Proper sunscreen use is important, but having my breast feeding infant son led me to be even more diligent about using natural products, including sunscreen. I found out that components of chemical sunscreens (absorbing and converting sunlight) are damaging to the skin, and are absorbed and passed to babies through the breast milk. I refused to put harmful substances on my son’s skin (using cloth diapers and cloth wipes) and wanted to make sure everything he was consuming through my breast milk was as healthy as possible, so I began making a homemade sunscreen.
After using my natural, homemade sunscreen for many months of hiking, walking, swimming, going to the beach and lake, and visiting the zoo, I can say this sunscreen not only protects our skin from the sun, but is nourishing too. Many of the ingredients in this recipe have a natural SPF, but since this is a homemade recipe and has not been scientifically tested, I cannot make claims on its overall SPF rating. I can only discuss how this has worked for my family. My son’s pediatrician promotes a more natural lifestyle and was pleased with our choice to make our own sunscreen. (Please always consult your doctor before using a new product.)
This natural, homemade sunscreen is a must for my family. Sometimes, being outside is the only way we can calm my son down, or get him to sleep. He has yet to have a sunburn.
The other day we were walking and swimming almost all day, I put sunscreen on my son but forgot to put any on myself. His skin still looked perfect, but I was red as a lobster.
Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients:
- ¼ cup beeswax
- ¼ cup coconut oil (natural SPF 7.119)
- ½ cup almond oil (natural SPF 4.659) /olive oil (natural SPF 7.549)
- 1 tsp Red Raspberry Seed Oil (natural SPF 28-50)
- 1 tsp Carrot Seed Oil (natural SPF 35-40)
- 2 Tbsp Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5)
- 3 Tbsp Zinc Oxide (natural SPF 2-20 depending on quantity) (Buy the NON-Nano version that cannot be absorbed into the skin. Also, be careful to not inhale the powder.)
- Optional: 1 tsp Vitamin E oil
- Optional: 20 drops lavender essential oil
- Optional: 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
How to Make Natural Sunscreen:
- Combine ingredients, except zinc oxide, in a pint-sized or larger glass jar.
- Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and place over medium heat.
- Place a loose lid on the jar and place in the pan with the water.
- As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to mix. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide and stir well. Pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage (the mixture needs to still be warm).
- Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this or 2 baby food size mason jars (my favorite). It is thick, like body butter, so it cannot be used in a pump bottle.
- Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
- Use daily.
- Make sure not to inhale the Zinc Oxide.
- This sunscreen is somewhat waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming.
- Store in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator.
- I prefer to store in a baby food size mason jar for easy travel. We keep one in our diaper bag at all times.
- It works great on diaper rashes and as a protective layer during nights. – I haven’t had any issues using it on my cloth diapers, but we rarely use it for this purpose and we use organic cotton flats, which wash very easily.