13 Aug Why DIY Sunscreen, Plus A Natural Sunscreen Recipe
DIY Sunscreen: Why It’s Your Best Option
Before I share a safe and completely natural sunscreen recipe with you, you may be wondering if sunscreen is even necessary? Here’s the short of it:
- Yes, for anyone who works or plays outdoors during peak ultraviolet light exposure (between 12PM – 3PM).
- No, if you can stay out of the sun during those times.
The best DIY sunscreen is shade. Create your own, personal shade, by wearing protective, full-coverage clothing like sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, long sleeves, lightweight pants or long shorts, and tennis shoes.
Choose breathable natural fabrics, like organic cotton and linen, bamboo, jute and silk. Opt for loose fitting, yet flattering cuts that float away from the body.
If you are out in the sun, uncovered and unprotected, know that if your skin is turning red, you’ve had enough! You are starting to burn, and repeat sunburns increase your risk of skin cancers. Do not expose your skin to the sun beyond the point of redness.
But what about vitamin D?
The sunshine vitamin: Vitamin D is important for many bodily functions affecting our bones, muscles and immune system. And sunshine is one of the best ways to get your daily dose – not to mention what it can do to improve your mood.
Many health conditions including skin cancers are associated with vitamin D deficiencies. So why cover up?
Like all sunscreens, DIY sunscreen (including natural sunscreen recipes) are designed to block the sun’s rays, which in turn prevents the body from converting sunlight into vitamin D. While we need to protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays, our bodies need the many benefits provided by vitamin D to maintain optimal health.
The best time to expose your skin to the sun – to optimize your vitamin D levels – is in the morning. Begin gradually with 10 minutes of exposure at a time. Frequent, short periods of sun exposure are best. 20 minutes, 3 times a week may be a good goal for a light-skinned person, but everyone responds to sunlight differently, so be sure to test what’s right for you in stages.
Find out if you’re getting enough of this essential vitamin, and what other health conditions can be caused by a vitamin D deficiency.
More DIY sunscreen tips to protect your skin from sun damage:
- Eat a diet rich in antioxidants by increasing the amount of colourful fruits and veggies you consume. Studies show that supplementing with antioxidants like vitamin E (such as those typically found in leafy greens, fish and nuts), beta-carotene, lycopene, and lutein, helps to protect against UV damage
- Get Omega-3 fatty acids from high-quality fish oil. These are capable of reducing UV induced skin inflammation, to protect against compromised immune systems, skin cancer, and premature aging
- Use natural products on your skin that contain naturally occurring SPF – like avocado and coconut oils – and make your own natural sunscreen
Natural Sunscreen Recipe
Natural sunscreen recipe, ingredients list:
½ c almond oil
¼ c coconut oil
¼ c beeswax
2 Tbsp shea butter
2 Tbsp zinc oxide powder (non-nano version)
1 tsp vitamin E oil
1 tsp Raspberry seed oil
30 drops carrot seed oil
Essential oils to suit your scent preference (optional)
Note: Lavender or eucalyptus are nice options for a fresh scent
Method: How to make your natural sunscreen
- Place a medium sized pot filled with a couple inches of water on the stove and heat the water over medium heat
- In a mason jar or large glass jar, melt the almond oil, coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax together in a double boiler method over the heated water on the stove top by putting the jar in the pot of water and loosely placing a lid on the jar
- Shake or stir the ingredients in the jar occasionally as they start to melt
- Once the oils are melted, add the zinc oxide and stir in well. Do not inhale the zinc oxide powder
- Cool the mixture for a few moments at room temperature, then add in the raspberry seed oil, carrot seed oil, Vitamin E oil, and essential scented oil (if using) and mix well
- Store in a cool, dry place, or in the fridge
- Use this as you would regular sunscreen. It’s best if used within six months
- Like any sunscreen, you should reapply often, and always after swimming or sweating
Tip: For a great body lotion, remove the zinc oxide from this recipe. Or, add non-nano zinc oxide to your favourite natural lotion to add a sun protection factor.
If DIY sunscreen lotion isn’t your thing, here’s some information to help you make the most informed decision when choosing a commercial product.
How do I choose the right sunscreen?
The EWG’s 2015 Guide to Safe Sunscreens outlines the best sunscreens to buy (with the least amount of ingredients, and without parabens or sulfates), and why you should avoid:
- High SPF’s (50 or higher)
- Spray, powder, toilette, or oil sunscreens
- Combined sunscreen/bug repellants
- A form of vitamin A known as retinyl palmitate
How do you keep your skin safe in the sun? Share your tips below!