by Allie Brooks

As the summer creeps upon us, and days on the beach, lake, or just backyard become more frequent, the need for sunscreen is vital. But these days it is hard to pick between the hundreds of brands and prices for these chemical blockers are skyrocketing.

Even more, it is hard to pick a safe lotion for babies, children, or people with sensitive skin.

So to skip the stores lines and the up-scale prices, make your own sunscreen. Not only will this option be cheaper, it will be less harmful to the skin since it is not a chemical blocker, but a physical one.

Plus you can add your own little creative twist to your sunscreen and show it off to your fellow beach-goers.

There are two ways to make sunscreen. One is very simple, and requires only adding zinc oxide to the current lotion you use. Normally you want to you add about 10% of the lotion’s weight for the amount of zinc oxide. So if the weight is 5 oz. you want to add 0.5 oz of zinc oxide.

Some recipes say use titanium oxide, but I am not familiar with that compound and normally stick with zinc oxide.

The other way to concoct your personal sunscreen is to use some simple essential oils, shea butter or cocoa butter as a base, some aloe, and of course zinc oxide. Zinc oxide is the main UVA and UVB deflector and the rest are just scents, bases, and lubricant.

To give an easier example of some of these sunscreens, I will give a general recipe. You can change up the oils to make them more appealing or add your touch to the product.

Natural Sunscreen General Recipe

  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil (can also use: olive, sunflower, jojoba, soybean, etc.)
  • 1 tbsp. Shea butter
  • 1/2 tsp. sesame oil (or any scent or essential oil you want)
  • 1/2 tsp. aloe vera gel
  • 2 tsp. zinc oxide

1. Place the Shea butter and the oils in a small bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water (or double boiler) and heat until the butter has melted.

2. Pour into a glass mixing bowl and add the aloe vera gel and zinc oxide.

3. Pour into your jar or other container.

For best protection, put on a half an hour before you go out into the sun. Store in the fridge.