage.
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:10 PM
 
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I use zinc oxide "diaper rash cream" as sunscreen.

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Old 01-28-2010, 02:23 PM
 
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I'm aware of the link between those who wear sunscreen and higher rates of skin cancer but, the studies don't say it's the chemicals in sunscreen that cause cancer. Actually, they don't know why the rates are higher.

Personally, I believe the rates are higher because those who wear the most sunscreen probably live in high sun exposure areas and are probably not wearing enough sunscreen or reapplying sunscreen as needed.

I do not believe and nor do my dermatologists and oncologists believe that sunscreen causes cancer and, they're very aware of the studies.

But, they do believe that you need a sunscreen with titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide as they are by far the most effective and don't allow rays to penetrate your skin.

Edited to add that no tan is healthy. Tan skin means damaged skin. It just does. Tans are not healthy no matter what. I do believe that some sun exposure is healthy but, exposure that leaves your skin tanned is way too much exposure. It is skin damage.
I'm sorry but it seem common sense to me that applying CHEMICALS in any form straight into your or your LO's skin is not healthy. any chemicals applied directly to the skin is absorbed within 60 seconds. How can chemicals not be contributing to skin cancer and others cancers??? Common chemicals for sunscreens are also known as hormone disruptors,I do agree with T dioxide or zinc oxide(if it's not in the form of nano particles they are said to be harmful) is best If you need the protection(at the beach you need some form of sun protection for sure). A sunburn is damaging to your skin working up your sun exposure daily and developing a tan is healthy!

Here is a great article on sunscreens and why some are not safe.
http://www.healthychild.com/first-ai...nscreens-safe/
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Old 01-28-2010, 02:29 PM
 
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A sunburn is damaging to your skin working up your sun exposure daily and developing a tan is healthy!

Here is a great article on sunscreens and why some are not safe.
http://www.healthychild.com/first-ai...nscreens-safe/
I completely agree that not all sunscreens are good for your skin. And that the more natural, the better. We use badger and it works great.

But, I completely disagree that a tan is healthy and I'd love to see research that supports the idea that tanned skin isn't damaged skin.

Having a tan means UVA rays have deeply penetrated your skin. Tans are not healthy.
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Old 01-28-2010, 03:12 PM
 
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I completely agree that not all sunscreens are good for your skin. And that the more natural, the better. We use badger and it works great.

But, I completely disagree that a tan is healthy and I'd love to see research that supports the idea that tanned skin isn't damaged skin.

Having a tan means UVA rays have deeply penetrated your skin. Tans are not healthy.
Saying a tan isn't healthy is like saying it's not healthy to get sunshine daily. You need at least(depending on skin color) 15-20 mins of sun daily to get Vitamin D. You can do that without developing a tan so that would mean that getting Vitamin D daily wouldn't be healthy. The key is not to burn. Our ancestors were outside almost all day long and there was no skin cancer. It's sunscreens and our unhealhty diets that are contributing to skin cancer. Mercola.com is great place to read about the benefits of sun exposure. He provides tons of articles.
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/ar...06/19/sun.aspx
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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There absolutely was skin cancer, it just wasn't diagnosable "Back then". Skin cancer isn't something that was just invented to make people buy more sunscreen.

OP, I would think that shea butter would actually help you to tan/burn. I would look into some of the natural sunscreens suggested here. It may not be ideal, but it's a good compromise to make I think.
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:49 PM
 
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Our ancestors were outside almost all day long and there was no skin cancer.

Actually, there was a ton of cancer throughout history. They find evidence of cancer, in the form of tumors and other physical evidence, in mummies and other historical remains.

Also, our "ancestors" lived in the same places for thousands and thousands of years. There weren't people of Northern European decent living in Florida...
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:04 PM
 
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While I don't consider Mercola to be a credible source, I do agree with some of what he says. Some sun is fine, use clothing to cover up as much as possible, never, ever allow your skin to burn. There, we agree.

However, no where does his article say that tanned skin is healthy. It's not. Tanned skin means that UVA rays have penetrated deeply into the skin. This is not healthy. But, as you claim it is, I'd love to see research supporting this. Not researching saying that some sun exposure is good for the skin - this I know and, even having had melanoma, I still do get minimal sun exposure for vitamin D. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about your claim that tanning is good for the skin. I'd like to see research to back up this claim.
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Old 01-28-2010, 05:35 PM
 
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yes that's why I said it leaves us tan I also recommended California baby for sunscreen and using shade to protect your skin.
Yes I was clarifying because the OP asked for sunscreen.

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Old 01-28-2010, 05:37 PM
 
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Actually, there was a ton of cancer throughout history. They find evidence of cancer, in the form of tumors and other physical evidence, in mummies and other historical remains.

Also, our "ancestors" lived in the same places for thousands and thousands of years. There weren't people of Northern European decent living in Florida...
Precisely.

We also have damaged the ozone layer since then.

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Old 01-28-2010, 05:45 PM
 
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One possible reason for the rise in melanoma is the increasing number of people who don't get daily smaller doses of sunshine, increasing gradually throughout the spring and decreasing gradually throughout the fall.

A beach vacation is a near-stereotypical instance of that. You leave a cooler, less sunny place where you have been covered up, and you take your pale, pasty skin and uncover it all at once to more and stronger sunlight than you've been exposed to recently. It is a recipe for skin damage. If you're going to bare your skin to the sun under those circumstances, you almost certainly want a real sunscreen. If you dont' want to use "chemical sunscreens," then you need to physically cover your skin, avoid direct sun in the peak hours, wear a hat, etc. A vacation is unlikely to provide enough time for you to build up any safe level of "protective tan,' (and I use the term loosely, because it protects from one kind of skin cancer, but may increase the chances of a different, albeit less deadly, kind).

