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Natural homemade sunscreen alternatives

When summer comes, the sun becomes really strong, and that’s when we need to protect our skin from the damaging UV rays. We usually reach for a store bought sunscreen which has high SPF protection, but did you know that you can protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays with natural homemade sunscreen made with organic products that not only protects the skin, but also nourishes and moisturizes it.

But before reaching for your coconut oil or shea butter jars, you need to know that not all oils and butters have extremely high SPF protection, so some of them might not be suitable for protecting your skin when you’re on the beach or swimming.

Important! When making your own natural homemade sunscreen or sunblock, the SPF value won’t be determined in lab so it may vary and not be exact. Keep that in mind when using homemade sunscreen.

Be cautious! Because every natural oil and butter is different, their SPF often varies. Plus, when exposed to light some natural oils lose their beneficial properties, so choose carefully where and in what kind of packaging you buy your natural oils and butters. Also keep in mind that most natural oils protect only against UVB rays, so that’s why many people prefer to mix them with non nano zinc oxide powder (the kind that doesn’t absorb into your skin) to make natural homemade sunscreen that protects from UVA and UVB rays.

Natural homemade sunscreen alternatives

Natural homemade sunscreen ingredients:

Natural homemade sunscreen ingredient – Coconut oil (SPF 2-8)

Organic coconut oil is a great moisturizer that also protects from the sun’s rays. There are many articles why coconut oil is great for your skin, that’s why many people use it as a body butter. It is a wonderful moisturizer, it smells great, it moisturizes and softens the skin making it silky and soft. But if you want to use the coconut oil as a natural homemade sunscreen, keep in mind that it has very low SPF protection (SPF 2-8), so it it not suitable if you want to use it when you go to the beach and if you’re fair skinned.

Natural homemade sunscreen ingredient – Avocado oil (SPF 4-10)

Avocado oil is known as a natural sunscreen and has wonderful moisturizing properties. Like coconut oil, it also has very low SPF (4-10) so it won’t give you a full protection when you go to the beach. But if you want to use it in a natural homemade sunblock recipe as a moisturizer and added SPF protection, then it ‘s a great ingredient for you to use.

Natural homemade sunscreen ingredient – Shea butter (SPF 3-6)

This is another ingredient that falls in the category of natural oils and butters that has low SPF so it’s not suitable to use it on its own if you’re very fair skinned or when you need extra SPF protection, for example when you go to the beach. But, shea butter is another effective ingredient that you can use in your homemade sunblock recipe to protect your skin in summer because it has moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Natural homemade sunscreen ingredient  – Carrot seed oil (SPF 35-40)

Carrot seed oil is extracted from the seeds of Daucus carota (often called wild carrot or Queen Anne’s lace). Carrot seed oil is packed with antioxidants, which help prevent and repair skin damage. Its also has many other nutrients like Vitamins A and E and beta carotene. Carrot seed oil has a high natural SPF (SPF 35 – 40), so you can use it as a topical sunscreen probably even by its own if you aren’t too fair skinned.

Natural homemade sunscreen ingredient  – Red raspberry seed oil (SPF 20-50)

Red raspberry seed oil is also rich in antioxidants and has great anti-inflammatory properties. It also has great oxidative stability and because of that it has a long shelf life (if stored properly), making it a great ingredient for creams, body butters etc. It has moderate to high natural SPF (SPF 20-50), and also because of its healing properties it is a great ingredient for a natural homemade sunscreen.

Homemade sunscreen ingredient – Non nano zinc oxide (SPF 5-20)

Non nano zinc oxide is a non-toxic mineral that doesn’t irritate the skin. It doesn’t absorb into your skin and that’s why it is a great ingredient for a natural homemade sunscreen. When you apply your natural homemade sunscreen, the particles of the zinc oxide stay on your skin, scattering and absorbing the UVA and UVB rays thus preventing sunburn. Make sure that you use non nano zinc oxide powder for your natural homemade sunscreen.

How much zinc oxide I should use?

Different amounts of zinc oxide in your natural homemade sunblock will determine the SPF protection. The more zinc oxide in your sunscreen – the higher the SPF protection will be, but also it will make the sunblock thicker and whiter when you apply it on your skin.

These are the SPF ranges and the amount of zinc oxide that you need to use to get the SPF protection that works for you.

For SPF 2-5: You’ll need 5% zinc oxide
For SPF 6-11: You’ll need 10% zinc oxide
For SPF 12-19: You’ll need 15% zinc oxide
For SPF 20 and more: You’ll need 20% zinc oxide

Here is an example: If you have 5 oz of oils and butters, and you want to make your sunblock SPF 10, you’ll need to add 0.5 oz of zinc oxide (that’s 10%). To make it SPF 20 you’ll need to add 1 oz of zinc oxide (that’s 20% of 5 oz) etc.

Basic natural homemade sunscreen lotion

This is the basic recipe for making a natural homemade sunscreen lotion with SPF protection around 20 (it’ not tested in lab so the SPF value may vary). Keep in mind that the SPF of the end product may vary because of the ingredients and also it is not waterproof and you need to reapply it every few hours, maybe more often if you go in the water or if you exercise. You will need:

2.5 oz coconut oil or avocado oil (use 3 oz if you don’t use carrot seed oil or red raspberry oil)
2 oz of shea butter
1 oz of zinc oxide
optional (for extra SPF): 0.5 oz of carrot seed oil or red raspberry oil
optional: few drops of essential oil for scent (avoid citrus oils, they may react to the sun and cause irritation)

Place the shea butter in a jar and place the jar in hot water. Mix the shea butter until it’s fully melted and add the oils and zinc oxide. Mix, leave it to cool and your natural homemade sunscreen lotion is ready.

 Basic natural homemade sunblock cream

This homemade sunscreen cream recipe has wax in it and that will make the end product thicker, but because of the wax it’ll stay on your skin longer and also it’ll probably be waterproof. Of course you’ll need to reapply it after few hours. It should have SPF around 20 (it’ not tested in lab so the SPF value may vary). You’ll need:

4 oz of oils and butters (avocado oil, shea butter etc)
1 oz of beeswax or other kind of emulsifing wax (just make sure that it’s cosmetic grade)
1 oz of zinc oxide
optional: few drops of essential oil for scent (avoid citrus oils, they may react to the sun and cause irritation)

In a bowl, melt the wax and add the oils. Mix well and add the zinc oxide. To make sure that your cream will be nice and smooth, mix the homemade sunblock with a spoon until the mixture cools down.

Easy natural homemade sunscreen

If you have used up all of the oils and butters for other purposes and you need some homemade sunscreen as soon as possible, then you can make easy homemade sunblock with only two ingredients. This homemade sunscreen lotion should have SPF around 20 (it’ not tested in lab so the SPF value may vary). You’ll need:

5 oz of your favorite body lotion (make sure that it’s not citrus scented)
1 oz of zinc oxide

Mix the ingredients and there you have your own easy homemade sunblock lotion.

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