Homemade Sun Screen

The other day I bought a package of sunscreen for our son to take to camp.


Coppertone by Laura Gilmore used under a Creative Commons Attribution license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

It was a 2 bottle set with a small spray bottle of sunscreen and another small bottle (4oz.) of sunscreen lotion. It cost $10.99, which was supposed to be a great “promo-price.” I’m either very behind the times, which is entirely possible, or that’s an awful lot of money for 2 little bottles of sunscreen.

Most commercial sunscreens have several chemical compounds, some of which are of health concerns, see the Wikipedia article entitled: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potential_health_risks_of_sunscreen

One of the main, and most effective, inorganic compounds in sunscreen is zinc oxide. So, I thought, what the heck, maybe I should try making my own sunscreen.

As it happens, both our children have very sensitive skin and to date have only been able to use Coppertone’s Water Babies (even though at 13 and 16, they are hardly babies). This was another reason to try a homemade version.

As with most things, I found alot of articles online about making your own sunscreen. See references. However, I found this little gem on Wellness Mama:

An Even Faster Way To Make Sunscreen :

  • Get a bottle of your favorite lotion (that doesn’t contain citrus oils!)
  • Add a couple Tablespoons of Zinc Oxide
  • Mix well
  • Use as Sunscreen

Well, Hooray! Couldn’t be easier, right? And as long as we are not allergic to Zinc Oxide (which you can get very inexpensively at Bulk Apothecary), I can just mix some in with lotion that we know won’t give anyone a rash and we’re in business.

Once the zinc oxide arrives, I’ll mix up a batch and put up a quick tutorial on Hubpages. If you have recipes for homemade sunscreen that works, please comment. Thanks.

UPDATE: I made a batch this week and I have spent some time in some of our hottest days this week out in the sun. Anecdotal Conclusion: Homemade Sunscreen works just as well as the commercial brand I’ve been using! Find the full “How to” at: http://askjoanne.hubpages.com/hub/Easy-Homemade-Sunscreen

Update, 3 hours later.

The only place I did NOT reapply sunscreen was on my back. The homemade Sunscreen side of my back definitely got redder than the Water Babies side.

Other parts: arm, chest, leg where I used (and reapplied) the homemade sunscreen were great even after 3 hours on a scorcher of a day.

Conclusion: Homemade Sunscreen needs to be reapplied more frequently than commercial Sunscreen.


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