Wednesday, May 21, 2014

I Make it Myself: Sunscreen

Several years ago, I started looking into the various ingredients in skincare products.  It actually started because someone was trying to sell me Melaleuca and touting its natural-ness.  I started looking at the ingredients in many of their products, and found that they weren't that different from store-bought stuff - at least their skin-care products.  In particular, I started looking at their sunscreen, then any sunscreen, most notably because one year we purchased No-Ad sunscreen and the whole family felt like their skin was going to burn off....not from a sunburn, but from the sunscreen!   We started using Sensitive Skin sunscreens.  They were okay, but even those were a) expensive and b) had some questionable added ingredients.  I decided to start looking into making my own sunscreen.

I found a decent recipe at:  and made it with my own modifications based on other research.

I didn't post much until now, because I really hadn't put it to the test.  Yesterday, I was out in my garden for 8 hours (yes, 8!)  with one application of my own sunscreen and I did not burn and I didn't really tan much either.  I confess that I wasn't very concerned with appearance, so I did not rub it in much and looked a little like a mime starting out.

This is my recipe (very similar to Green Mama.)

1 cup coconut oil (you can also use combinations of coconut, shea, and cocoa butter, as well.)
1/2 cup beeswax pellets/pearls
1/4 cup vegetable glycerin
1/4 c. aloe vera
10 drops vitamin E
2 Tablespoons zinc oxide powder
2 Tablespoons titanium dioxide powder

Melt beeswax and coconut oil together, then add glycerin and aloe vera, mix in ZO and TD and vitamin E.  I also bought some coconut scented oil to add in....if you want to smell like Coppertone.

In the Green Mama recipe, I found that the water and oil separated after cooling.  I would add more glycerin/aloe if you want a smoother, more spreadable consistency.  The shea and cocoa butter are harder oils at room temp, so they can push it to a thicker consistency.

Note: there is (was?) some concern over the nano-particles in zinc and titanium dioxide, but that seems to have been dispelled.  There are extensive comments about it in the reviews of the ZO on Amazon.  I believe that the ZO and TD from Essential Depot are NOT nano-particles.

I found the ZO and TD at Essential Depot, as well as, the beeswax pearls and glycerin.

I try to get as natural as I can, but I really do take cost into consideration, so if something says pure, natural, no fillers, etc. then I will use that.  My opinion is that "organic" is just another way of making people pay more money for something that is real.  If it is 100% beeswax, I assume there is nothing else in it.


Please note:  I cannot be responsible if this sunscreen doesn't work for you.  Just sayin'.

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