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Now that summer is here, many are grabbing the sunscreen as they head to the beach or to spend time outside.
However, many (if not all) of the sunscreens you find on store shelves can contain toxic ingredients. These harmful ingredients can greatly affect health because when they are applied to your skin, the chemicals are absorbed into your body.
Even sunscreens that are labeled as natural can still contain some harmful chemicals. Be sure to check the list of ingredients to insure it is safe to use.
A few of the most harmful ingredients to avoid are:
- Oxybenzone- associated with hormone disruption, has a high absorption rate.
- Methoxycinnamate- endocrine disruptor, organ system toxicity
- Nano scale zinc oxide- nano particles can easily enter the bloodstream.
- Fragrance- carcinogenic properties, hormone disruptor.
- Petroleum- carcinogenic properties
It’s ironic that doctors insist that everyone use sunscreen to prevent skin cancer, yet many studies have shown that commercial sunscreens contain carcinogens and actually increase the risk of skin cancer.
Making your own sunscreen is a great alternative to those harmful commercial ones. You know I like to make a lot of recipes and natural solutions myself and one of the main reasons for this, is that I like knowing what I put into the recipe and knowing that it is truly safe to use.
Even though, I do try to get at least 10 to 15 minutes of sunlight a day for vitamin D, there are certain occasions that I do use coconut oil or this recipe for sun protection. Especially if I will be outside for a prolonged period of time and don’t have a shaded area to retreat to.
If you aren’t into making your own sunscreen, be sure to check out the EWG Sunscreen Guide to determine which natural sunscreens are best. They break down what ingredients are in each product and rate the safety on a scale of one to 10.
How to Make Sunscreen Sticks Naturally
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or any other oil (jojoba, almond, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon beeswax or vegetable wax (pellets or grate it yourself)
- 1/2 tablespoon zinc (preferably non-nanoparticle)
- 1/8 tablespoon vitamin E or essential oil (to act as a preservative) (see below for essential oils)
1. Combine all ingredients except zinc oxide in a small dish or jar and set it aside. (I have a jar I use just for making natural recipes).
2. Fill a small pot with about a cup or two of water and bring to a light boil.
3. Remove from heat and place the small dish with ingredients in the pot of water.
4. Stir occasionally and let sit until the beeswax is melted.
5. Once the mixture is melted, add the zinc oxide and stir well.
6. While still warm, pour the mixture into a tube to store it (I used an empty coco butter tube in the picture above). As the mixture cools, it will take the shape of the container.
How much SPF does this sunscreen have?
This sunscreen contains about SPF 15-20; however, this is a rough estimate and should be reapplied as needed.
*For this recipe, you can increase the amount of zinc oxide to increase the SPF.
Essential Oil Options:
For essential oils, you can choose any ones you prefer; however, citrus essential oils can increase sunlight sensitivity. The following essential oils are a few that contain some natural sun protection (a low amount of SPF protections): eucalyptus, lavender, carrot seed oil.
Is it Water-proof?
If you’re going swimming or will be in the water, make sure to reapply as homemade sunscreen is not as water-proof as commercial sunscreens.