I’ve been flipping my beauty products to organic or homemade versions bit by bit. Melissa has now made it possible for me to replace my sunscreen with a rich coconut oil and raspberry oil variety. It sounds delicious but don’t eat it, okay?! Merci, Melissa. -Maggie
Oh man, I love entertaining outdoors: the white lights, the candles, the flowers, the cocktails, the laughter, the silly games, the kids and dogs and family and friends, and always – always – the yummy things on the grill. These are the days and nights to remember. But I don’t love the sunburns and the bugs – skeeters, in particular. Nothing can ruin an al fresco party like those nibbly little suckers.
But I’m just as particular about what I put on my body as what I put in it, and I’m always looking for ways to swap out my toxic toiletries – especially sunblocks and bug repellants with days-long lists of chemicals and scary things — for natural and organic alternatives.
Thanks to a little trial and error, testing half-remembered recipes from an earthy-crunchy general store in Vermont I visited and some help from Pinterest, I came up with this party-saving homemade sunscreen. And it really, really works. Give it a try and say goodbye to store-bought forever.
Just use as you would any normal sunscreen. You can store your new DIY lotion in a glass container between uses and it should last up to a month, but note that the “whipped” texture will only remain for about the first day or so, unless you’re adding the optional beeswax (which helps to stabilize the lotion). My Irish and French Canadian husband has very fair, freckly skin and we found that this sunscreen seems to keep him from turning red even in the Texas summer sun for up to about 2 hours before needing to be reapplied. It goes on a bit oilier than you might be used to from a sunscreen or sunblock, but is absorbed into the skin really quickly (which is why it’s important to get non-nano particle zinc powder, so it doesn’t get absorbed by your cells) and just makes your skin really soft. Bonus!
This sunscreen comes together more like a lotion, and easily pours into a bottle with a pump, but if you want more of a sunblock-like paste, add some beeswax for thickening.
Eat Boutique Editor’s Note: Some of these ingredients are a bit harder to find, so we’ve included links to where you can buy them in the recipe. Melissa also assures us that most Natural Foods stores will have/will order these ingredients — just ask!
- 1/2 cup coconut oil (natural SPF 4-10)
- ½ cup shea butter (SPF 4-5)
- 2 tablespoons non-nano zinc oxide powder (SPF 20)
- 1 tablespoon red raspberry seed oil (natural SPF 28-50)
- 20-30 drops carrot seed oil (natural SPF 38-40)
- 1 teaspoon vitamin E oil, or about 2 capsules (natural preservative)
- Melt the coconut oil in the microwave, about 30 seconds if room temperature or about 45-60 seconds if taken from the fridge.
- While hot, whisk the shea butter into the melted coconut oil. Whisk in the zinc oxide powder, being careful not to create a lot of dust. Cool in the fridge for about 15 minutes, or just long enough to set but still be soft enough to whip.
- Remove from the fridge. Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, start to whip the mixture on medium low. Drizzle in the essential oils (red raspberry seed, carrot seed, vitamin E) and keep whipping until the lotion is light and fluffy. If you’re adding melted beeswax, add that last and whip for 1-2 minutes until well combined.
- Pour through a funnel into a bottle with a pump or into a lidded jar.
Photos by Denise Woodward.
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