One of the top things requested when we made the switch to natural products was an all-natural sunscreen that actually worked. My first attempt was terrible and didn’t work at all. Being the guinea pig for that was fun! The second attempt, however, works great and is easy to make! Before I get to the recipe, I want to explain the ingredients a bit.
Non-nano Zinc Oxide
The primary ingredient in this recipe that provides the UVA and UVB protection is non-nano zinc oxide powder. Let me first explain the difference between nano and non-nano. When folks first started using zinc oxide powder, they were using nano powder. That means the powder was fine–and I mean super fine. The problem was it was so small that it actually seeped into skin pores and ultimately into the blood stream. Zinc oxide powder is a mineral and is perfectly safe externally, but you don’t want to get it into your blood stream. Non-nano is just big enough for that to not be a problem. It still provides all the awesome protection properties without getting into your pores. All that said, be sure to choose a non-nano zinc oxide powder. A link is provided below for the one I use.
Like most powders, zinc oxide can be a health risk if inhaled. Therefore, when mixing the recipe, be careful not to inhale the powder. I recommend wearing a mask to reduce risk. Once mixed into the lotion, there is NO risk with the zinc oxide powder.
With 2 ounces of non-nano zinc oxide powder mixed into 8 ounces of lotion, the approximate SPF value is 20. For each additional ounce added, that approximate SPF goes up 10. For example, for SPF 30, add 3 ounces non-nano zinc oxide powder to 8 ounces lotion.
Carrot Seed Oil & Red Raspberry Seed Oil
Carrot seed oil and red raspberry seed oil are believed by some to add SPF values to lotions. However, no conclusive studies have verified it for either, and there’s a mountain of information out there claiming the opposite. For that reason, I call them optional in the recipe below. I include them, though, because they both offer wonderful antioxidant properties, and they are rich in Omega fatty acids. Additionally, carrot seed oil has a good amount of Vitamin E in it, which acts as a great natural preservative. Again, links to purchase both are provided below.
The zinc oxide powder and oils (if used) can be mixed into any lotion if you’d like. Since I like to use homemade, natural products, I start with my own homemade lotion (recipe here) and add to it. *Note the lotion recipe yields 16 ounces of lotion.
- 8 ounces lotion (I use this one)
- 2+ ounces (approx. 3 tbsp per ounce) non-nano zinc oxide powder
- 20 drops carrot seed oil (optional)
- 20 drops red raspberry seed oil (optional)
- Put lotion into medium bowl. (I use an immersion blender, so I put the lotion into a tall, cylindrical container. A hand mixer will also work.)
- Using an immersion blender or hand mixer, gradually blend in non-nano zinc oxide powder, 1 tbsp at a time.
- When zinc oxide powder is blended in, blend in oils if using.
- Transfer to half pint jar or other container for storage.
- Store in the refrigerator for best results.