After a never-ending winter, the beautiful weather has ARRIVED.
One thing I’ve learned about living in south-western Ontario in Canada is to appreciate, relish and make the most of our warm weather season. Fall is still my favorite season here but Summer comes in a quick and close second.
I LOVE Vitamin D. After all, I was a southern California girl for nearly 10 years. It was literally a shock to my system to not have access to the sweet, warm sun for months at time, when I moved here. That being said, when the hot weather and sun makes its appearance here, I am ready! I learned my lesson with NOT protecting myself from the sun, in my college years. I burned so badly one time that I had blisters on my nose and shoulders, a fever and nausea. I had to stay in bed for 2 days and avoid the sun for much longer after that. So, while I may be unconventional in how I approach sun protection-I’m no dummy either!
Sunscreen is important. In my last post where I shared about some of my non-toxic skin care, I touched on sun protection. I take an unconventional approach to the sun in that I don’t slather myself with sunscreen the moment I head outside. Katie over at Wellness Mama shares an approach that I totally agree with. She has a great article on sun protection, facts, information and great DIY recipe that she made herself. Check that out here.
Now, don’t get me wrong-I use sunscreen on myself and my almost 9 month old son but I stay away from the chemical laden stuff on store shelves. I have purchased non-toxic sunscreen and while it’s fantastic quality, the price makes me cringe. I finally bit the bullet and decided to make my own! I researched quite a few recipes and put together one that turned out to be delicious smelling success.
Disclaimer regarding the SPF of these individual ingredients: The levels I listed are a general quote of SPF based on the amount of each ingredient I use. Please read the entire article to get the exact measurements of each ingredient in the recipe. I can’t make any claims as to the total amount of SPF this sunscreen will provide.
The ingredients and why I chose them:
- Coconut Oil-I have a ton of this in my house, always! I use it for anything and everything. It’s the main ingredient in my sunscreen recipe. It’s a natural antioxidant, has SPF 4-5, contains skin nourishing vitamin E, anti-aging and is antimicrobial (anti-fungal). It also smells lovely!
- Shea Butter (unrefined, organic)-anti-inflammatory, moisturizing, and skin smoothing! It blends well with coconut oil. This also has it’s own natural SPF of 4-6.
- Cocoa Butter(unrefined, organic)-by far my FAVOURITE body butter! I’ve purchased refined cocoa butter before and thought it smelled amazing. Wait until you smell raw, organic cocoa butter! It’s heavenly! It’s moisturizing, anti-aging, great for soothing burns, rashes and other skin irritations .
- Non-Nano Zinc Oxide-Zinc Oxide is an ingredient found in most sunscreen and diaper rash creams. While regular Zinc oxide is not proven safe to be absorbed into the skin, Non-Nano basically means the size of the powder particles are too big to be absorbed into the skin. This is an important factor if you are wanting to make a safe, natural alternative to regular sunscreen. Make sure to get NON-NANO.
- Beeswax-Essentially I add the beeswax to make the sunscreen more durable and resistant to water but it also offers antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties as well! I have a friend who works with bees and she gets her beeswax from there. If you can get local, raw beeswax-EVEN BETTER!
- Vanilla Oleoresin Oil-I added this because it smells AMAZING. Vanilla is also soothing, neutralizes free radicals, anti-carcinogenic, and calming. It blends really well with the coconut oil and cocoa butter.
- Red Raspberry Seed Oil-This has a natural SPF of about 25-50. This oil is packed with amazing-ness! It has antioxidants, Vitamin E, essential fatty acids, and so much more.
*Unrefined is another way of saying the ingredient is raw and not chemically processed. Deodorized or refined ingredients are put through a chemical process. While raw might be more expensive, you don’t have to doubt you are getting pure, quality ingredients with raw!
Non-Toxic, DIY Sunscreen Ingredients: (makes 6 ounces)
4 tbsp Coconut Oil
2 tbsp Organic, Unrefined Shea Butter
6 Wafers of Organic, Unrefined Cocoa Butter
1 tbsp of Beeswax Pellets
2 tbsp of Non-Nano Zinc Oxide* ( PLEASE read instructions with this carefully)
10 Drops Vanilla Oleoresin Oil
1 Tsp Red Raspberry Seed Oil
Combine coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter and beeswax pellets in double boiler (see my makeshift double boiler of a GLASS measuring cup in a pot of water) over medium heat on stove. I’m so fancy!!
Melt everything to a complete oil. Remove from heat. It’s time to add your Zinc but before you do this, cover your face with a scarf or mask as to avoid inhaling the Zinc. IMPORTANT! Mix in Zinc and allow mixture to cool slightly but don’t allow it to solidify. Mix in vanilla and red raspberry seed oil. The picture below is what everything looked like once mixed together. The black specks are the vanilla oleoresin.
Pour mixture into desired containers with lids. Allow to cool and solidify. I like to put mine in the refrigerator to speed up the process sometimes!
This is what the consistency of mine turned out to look like. A very creamy, smooth consistency that melts into the skin really well. It absorbs into the skin very much like spray on sunscreen. It is not thick and white on the surface of the skin .I used it on my son after his nap and it absorbed so nicely into the skin! He also smelled good enough to eat. Store in a cool, dry place.
No sunscreen ( chemically laden or all natural ) is going to forever shield and protect you from the sun. Be smart about sun exposure but don’t forget you NEED Vitamin D! It’s all a balance. I wear a hat and reapply every few hours if I’m going to be outside for a long time. I reapply sunscreen on my son every 2 hours, keep a hat on him and keep him in the shade as much as I can. I hope you enjoyed making this as much as I did! Do you make your own skincare products? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
***The majority of my ingredients were purchased from Voyageur Soap and Candle. I purchased my Non-Nano Zinc Oxide from Amazon and will link that another time.