Natural Recipes for Sunscreen this Summer

Coconut oil may be the most popular to use as a natural sunscreen, but red raspberry + carrot seed oil can offer even better protection!

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According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), approximately 75% of commercial sunscreens contain toxic chemicals that are directly linked to cancer and are known to disrupt hormones. You might want to think twice about what you slather on your skin this summer. Oils such as high-quality coconut oil have been used as skin protection against the harsh sun for thousands of years by indigenous Pacific Islanders. But can natural oils actually protect against UV rays?

Even the most skeptical naysayers have to agree that, yes, some oils do provide UV protection. Their main concern is that the level of protection offered is not enough. Extra virgin coconut oil offers an SPF of around 8 to 10 – not ideal for those looking for more protection, but combined with extra efforts such as UV protective clothing, a sunhat, and staying in the shade as much as possible, might outweigh the risk of carcinogens in commercial sunscreens.

Want a little more protection? Coconut oil may be the most popular to use as sunscreen, but there are others that offer even more bang for your buck.

  • Red Raspberry Seed Oil SPF 28 – 50. It's one of the few that protects against both UVA & UVB rays.

  • Carrot Seed Oil SPF 38 – 40. Contains a high SPF factor when diluted with a carrier oil.

  • Wheatgerm Oil – SPF 20. Packed with Vitamin E, K & B – so it also acts as free radical preventer.

  • Macadamia Oil – SPF 6

  • Non-GMO Soybean Oil – SPF 10

  • Avocado Oil – SPF 4–10. Can get as high as 15

  • Olive Oil - SPF 2-8

  • Shea Butter – SPF 3 6

  • Almond Oil – SPF 5

  • Sesame Seed Oil – SPF 4

  • Hemp Seed Oil – SPF 6

  • Jojoba Oil – SPF 4

To boost the oil to more of a full-spectrum sunscreen, you can add zinc oxide to the oil and blend. Zinc oxide is a very common ingredient in sunscreens, makeup, and other skin care products and it does help protect against both UVA and UVB rays. If you choose to use zinc oxide, there are a few important things to note. You will want to only use zinc oxide that is specifically for cosmetic applications, and make sure it is uncoated and not micronized or classified as a nano-particle (nano-particles can be absorbed into the bloodstream, which can create health problems). Don’t inhale it, and do know that it will sit on the skin – so if you use a lot, you may end up with a whitish colored hue.

Below is a recipe for homemade sunscreen which has the consistency of body butter. The beeswax used will make it slightly water-resistant. You should store it in the fridge when possible.

Homemade Coconut Oil Sunscreen

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/4 cup shea butter

1/8 cup sesame or jojoba oil

2 tbsp. beeswax granules

1-2 tbsp. zinc oxide powder (optional – choose uncoated and not micronized if you do)

1 tsp. red raspberry seed oil

20-30 drops carrot seed essential oil

Essential oils of your choice for scent (lavender, rosemary, vanilla, and/or peppermint are nice)

Instructions

1. Using a double boiler, melt coconut oil, sesame or jojoba oil, beeswax, and shea butter together.

2. When the beeswax is melted, remove from heat and let cool. If you’re using zinc oxide, whisk it in at this point, being careful not to create a lot of dust. If there are some lumps, that’s OK for now.

3. Move the mixture to the fridge for 15-30 minutes, until it starts to set up, but is soft enough to whip.

4. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip it. Drizzle in the red raspberry seed oil, the carrot seed oil, and any essential oils, and whip until light and fluffy. Voila! Store in a glass container in the fridge.

Eminence Organics

And of course, if time is the precious commodity, feel free to check out the line of organic SPF 16 or 30 moisturizers by Eminenceor Jane Iredale mineral powders with natural sunscreen protection – all available at Root Whole Body. Our estheticians will recommend the best products for your skin.