If you can’t say it, don’t use it. That’s my motto. Is it yours too? Then, you also go crazy as you read cosmetics labels, especially sunscreens’. So should everyone else. In fact, the dangers of parabens, octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC), 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC), oxybenzone (BP-3 ou BZ-3) – and many more – contained in classic sunscreens have been scientifically proven. Organic sunscreens, on the other hand, are free of toxic substances but still incorporate a small percentage of non-natural ingredients. The safest way to reduce waste and avoid chemicals is thus homemade sunscreen. But is that possible? Does that really work?
Well, yes! My recipe is not only easy, but also quick, effective and cheap. All you need is 4 simple ingredients and 5 minutes. The best is yet to come… 150 grams of sunscreen only cost 6,31€, that is 42€/kg or 3 times cheaper than organic sunscreen. Spend the cost savings in a great beach restaurant. Mmm it smells good summer! (๑^ں^๑)
For 150g of sunscreen:
- 65g organic extra virgin (first cold pressed) olive oil
- 30g organic extra virgin (first cold pressed) coconut oil (Cocos nucifera)
- 10g beeswax
- 45g non-nano zinc oxide
Organic extra virgin oils are pressed without heat or toxic chemicals. They are healthier and contain beneficial cosmetic properties. These base ingredients provide a slight natural sun protection.
Beeswax solidifies the mixture. Depending on your preferences, use more or less of it to respectively harden or liquefy the sunscreen.
Zinc oxide is a mineral compound. It works as a physical sun barrier by sitting on top of the skin to reflect and scatter damaging ultraviolet light. Unlike chemical barriers, zinc oxide is immediately effective after application. No need to wait about 20 minutes before it begins to work. However, non-nano zinc oxide produces some whitish tint. This problem has been partly addressed by the advent of zinc oxide nanoparticles as a sunscreen agent that tend to produce much less whitish tint than regular powdered zinc oxide. Yet, the safety of nanoparticles remains a controversial subject.
According to the Environmental Working Group, zinc oxide is the safest and most effective sunscreen active ingredient available on the market. This natural powder is stable in sunlight and protects from the full spectrum of UVA and UVB rays, incredibly effectively, all by itself.
The more zinc oxide you use, the more protection you get. However, determining with accuracy the sun protection factor (SPF) of homemade sunscreen is impossible; this calculation being normally performed in laboratory. Some sources state that 1% of zinc oxide gives a SPF of 1 while others claim that 1% of zinc oxide gives a SPF of 0,75. Unfortunately, no reliable sources can be found on this topic. Therefore, the present recipe contains 30% of zinc oxide to ensure a SPF of at least 20 filtering out more than 93% of all incoming UVB rays.
If you increase the concentration of zinc oxide, also add coconut oil and reduce the quantity of beeswax to keep a creamy texture.
INSTRUCTIONS AND CONSERVATION
Melt together the olive oil, coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler (soft cooking that respects the products properties).
Once everything is completely melted, remove from the heat and transfer to an airtight glass jar. Avoid plastic containers whose molecules could migrate into fat contents.
Gradually incorporate the sifted zinc oxide. If lumps persist, use your whip to smooth it out.
Let then cool to room temperature for several hours with the jar open.
The sunscreen is ready!
Between two uses, store in a cool place. The sunscreen can be kept for 6 months in the absence of aqueous phase and with the vitamin E naturally present in coconut oil.
HOW TO USE THE SUNSCREEN
The sunscreen is immediately effective after application. Reapply it every 2 hours.
Don’t forget that sunscreen products don’t deliver total protection from the sun. Spend time in the shade when the sun’s at its hottest and cover up with suitable clothing and sunglasses. As with any cosmetic, be sure to test it on a small patch of skin and wait 24 hours to observe if there is any irritation or allergic reaction.
WHERE TO BUY INGREDIENTS FOR THE BEST PRICE
|Olive oil||The Barn||8,91€/l|
|Zinc oxide*||Le Lion||115,43€/kg|
⚠ I don’t get any commission for recommending products or retailers. I simply believe they are great.
* Cosmetic-grade (99,7% pure) and non-nano zinc oxide. No to be confused with technical zinc oxide which is cheaper (15€/kg) but not pure enough for this recipe.