The days are getting longer and warmer, which means summer is approaching. That means days spent by the lake, beach days with friends, picnics in the park, and hiking trails. Sounds like fun, right? Yes, but these activities expose your skin to the sun, which means that you need to protect it at all costs. What better way to do that than by applying an all natural, skin-safe sunscreen!
Most commercial sunscreens contain ingredients that are both harmful to your skin and ocean reefs. That is why certain places, such as Hawaii, passed laws to ban the sale of sunscreens that are not considered reef-safe. Sunscreens typically contain chemical SPF ingredients, in addition to other potentially harmful chemicals. You want to protect your skin, not harm it!
That’s why we are bringing you an easy, safe DIY sunscreen that offers protection even if you get your skin wet. That makes it an excellent option if you plan on going in the lake, pool, or ocean, or even if you work up a sweat. Because it is made with natural ingredients, you may need to reapply this sunscreen more often than the sunscreens you’re used to buying. Read on to learn what makes this sunscreen great for your skin.
Non-Nano Zinc Oxide
Non-nano zinc oxide means that the zinc oxide particles are larger than 100 nanometers. A nanoparticle is smaller than 100 nanometers, which is one billionth of a meter. NonZinc oxide is the only UV filter for sunscreen that has been approved by the FDA as a single ingredient that protects against both UVA and UVB rays. Unlike oxybenzone, the skin does not absorb zinc oxide; rather, it sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun’s rays. Because this is an active ingredient in the sunscreen recipe in this article, you want to make sure that it remains on top of the skin for optimal sun protection.
In regards to making your own sunscreen, beeswax is a highly useful ingredient. While it may not offer protection from UVA or UVB rays, beeswax helps the sunscreen be more waterproof. When you consider the fact that the sunscreen in this article contains several oils and cocoa butter, it requires an ingredient that gives it a solid texture. That ingredient is beeswax, and the waterproofing power is what you need if you plan on using this and getting wet.
High in fatty acids, cocoa butter is touted for its ability to hydrate and nourish the skin. It also works to improve skin elasticity and works to form a protective barrier on the skin to seal in moisture. The phytochemicals in cocoa butter may improve blood flow to the skin and slow the aging process by protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. Unfortunately, the research is preliminary on cocoa butter’s sun protection abilities, so more research is still necessary.
DIY All Natural Sunscreen Recipe
- 1/2 cup avocado oil
- 1/4 cup cocoa butter
- 2 ounces beeswax pellets
- 1/4 coconut oil
- 1/4 cup non-nano zinc oxide
- 15 drops essential oil of your choice (optional)
- Add the avocado oil, cocoa butter, beeswax, and coconut to the top of a double boiler. If you don’t have a double boiler, place those ingredients in a heat-safe glass measuring cup, and place that cup in a saucepan with an inch or so of water over medium-low heat.
- Once the ingredients are melted, give them a stir and remove from heat. Allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes before stirring in the non-nano zinc oxide.
- Pour in the optional essential oil and whisk to combine. Transfer the mixture to a wide-mouthed glass jar. As a quick note, don’t add the essential oil if you plan to keep this in a plastic container for pool or beach use. The reason for that is because essential oils can break down plastics.
- This recipe is right around 20 SPF. Use as needed.