Thursday, July 14, 2011

Homemade Sunscreen

Last night I made my own sunscreen. Yep, I sure did! Did you know you could make your own non-toxic sunscreen? Ok. By now I know what you are thinking. You're thinking this right?
Thats me hugging on a tree :)
Well its not true. I would SO cut down that tree! Just teasin'..oop dont send the hate mail! 
Seriously though.  Why?  Do you know about all of the crap that is allowed to go in sunscreen? I mean, We use sunscreen to supposedly help prevent skin cancer yet there are chemicals in the commercial junk that are carcinogens!!!! Thats so messed up! Skin Deep has some great info on sunscreen. Check it out for yourself.
You already know I am trying to use only products that are not toxic to my body's largest organ (my skin of course). After searching the Skin Deep database for a sunscreen that wasn't too bad for me I came away a bit disappointed. There are only a few that are decent, and I am just not willing to pay 13 plus bucks for 4 ounces (or less) of decent sunscreen. I thought I found a sort of good one but when I ordered it the manufacturer was out of stock, sigh. So with my  little less than decent sunscreen getting to the I-need-to-cut-this-open-and-scrape-it-out phase I decided to do some research on making my own. There are tons of recipes out there! With all the choices I decided to find a recipe that calls for very few ingredients, and hopefully some stuff I already had like Shea butter and coconut oil. I knew that Zinc Oxide was a very safe product for your skin, but you cant just get it at Wal-mart. That junk that you put on your baby's butt? uhhh thats another topic, but there is petroleum and all sorts of mess in there. I needed zinc in its pure form, which I found at . I also get my Shea butter from them and a few other things.
Alrighty. Let me get to the recipe.
2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons Shea Butter
1/2 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1/2 teaspoon Aloe Vera Gel (not the juice, this is pure gel)
Heat all the above ingredients in a water bath, a bowl inside a pot of simmering water, until melted. This wont take long at all. Once this is melted, remove from heat and stir in:
1 Tablespoon Zinc Oxide powder.
please cover your face with a mask when you use this as it can be harmful in powder form if inhaled. I didnt have a mask so I used my t-shirt over my nose.. ya know like when someone farts and you dont want to smell it?uhh ya, moving on.

Mix thoroughly and pour into a dark container. I got a cheap, blue, plastic container from SoapGoods.
This should have a shelf life of about 6 months or so. I will just make a new batch every summer since I dont need it in the winter.
The mixture will start to solidify once you take it off the heat and mix in the zinc. Here is what it looks like when cooled -
I also added several drops of lavender because I dont like the smell of the sesame oil. Which by the way I really think you could do without that oil.
Its a great creamy spread which goes on quite well and takes effort to wash off. I am perfectly ok with a white tint to my skin if it means I am being protected, but this was really not that noticeable on my white skin. If you have dark skin it will certainly show up more, but hey! Its non-toxic!
This recipe makes about 2 ounces.  I had everything but the zinc oxide so I didnt have a big start up expense in making this. I figure that 8 oz is a typical sunscreen size. If I quadrupled this recipe to get 8 oz. it would cost me only $2.45. HUGE savings and non-toxic! Hello? This is great! Plus most of my ingredients were organic, except maybe the zinc, but I dont know if that is even possible and the sesame oil. Now yours might be slightly more or less depending on your ingredients and the prices. But $2.50 for any sunscreen is excellent.
How does it work? VERY well! I used it today and got burned a little.. ok. I knew better and forgot to reapply it, but I swam for 3 1/2 hours, and dried off with a towel several times in between.  I have been more burnt by the commercial stuff when I forgot to reapply after towel drying than I did today. Plus I am fair skinned and burn VERY easily!
Will I keep using it? Definitely! I feel good enough to use it on my kids now that I tested on myself. 
I do believe you can add as much zinc oxide as you wish for a stronger sun protection, but keep in mind it will leave a white film on the skin. Also, I dont know the SPF of this. Probably around 20 the way I made it, but thats a guess.
One great thing is it will be great for my sensitive skin. I use pure Shea Butter as my everyday moisturizer. Coconut oil is a good moisturizer too. Zinc is also good for acne, wound healing, its an astringent, rashes (think diaper cream) and one of the safest and most effective protection from UV rays. I think this would make a great every day face cream for your face.
Guess thats about it. If you try it let me know how it goes for you.


Bethany said...

Great post! I'm going to try this! Thanks for the info! =)

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