homemade mineral sunscreen
They say that the sun’s UV rays are more intense as you move closer to the equator. It didn’t take long for me to be able to confirm this firsthand. Within a few days of arriving in Puerto Rico my arms and face had darkened into a nice tan. And this was just from the short walks from my parked car into the various stores we were going to at the time!
With the sun as powerful as it is here, it’s obviously important to protect your skin. That said, I prefer to not use sunscreen because I generally don’t care for the way it feels and/or smells. To get around having to use it I’ll usually just throw on a hat and try to stay in the shade as much as possible during the day. Thankfully, there is plenty of shade here, even on the beaches. (In Texas, there’s generally NO shade on the beaches.)
Furthermore, when I get out in the water, I’ll throw on a hooded rashguard to significantly reduce the amount of skin exposed to the sun. That said, in some cases, there’s no way around it. Even with the shirt, I NEED to use sunscreen. In situations like this, we always try to use mineral sunscreens as opposed to the chemical ones. Although chemical sunscreens do a good job of preventing sunburn, they unfortunately also:
- impede your body’s production of cancer-preventing vitamin D
- generally, do a poor job of blocking melanoma causing UVA rays
- expose your body to absorption of harmful chemicals such as oxybenzone
- cause damage to coral reefs
We used to use a brand of mineral sunscreen called “Badger“. However, like most other non-chemical sunscreens, it’s expensive and hard to find locally. That’s when Holly decided to make her own.
Homemade mineral sunscreen
Holly adapted and tweaked a homemade zinc oxide sunscreen recipe from Wellness Mama that we’ve been using now for nine months and it works great! I use it when surfing and paddle-boarding, sometimes for hours at a time in the middle of the day, and it has kept my face and legs from getting toasted. It also does a good job of protecting our boys when they are out playing hard at the beach all day, provided they reapply at least once.
Below, you’ll find our exact recipe, including links to the brands we use. Good luck to those who are interested in trying this at home!
Homemade Mineral Sunscreen
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup apricot kernel oil
- 2 tbsp shea butter
- 2 tbsp beeswax
- 3 tbsp non-nano zinc oxide powder
- 1/2 tsp carrot seed oil optional, increases sun protection
- 1/2 tsp red raspberry seed oil optional, increases sun protection
- 1/2 tsp lavender essential oil (or vanilla extract)
- 3 bottles iNeibo silicone 3.3oz travel bottles (or a glass jar, aluminum tin, etc)
- Fill a small saucepan with a few inches of water and place over medium heat.
- Combine the first 5 ingredients (oils, shea butter, and beeswax) in a glass liquid measuring cup and place it into the saucepan. The water should only go about halfway up the sides of the cup. You don't want your measuring cup to float.
- Heat and stir the mixture occasionally until the beeswax is completely melted.
- Carefully remove the cup from the hot water, cool for a minute, and then stir in the carrot seed oil, raspberry seed oil, and essential oil.
- Now blend in the zinc oxide until no lumps remain. This can take some time. I just use a spoon, but you can also use a small whisk.
- Finally, use a small spatula or even a butter knife to scoop your homemade sunscreen into the bottles or jar. It will continue to harden a bit as it cools.
- Congratulations! Enjoy your homemade mineral sunscreen 🙂