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How to Make Homemade Sunscreen

Summer means lots of time outside in the sun which, in my opinion, makes it one of the best seasons out there. All that sun and outside air is great for your health, but sometimes you get too much sun and you end up with a painful burn.

There’s nothing worse than getting home from a nice day at the beach or out in the backyard or at summer camp and you realize that even though it’s cooled off, your skin hasn’t. Sometimes the burn is so bad it’s unbearable to lie in your bed or wear certain clothes. That’s much more unbearable than putting your sunscreen on.

There are lots of sunscreens out there that protect your skin from burns, burns that if you get repeatedly can do some serious damage to your skin. But did you know the ingredients for sunscreen are out there too? It’s easy to make your own homemade sunscreen and customize it to your own tastes and use.

What makes sunscreen work is the inorganic compound Zinc Oxide. It’s used in all sorts of things ranging from rubber to nuclear reactors to your sunscreen. A little scary, I know, but when used in sunscreens, Zinc Oxide, which in its pure form is a white powder, sits on top of your skin. It’s never absorbed, which is a good thing cause you’re not supposed to have it in your body. And when it’s sitting on top of your skin it reflects UVB and UVA rays. Of course a dosage of these rays are good for you, they give you Vitamin D which is very important, but too much of these rays cause damage to your skin cells, which is why you wear sunscreen.

And because this homemade sunscreen has Zinc Oxide in it, it will protect your skin much like store bought sunscreens. Plus you get to make it whatever scent you want!

 

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup oil (Coconut, olive, almond or grapeseed oils are good and you can find all of these at a health foods store.)
  • 5 teaspoons Zinc Oxide (This is available online or in many stores in the diaper aisle, just make sure it is pure zinc oxide.)
  • 1 Tablespoon Beeswax (This makes the sunscreen waterproof.)
  • 3 Tablespoons natural aloe vera gel
  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 2-3 capsules of Vitamin E oil (optional)
  • 10 drops Grapefruit Seed Extract (optional)
  • Essential Oils for scent (optional) And it’s best to stay away from Citrus Oils as they can cause burning.

What You’ll Need to Do:

  1. Set up a double boiler on your stove. To do this you’ll need a pan filled with water and another pan or bowl balanced on top of that. Turn the stove on high and the boiling water in the bottom pan indirectly conducts heat to the top pan. This is all to prevent burning.
  2. Heat the oil and beeswax in your double boiler until melted.
  3. Remove them from the heat and add vitamin E and, if you like, essential oils.
  4. Put this mixture into a bowl and add zinc oxide powder. Make sure that this bowl is not used for food because it’s not a good idea to ingest zinc oxide. Put this mixture aside.
  5. In a small pan, heat the distilled water and the aloe vera gel until just warm.
  6. Whisk your oil, beeswax and zinc oxide mixture and slowly add the water and aloe mixture to it.
  7. While your mixture is still a liquid pour into your container and let it harden. Sometimes the fridge is helpful here.
  8. Slather this stuff on before getting in the sun and enjoy a burn free summer!

This sunscreen is great for everyday use because of its natural ingredients. And these natural ingredients do have natural SPF to them. The recipe here will yield a sunscreen with a 20 SPF. Adding more zinc oxide will increase that number. But because this natural sunscreen is lacking the chemicals that make store bought sunscreens so waterproof you’re going to need to re-apply this sunscreen after swimming or sweating.

And if the double boiler is throwing you through a loop, there’s even an easier way to make your own sunscreen.

Easy Homemade Sunscreen:

Get a bottle of your favorite lotion and make sure there are no citrus oils in it, because they can cause burning. Pour the lotion in a bowl not used for food and add a few tablespoons of Zinc Oxide powder to it and mix it well. Pour it back into its container or into another one of your choice and, yep, you got sunscreen! Without the beeswax it won’t be as waterproof as the above recipe, but it’ll be great for everyday around town use.

Have Your Say!

Have you ever had a really bad sunburn? Share your burn story in the comments section below!

 

156 Comments

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