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Homemade Sunblock Recipe

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I mentioned in a thread over in F&F that I had a homemade sunblock recipe, and it has generated A LOT of interest. So rather than cleaning out my PM box every few hours, I decided to just post it here.

Homemade Sunblock

Get on eBay, order one pound each zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. (These are white powders. They are naturally occurring and nontoxic, but avoid breathing in their dust if you can. This is not a good project for children.) Add one tablespoon of each to one cup of your favorite lotion for an SPF of ~30. Blend very well. As this sits, it combines better and better. It may make you look somewhat pale, and you need to rub it into your skin really well.


To make your own lotion, combine coconut oil, shredded cocoa butter, a few capsules worth of Vitamin E oil (preservative), distilled water, and shredded beeswax (emulsifier). Making your own lotion has a couple advantages. The coconut oil naturally has an SPF of ~4, so that increases your protection. The beeswax makes the lotion somewhat waterproof.

For REALLY waterproof protection, apply a lot of homemade sunblock to dry skin. You may need to do this more than once. The idea is to get your skin to absorb as much of the homemade sunblock as possible. Once your skin has had a chance to do the absorbing and is at least somewhat dry again, apply a THIN layer of commercial waterproof sunblock or sunscreen. I like California Baby, even though it is $17 for a little tube, because it is sunblock (not a chemical sunscreen) and therefore never goes bad. I have had the same tiny tube for three years because I only need to use a tiny bit at a time. If California Baby is unavailable to you, WaterBabies by Coppertone is a decent second choice. This is a chemical preparation, so it will go bad after one year. If your skin is full of mineral sunblock, the outer waterproof layer of chemical sunscreen will not soak in, and minimize the skin’s irritation response because it’s not in direct (or as direct) contact with the chemicals.

I have used homemade sunscreen on an infant under six months with doctor’s approval and no adverse affects. I use it daily on my 1 year old and she has never had any sort of problem. I use it on my face daily, and it is wonderful. All chemical sunscreens, even Oil of Olay for Sensitive Skin, broke me out terribly. The homemade stuff NEVER has.
post #2 of 9
Wow, thanks! I was going to PM you but never got around to it.
post #3 of 9
Wow, thanks! I just bought 2 tubes of UV Natural. But it doesn't really go bad, so I think I'll make some of this for daily use and save the UV Natural for intense waterplay days (since it's really waterproof!)
post #4 of 9
Thanks for the recipe Just an FYI though for those making this - you'll need to use it quickly - like within a week or so. Vit E is an antioxidant (prevents rancidity) but not really a preservative so you'll quickly get bacteria and fangi growing in your lotion

Don't want to scare anyone from trying it, just make small baches and use quickly
post #5 of 9
If you leave out the water in the lotion recipe, and make a thick sunblock oil/butter instead, there's no concern about mold or bacteria.

I wonder if this would work in straight coconut oil.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Yes, calebsmama and Ruth are both right. You can add borax as a preservative, but I don't really like to. I just make small batches (1 cup at a time). Or butter, depending.

Ruth, I don't see why this wouldn't work with just coconut oil... it wouldn't be very waterproof, and it might feel a little greasy, but those are the only drawbacks I could think of.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leta View Post
...Homemade Sunblock

Get on eBay, order one pound each zinc oxide and titanium dioxide....Add one tablespoon of each to one cup...of...lotion for an SPF of ~30. Blend very well. As this sits, it combines better and better. It may make you look somewhat pale, and you need to rub it into your skin really well.


To make your own lotion, combine coconut oil, shredded cocoa butter, a few capsules worth of Vitamin E oil (preservative), distilled water, and shredded beeswax (emulsifier). Making your own lotion has a couple advantages. The coconut oil naturally has an SPF of ~4, so that increases your protection. The beeswax makes the lotion somewhat waterproof.....
What are the proportions for the lotion ingrediants?
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
If you leave out the water in the lotion recipe, and make a thick sunblock oil/butter instead, there's no concern about mold or bacteria.

I wonder if this would work in straight coconut oil.
I was going to say that in my OP as well just clicked "send" before I finished my thought....: Does mommy brain EVER improve?
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathirynne View Post
What are the proportions for the lotion ingrediants?
I do about 1/3 cup coconut oil, 1/3 cup cocoa butter shredded, and about 1/4 to 1/3 cup water. I put in about three capsules worth of Vitamin E oil, and just a couple/few tablespoons of shredded beeswax- never more than three.
If you want it thicker, just use less water or add more oil, butter, and beeswax. I usually just eyeball it.

You can add the zinc oxide and the titanium dioxide while it's still warm, but I don't do it over heat. Same goes for essential oils if you want to add scent- if you add them over heat, they won't smell as good or as strong.

If you want to make more at a time, you can use water that has borax dissolved in it. I haven't done this, because I like to infuse my water with herbs or tea before making lotion with it.

DH (Mr. Food Safety Science Guy) is always fussing at me that I should sterilize everything first, with a 5% bleach, 95% cold water solution, but I don't bother- I never want to empty a spray bottle. : I haven't had any problems, but I may do the bleach and borax treatment if I make a large quantity at some point.
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