So it is summer and we are playing a lot outside so that means going through a lot of sunscreen to keep us protected. Sometimes white tee shirts and those big floppy hats aren’t enough.
Coconut oil – contains natural SPF properties
Shea butter – naturally protects skin, making it perfect for use in a sunscreen
Jojoba oil, sunflower oil, or sesame oil – these oils are easily absorbed into the skin and also provide some natural sun protection
Eucalyptus and lavender essential oils – eucalyptus has very low natural SPF and lavender is great for soothing and repairing skin. DO NOT use citrus essential oils in your sunscreen, as they may increase sensitivity to sunlight.
Vitamin E oil – nourishes and moisturizes skin, and helps naturally preserve homemade sunscreen
Zinc oxide (non nano) – a non-toxic, usually non-irritating, effective broad spectrum sunblock. The particles sit on the outermost layer of your skin, scattering and absorbing UVA and UVB rays, protecting the skin below. Be sure to use non nano zinc oxide to produce a natural homemade sunscreen. We purchased ours here. (The smallest amount you can purchase is a container that will last you years!)
Different amounts of zinc oxide are needed depending on what SPF you would like your lotion to be. Once you have chosen the SPF a little math is involved. The zinc oxide must be a certain percentage of the weight of your ingredients (before adding the zinc oxide). For this reason, it’s easiest to use a kitchen scale when making your sunscreen. For example, if you have 2 ounces of lotion and you’d like to make SPF 10 sunscreen, according to the values below you will need to add .2 ounces of zinc oxide to the lotion. Use the zinc oxide recommendations below.
For SPF 2-5: Use 5% zinc oxide
For SPF 6-11: Use 10% zinc oxide
For SPF 12-19: Use 15% zinc oxide
For SPF >20: Use 20% zinc oxide
- 1 oz. coconut oil
- 0.8 oz. shea butter
- 0.1 oz. jojoba, sesame, or sunflower oil
- 0.1 oz. Vitamin E oil
- 30 drops essential oils, optional – I use 15 lavender, 10 eucalyptus, 5 peppermint oil
- zinc oxide powder (determine amount for 2 oz. of lotion)
Add coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba/sesame/sunflower oil to a makeshift double boiler. (To make your own double boiler, place a Pyrex measuring cup containing ingredients inside a small pot filled with a few inches of water). Heat gently until shea butter is just melted. Remove from double boiler and allow to cool a little. Put on a mask that covers your nose and mouth (to avoid breathing in the fine particles of zinc oxide powder), and measure out your zinc oxide. Add zinc oxide, Vitamin E oil, and optional essential oils to the other ingredients. Stir well to combine. Store in a dark jar in the refrigerator.
Apply liberally to exposed skin. Reapply every few hours, or more often if swimming or sweating. A little bit more complex then my other recipes, but well worth the work. Staying chemical free is the only way to be! Comments, questions, concerns drop them below. Smile, you’re beautiful!