DOIN’ IT WELL: DIY Natural Sunscreen

sunscreen

Spring is officially here. Any moment Summer will be too, and you know what that means: lighter fits, lemonade, cookouts, weekend trips to the beach and more. It doesn’t matter what you’ve got planned for your sunny days, all outside is your oyster! One of the major items for each outdoor agenda falls under skin protection. Yes, we’re talking sunscreen. However, this particular item of discussion can’t be found on store shelves.

Because of the never ending list of carcinogens and toxins swimming in commercial sunscreen lotion (check yours here), I opt for a holistic and homemade recipe. The entity of skin is the largest organ on your body. It needs clean treatment, just like any other body part. What you lather and spray on your skin will find its way into your bloodstream. Such is the case with commercial sunscreen. In the years since its consumption, skin cancer rates have rocketed. Even the FDA has gone on record to state that its use alone is NOT enough to dodge skin cancer. Many medical researchers also believe it to be the cause of some illnesses. When the sun touches the layer of lotion atop your skin, ingredients like titanium oxide, and other chemicals, generate free radicals and attack skin cells. Not only does this cause mutations, but it also encourages these items to pass the bloodstream and mimic estrogen properties. This throws off the organic balance of hormones and ignites a cluster of possible disorder.

So, what is the alternative to chemical properties? The answer is quite simple really, and it comes from the very Earth we inhabit: plant based ingredients. Yes, their properties offer a plethora of essential anti-oxidants and SPF.

Shea Butter:

This ingredient has major moisturizing ability and also provides the skin with a great dose of fatty acids and vitamins. It is also anti-inflammatory and has been known to reduce wrinkles. Shea Butter also contains a natural UV ray protective power.

Coconut Oil:

I use this for EVERYTHING. There hasn’t been a skin ailment coconut oil hasn’t cured on me. Like the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding feels about Windex and its miracles, this is my magic in a bottle. Its anti-viral and anti-fungal properties can battle candida and many other irritations and infections. Full of protein and vitamin E, it prevents premature aging and repairs damaged skin cells at a steady rate. Also, it goes on light without leaving an oily residue. The benefits go on forever. Once you discover this, coconut oil is bound to become a staple in your home.

Avocado Oil:

In my opinion, this ingredient tends to be the underdog of the natural market. It goes without much attention, but its pros can’t be denied. Avocado oil increases the production of collagen (which firms skin), treats eczema, psoriasis, heals wounds, burns, and the ever evil diaper rash of little babes.

Raspberry Oil:

A great absorbing agent of UV-B and UV-C rays, this oil does all of the great things the other ingredients are known for. The extra power of this product lies in its ability to lock in moisture and reduce water loss.

Carrot Oil:

Not only is this oil used in aromatherapy for stress and anxiety, it also relieves muscle aches, repairs tissues, battles infection, wounds and disease. Its healthy cellular generation is another huge plus.

Beeswax:

Unlike pore clogging petroleum, beeswax moisturizes the skin without suffocation and nasty paraben chemicals. It is hypoallergenic, anti-bacterial, and also a magnet for water molecules—leaving your skin soft for the long term. It is also a great thickening agent for sunscreen.

Natural-Sunscreen-Ingredients-

The Recipe

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup shea butter
1/8 cup avocado oil
2 TBSP beeswax granules (use more if you want it a little more waterproof)
1 TSP Red Raspberry Seed Oil
1 TSP Carrot Seed Oil (*can be optional due to its woodsy scent and user preference)

Essential oils of your preference for scent. I love lavender, rosemary, vanilla and peppermint.

*The addition of zinc oxide is optional per discretion. Many health professionals use it. Many argue it also poses risks to health. Due to the controversy, I choose to go without it. Should you go with the use of zinc, be sure to use a non-nano version. This is believed to refrain from skin absorption. 2 TBSP is compatible with the recipe.

whipped sunscreen

Directions

1.) Place shea butter, avocado oil, beeswax, and coconut oil into a wide mouth mason jar. These jars are great staples for the home and DIY projects. The wide mouth is also awesome because it allows for a better reach into the jar. Let no streak of sunscreen go to waste!

2.) Sit jar in medium pan or saucepan.

3.) Fill a medium pot or saucepan with a few inches of water (2-3) and then set stove to medium heat.

4.) Top the jar with the lid, but keep it somewhat loose.

5.) Ingredients will fall into a melt (the beeswax will be the last to melt) as the water around it gets hotter. Shake or stir to mix everything together at your preference. (If using zinc oxide, stir in once all items are melted. Be careful. Do not get it in your face.)

6.) Refrigerate for 15-30 minutes.

7.) Remove mixture from refrigerator and whip with a mixer. Pour in raspberry oil, carrot oil, and your essential oil of choice. Whip until fluffy.

8.) VOILA! Marvel at your creation. You just made a jar of powerful and clean sunscreen…and with no fillers!

Additional Notes

1.) Be sure to check with your Doctor before trying any new products. Especially if pregnant, allergy prone or on rounds of medication.

2.) Store mixture in glass container and refrigerate between uses to prevent spoiling. Mixture should last for up to 6 months. Do NOT use a container with a pump. The contents are too thick.

3.) Re-application needs vary on your daily activities and water exposure. But re-apply every 80 minutes or so.

4.) Refrain from using citrus and phototoxic oils! These will only make you more susceptible to burning under the sun.

5.) Be responsible with your days. On one hand, soak up the sun! Vitamin D deficiency is behind many health issues. On the other, remember that the best protection from harsh sun is managed exposure. Don’t use sunscreen as a reason to stay in the sun for long hours. Be sure to find shade, wear hats, sunglasses, and try to avoid peak sun hours from 10am-2pm.

You will find a great bang for your buck with this concoction. It is rich, yet light, so a little goes a long way. The recipe makes a decent amount, about 220 mL, so the cost of all materials exceeds the small bottle of “natural” priced sunscreens on the market. Plus, you’ll have ingredients left over for other uses. You won’t want to go back to commercial sunscreen after you feel the softness of your skin! I promise. 🙂

 

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About

When she's not getting lost in fantastical worlds with the fictional characters she writes, Tia tends to lead something of a normal life. She enjoys the hours of her day by sifting through comics at her local comic book shop, blogging as a pop culture analyst, writing multicultural fantasy, watching "Tangled" and One Direction videos on repeat with her toddler, playing air guitar to Thin Lizzy, connecting life with '90s film quotes and finding new ways to sneak a bite of pizza when she knows she shouldn't. You can find her tweeting here and there, @tatixtia.

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