Getting Ready for Summer....Homemade Sunscreen

Given the fact that I've had this skin for 41 years now, it downright embarrasses me that I still sometimes let this happen:

I know better. I truly do.

This happened about 4 weeks ago, on the Saturday of our last regular-season soccer games. I have all kinds of excuses on how this happened this particular time: We ended up being there for two hours longer than I thought we would be. When we left the house that Saturday morning at about 8:30 a.m., it was almost chilly and totally overcast.

And still....yes, I totally know better.

In my defense, I try to use sunscreen as little as possible, employing common sense tactics as much as possible. Our skin manufactures Vitamin D through the sunlight we receive, and sunscreen interferes with that…so I do try to have unprotected time in the sun. Just not five hours at a time.

When I’m going to be outside for more than 30 minutes or so, I dress to cover as much as I can (and not look crazy), I try to stay in the shade whenever I can, and I eat in a way that will help prevent skin from burning. (And I really believe this has actually been working, I just can’t stay out in the sun for 5 hours, obviously.)

The most important reason I try to minimize our sunscreen use: The average sunscreen contains many dangerous chemicals. Carcinogens, actually. This bothers me: In an effort to try to prevent damage and illness from the sun, instead I've been lathering up with carcinogenic chemicals.

I’ve pinned several homemade sunscreen lotion recipes from sources I trust. But honestly, I thought to myself, “The crunchy-buck stops here…I am just not going to make my own sunscreen!”

So I went looking here at Katie  review of (more) natural sunscreens and the EWG’s 2014 Guide to Sunscreens, to find some safer sunscreens. I even started putting some in my Amazon cart as I decided which to actually buy.

But most of the safer stuff – with good ratings and good reviews - are usually $15-$20. For one bottle. Yowza!

When I saw how expensive the more natural stuff is, I decided to take another look at making my own.

Turns out, for less money than I would have spent on one bottle of safer stuff, I was able to get the ingredients I needed to make three batches of sunscreen.

When you get down to it, homemade sunscreen is really just:

Homemade Skin Lotion  +   Zinc Oxide (for sun protection)

Turns out it really isn’t rocket science. The recipe I chose only has four ingredients.

Now, all I needed to buy was the Zinc Oxide powder. I purchased mine here and was pleased with their service and product.

I used Stephanie's recipe found HERE on Keeper of the Home.  

Here are a couple more recipes that I looked at making, and that I'm sure would work good:

Natural Homemade Sunscreen by Wellness Mama

How to make Non-Toxic Homemade Sunscreen by Mommypotamus

1/2 oz. beeswax granules/pastilles (I believe we found this to be 1/8 cup when we converted it)
1/4 cup shea butter (2 oz.)
1/4 cup coconut oil (2 oz.)
2 Tbsp. zinc oxide powder (1 oz.)

Combine the beeswax, shea butter and coconut oil in a double boiler (or a make-do double boiler like I used)...and stir until melted:

Then add in the zinc oxide powder and stir or blend to thoroughly combine. 

I only made one batch at first, not wanting to waste time and other ingredients if this turned out to be a fail.  But thankfully...I've been pleased with this sunscreen!

It goes on white, but rubs in and disappears nicely.  I haven't been out in the sun for five hours at a stretch since I made this sunscreen, but I have used it several times and have not gotten burned.  I'm about to go make two more batches to take with us to the beach!

If you don't want to jump into making your own sunscreen...check out this resource that will help guide you in choosing a safe sunscreen:

EWG's 2014 Guide to Sunscreens - a great resource that rates sunscreens on the individual ingredients safety

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