The first sunburns of the season have begun showing up at my house this week! My daughter’s boyfriend Neil was sporting a DOOZY of a sunburn Friday afternoon after attending an outdoor concert SANS SUNSCREEN, and No. 1 son Erik helped a friend dig fence posts on Friday SANS SUNSCREEN and ended up looking slightly lobster-like! *sigh*
Homemade or store-bought…you have to put the sunscreen ON boys! :-)
This reminded me of the growing number of requests I have been getting lately for a natural alternative to store-bought sunscreen. I have to admit I never really gave it much thought before this, but after reading about what is in some sunscreens, I figured a “natural” homemade alternative sounded pretty good (not to mention WAY less expensive.)
Studies show that many sunscreen ingredients (avobenzone, octyl methoxycinnamate, and oxybenzone to name a few) have toxic properties that are absorbed through the skin and end up circulating in your bloodstream. These are called chemical barrier sunscreens.
These types of sunscreens are considered the safest sunscreens to use, especially when combined with ingredients like the ones in this recipe I found on MakeupAlley.com.
The person who posted it lives in Hawaii and said a lot of surfers there make their own sunscreen similar to this recipe, and she adds that she’s never been burned while using it.
1/4 cup Diaper Rash Cream (I used Desitin Maximum Strength)
1 tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 tablespoon Cocoa Butter
1 tablespoon Aloe Vera Gel
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Beeswax
5-10 drops Lavender Essential Oil (optional)
Put all the ingredients in a glass bowl set on top of a pan of boiling water and melt all the ingredients together. Allow mixture to cool and then add your favorite essential oil (if desired). Just make sure to avoid any of the CITRUS essential oils as they can actually cause burning. Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.
This recipe has an SPF of about 30. Once you know the percentage of zinc oxide in the diaper rash cream you use, you can estimate the SPF. For example, the Desitin Maximum Strength I used has 40% zinc oxide which would be an SPF of 60…but since it’s diluted by half with the other ingredients I would says the SPF is approximately 30.
This recipe made the perfect amount to fill one of these travel size bottles you can buy at the grocery store.
My daughter-in-law Kaitlyn and I tested it out this afternoon and were both really pleased with it!
It rubbed in easily, felt moisturizing but not greasy, smelled good, and even gave our skin a little bit of a “glow” which we both commented on and liked! Just a little beauty bonus. :-) Since it contains Beeswax it should be fairly water resistant as well. But be sure and re-apply after swimming or every 2 hours.
A couple more things I thought were worth mentioning here about sunscreen:
- a common mistake people make is applying too LITTLE sunscreen, which can drastically reduce its’ effective SPF. About 1 ounce (5-6 teaspoons) of sunscreen is recommended to cover the entire body.
- sunscreen should be applied at least 30 minutes before going outdoors.
Hopefully now you are more informed and better prepared to naturally protect yourself from harmful sunburns this summer.