When it comes to sun, our tomatoes can’t get enough. Full exposure? Bring it on! But when we’re talking skin, a few rays go a long way. (The last thing we want our precious epidermis compared to is a tomato.) We all know the benefits of sunscreen, but during our most recent head-to-toe slathering session, we got to thinking: Why not make our own and control what goes into the goop? Turns out the industrious HOMEGROWN member Lizz beat us to it—and it's easy.
Lizz reports that she blends 1 part beeswax with 2 parts shea butter and 1 part sunflower oil, adding more oil as needed if the consistency is too thick. Then she uses a hand blender to add in 10 percent zinc oxide. “Basically, it is like making a salve but a bit less wax,” she says. “It’s thick, stays on well in water, and we had no burns last summer.”
FROM OTHER SOURCES
Intrigued, we hit the web for more details and found a few step-by-step recipes that sound promising:
• Instructables offers a couple of variations, including a recipe that replaces zinc oxide with aloe, and provides links for where to find key ingredients such as emulsifying wax and the chief sunblocking agents, a.k.a. zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. One tip: Several online sources recommend wearing a mask while handling the zinc oxide powder.
• The blog Frugally Sustainable features a customizable recipe (Raspberry seed oil! Carrot seed oil! Avocado oil!), as well as an SPF chart for figuring out how much zinc oxide you’ll need.
• Livestrong weighs in with its own recipe (bonus: DIY deodorant!) and a useful tip about storing leftover sunscreen in the fridge.
• For visual learners (like us), Sophie Uliano of gorgeouslygreen.com shares the video below on how to make a sesame oil–based sunscreen with an SPF of 15 and a shelf life of six months.
PHOTO BY TREAD, COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS ON FLICKR