The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) states that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. With one of the most widely known and accepted causes of skin cancer being over exposure to the sun, and the presence of sunburns, the AAD recommends sunscreen as the best course of protection.
When asked who should use sunscreen, the AAD states, “Everyone. Sunscreen use can help prevent skin cancer by protecting you from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. Anyone can get skin cancer, regardless of age, gender or race.”
There is a large movement among Americans to select healthier, more natural alternatives to many of the chemicals that we use in our day-to-day lives. As we educate ourselves on the chemicals present in our products, the high number of toxic chemicals found in sunscreen raises many flags. Rather than continuing to rely on these questionable products, we have found a natural alternative, first shared by Jessica Espinoza at Delicious Obsessions.
This all natural sunscreen begins with a base of coconut oil. Many oils that have been used in natural skincare have their own inherent sun protection factor. While the level of SPF varies depending on the oil, and coconut oil is slightly lower with an SPF range of 4-10, the addition of zinc oxide will provide enough protection to produce a full spectrum sunscreen with the ability to protect the body against both UVA and UVB rays.
All the ingredients listed below should be available at your local health food store, or online.
Homemade Coconut Oil Sunscreen by Jessica Espinoza
- 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)
- 1 tsp. red raspberry seed oil 20-30 drops
- carrot seed essential oil
- Essential oils of your choice (lavender, rosemary, vanilla, and/or peppermint are nice)
- Using a double boiler (or a small pan over very low heat), melt your coconut oil, sesame or jojoba oil, beeswax, and shea butter together. The beeswax will be the last to melt.
- When the beeswax is melted, remove the mixture from the heat and let cool to room temperature. 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. They will break up when you whip the body butter in step 4.
- Move the mixture to the fridge for 15-30 minutes. You want it to start to set up, but still be soft enough to whip.
- Take the mixture out of the fridge and using a stand mixer or hand mixer, start to whip it. Drizzle in the red raspberry seed oil, the carrot seed oil, and any essential oils of your choice, and continue whipping until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Use as you would any regular sunscreen. Application rates will depend on your activity and exposure to water. Store in a glass container in the fridge between uses.