We’ve already experienced a 100 degree day here in Michigan. It’s been an unseasonably warm, sunny May, and we’ve been outside from sun up till sun down planting our lavender field for our U-Pick season.
My 19-month-old daughter has inherited mine and my father’s pale Irish skin, which when exposed to the sun, rather than tanning, it turns red and then later peels…nice! Needless to say, we go through sunscreen in this house like water.
Not only is store-bought sunscreen expensive, it’s also filled with chemicals. Your skin is your largest organ and something doesn’t sit right with me in lathering my family head-to-toe in ingredients I can’t pronounce.
Over the years I’ve done research on homemade sunscreens and they all have one thing in common; Non-Nano Zinc Oxide.
What is non-nano zinc oxide?
Zinc oxide is found in the Earth’s crust as natural mineral zincite. Unlike chemical sunscreens, zinc oxide creates a physical barrier on the skin. The zinc reflects the sun away from the skin and blocks the rays.
Non-Nano refers to that the zinc particles are not fine enough to enter the bloodstream. So it safely sits on top of your skin and is not absorbed.
Notes on making a beeswax sunscreen recipe
When making your own health and beauty products, beeswax can be a very useful ingredient. When thinking of beeswax, think waterproof and lending a solid texture at room/body temperature. Many times when making these kinds of products, you’re adding lots of liquid oils like olive, sweet almond, or grape seed. Coconut oil also has a melting temperature right around body temperature. So, beeswax is the perfect ingredient to give products like sunscreen a more solid texture.
It also gives the sunscreen waterproofing power. So if you’re planning a day at the beach this sunscreen should stay on in the water as well as most sunscreens. (check often to see if reapplication is needed) As far as I can tell, the zinc oxide provides an SPF of around 30.
To learn how to render your own usable beeswax from your hives visit my post Mind Your Beeswax.
- olive oil
- shea butter
- coconut oil
- non-nano zinc oxide
- cocoa butter, optional
- ¼ cup of each will fill an 8oz mason jar
- Melt all oils over a double boiler.
- Add Zinc Oxide.
- Let cool till it starts to solidify then whip it with a whisk to give it a creamy-white texture.
- You can add soothing essential oils like lavender, too.
How does it feel?
I’d compare it to a commercial sunscreen in feel. It starts out a bit greasy but absorbs quickly as you rub it in. It does not break out my face at all.
The zinc oxide also gives your skin a very subtle translucent film. If you’re careful to rub it in well, it’s not noticeable.
I shared this recipe on our Iron Oak Farm Facebook page and a few readers made it. They agreed that the texture was very nice and the white color disappeared after rubbing
To be honest…I’m completely sold on this product. I really don’t see buying commercial sunscreen again. If you try it, let me know what you think!
The same day I made this sunscreen, I also made a batch of homemade deodorant. For the recipe on that check out my post Beeswax in Your Armpits.