I hate the smell of store-bought sunscreen. Once it gets on your towel and swim suit and clothes, there is no amount of washing that will get rid of that smell. Plus, I hear tell that the chemical filters in most sunscreens aren't so terribly good for you. Therefore, in an effort to be less chemical-y and nicer to the environment and my nose, I decided to make a homemade physical barrier version with zinc oxide. By getting the non-nano size of powder, you can ensure that (at least most of) the zinc oxide will not be absorbed into your skin. Yes, it'll look a little pasty. That's ok by me! We'd much rather look pasty (ok...pastiER) than have a sunburn. I can finally chuck the several half-empty bottles of store bought crap laying around the apartment.
The ingredients are not hard to find and not expensive, and the method couldn't be easier. I started at this website and adapted from there. And Mommypotamus's page on homemade sunscreen has some additional great info you should read before you sally forth.
I've only made this once and forgot to take notes, so I'll make it again once we run out and update my measurements. It is worth mentioning that I was not super careful with my weighing, but I do have proof that it prevented a sunburn where I applied (because my back was sunburned where I couldn't reach!)
Homemade Lavender Sunblock
- 3/4 oz vegetable emusifying wax
- 1 oz unrefined coconut oil
1/4 oz plain - not toasted - sesame oil (which I chose because I have a lot). Other good options are extra virgin olive, almond, jojoba, or even just more coconut oil.
30 drops lavender essential oil, or scent of your choice. However, apparently citrus is a bad choice for sun protection, so choose your scent wisely, or leave it out altogether.
1/2 oz zinc oxide powder (non-nano is best). I aimed for this to equal 20% of the total recipe. Did I do the math right? Probably not. It's ok to be approximate, just err on the side of a little too much zinc oxide.
- In a glass bowl, melt the wax in the microwave 15-30 seconds at a time until it is liquid, 1-2 minutes total.
- Add the coconut oil and stir (I used one of our plastic chopsticks for easy cleaning). If necessary, heat the oils again to re-melt, 15-30 seconds.
- Stir in the other oil and the essential oil.
- Stir in the zinc oxide powder.
- Pour the mixture into a small container and allow the mixture to cool. I stirred mine every few minutes so it wouldn't be so solid in the jar.
- When using, it gets very melty very quickly, so move fast and only use a little at a time. Keep the container in the shade or cooler if you're at the beach, and don't forget to reapply after sweating.
Smells so much better than store bought!
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