Enjoy 30% off Clary this week using the code: Sunshine
Photo credit: earthyandy
As most of you know, at Clary Collection, we have have made it our mission to remove as many toxic chemicals from our day to day living as possible. As we strive to be more conscientious mamas, we have grown very weary of using over the counter sunscreen. Why? Most commercial sunscreens are full of toxic ingredients. Two of the most common synthetic chemicals found in sunscreens include retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone. According to the Environmental Working Group, retinyl palmitate is found in 25% of all sunscreens and can accelerate development of skin tumors and lesions on sun-exposed skin. (Isn’t it ironic that a cream used to prevent skin cancer actually increases the rate of skin tumors?) Oxybenzone – found in half of all sunscreens – enters the bloodstream through the skin and can trigger allergic reactions and may be a hormone disruptor.
Sun shine is vital to our bodies' production of Vitamin D and healthy exposure to sun is natural and wonderful for us and our children. But overexposure is dangerous and difficult to monitor with fair skin. Limiting sun exposure to 15 minute increments and using hats, umbrellas or other forms of shading to cover our family's skin are good habits to develop. For longer exposure times and for delicate, fairer skin, it is valuable to utilize a protective layer with a natural, non-toxic cream. And wonderful news, you can easily make this at home! We have experimented with a few different recipes and really love the one included below.
Many oils from fruit and nut seeds contain natural SPF and I was surprised by how powerful many of them are. Oils from things growing in our own gardens like carrots and raspberries can provide sun protection that is chemical free and effective! We hope you enjoy experimenting in the kitchen like we do and that you find a natural sunscreen that works for you and your loved ones. Let us know what you think!
HOME MADE SUNSCREEN RECIPE
- ½ cup almond or olive oil natural SPF 5-8 (can infuse with gentle herbs first if desired)
- ¼ cup coconut oil (SPF 4-6)
- (optional) 2 tablespoons Shea Butter ( SPF 4-6)
- ¼ cup organic beeswax
- up to 1 teaspoon Red Rasberry Seed Oil (SPF 25-50)
- up to 1 teaspoon Carrot Seed Oil (SPF 35-40)
- (optional) Lavender, vanilla or essential oil of choice
- 2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide (zinc oxide is a naturally occurring mineral and we prefer to use a non-nano version that won’t be absorbed into the skin. SPF 2-20).
Homemade Sunscreen Instructions
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a pint sized or larger glass jar. A mason jar or reused glass jar from pickles, etc works well.
- Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.
- Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.
- As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Swirl or stir occasionally to combine.
- When all ingredients are completely melted, remove from heat and slowly add the zinc oxide - taking care not to inhale powder. Stir to combine using a wooden chopstick or non-reactive utensil.
- Add red raspberry, carrot seed and essential oils and swirl and stir to combine.
- Pour carefully into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage.
- Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
- Use as you would regular sunscreen, reapplying after water exposure or excessive sweating.
- This sunscreen is not completely, waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming
- Test carefully and increase SPF by adding more Zinc Oxide
- Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smoother sunscreen
- Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge
- Best if used within 6 months
The zinc oxide is the ingredient that protects babies from the sun’s harmful rays. It does so by creating a physical barrier from the sun rather than a chemical one, which is safer for a baby’s delicate skin. The coconut oil, almond oil, and shea butter can be found at many grocery stores and most health food stores or online vitamin stores. Amazon can be the source for a number of these ingredients including zinc oxide powder. Although the SPF protection of your sunscreen can’t be measured accurately, use this chart to get a good estimate. Then reduce or increase the amount of zinc oxide based on your family’s needs.