Homemade sunscreen easy to make with zinc oxide
Why I tried to make my own sunscreen with zinc oxide?
I already wrote about that conventional sunscreen is dangerous for our ocean and coral reefs and ocean wild life. (Click here to get to the article)
But conventional sunscreen is also in the critics of being unhealthy for us. I am not working in a laboratory, I am not a chemist and I read a lot of different articles about sunscreens. Like with everything else some people say we should avoid them some other say they are not harmful at all.....
For what I know by now, my intention tells me we should be careful with every synthetic, inorganic product.
Our skin is our biggest organ, and since I know that our skin absorbs nano particles of whatever we put on it in a very short time, and then these ingredients get into our blood and spread out in our body, I got really careful with what I put on my skin.
I even don´t wear flip flops anymore since I know we have big pores on our feet that could absorb chemicals from cheap colors on plastic flip flops. Have you realized how quick some color prints on flip flops disappear? I found that a little scary and didn't buy any plastic flip flops anymore. I actually read/hear about this issue of flip flops every summer: made out of cheap plastic (BPA), latex, allergies, toxins like metal in the materials, etc....
But back to sunscreens.
The ingredients harming our ocean could be harmful for our bodies too. The most common ingredients in conventional sunscreens are hormone disrupter ( Oxybenzone, Octinoxate) like BPA. They interrupt your bodily functions. They are known to cause fertility problems, blood pressure problems, insomnia, low sex drive, etc. and they even say they even could cause a higher chance of getting cancer.
I also hear more and more about that people are suffering from skin cancer. And that more and more are affected. Even though more and more people are using (conventional) sunscreen on a regular basis.... but aren't we actually exposing our skin way too long to the sun because of sunscreen? Because we feel safe? Or safer? I know this has been the reason for me to stay for hours in the sun when I was a twen. I wanted to get a nice summer tanned skin. And sunscreen helped me to lay around in the sun for hours....
Now not so much anymore. I recently turned 38 and I see a few sunspots on my skin. They look like freckles but are none... Apparently they are coming from these sunbathing beach days....
I like to catch a little bit of sun every day in the morning or evening (Vitamin D is very important for us humans and a lack of Vitamin D can cause diseases) but the rest of the day I sit in the shade, I wear a scarf around my shoulders, I wear a hat and a UV sun protection shirt when I am kayaking or beach cleaning....
Like with everything else (food, alcohol, etc.), sometimes less is more ;)
Since I am not a doctor or scientist myself (and even those who are have different opinions), I don't really know what I can trust, but I trust natural/organic products more than inorganic/synthetics. You can check your sunscreen for good or bad ingredients here: https://www.ewg.org/
So I bought/used different natural sunscreen in the last months after I found out how dangerous sunscreens are for our oceans and when I finally found some non nano zinc oxide in bulk in Montreal, I thought I really wanted to try to make my own sunscreen. So I did......
And I tested it last week when I was camping for a few days. There was shade but only from trees and I normally even get burned when I sit in the shade of trees in summer. So I was very curious how my home made sunscreen will protect and I am happy to tell you: I had no red skin, no sunburn, no nothing :) I went swimming, I sat in the shade of trees for the whole day and I went for a walk in the direct sun for about 20 minutes. No problems at all.
But no, I didn't lay in the direct sun for hours, thats just something I don't do anymore.
I also went swimming in the baltic sea and stayed for an hour at the beach with no shade but a few clouds. We drove there by bike, so another hour on the bike and I refreshed the sun screen after I went swimming and no red skin either!
The sunscreen just made me a tiny little bit of a whitening teint, maybe because I made a SPF30 one. I know other people that only uses SPF20 said there is no whitening at all. When I sweat I can see a few white stripes in my arm bend, thats all.
If you put the sunscreen on your skin at first it looks all white, but then if you rub it on your skin properly there is no real white left.
Why non nano Zinc Oxyde?
DIY recipe for mineral sunscreen
What you need:
(For a quicker and easier version: just mix your normal body lotion/body oil with non nano zinc oxide. Stir in thoroughly.)
(This sunscreen has roughly an SPF of 30)
***Note: the SPF for this lotion has not been tested in a lab or something, so it is not exact***
**Note: This sunscreen is not waterproof so you need to refresh it after your swim.**
**Note: Make sure to use non nano zinc oxide only!!**
(When you use self made cosmetics it is always on your own risk.)
Don't want to make it yourself?
No problems, there are great products to buy in stores or online. If you like to refuse plastic like I do, take the ones in a glass or tin and reuse or recycle the empty ones when finished. Be careful though, some sunscreens claim to be reef friendly but are actually not. Make sure to check the ingredients always and avoid Oxybenzone, octinoxate, etc...
As always: if you buy online from a "normal" shop (or amazon) there might always be some sort of plastic packaging involved. Try to contact the shop beforehand and ask what kind of packing they use and if it would be possible to get no plastic involved.
If you order from shops like lifewithoutplastic (from Canada) or Avocadostore (from Germany) or other eco minded stores, there will be a plastic free delivery and no unnecessary packaging involved.
Special discount for "Happy Choices" reader:
A great natural sunscreen from the US. For really sweaty stuff like running and hiking I find it a little too thick, it feels like my skin can't breathe. But perfect for not too hot spring days and water sports because of it's thickness/water resistantness.
With the code HAPPY10 you can get 10% off your purchase from Rawelements.**
They have a plastic free shop section with a few plastic free products (only one whity non recyclable plastic thing inside the lid because of FDA laws they told me).
Here's how to claim your 10% discount:
Step 1: Go to www.rawelementsusa.com and chose your favorite product.
Step 2: When checking out enter the discount code HAPPY10
Step 3: That's it!
Do you have a favorite reef safe sunscreen already?
Or have you tried a different DIY recipe you like to share?
Please tell us all about this in the comments :)
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Hi my name is Jule
I am a nature and ocean lover. A passionate runner and minimalistic traveller. On this blog I share my experiences, thoughts and ideas about the "sustainable lifestyle" and how you can stick to this while traveling.
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