Guest post by Lexie of Lexie:Naturals
A little disclaimer for our friends at the FDA: None of the statements in this post have been approved (or denied) by the FDA. I have done extensive research, but I am not a chemist or a doctor. This is sold as a Sun Lotion and diaper cream rather than a sunscreen. Carry on! :)
Our family has a history of skin cancer, so we are pretty adamant about wearing sunscreen when we will be in full sun for a long period of time; however, do you know what’s in your sunscreen? I read the ingredients for the first time two summers ago, and I was not pleased because they are full of toxins, chemicals, and parabens. You can see how your sunscreen ranks using EWG’s database.
After I found out that my sunscreen could actually be worse for my skin than the sun, I finally decided to try and make my own. We all know the benefits of homemade anything, and this was just one more step I wanted to take for our family.
So, I searched the internet and finally decided on a recipe from MadeOn that had ingredients I already had on hand. I did change up the recipe a bit to make it more waterproof and not as oily. I explain at the bottom of this post how to adjust the recipe for your needs.
This particular sunscreen is smooth, goes on easily, and rubs in nicely. It has an SPF of about 30. This is due to the natural SPF of shea butter (6-10), coconut oil (4-10), and zinc oxide. If a higher SPF is desired, more zinc oxide can be added. You can see a zinc oxide chart here. Just know that adding more zinc oxide will also increase the whiteness of the sunscreen as it goes on.
This sunscreen is also waterproof because of the beeswax, but should be reapplied after swimming and toweling just as any other sunscreen. One more added bonus to this sunscreen is that it can be used as a diaper rash cream, too. It is NOT cloth diaper friendly though (unlike Lexie:BabyBum and all of our other products).
I measure my ingredients by weight, but I have added an approximate volume measurement for those of you who find it easier. You can also purchase a pre-packaged SunLotion Kit, including all of these ingredients, here.
What you’ll need:
1.5 oz. (3 Tbsp.) Beeswax pellets
4 oz. (1/2 cup) Shea Butter
3.5 oz. (1/2 cup) Coconut oil
2 oz. (4 Tbsp.) Zinc Oxide (non-nano)
What you’ll do:
1. Start a double boiler by placing a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. Add your beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil. Stir with a wooden stick.
2. Remove glass bowl from double boiler and add zinc oxide. It may bubble and fizz slightly. Don’t let it frighten you as it did me the first time. :) Stir with a wooden stick and then with a hand mixer or stick blender until nice and smooth. Make sure you clean all utensils right away with a paper towel or the beeswax will stick and be very difficult to clean later on. Zinc is VERY messy.
3. Pour sunscreen into a glass jar and let it sit for several hours until it cools. This can also be poured into an old deodorant or lip balm tube and used as a stick. Make sure you label and date it so that everyone knows what it is! It should keep for up to a year (or until your zinc expires).
When you are ready to use, just scoop some out with your fingers and apply as normal or rub over skin if you are using it as a stick. It may take a bit more rubbing in cooler weather, but it will otherwise go on very smoothly.
- You may find it easier to apply this sunscreen if you pour it into a tube (such as an empty deodorant tube or lip balm tube).
- If you live in colder climates you may want to add less beeswax and more coconut oil.
- If you live in hotter climates you may want to add more beeswax and less coconut oil.
- If you don’t like the consistency of this sunscreen, you can remelt it and add either more beeswax (to make it harder) or coconut oil (to make it softer).
There you have it–your very own homemade DIY natural sunscreen!
Not up for another DIY project? You can purchase this sunscreen, along with all of our other natural homemade skin products, in our online store! We only restock this SunLotion once per year, so get it while you can.
What do you do to keep from burning when you are in full sun all day?
Lexie is a follower of Jesus, the wife of the very talented Stephen McNeill, and a work-at-home mother of two. Her passions include spending time with friends and family, reading, traveling, and teaching. In an effort to live a more natural and frugal lifestyle, she began making and selling her own skin care products (including lotion, lip balm, deodorant, sunlotion, diaper cream, and soap). She loves sharing these passions with others on her blog and helping other families catch the vision of living a more natural lifestyle.