Summer is upon us, which means more time in the garden, more time on the beach, and—moreover—more time out in the sun. While it’s especially lovely to soak up the sun after a long, dreary winter, staying out in the sun for an extended period of time will necessitate the use of sunblock. An increasing number of do-it-yourselfers are turning to homemade sunblock. Here are some of the reasons why and how you can make your very own.
Why the movement toward homemade?
Most commercial sunblocks, while high-SPF and water-resistant, contain chemical additives. Some of these chemicals are alleged to disrupt the function of hormones such as estrogen, testosterone, and thyroid. These adverse effects can result in infertility, breast cancer, and prostate cancer among other issues. These unwanted chemicals are not present in homemade sunblocks, in which the ingredients are controlled entirely by the manufacturer (i.e. you).
Natural ingredients and their SPF
A number of natural ingredients frequently included in homemade sunblock carry different levels of SPF. These ingredients and the level of protection they provide are as follows:
- Almond Oil – less than 5 SPF
- Coconut Oil – 4-6 SPF
- Shea Butter – 4-6 SPF
- Zinc Oxide – 2-20 SPF
- Carrot Seed Oil – 35-40 SPF
- Raspberry Seed Oil – 25-50 SPF
Recipes to try at home
There are numerous different recipes around the Internet to try. The important thing is to make sure the SPF is strong, and there are zero toxic chemicals.
¼ cup shea butter
2 tbsp. zinc oxide powder
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup beeswax granules
20 drops carrot seed oil
1 tsp. raspberry seed oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. vitamin E oil
Combine shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax in a jar. Place jar into saucepan filled with water, heat on low. Remove from heat once ingredients melt, let cool. Stir in zinc oxide (DO NOT INHALE! Zinc oxide is toxic when ingested, so wear a mask or exercise extreme caution). Cool in fridge until whippable. Add oils and extracts. Whip. Refrigeration extends shelf life to about six months’ time.
2 ounces shea butter
2 ounces coconut oil
1 ounce zinc oxide
8 drops essential oil (optional) (e.g. lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint)
Melt shea butter and coconut oil together in double boiler. Remove from heat, stir in zinc oxide. Pour into container. Let cool, store at room temperature.
This article is presented by Perkins Motors in Colorado Springs, Colorado.