Daily exposure to the sun is essential to your overall health;
it’s the overexposure that could cause some issues. Sunshine
exposure is the best way for your body to create health
protecting vitamin D. To protect against sunburn, use a
non-toxic sunscreen like coconut oil or opt for a low-risk,
safe sunscreen that doesn’t contain health-compromising
Bruce Fife, ND, author of Coconut Cures: Preventing and
Treating Common Health Problems with Coconut Oil, explains
that coconut oil applied on the skin protects against sunburn
and cancer. Unlike sunscreen, unprocessed coconut oil doesn’t
completely block the UVB rays that are necessary for vitamin D
synthesis. It protects the skin and underlying tissues
from damage excessive exposure can cause. Instead of burning or
turning red, it produces a light tan, depending on the length
of time you spend in the sun.
By adding zinc oxide you can produce more of a full spectrum
sunscreen which will offer protection against UVA (the aging
rays) as well as UVB. Measuring the exact protection from
homemade sunscreen is not precise so safe sun exposure should
always be considered.
With zinc oxide care should be taken to source high quality
which is specifically formulated for the cosmetic industry, but
it must be uncoated and not nano-particle grade. It is best to
use a simple dust mask to avoid inhaling any of the zinc oxide
dust. This mineral addition to the sunscreen will leave a white
hue on the skin as it isn’t absorbed within the skin layers.
The recipe below for a natural homemade coconut oil sunscreen
uses a variety of oils and produces more of a body butter. It
is safe for the whole family to use (but make sure that
children do not ingest it either intentionally or
The addition of beeswax will give it slight water repellant
properties. The essential oils you add will be a matter of
personal preference although in general citrus oils in
particular should not be used as they are phototoxic meaning
they will actually cause burning. Carrot seed essential oil has
a natural woody, earthy scent.
This is a rich body butter, so a little goes a long way. You
should find all of these ingredients online or at your local
health food store.
Homemade Coconut Oil Sunscreen Recipe by Jessica
Espinoza at Delicious Obsessions
-1/4 cup coconut oil
-1/4 cup shea butter
1/8 cup sesame or jojoba oil
-2 tbsp. beeswax granules
-1-2 tbsp. zinc oxide powder (optional)
-1 tsp. red raspberry seed oil 20-30 drops
-Essential oils of your choice (lavender, rosemary, vanilla,
and/or peppermint are nice)
1. Using a double boiler (or a small pan over very low heat),
melt your coconut oil, sesame or jojoba oil, beeswax, and shea
butter together. The beeswax will be the last to melt.
2. When the beeswax is melted, remove the mixture from the heat
and let cool to room temperature. If you’re using zinc oxide,
whisk it in at this point, being careful not to create a lot of
dust. If there are some lumps, that’s OK. They will break up
when you whip the body butter in step 4.
3. Move the mixture to the fridge for 15-30 minutes. You want
it to start to set up, but still be soft enough to whip.
4. Take the mixture out of the fridge and using a stand mixer
or hand mixer, start to whip it. Drizzle in the red raspberry
seed oil, and any essential oils of your choice, and continue
whipping until the mixture is light and fluffy.
5. Use as you would any regular sunscreen. Application rates
will depend on your activity and exposure to water. Store in a
glass container in the fridge between uses.
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