DIY Natural Sunscreen
- 1 oz. coconut oil (contains natural SPF properties)
- 0.8 oz. shea butter (naturally protects skin, making it perfect for use in a sunscreen)
- 0.1 oz. jojoba, sesame, or sunflower oil (these oils are easily absorbed into the skin and also provide some natural sun protection)
- 0.1 oz. Vitamin E oil ( nourishes and moisturizes skin, and helps naturally preserve natural homemade sunscreen)
- 30 drops essential oils, optional – I use 15 lavender, 10 eucalyptus, 5 peppermint
- zinc oxide powder (determine amount for 2 oz. of lotion)–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.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.
- 2-5 SPF: Use 5% zinc oxide
- 6-11 SPF: Use 10% zinc oxide
- 12-19 SPF: Use 15% zinc oxide
- >20 SPF: Use 20% zinc oxide
Add coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba/sesame/sunflower oil to a makeshift double boiler. (To make your own double boiler, place a glass measuring cup containing ingredients inside a small pot filled with a few inches of water). Heat until 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.
Notes for Homemade Sunscreen Success
The shelf life of this natural homemade sunscreen is about 6 months. Refrigerated when not using.
The oils it contains are photosensitive, so do not leave your homemade sunscreen sitting out in direct sunlight. Keeping it in a cooler will prevent it from melting in high temperatures when taking it to the pool or beach.
Important: Nano or micronized zinc oxide has been treated to reduce the size of its particles, creating an ultrafine powder. When added to sunscreens it does not leave a white film on the skin, thus making it a popular choice in many commercial sunscreens. The problem with this is that the particles are so small they can enter the body through the skin, causing potential health problems. Be sure to purchase a non nano zinc oxide that has particle sizes as large as possible. (Anything with a particle size smaller than 100nm is considered a nano particle.)