I love the sun as much as I love the moon--especially during the summer. I like longs walks in the sunshine and a lazy afternoon sunbathing. It's practically part of my Land of Enchantment heritage after all! Who could not love a gloriously open and sunny sky after growing up in this magical desert?
Alas, we've become pretty sun-phobic in many ways as we worry about sun damage and other hazards; that said, you can be sun-smart and still enjoy plenty of rays. In fact, they're good for you as twenty minutes in the sun gives you your daily dose of vitamin D, something I really missed when I lived in Seattle! If you want to learn more about how UVA and UVB rays affect us and how homemade sunscreens can help, check out what the Modern Hippy Housewife has to say.
I've always wanted to try making my own sunblock because I do believe in practicing "safe sun"--including using only organic sunscreens because non-organic have a host of chemicals that seem even worse for you than the rays they are supposed to protect you from. That said, organic brands can be pretty pricey. Naturally, the crafty life-hacker in me decided to see what she could figure out whipping up a batch of her own sunblock.
I took cues from recipes via Wellness Mama and the above Modern Hippy Housewife, opting for an easier recipe with fewer ingredients (hey, a beautiful afternoon poolside was calling to me, and I needed my goods ASAP!). I used my coconut body butter as my base because it was super easy to make and non-greasy when applied. I then added non-nano zinc oxide powder, the primary substance that offers protection against harmful rays. Make sure it is non-nano zinc oxide powder, as it is better for the body (you can read more about that from Goddess Garden Organics).
Coconut oil actually offers about SPF 4 and other natural oils, like shea butter, offer a similar amount of light coverage. Pretty cool, huh? But if you plan to be out in the sun for prolonged periods of time, it's a good idea to whip up a batch your own sunblock to boost your coverage. This recipe here gives you about SPF 25. As with any sunscreen, make sure to apply generously (at least a full ounce) and often (every two hours or so). And be smart about your sun exposure. It's never a good idea to bake for hours on end. With this recipe, I can now feel good about my outdoor time, both under the sun's rays and with the ingredients on my sunblock (which costs about $3 a bottle when all is said and done!).
1 cup coconut body butter
4 tablespoons non-nano zinc oxide powder
Stir zinc oxide into coconut body butter until thoroughly combined, making sure not to inhale the powder. Store in a mason jar. To use, simply apply your sunblock as you would your regular body butter half an hour before sun exposure. Makes one cup. Enjoy on a sunny day!
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