Although sun protection is extremely important to protect against harmful UV-rays and to prevent skin cancer, next time you pick out your sunscreen, consider what you’re buying. Many common sunscreens actually contain chemicals that can be harmful to your body.
Chemicals to avoid in common sunscreens:
- Retinol palmitate
- Padimate O/PABA
- Nano or Micronized mineral particles
There are several and easy ways to make effective and natural homemade sunscreen.
1 oz. Coconut oil
0.8 oz. Shea butter
0.1 oz. Jojoba oil or sunflower oil
0.1 oz Vitamin E oil
15 drops each of 1 or 2 of the following essential oils for fragrance: coconut, lavender, lemongrass, lotus, orange, vanilla, fig.
Zinc oxide (use only zinc oxide power that cosmetic grade and coated for free-radical protection)
The amount of zinc oxide you choose to use will determine the amount of SPF in your sunscreen. For more than SPF 20, use 20% zinc oxide, for SPF 12-19 use 15% zinc oxide.
Directions: First step is to combine coconut oil, shea butter and jojoba/sesame/sunflower oil into a Pyrex measuring up. Next, make a double boiler by placing the Pyrex inside a pot filled with 2-3 inches of water. Heat on low until the shea butter is melted. Remove from double boiler and let cool. After cooled, wear a mask to cover your nose and mouth when you measure out the zinc oxide to avoid inhaling fine particles. Add the zinc oxide, Vitamin E oil and essential oils to the original mixture. Stir until ingredients are mixed. The last step is to pour the mixture into a dark jar and refrigerate.
Homemade sunscreen can last for around 6 months and should be refrigerated. Apply generously to skin and reapply every few hours during periods of sun exposure. Most people fail to apply enough sunscreen when they use it so be sure to apply it liberally. It is best for everyone to protect their skin everyday of the year, even when skies are overcast. It is also best to wear UVA/UVB sunglasses everyday to protect your eyes against cataracts.