One theory I've read is that that kind of sun exposure (sudden exposure of skin unprotected by a tan) increases the incidence of melanoma, while regular exposure is more likely to cause squamous cell tumors. Melanoma kills you fast and young, while squamous tumors grow slowly enough that prior to life-extending modern medicine, most people died of other causes before that kind of cancer took them out.

I'd also note, in passing, that just because something is a natural oil extracted from a seed or nut doesn't mean it is not a "chemical." It may not be petroieum-based, but all compounds, regardless of source, are chemicals by definition, and natural ones can be just as dangerous as the ones made in laboratories -- or more dangerous. Try rubbing pennyroyal oil on your skin. Or rue. It'll cause plenty of skin damage -- and there are plenty of natural chemicals that can mess up your liver or DNA as well.

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Old 01-28-2010, 06:36 PM
 
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There absolutely was skin cancer, it just wasn't diagnosable "Back then". Skin cancer isn't something that was just invented to make people buy more sunscreen.

OP, I would think that shea butter would actually help you to tan/burn. I would look into some of the natural sunscreens suggested here. It may not be ideal, but it's a good compromise to make I think.
I know skin cancer wasn't invented to make people buy more sunscreen. Skin cancer as well as all cancers are a real threat for all of us but I don't believe the sun alone is the culprit. There's just to many studies that show sun exposure in moderation outweigh the risks then no sun exposure. You can't deny that. Amacal I don't know which article you read..he has many. How is Mercola not credible?? JL83- I'm not talking cancer in general but If there was skin cancer It wasn't abundant like it is now..that's for sure!

Do we need a SAFE sunscreen at times...yes we do. For circumstances like the beach or long periods in the sun. I know it's VERY BAD to let yourself burn but a tan isn't bad. I would never let DD be in the sun unprotected for a long time but I will let her get out in the sun mid-day as often as possible for at least 20 minutes. I don't see how that is unhealthy!
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Old 01-28-2010, 06:44 PM
 
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Our family doesn't use sunscreen.

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Old 01-28-2010, 06:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by savithny View Post
One possible reason for the rise in melanoma is the increasing number of people who don't get daily smaller doses of sunshine, increasing gradually throughout the spring and decreasing gradually throughout the fall.

A beach vacation is a near-stereotypical instance of that. You leave a cooler, less sunny place where you have been covered up, and you take your pale, pasty skin and uncover it all at once to more and stronger sunlight than you've been exposed to recently. It is a recipe for skin damage. If you're going to bare your skin to the sun under those circumstances, you almost certainly want a real sunscreen. If you dont' want to use "chemical sunscreens," then you need to physically cover your skin, avoid direct sun in the peak hours, wear a hat, etc. A vacation is unlikely to provide enough time for you to build up any safe level of "protective tan,' (and I use the term loosely, because it protects from one kind of skin cancer, but may increase the chances of a different, albeit less deadly, kind).

One theory I've read is that that kind of sun exposure (sudden exposure of skin unprotected by a tan) increases the incidence of melanoma, while regular exposure is more likely to cause squamous cell tumors. Melanoma kills you fast and young, while squamous tumors grow slowly enough that prior to life-extending modern medicine, most people died of other causes before that kind of cancer took them out.

I'd also note, in passing, that just because something is a natural oil extracted from a seed or nut doesn't mean it is not a "chemical." It may not be petroieum-based, but all compounds, regardless of source, are chemicals by definition, and natural ones can be just as dangerous as the ones made in laboratories -- or more dangerous. Try rubbing pennyroyal oil on your skin. Or rue. It'll cause plenty of skin damage -- and there are plenty of natural chemicals that can mess up your liver or DNA as well.
There are absolutely natural ingredients that can cause sun damage that's not what I'm debating about. I think we would all rather use a more natural sunscreen then one filled with unthinkable ingredients. Mainstream medicine has us so scared of the sun that we all cover up with harmful chemicals to block the suns rays and the wonderful hormone D it provides us, contributing to tons of disease. I totally agree that you have to build up sun time so you don't burn but gradually build a tan
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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I just had to share about my experience with shea butter....
I have VERY fare skin that burns easily.
I lived in Africa and only used shea butter as a sunblock- NEVER got burned.
Last summer we went to the beach and I had a combination of sunscreens available- some natural, some not and with high spf's. They barely did the job. I had no shea butter on me at the time.
I to believe some sun exposure in necessary and beneficial.
Once again, I have NO scientific evidence or figures.
LOVE SHEA BUTTER!
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Old 01-28-2010, 07:56 PM
 
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Again mom61508 - you keep saying we need to build a tan - that tan skin is ok. And again, I am asking for any evidence at all that tanning your skin is in anyway beneficial and at a minimum, not harmful.

I'm not talking about a bit of sun exposure. I agree with some sun exposure. But, tanning your skin is not safe. It's just not. If your skin is tan, it is damaged. period. If you are allowing your children to tan, their skin is being damaged. period.

Some sun exposure is fine. But, sun exposure to the point of a tan is not fine. It is sun damage. That is the definition of a tan.
http://www.usnews.com/health/family-...-safe-tan.html
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Old 01-28-2010, 08:00 PM
 
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Find a Target there. They sell California Baby. I wouldn't count on Shea butter for a vacation. It would be different if it was somewhere you lived all year long and your skin was accustomed to the sun exposure there, but I woudn't take the chance. Heck, I'd use chemical laden sunscreen over nothing at all if it came down to it.

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