By now, most people are probably already aware that they should be wearing sunscreen to help protect their skin from sun exposure. But not just any old sunscreen will do, according to a recent sunscreen report by the Environmental Working Group! The report states that nearly 75% of the sunscreen products they evaluated either didn’t provide enough sun protection, or they contained ingredients that could be harmful to your health. Yikes!
In order to understand what works and what’s safe when it comes to sunscreen, let’s take a moment and go back to basics.
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There are two types of sunscreen products. The first type creates a chemical barrier against the sun’s rays, and the second type creates a physical barrier. Many of the chemical barrier sunscreens contain potentially harmful ingredients that can be absorbed into your bloodstream. Some common ingredients, like oxybenzone and octinoxate, can even disrupt normal hormonal activity.
On the other hand, physical barrier sunscreens (also called “mineral sunscreens”) tend to receive higher safety ratings from the EWG. Most mineral sunscreens contain zinc oxide and/or titanium oxide as their active ingredient. These ingredients don’t penetrate the skin and offer better protection against certain types of UV rays. A sunscreen containing either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide can provide the best of both worlds in terms of effectiveness, and minimizing your exposure to harmful ingredients.
So today I want to show you how you can harness the power of zinc oxide to make your own homemade sunscreen! This sunscreen is simple, effective, and contains moisturizing ingredients that will leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated.
How To Make Homemade Mineral Sunscreen
Put all the ingredients into a glass bowl. Set the bowl on top of a pan of boiling water and melt all the ingredients together.
Allow mixture to cool, then add your favorite essential oil, if desired. (Just make sure to avoid any of the CITRUS essential oils as they can actually cause skin burns in the sun.)
Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge.
This recipe made the perfect amount to fill one of these travel size bottles you can buy at the grocery store.
I’ve been quite pleased with my homemade sunscreen so far! It rubs in easily, feels moisturizing but not greasy, and it smells good. It even gives my skin a little bit of a “glow,” which is a nice beauty bonus. :-) Since this formula contains beeswax it should be fairly water resistant as well. Be sure to re-apply sunscreen after swimming, and at least every 2 hours.
More Sunscreen Tips
A couple more things I thought were worth mentioning:
- One common mistake people not applying enough sunscreen. Experts recommend about 1 ounce (5-6 teaspoons) of sunscreen to cover the entire body.
- Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outdoors.
- Use sunscreen in addition to other forms of sun protection. Wide-brim hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long pants offer great protection from the sun’s rays. Avoid sun exposure during its’ peak in the middle of the day, and find shade when possible.
After reading this post, I hope you’re more informed and better prepared to protect yourself from harmful sunburns this summer!