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DIY Homemade Sunscreen – Plus, Tips to Skip the Sunburn this Summer!

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In the spirit of summertime, and keeping with my recent post on hydration and electrolyte drinks, we’re going to be tackling another summertime staple.

 

The most controversial of all…. SUNSCREEN!

 

It seems that there are basically two camps when it comes to this gooey white slathering:

Camp Number One: Those who won’t touch it and would prefer to cook themselves into a crispy crunchy potato chip first.

Camp Number Two: Those who, whether they enjoy its greasiness or not, endure it for fear of skin cancer and feeling like a molting lizard for a week.

 

What if I told you that I stand in Camp Number Three? What camp is that, you ask? You guessed it… the DIY camp! Yes, of course you can make your own, effective, non-toxic sunscreen. It’s easy, affordable, and safe. Not persuaded yet? Let me explain why my camp (Number Three) beats the other two hands down!

 

So, nobody likes a sunburn. I don’t burn easily at all, but occasionally, there are those times that I’m in the sun long enough to get lightly toasted. And there are other people (and babies!) who can get pink after just a short jaunt in the sun. No matter what your views on the causes of skin cancer and such, I think we all can agree that burning your skin is not healthy – or fun. So if you are in Camp Number One, that leaves you with few options. Either hide from the sun (not so easy or fun in the summertime), which leaves you vitamin D deficient and bored, or cover your skin carefully with hats, long sleeves, etc.

 

Maybe I’m intolerant, but that sounds ridiculously uncomfortable. Sun is already hot, without adding extra clothing. Just saying.

 

Then there’s Camp Number Two. Their sunscreen slathering does give more freedom for fun, but at what cost? Do our attempts to protect ourselves and our children end up doing the opposite? To remind you of what I’ve said before: what we put on our skin can affect us more than what we eat, because our liver is not able to filter out the toxins for us before they infiltrate our body.
Just another warning: sunscreen often gives a false sense of safety, making people think they can stay in the sun longer than their skin will actually tolerate, leaving them still burnt in the end. So no matter what sunscreen you use, be careful!

 

Ok, so to clarify things, there are two types of active ingredients in sunscreens: chemical (think Oxybenzone and Octinoxate, and many other hard-to-pronounce ones…) and mineral (titanium dioxide and zinc oxide). Let me start by tackling the chemical ones.

Oxybenzone is found in almost 70% of non-mineral-based sunscreens on the market. It is a chemical that disrupts hormones and can cause skin sensitivities. It is associated with endometriosis and mimics estrogen in the body.

Another popular active ingredient in sunscreens is Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate). This chemical also disrupts hormones and causes skin sensitivities. It affects the thyroid and reproductive system and was found in mothers’ milk in laboratory studies. This means that it not only penetrates the skin and becomes systemic, but it can also harm a baby if the mother applies it to her skin.

These are just a couple of the many dangerous active ingredients found in sunscreens. Then, if you add in the inactive ingredients, it frankly is just alarming. The preservative, methylisothiazolinone, or MI, causes skin sensitivities, has been named allergen of the year by the American Contact Dermatitis Society, and is deemed unsafe by European Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. Retinyl palmitate is a known skin cancer hazard. I’ll spare you the laundry list of other active and inactive ingredients that all can cause harm in one way or another. I think you get the idea!

Feeling alarmed yet?

Here’s what we recommend:

 

First of all, eat a healthy diet high in antioxidants and vitamin c (Baobab powder or Camu Camu is a great source!). This helps prevent oxidative damage that increases your risk of skin cancer. Seriously, you can help protect your skin from the inside out.

 

Secondly, be aware of how long you’re in the sun. Even with sunscreen, you can crispify yourself.

 

But lastly, use a natural, homemade sunscreen, which is what this post is mostly about anyway! So you have a few options here. If you’re a super purist, you can just use a blend of natural oils that have natural SPF. Or, if you want higher SPF, you can add zinc oxide to this blend. Zinc oxide is generally considered harmless and is the active ingredient in most natural sunscreens. However, in the name of full disclosure, it is still generated in a lab and there are not a lot of studies on it to date.

Still, if you’re looking for good SPF, it is definitely your least toxic option. So what we’ll do is post the sunscreen recipes below, with zinc oxide as optional, and you can make your own decision. : )

OR, if you just aren’t up for making your own yet, Badger Balm is a pretty good option as well!

 

OK, so since we like to give you guys options, we’re offering two different recipes for you to choose from! The first one is our recipe of choice, but it has more ingredients. The second one works also, but has less ingredients and may be a good starting point for those of you not fully ready to dive headlong in this venture! haha.

 

SUNSCREEN RECIPE #1 (Favorite but more complex):

 

Ingredients:

¼ cup coconut oil SPF 6
¼ cup shea butter SPF 6
2 tbs Beeswax (pellets or shaved) to help make it waterproof

Directions:
Slowly on low temperature warm the above ingredients until melted then remove from heat and cool a little

Add:

3 tbs zinc (optional) SPF 12-14
3 tbs almond oil SPF 5
2 tbs. avocado oil SPF 6
1 tbs. jojoba oil SPF 2
1 tsp red raspberry oil SPF 25
15 drops carrot seed essential oil SPF 35
8 drops lavender essential oil SPF 6

Mix well and put in the refrigerator for about 15-30 mins until it starts to thicken some
Take out and mix well with a mixer so it is mixed well and pour into your container

SUNSCREEN RECIPE #2 (Simple):

 

Ingredients:

½ cup coconut oil or shea butter (or 1/2 of each) SPF 12
2 tbs Beeswax (pellets or shaved) to help make it waterproof

Directions:
Slowly on low temperature warm the above ingredients until melted then remove from heat and cool a little

Add:
3 tbs zinc (optional, though very recommended in this version) SPF 12-14
6 tbs. almond or avocado oil SPF 10

Mix well and put in the refrigerator for about 15-30 mins until it starts to thicken some
Take out and mix well with a mixer so it is mixed well and pour into your container

****Red raspberry, Carrot and Lavender Essential Oils are all optional but give greater SPF

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Either recipe: reapply about every 2-3 hours or more often if being rubbed a lot in the water. If you don’t use beeswax, reapply after being in the water every time.
You can up your zinc for more SPF – just be sure not to use nano zinc.

