By Dana Jean Costantino
Summertime is upon us and while we are drawn to spending time in the sun and catching those rays, it is important to remember our skin and the protection of it. Sunscreen is a must this time of year and is a key component to the prevention of skin cancer. While there are healthy aspects of the sun…Vitamin D and positive mood enhancement, for example, we still must keep in mind that SPF needs to be at the top of the list when packing our beach bag or getting ready for a BBQ, picnic, or an outdoor cocktail in the sun.
Many people have grown concerned about chemical components of sunscreen as they become more aware of what they put on and into their bodies. This awareness is a good thing, of course, but in no way means you should forgo sunscreen. If you are looking to stay away from store bought sunscreen and make your own, where you have more control over the ingredients and production, there are some fabulous recipes that are easy to do in your own home and take very little time. With our skin being our largest organ, it is not only important to be aware of what we put on it, but also to be aware of the protection of it along with keeping tabs on new spots or growths that we may see. Always take some time to check yourself and be sure to see a doctor if you see anything out of the ordinary or something that was not there before and has just appeared.
One of my favorite homemade sunscreen recipes is easy to make and includes a short list of ingredients, all easy to find.
– ½ cup almond or olive oil (can infuse with herbs first if desired)
– ¼ cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4)
– ¼ cup beeswax
– 2 Tablespoons Zinc Oxide
– Up to 1 teaspoon Red Raspberry Seed Oil, optional
– Up to 1 teaspoon Carrot Seed Oil, optional
– 2 tablespoons Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5), optional
– Essential oil such as vanilla (do not use citrus oils as they increase sensitivity to sun)
1. Combine ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint sized or larger glass jar.
2. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.
3. Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.
4. As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage. Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this. Note: It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
5. Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
6. Store at room temperature
The great part about making your own sunscreen is that it can be a fun activity to do with friends and family and is something that brings out creative energy. Homemade sunscreen in a cute mason jar is also a lovely gift in the summertime—perfect as a host/hostess gift or for someone’s birthday. The small steps that we take today to not only protect our skin but to become more aware of what we consume can lead to huge leaps forward for our health in the future. Start your journey today. I hope your first jar of homemade sunscreen is a success!