Commercial sunscreen products often contain propyl compounds and other chemicals questionable for your health; and many of the all-natural products are overly expensive due to the addition of exotic tropical oils for their scent. In addition, many commercial products may have been tested on animals. When all you really need is cheap, safe protection from the sun's rays, try the following sunscreen recipe.
- Heat the cup of olive oil over a low flame.
- Add 1 ounce of beeswax, broken into pieces if possible (so that it melts faster).
- Stir constantly until the beeswax is completely melted in the hot oil.
- Put on a pair of gloves and a face mask. This is to protect you from direct contact with the zinc oxide powder. Add one to two tablespoons of USP grade zinc oxide powder. Add a little at a time, continuing to stir constantly. Ensure that it is blended in well.
- Remove the mixture from the stove. Pour it into a glass or ceramic pot that can be covered.
- If pouring into a narrow neck, use a pastry bag to squeeze the sunscreen through.
- Allow to cool to room temperature before use. Keep stored in a cool, dry environment. Label and date it.
- If you cannot find the ingredients, buy zinc oxide cream from the drugstore and apply it in place of commercial sunscreen products.
- Try other edible, natural oils; just about anything that is safe to eat ought to be safe on your skin.
- If wished, add a few drops of essential oil for a pleasant scent. If so, check the properties of the oil to ensure it is suitable for wear in the sunshine and has no side effects.
- Titanium dioxide may work as well as, or better than, zinc oxide. Either oxide is what does the "work" of the sunscreen.
- The beeswax makes the resulting product viscous, like a skin cream, holding the oxide in suspension. You can try varying the ratio of oil to wax.
- The beeswax and oxide, if not available locally, can usually be found at auction websites.
- Zinc oxide itself may be a health risk, so avoid breathing the powder. A face mask should be worn until the product is all in suspension.
- It's better to dedicate a pan, stirring spoon, and any other necessary utensils for this purpose, never using them for food again. Mark them well so that you know that they're only for non-cooking use.
- It is possible that the oxide will settle while the product is cooling, or during transit in a hot environment. If, when you are applying it, it is translucent, you will need to stir the oxide up from the bottom. If you don't do this, you won't have an effective product; just a false sense of security! A viable product will be opaque.
- Keep out of direct heat or the wax risks melting. Place in the fridge to solidify if this occurs.
- Keep out of reach of curious children and pets. It should not be ingested.
Things You'll Need
- 1 cup olive oil or another natural oil
- 1 oz / 28 g pure beeswax
- Pure (USP grade) zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
- Spoon for stirring
- Gloves and face mask
- Stove, even a camp stove will work fine
- Glass or ceramic pot with lid for storage
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Sources and Citations
- This research was made possible, in part, by a land grant from the City of the Sun, http://directory.ic.org/records/?action=view&page=view&record_id=20103; however, the specifics of the research were not coordinated nor endorsed by COSF.
- HealSoAZ.org, http://healsoaz.org/less_toxic_personal_products.htm, original source of this recipe.
- ↑ EWG, CDC: Americans carry burden of toxic sunscreen chemical, http://www.ewg.org/analysis/toxicsunscreen
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