Sunumbra Sunscreen Review, Vitamin D and Sun Tips

Recently I bought Sunumbra Kids SPF40 Sunscreen from Faithful-to-Nature. I bought the Kids one and not the regular as it had more positive reviews, so I decided to try it out. First of all, I should say, I am not a fan of sunscreen….there I said it! It is sticky, makes me sweat more, and I am always afraid it damages my clothes. Now before you think I am one of those frying away in the sun, I actually prefer doing my few minutes of Vitamin D every day, and then covering up. But when I am on holiday, I do apply it, albeit reluctantly. Organic sunscreen is a bit more expensive than regular store-bought sunscreens, but if you take a look at the ingredient list of the ones you regularly buy, it is definitely worth it!

The first thing I noticed about Sunumbra is the smell. It does not have that “tropical” smell that all other sunscreens seem to have (you know the type of smell that immediately reminds you of your holiday when you apply it again!), it smells more like a type of clay. It is quite thick when you apply it, but it does not leave white marks at all. I used it when I spent the afternoon in the pool, and no sunburn! So far, I like the product very much! IT is a bit sticky, but not more than the normal sunscreen you are used to.

Sunumbra Sunkids is a dermatologically tested natural sunscreen containing organic ingredients.


    5 Star rating (UVA)


High protection full spectrum

40 Minute water resistance

Effective, stable, high level protection from free radical damage and atmospheric toxins

Active natural nutrients to reverse the effects of radiation damage

pH balanced; accommodates the higher alkalinity of children’s skin

Blocks UVA exposure to reduce melanoma risk

Maximises UVB, without burning, to maximise vitamin D

Dermatologically tested and approved.

It is currently on special at Faithful-to-Nature:

Remember that vitamin D is necessary to absorb calcium and promote bone growth. Here is how to make sure you get your Sunshine Vitamin!


  • The time of day – your skin produces more vitamin D if you expose it during the middle of the day.
  • Where you live – the closer to the equator you live, the easier it is for you to produce vitamin D from sunlight all year round.
  • The color of your skin – pale skins make vitamin D more quickly than darker skins.
  • The amount of skin you expose – the more skin your expose the more vitamin D your body will produce.
  • The amount of skin you expose. The more skin you expose, the more vitamin D you can produce.
  • How old you are. As you get older, your skin has a harder time producing vitamin D.
  • Whether you’re wearing sunscreen. Sunscreen blocks a lot of vitamin D production.
  • The altitude you’re at. The sun is more intense on top of a mountain than at the beach. This means you make more vitamin D the higher up you are (at higher altitudes).
  • Whether it is cloudy. Less UVB reaches your skin on a cloudy day and your skin makes less vitamin D.
  • Air pollution. Polluted air soaks up UVB or reflects it back into space. This means that if you live somewhere where there is lots of pollution, your skin makes less vitamin D.
  • Being behind glass. Glass blocks all UVB, so you can’t make vitamin D if you’re in sunlight, but behind glass.

After you have exposed your skin for half the time it takes for you to turn pink, cover up with clothing and go into the shade. Using sunscreen is not as recommended as using shade and clothing to protect your skin, because it hasn’t consistently been shown to prevent all types of skin cancers. But if you do want to use sunscreen, use a sunscreen that blocks both UVA light and UVB light.


More interesting info about Vitamin D:

Important note: Just because you applied sunscreen, does not make you safe for the rest of the day. Remember to reapply, and cover up. Like they say on alcohol adverts: Enjoy responsibly!


{Aromatherapy} Natural Insect Repellent

So it is that  time again where the heat is turned up on a permanent high and all the bugs are thriving! And here in the Free State we have some mean mozzies (don’t ask me how they survive here, it is so dry!)

Fun mosquito

Why should you use natural repellent?

An August, 2009, study from France found that DEET may have a toxic effect on the nervous systems of mammals as well as insects. This disturbing discovery calls into question the presumed safety of DEET, the world’s most widely used insect repellent.

Picaridin is another conventional insect repellent; after years of successful use in Europe and Australia, it was introduced into the U.S. in 2005. Highly effective and widely recognized as safe, picaridin is the active ingredient in Cutter Advanced Insect Repellent and Avon Skin-So-Soft Bug Guard Plus Picaridin.

Both picaridin and DEET are believed to have negligible effects on the natural environment. One advantage these two chemical compounds have over some plant-based insect repellents is their effectiveness at repelling ticks, including those that carry Lyme disease.

DIY Natural Repellent

The bugs react differently to essential oils, so what may work for mosquitoes, may not work for fleas, for instance.

10-25 drops (total) of essential oils

2 tablespoons (30ml) of a carrier oil or alcohol (Alcohol will work great for a spray!)

The essential oils that work well against biting insects (mosquitoes, flies, ticks, fleas) are:

cinnamon oil (mosquitoes)

lemon eucalyptus or regular eucalyptus oil (mosquitoes, ticks, and lice)

citronella oil (mosquitoes and biting flies) – This is a well known oil for insects!

orange oil (fleas)

rose geranium (ticks and lice)

Safe carrier oils and alcohols include:

olive oil

sunflower oil

any other cooking oil

witch hazel



Mix the essential oil with the carrier oil or alcohol. Rub or spray the natural insect repellent onto skin or clothing, using care to avoid the sensitive eye area. You’ll need to re-apply the natural product after about an hour or after swimming or exercise. Unused natural insect repellent may be stored in a dark bottle, away from heat or sunlight. If you wish, you may combine the oil with aloe vera gel to change the consistency of the product.

Other Ways to Ward off the BUGS!

Wear long-sleeved shirts, pants instead of shorts, and shoes instead of sandals. Though these don’t seem like great options in hot summer weather, thin, loose-fitting clothes are often just as comfortable and have the double benefit of helping you avoid sunburn and UV skin damage. Another sun-smart fashion tip — a broad-brimmed hat — works well at keeping bugs away from your head.

“Try using a fan to ward off mosquitoes — they can’t stand a breeze — and stay indoors during peak mosquito hours, usually twilight hours through early morning. Also, avoid using perfume, scented soaps or cologne, as these send out the “All You Can Eat Buffet” signal to mosquitoes and other biting insects — even scented fabric softeners and dryer sheets have been implicated as bug magnets.” (Maybe this is why the mosquitoes can’t leave me alone, I smell too nice! ;) )

How are you beating the bugs this summer?

Ryman, D. (2007) Secrets of Youth & Beauty: Aromatherapy for Natural Rejuvenation. Rodale: London