Thursday, July 4, 2013

How To Make Your Own SPF30 Sunscreen

This is safe and chemical-free, SPF 30 sunscreen....yet first... the question, do we need sunscreen? Most of the time, I would say no. I don't believe it is generally helpful or even wise to use frequently. Particularly for us, living in the gray West Coast, we need the Vitamin D desperately. Are you aware that it takes us until September each year to get back up to optimal Vitamin D levels after the winter?!!

So what is a "safer" sunscreen?
The safest sunscreens are those with the same types of natural ingredients that you would want in any other type of skincare product. Nourishing oils like coconut, shea butter, jojoba, almond, etc. and potentially other ingredients like green tea extract or other antioxidants to protect the skin. Minerals (zinc oxide is the most common) provide the actual barrier between the sun and your skin.

According to an article on Badger Balmʼs website, zinc oxide, the active ingredient that makes this sunscreen work, is 20% of the formula in order to get an SPF30.

1/8 cup beeswax granules/pastilles (1/2 oz)
1/4 cup shea butter (2 oz.)
1/4 cup coconut oil (2 oz.)
2 Tbsp. zinc oxide powder (1 oz.)

Add the two oils and beeswax to a glass bowl.
For a makeshift double boiler, use a glass bowl sitting on top of a pot with boiling water turned to a low simmer.

Once the oils were melted, we removed the bowl and dumped in the zinc oxide powder.

The book recommends a stick blender, but I used a regular hand mixer and it did the job just fine. The goal is to thoroughly blend in the zinc oxide until there were no clumps, and to whip the oils just a bit. Once it was smooth, we poured it into glass mason jars.

After it initially cooled, it had a thinner consistency. But it gets thick when completely cooled down. I was worried that it might not rub into our skin well, but I shouldn't have worried. I wondered if it would leave a pale, ghostly white look, but it didn't.

If anyone else has tried this, I would love to hear how it worked for you! ____________________

After making this we had a perfect day to try it! We were at the park on a very hot, sunny day. After over an hour of direct sunlight, plus another 45 minutes of on and off sunlight, no one was pink in the slightest, not even the baby with his super-fair skin
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