Have you ever wanted to make your own sunscreen? I had some hesitation, but it turns out that it’s easy and nourishing for your skin…not to mention quite a bit less expensive!
By Ann Timm
Making your own sunscreen just sounds, well, ew. I don’t usually shy away from making skin care products, like a sugar scrub we made a while back that left my skin feeling like silk, but I have to admit I was slightly overwhelmed at the idea of mixing anything with zinc. I just imagined those thick white zinc lines that guys put under their eyes and thought, NO.
However, and you probably already know this, zinc oxide is really the safest option when it comes to protecting your skin with sunscreen.
Did you know that zinc is also good for your skin for a number of other reasons, too? Zinc has been used for centuries to treat many skin conditions ranging from rosacea to warts, infections and even eczema and psoriasis.
And don’t forget, it’s an important mineral that our bodies need. We get it naturally in our diet from foods like certain meats, dairy, seafood, nuts, seeds, and even quinoa and chocolate. (As if we ladies needed one more reason to grab the chocolate!)
Our skin takes a beating every day and there are many factors that contribute to the damage that is caused. The sun’s UV rays, air pollution, chemicals in our personal care items, poor diet, not enough water intake, even stress and lack of exercise can all contribute! Believe it or not, zinc is one of the minerals that our bodies need to manage it all. Plus, zinc oxide offers broad-spectrum protection against damaging UVA and UVB rays when applied directly to the skin.
Do we really need to use sunscreen?
On a regular day-to-day basis our family does not use any sunscreen. We prevent sunburns by wearing appropriate clothing and building up our bodies own natural defenses spending lots of time outdoors in the spring and during the mornings.
We rarely burn unless we spend an abnormal amount of time in the sun, for example while swimming or working in the yard. Speaking of that, I’ll be working in the yard this weekend now that it is finally starting to thaw out. I need to prepare my garden beds for planting and pull all those weeds that are creeping in!
Just in time for all of the outdoor spring cleaning I need to do I decided to try making this homemade sunscreen. I want to avoid the nasty chemicals like:
- Oxybenzone (found in 65% of sunscreens) – a hormone disrupting chemical
- Retinol palmitate (a form of Vitamin A – fine in the body, but probably harmful on skin)
- Methoxycinnamate or Octinoxate
- Padimate O/PABA
- Nano or Micronized mineral particles
Especially that oxybenzone with my already hormone-wacky body! So I chose to nourish my skin instead with shea butter, coconut oil, beeswax, zinc oxide, and essential oils. These are natural ingredients that I already use on my skin and include in other skin care products that I make. Adding the zinc oxide provides more nourishment and also that barrier against the sun’s rays.
Tto learn more about what to avoid and what to look for, I highly recommend the EWG Sunscreen Guide.
Here’s how to make your own all natural sunscreen:
Here’s the recipe to make your own all natural sunscreen:
- I set up a makeshift double boiler by setting a glass bowl over a pot of water at a low boil.
- Add the beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil to the bowl. The beeswax may take longer to melt, but be patient. 😉
- Stir the oils and beeswax frequently until melted.
- Remove from heat.
- Add the zinc oxide and stir together until smooth.
- I added about 10 drops of lavender essential oil to mine, but feel free to leave this step out completely. Note: not all essential oils are safe for use in the sun, please do your research if you choose to add them to a sunscreen.
- Pour mixture into a glass container that you can seal with a lid and let cool.
- You're done!
It’s that easy!
Note that you want to clean your bowl and spoon right away. I very carefully used the boiling water from the pot and everything came clean just fine.
You can see from the video that the homemade sunscreen easily blends into my skin without leaving that sticky white residue that I imagined! It felt just like any nourishing body butter that I usually make and naturally provides about an SPF of 30. Win-win!