Summer is here, and we can’t wait to spend our days outside in the garden! But we also know how important it is to take care of our skin by wearing sunscreen. Have you ever looked at the ingredients on a bottle of sunscreen? Lots of artificial ingredients! At HealthBarn USA, we definitely prefer the natural approach. And it’s easy to make your own sunscreen with all natural ingredients, like the one below from DIY Natural. Zinc is the main ingredient that blocks the sun, so for more protection add a little extra (see the note at the end to figure out how much to use). This sunscreen should be refrigerated when not in use and will keep about 6 months. Try to keep it out of the direct sunlight so that the oils don’t react with the sun.
Time: 20 minutes.
- 1 oz. coconut oil
- 0.8 oz. shea butter
- 0.1 oz. jojoba, sesame, or sunflower oil
- 0.1 oz. vitamin E oil
- 30 drops essential oils, optional (lavender, eucalyptus, or peppermint all add lovely scents)
- zinc oxide powder*
Adult Prep: Help with precise measuring, especially with the zinc, which shouldn’t be breathed in or blown around.
- Add coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba/sesame/sunflower oil to a makeshift double boiler. (To make your own double boiler, place a Pyrex measuring cup containing ingredients inside a small pot filled with a few inches of water). Heat gently until shea butter is just melted.
- Remove from double boiler and allow to cool a little.
- Put on a mask that covers your nose and mouth (to avoid breathing in the fine particles of zinc oxide powder), and measure out your zinc oxide. Add zinc oxide, Vitamin E oil, and optional essential oils to the other ingredients.
- Stir well to combine.
- Store in a dark jar in the refrigerator.
- Apply liberally to exposed skin. Reapply every few hours, or more often if swimming or sweating.
*Different amounts of zinc oxide are needed depending on what SPF you would like your lotion to be. Once you have chosen the SPF a little math is involved. The zinc oxide must be a certain percentage of the weight of your ingredients (before adding the zinc oxide). For this reason, it’s easiest to use a kitchen scale when making your sunscreen. For example, if you have 2 ounces of lotion and you’d like to make SPF 10 sunscreen, according to the values below you will need to add 0.2 ounces of zinc oxide to the lotion. Use the zinc oxide recommendations below.
For SPF 2-5: Use 5% zinc oxide
For SPF 6-11: Use 10% zinc oxide
For SPF 12-19: Use 15% zinc oxide
For SPF >20: Use 25% zinc oxide
– Stacey Antine, MS, RD, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, co-host, Family Food Expert Internet Radio Show, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.
A healthy lifestyle isn’t all about food: keeping kids active and fostering their creativity is essential for healthy development, too! In this blog, I’ll be sharing weekly activity ideas for families to do together.