If you’re like me, you have no interest whatsoever in wearing commercial, chemical sunscreen. It’s just not worth the risk of possible hormone disruption, allergies, or cancer.
But sunburn is no fun either. Last summer on a hot day, I decided to go out blackberry picking wearing a tank top to keep cool. It was really thoughtless. Me, Whiter than sour cream, going out into the sun with bare shoulders. I came in looking like a lobster, and now I make sure to wear sleeves and a hat when I go picking.
That works for me, but my kids are just as white as I am, and burn just as easily. Problem is, they don’t keep hats on very well, and at least one of them has a tendency to come in with fewer clothes than he went out in (what’s up with that?).
So this year, I decided to try making my own homemade natural sunscreen.
It’s amazing what you can do with a few oils and minerals. Really.
This is basically a homemade lotion, with the addition of zinc oxide which you can purchase from amazon.com. The zinc oxide protects the skin against the sun, and while the spf numbers are a little lower, it turns out, spf 30 isn’t twice as effective as spf 15. Spf 15 protects agains 93 percent of UV rays, while 30 protects against 97%.
Homemade mineral sunscreens tend to be about 20spf, which works very well for me.
If you’re skeptical of homemade sunscreen, try making a really tiny batches using teaspoons where the recipe says tablespoons. Or if you love it, use cups (or half cups) instead of tablespoons!
Homemade Sunscreen Recipe
- 2 Tablespoons shea butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 Tablespoon zinc oxide
- 4 drops tea tree oil
Melt the shea butter and coconut oil over gentle heat. Remove from heat, and stir in the zinc oxide and tea tree oil.
Pour into a container and let cool completely before using.
To use: apply liberally to exposed skin. Rub in well.
I find that it smears on much like commercial sunscreen, but once you’ve rubbed it in, you can barely tell that it’s there.