Summer is here and so is the need for sunscreen. Unfortunately with all the negative information about the dangerous chemicals in sunscreens and their impact on your health and the environment it makes you wonder if sunscreen is doing more harm than good.
After visiting the Environmental Working Group's webpage, I found that they did a study on the safety and effectiveness of sunscreens in 2009. They studied 1,572 skincare products containing sunscreen and found that 3 out of 5 products actually provide inadequate protection from the sun. However, this was an improvement from last year, when 4 out of 5 failed to meet the EWG's standards for safe sun care.
While I could write this entire post about the harmful ingredients in sunscreens which are detrimental to your health and to the environment, I suggest that you visit the Environmental Working Group's webpage and make your own decisions about what you want to apply to your skin or that of your children. With that in mind, below are some sun block recipes that are eco-friendly and do not contain any harmful ingredients.
Below are recipes to make your own sun block:
Sun Block Recipe 1
5 oz grapeseed oil
1 tablespoon Shea butter
1/2 oz beeswax
*4 oz lavender hydrosol (or any other hydrosol you like)
2 tablespoons zinc oxide powder
Mix the oil, Shea butter and beeswax in a 2 cup heat proof glass or Pyrex measuring cup, place the measuring cup in a pot partially filled with water (to act as a double boiler), melt over medium-high heat. Add the zinc powder. Allow to cool until a crust starts to form around the edges. Using a hand blender, begin to slowly pour the hydrosol into the oil. Keep mixing until all the hydrosol is fully incorporated and the cream is smooth. Pour into a clean, sterilized jar. Store in the refrigerator.
* Hydrosol - is the condensed water that is left behind when plants are steam distilled to make essential oil. Similar to waters made from roses and lavenders and other herbs, except more pure and a little more concentrated. You can make your own waters, just by steeping an herb in warm water and straining. Learn how to make rosewater here.
Sun Block Recipe 2
1 Tablespoon zinc oxide
1 1/2 tsp light sesame oil
1 Tablespoon rosewater
Couple drops of essential oil - your choice or try peppermint, lavender, rosemary
Mix together the zinc oxide and sesame oil. Heat the mixture gently, using a double boiler, and stir well to mix. Remove from heat and slowly add the rosewater and essential oil, as you continue stirring. Allow to cool completely, and store in a clean container with a tight lid, in the fridge. Yield: 2 oz. Keeps: Up to 10 days in the fridge.
Sun Block Recipe 3
6 Tablespoons avocado oil
3 Tablespoons Shea butter
1 Tablespoon beeswax
1 teaspoon soy lecithin
1 capsule vitamin E
1 Tablespoon aloe Vera gel
2 Tablespoon zinc oxide
3-5 drops essential oil (optional)
Melt the Shea butter and beeswax in a double boiler. Mix in the avocado oil, lecithin, aloe Vera gel, zinc oxide, and essential oil. Store in clean container and refrigerate.
As you can see by the above ingredients, zinc or titanium oxide is the active ingredients in these sun block recipes. Unlike sunscreens, zinc and titanium oxide block all sunlight (both UVA and UVB rays) from the skin thus providing a high SPF.
For more skin care recipes and skin care articles visit Complete Skin Care Therapy