Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at Picture Perfect Cooking about Cinnamon Roll Cookies, and I’m excited to welcome Christy from Whole Foods on a Budget to Food Snob St. Louis:
Hello, I’m Christy from Whole Foods on a Budget! I’m excited to be participating in the 2nd Annual Ultimate Blogswap and posting today on Laura’s blog.
And if the cost doesn’t convince you to give this recipe a try, maybe the purity of it will. No chemicals or preservatives here! This sunblock is made with high quality, unrefined organic oils which nourish and moisturize your skin, pure beeswax, water and zinc oxide. Zinc oxide, which blocks both UVA and UVB rays, rests on top of your skin and is not absorbed by your skin. Most sunscreens available these days use chemicals to block the sun’s rays–chemicals with known side effects, particularly with regular use. Many are hormone disruptors, allergens and even carcinogens–particularly with regular, consistent use. (For information on particular brands of sunscreens/sunblocks, their effectiveness and their safety or danger, you can visit the EWG website.)
My older daughter and I tan easily, my husband pretty much only burns, my son is somewhere in the middle, and our 1 year old daughter will likely burn just like her daddy based on how fair she is. However, we all have had great success with this sunblock–no sunburn in over 3 years of use!
This sunscreen also leaves our skin super soft. Prior to making my own sunscreen, I would leave the beach each year with a dry peeling tan, despite never burning and using lots of aloe and body lotion. When I first made this sunscreen, it won me over because for the first time ever I left the beach with the smoothest, softest skin. Pure healthy ingredients nourish our skin!
The ingredients are simple and few. For the best prices, I recommend buying the shea butter, beeswax and coconut oil from Mountain Rose Herbs. Coconut oil can also be bought from Amazon.com (I like the Nutiva brand) for a similar price. Distilled water can be bought cheaply at a local grocery or drug store. The zinc oxide can be bought from Organic Creations and other online stores as well. (Make sure your buy regular zinc oxide. Avoid nano-sized zinc oxide as its safety is debatable. It is likely your body absorbs that form of zinc oxide due to its much smaller size.) Most of us already have olive oil in our pantries.
I recommend keeping an immersion blender, small saucepan and spatula designated specifically for the purpose of making sunblock (and other body products). You wouldn’t want to ingest zinc oxide, for instance. Furthermore, you do NOT want to breathe in zinc oxide powder. It is recommended that you wear a mask and measure and stir very carefully to avoid a dust cloud. I always keep my kids out of the kitchen when I make sunblock, just to be on the safe side.
The recipe for sunblock that I am sharing below is one I adapted from a recipe in Annie Berthold-Bond’s book Better Basics for the Home. If you’re ever looking for a resource full of all natural recipes for and information on everything from hand lotions to facials to house cleaners to getting rid of pests, mold and mildew, this is the book for you! I’ve had it for years and refer to it often.
Pure, Natural Sunblock
Makes about one cup by volume, just over 8 oz by weight.
To benefit fully, apply sunblock every hour or so, and reapply after swimming.
1.5 oz olive oil
1.5 oz coconut oil
1 oz of shea butter
.25 oz beeswax
4 oz distilled water
2 T zinc oxide
Melt the oils and beeswax over medium heat in a small heavy bottomed saucepan, stirring occasionally. As soon as they are melted, remove from heat and add the water.
Depending on the size of your pan, it may help to transfer the mixture to a 2-cup glass pyrex measuring cup before you blend. Blend carefully (so as not to splatter) with an immersion blender until just combined. Carefully add the zinc oxide powder and gently stir it in with a spoon. Then use the immersion blender to blend thoroughly. By stirring first, you are simply trying to prevent a cloud burst of zinc oxide dust.
Pour sunblock into a wide-mouthed container with a lid. The sunscreen will thicken some as it cools.
You can store this sunscreen at room temperature. It should last for a few months, as long as you are careful to not contaminate it with dirty fingers. If there is ever an odd odor or color change, dispose of the sunscreen and make a new batch. If you would like a fragrance (and you are not pregnant or nursing), a few drops of your favorite essential oil can be added prior to blending.
Tip: If the sunscreen is too runny for you, double the amount of beeswax. If the sunscreen is too stiff for you, use 2 oz olive oil and .5 oz shea butter, and/or half the amount of beeswax. It may take a time or two of making it to tweak it to your preferred consistency.
Disclaimer: Make and use this sunblock at your own risk. This sunblock has not been evaluated by the FDA for a certain level of sun protection. I am just sharing our experience with it, as well as my thoughts on it. I am not a doctor or physician of any sort, nor am I an expert in the area of sun protection.