On my quest to use all natural cosmetic products, I knew that sunscreen was going to be a necessary product to make. My skin often gets itchy just from using the store-bought kinds, and it leaves me feeling icky. Not to mention, it is usually polluting a water body. You also want to be on the lookout for the endocrine disruptor, oxybenzone, used in many store bought sunscreens.
Anyways, a few weeks ago I spent all afternoon in the park with my boyfriend and his family. It wasn’t a very hot or super sunny day but I didn’t have any sunscreen on because I hadn’t made any yet. Someone brought out a bottle when we noticed we were getting a little toasty. I read the ingredients label and it had so many bad ingredients that I opted not to use it. Well, sunscreen is tricky isn’t it? Because I ended up with a mild sunburn. So- the choice is- run the risk of skin cancer from the sun, or the list or risks that come from ingredients in harmful cosmetics? It’s definitely a trade off.
Well- there’s no need to decide! Just make your own- it is natural, good for your skin, and it won’t harm your body or the environment! Plus- it is mostly waterproof! What’s not to like?
It costs $7.46 to make 6 oz of this sunscreen. For sunscreen- that’s not a bad price at all!
If you are acne prone, this sunscreen is not non-comedogenic and it could cause you to break out. I also have an acne friendly facial sunscreen recipe that is non-comedogenic.
Before I started making my own cosmetics I had no idea that oils could have natural SPF in them. It makes sense when you think about it. This recipe uses both oils and zinc oxide to achieve a higher SPF level. If you want to learn more about natural sun protection- this is a great article.
So if you leave the zinc oxide out- this recipe will naturally have an SPF of about 20 or so. That is my unprofessional estimate based on the oil SPF ratings.
I like to explain why I use each ingredient in my cosmetics:
- Coconut Oil: Natural SPF of about 2-8, antibacterial, natural moisturizer, full of antioxidants and nutrients your skin needs (you can get it here)
- Almond Oil: Natural SPF of about 5, deep moisturizer, soothes irritation (You can get it here)
- Beeswax: Makes sunscreen waterproof, protects skin against damaging elements, antioxidant, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory (You can get it here)
- Shea Butter: Natural SPF of 3-8, natural moisturizer, good source of vitamins for skin, anti-inflammatory (You can get it here)
- Vitamin E Oil: Antioxidant, natural moisturizer, anti-inflammatory, helps preserve shelf life of sunscreen (You can get it here)
- Red Raspberry Seed Oil/ Carrot Seed Oil: Natural SPF of about 30-40, anti-inflammatory (My favorite essential oils are from Rocky Mountain Oils, and I love their Carrot Seed Oil. You can also get these on amazon here and here.)
- Zinc Oxide: Sun protection (You can get it here)
It’s so easy to make- all you need to do is melt the oils together in a double boiler or a pan placed on top of a pot of boiling water.
They should only take a few minutes and a little bit of stirring to combine.
Ta da! Melted and combined! You are half way there!
Then mix in the zinc oxide and essential oils, and pour into your desired container. It really is that easy. Why doesn’t everyone do this??
This recipe is adapted from Real Food RN:
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup almond oil
- 2 tbsp-1/4 cup beeswax* (depending on how thick you want it)
- 1-2 tbsp shea butter*
- 1 tsp vitamin E oil
- 15 drops red raspberry seed oil or carrot seed oil
- 2 tbsp zinc oxide powder
- Melt the coconut oil, almond oil, beeswax, shea butter, and vitamin E oil in a double boiler until well combined
- Remove from heat and add 15 drops of red raspberry seed oil or carrot seed oil
- Very carefully add in the zinc oxide, taking care not to breathe any in. You might want to cover your mouth with a cloth if you do not trust yourself to be a careful mixer
- Mix slowly and thoroughly until there are no more powdered clumps of zinc oxide
- Pour into your desired container and let it return to room temperature
- Use as you would any sunscreen of SPF 30-40
*Note: The beeswax and shea butter make the sunscreen thicker- if you want a sunscreen that is easy to squeeze through a bottle you should use the lower amounts, but it may make the sunscreen less waterproof. If waterproof sunscreen is your priority, stick with the larger amounts.
I used this sunscreen on a day at the beach and it passed the test- no sun burn! I wasn’t laying out in the sun- but I was playing in the water and out on a sailboat for several hours. The water didn’t rub it off and I didn’t get burnt. I am a fan. And my skin was moisturized after.
I wouldn’t recommend using this on your face if you are prone to break outs. Don’t worry- I’m not going to leave you high and dry. You can find my recipe for acne-friendly facial sunscreen here.
Try making your own sunscreen and let me know how it goes for you!