My kids love to be outside all day long in the summertime, so sunscreen is a daily ritual in our house. I prefer for them to be outside without sunscreen for the first 20-30 minutes so that they can soak up the sun and make lots of Vitamin D! But after that, I want to protect their sensitive skin. If I am going to be putting something on their skin daily, I want it to provide protection but also to be safe and nourishing. And so begins my experimentation 🙂 There are some nice natural sunscreens out there these days, but they are expensive! I have been concocting my own sunscreen for the past two summers and I am finally ready to share my results. This recipe is by far my favorite blend.
Zinc oxide is a natural mineral that forms a protective physical barrier over the skin and stops harmful UV rays. Zinc oxide is particularly valuable because of its ability to filter UVA as well as UVB light, giving broad protection. It is also quite water repellent. I find that it provides longer lasting protection than using just straight oils. When purchasing, be sure to get non-nano Zinc oxide. You want the particles to be larger, so that it actually stays on the skin. The one caution with Zinc oxide which, true of any powder really, is that you do not want to inhale it. I don’t find that it billows at all when working with it, just take extra care.
There are many nourishing carrier oils you can add to your sunscreen to boost the healing properties. Raspberry Seed Carrier oil is rich in antioxidants and super protective for skin that has been exposed to a lot of sun. I also love using calendula infused oil and coconut oil. But feel free to change up the carrier oils depending on what you have on hand. You can also add essential oils if you want to add a scent to your sunscreen. Be sure to avoid citrus essential oils because they can increase your sensitivity to the sun. My recipe is made with 25% Zinc oxide. Using the chart below, you can adjust the amount of zinc in the recipe to suit your needs.
|Concentration of Zinc Oxide in Formula||SPF Protection|
|5%||Low (2-5 SPF)|
|10%||Moderate (6-11 SPF)|
|15%||High (12-19 SPF)|
|25%||Ultra High (>20 SPF)|
1 fl. oz Raspberry Seed Oil
1 fl oz. Calendula Infused Olive Oil
2 oz net wt. Coconut Oil
4 oz net wt. Shea Butter
1 oz net wt. chopped Beeswax (or beeswax pearls)
3 oz net wt. Zinc Oxide
1 Tsp Vitamin E
Weigh the Shea butter and add it to a large mixing bowl. Break it up a bit with a spoon.
I like to blend the Shea butter into the cream rather than melting it with the other oils because Shea butter will get a gritty texture if heated for too long. It is an extra step but very worth it in terms of the consistency of your final product!
Weigh the Zinc Oxide powder and add it into the bowl with the Shea butter
Chop the beeswax, if necessary
Measure/weigh the oils
Add the chopped beeswax and oils (raspberry seed, calendula infused olive and coconut) to a mason jar or heat safe measuring cup. Place in a double boiler and warm gently until the beeswax is completely melted.
Pour the oil/beeswax mixture into the mixing bowl with the Shea butter and Zinc oxide powder. Blend with a stick blender or hand blender until smooth and creamy.
Pour into clean jars. Allow the mixture to cool completely before placing the lid on the jar.