Making our own sunscreen

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Making our own sunscreen

 

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The last 4 months of our nomadic lifestyle have been absolutely amazing, we just love being and living outside.This of course means seeing alot of sun, and especially for me, with my fair European skin, lots of sunscreen. Naturally, I wanted something natural and organic, and we have tried quiet a few different brands from organic health stores. Unfortunately we found them all to be either really greasy, hard to rub into your skin or left you looking very pale.

After lots and lots of research I decided to try making our own sunscreen. And it works great! It’s so nice to apply, absorbs well into the skin, and does not leave a greasy feeling at all. At the end of a day in the sun, our skin feels soft and healthy.

Why step away from commercial sunscreen?

Until recently, we never really thought much about sunscreen. You just buy it from the shops, and the only thing to worry about is the SPF. But knowing what I know now, I will always avoid buying or using commercial sunscreens.

As it turns out, but not really all that supprising when you think about it, most commercial sunscreens have a lot of toxic and harmful chemicals in it. The most commonly found one is Oxybenzone, and studies show it is linked to cancer, penetrates the skin, disrupts the hormones, acts like estrogen and alters sperm count.

UVB rays are necessary for our body to produce its own cancer protective vitamin D, but commercial sunscreens block most of them out. Over the past 5 years Vitamin D has been very well researched and it is proven that it naturally helps to boost the immune system, helps to fight cancer and improves the mood. One of the best ways to produce our vitamin D is sunlight.

A few things you should know before starting your journey with home made natural sunscreen.

Zinc Oxide (optional, but significantly raises SPF):
Make sure you always use NON NANO zinc oxide. Non nano means the molecule sizes are too large to be absorbed into your skin. Only use Zinc Oxide on healthy skin. If your skin is damaged, sunburned, cut or scratched there is a much greater potential for absorption of the zinc oxide into your body, which could cause cellular damage and disrupt hormones. Be careful when working with powdered zinc oxide, making sure you do not inhale it. Zinc oxide does not breakdown in sunlight and is not readily absorbed by the skin (non nano). There are a few different opinions out there about using zinc oxide in sunscreen. My research leaves me feeling comfortable using it, but some try to avoid it as well.

Essential Oils:
Since essential and other oils are extracted from plants that differ in location and climate, the SPF value can vary. Knowing the exact SPF factor of an oil is difficult, especially taken into consideration that natural oils oxidise over time and when exposed to light. Before buying essential oils make sure you do your research about the origin and qualiy, its also helpful to purchase your oils from a reputable source. The only oil I have found that protects against UVA & UVB rays is red raspberry seed oil. Most plant oils protect only against UVB rays.

SPF values of some common oils (according to the internet):
Macadamia oil – SPF 6, non-GMO soybean oil – SPF 10, avocado oil – SPF 4 – 10 (can get as high as 15), olive oil  – SPF 2-8, shea butter – SPF 3 – 6, almond oil – SPF 5, sesame seed oil – SPF 4, hemp seed oil – SPF 6, jojoba oil – SPF 4, coconut oil – SPF 2 – 8, myrrh essential oil – SPF 20, basil and turmeric essential oil – SPF 24, lavender, cucumber, orange and sandalwood essential oil – SPF 6, wheatgerm oil – SPF 20, red raspberry seed oil – SPF 28 – 50 (UVA and UVB protection), carrot seed oil – SPF 38 – 40, pure aloe vera – SPF of 20

Sea Buckthorn Oil:
Sea buckthorn oil gives your sunscreen a lovely yellow-orange colour. I just absolutely love it! I found without it the sunscreen can look quiet white (from the zinc oxide) on your skin. It is also known for its amazing skin regenerating & healing properties.

Coconut oil:
Pacific islanders and indigenous people have been using Coconut oil as sunscreen for thousands of years. I mostly use pure coconut oil with a few different essential oils as a sunblock for my arms and legs. I find that without the zinc oxide I’ll get a little bit red in my face and shoulders. Make sure its cold pressed, organically sourced and hexane free.

Blueprint Sunscreen recipes

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Shea butter / Coconut Oil sunscreen
1/2 cup Shea butter
1/3 cup coconut oil
15 drops of carrot seed oil
15 drops of red raspberry seed essential oil
10 drops of lavender essential oil
15 drops of sea buckthorn essential oil (or more for a stronger colour)
4 Tbsp jojoba oil
2 Tbsp non nano zinc oxide (zinc oxide can be substituted with up to 40 drops of myrrh or red raspberry seed oil)
(2 Tbsp of zinc oxide equals an approximate SPF of 40+)

Whip raw Shea butter until creamy and slowly add soft/melted coconut oil while whipping. In a separate bowl mix zinc oxide and jojoba oil (this helps to get the zinc oxide nice and smooth), add essential oils to the zinc oxide – jojoba before mixing throughly with the Shea butter and coconut oil.

Waterproof Aloe Vera & beeswax Sunscreen
16 g beeswax (makes the sunscreen waterproof)
100g olive oil
100g coconut oil
1/2 cup of pure aloe vera gel (or fresh aloe vera if avaliable)
15 drops of carrot seed oil
15 drops of red raspberry seed essential oil
10 drops of lavender essential oil
15 drops of sea buckthorn essential oil (or more for a stronger colour)
4 Tbsp jojoba oil
2 Tbsp non nano zinc oxide (zinc oxide can be substituted with up to 40 drops of myrrh or red raspberry seed oil)
(2 Tbsp of zinc oxide equals an approximate SPF of 40+)

 Melt beeswax slowly in double boiler, add olive & coconut oil while stirring. Do not overheat. Let cool and add all the essential oils & zinc oxide (mix zinc oxide with jojoba oil first – this helps to get the zinc oxide nice and smooth). Mix in the Aloe Vera gel (i use a stabmixer and when available fresh Aloe Vera)

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Although a little more effort and a bit of set up cost for the ingredients is needed, making your own natural sunscreen becomes cheaper than commercial sunscreens in the long run, and is very rewarding. We just love using our natural sunscreens, as not only do they protect us from harmful rays and painful sunburn, the essential oils are pumping our skin full of nourishment, leaving us feeling happy and healthy.

For more information check out these 2 links, and ask the Oracle google.