 

 

 

SOURCES:

http://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals/

http://time.com/3056125/you-asked-is-sunscreen-safe-and-do-i-really-need-it-daily/

https://draxe.com/75-of-sunscreens-are-toxic-what-to-do-instead/

 

*This post contains affiliate links. We will never link to products we don’t fully believe in and endorse.


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Baby or Personal Wipes Recipe (And why you might want to make your own!)

Do have any idea what is in your wipes? I didn’t until recently. Knowing what they’re used for, you’d think they’re pretty harmless, right? Think again.

You may think to read the ingredients of what you eat, but it is just as important (or more so) to read what you put on your skin. Sometimes it can actually be more dangerous to put a toxin on your skin than to eat it. This is because when we consume something, our liver can filter it out, while whatever goes on our skin goes straight into our body with no filter.

So what is in those wipes? I grabbed the ingredients off a couple top brands. They both seem to be a pretty good representation. And to be fair, I even looked at the ‘natural’ version of Huggies baby wipes. The results we were still alarming:

Cottonelle Wipes: Water, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Benzoate, Butoxy PEG-4 PG-Amodimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Malic Acid, Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate, Polysorbate 20, Lauryl Glucoside, Fragrance, Sorbic Acid

Huggies Natural Baby Wipes: Water, Phenoxyethanol, Amoimethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Malic Acid, Sodium Citrate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate

While some of those ingredients are fairly harmless, or even beneficial (aloe, water, etc), most are downright harmful! There are hormone disruptors, carcinogens, and many other dangerous chemicals.

Just to give a few examples:

Sodium Benzoate is a toxin that attacks our DNA, changing the mitochondria. Parkinsons, ADHD, asthma, hypertension, and liver disease are just a couple of the ways it harms the body long-term.

Phenoxyethanol is a scientifically proven skin and eye irritant. It is also an endocrine (think adrenals, thyroid, etc) disruptor, and can damage the brain, nervous system, and bladder.

Those are just two of the multiple ingredients. You could look up each one and find a wrap sheet on most of them. And most people are putting them every day on theirs and their babies’, *ahem* sensitive areas. Yikes!

Now, there are a few expensive, natural, less-toxic brands out there. But, in true crunchysquared form, we are suggesting you make them! It’s simple and inexpensive.

(If you simply don’t have the time or interest in making your own wipes, Poof brand wipes are a terrific alternative. Their only ingredients are: 100% Sustainable Plant Materials, Deionized Water, Aloe Vera Extract, and Non-GMO Glycerin (vegetable). Natracare brand is another option, but not quite so pure in its ingredients list. Nothing horrible chemical-wise, but a longer list with a couple questionables. I’d still be more comfortable using them than most brands though.)

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BUT, if you are ready to DIY, the following recipe can be used as a personal toilet wipe or a baby wipe. We’ve blended many recipes and tweaked them until we created this one.

BABY/PERSONAL WIPES RECIPE:

Ingredients:

1/2 a roll of paper towels, cut down the middle with a knife, blade, saw, or whatever you can hack through it with. (Select-a-size works best. We have used Viva and Sam’s, but are transitioning to Bamboo. More on that soon.)
1 1/2-2 cups of water that has been boiled and cooled to warm (boiling makes it sterile and keeps it from mildewing or growing bacteria)
1 tbs Castile soap (we like Dr. Bronners unscented or almond and scent with our own Young Living essential oils). Cleans skin
1 tbs expeller pressed coconut oil (from Wilderness Family Natural or Young Living’s V-6 blend oil). Conditions skin and is anti microbial
1 tbs witch hazel. Tones and cleans skin well
1 tbs natural aloe (not with preservatives. We like this one). Conditions skin
1 squirt vitamin E oil. Helps preserve and is great for skin
6-8 drops Essential Oil (we usually use Young Living’s Lavender or Citrus for personal care and Lavender or Gentle Baby blend for baby wipes)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Place paper towels in a plastic bag or container, then pour the mixture over them evenly. When they are evenly soaked, pull out the cardboard center and that should start your roll. Leave them to finish soaking up the water.

 

 

SOURCES:

http://healthwyze.org/reports/204-are-you-getting-enough-sodium-benzoate-in-your-diet

https://ireadlabelsforyou.com/huggies-baby-wipes-safe-or-toxic/

http://www.livestrong.com/article/488257-the-dangers-of-sodium-benzoate/

http://www.productstewardshipatkc.com/ourbrands/consumer/cottonelle/Wipes

http://www.organicapoteke.com/blog/2010/06/natural-skin-care-the-dangers-of-phenoxyethanol/

 

*This post contains affiliate links. We will never link to products we don’t fully believe in and endorse.

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