Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Ultimate Sunscreen

Sunscreen with Insect Repellent

Over the years, ever since I read a National Geographic article about scientists who study nanoparticles, I have been pursuing the perfect natural sunscreen recipe. One of the scientists in the article related how commercial sunscreens containing titanium dioxide are believed to actually cause skin cancer because of the way it affects cells at the nano level. As I have a family history, and thus a high risk of skin cancer, I wanted to avoid anything that might make it worse.

I've made zinc oxide barrier sunscreens that work but leave a white film over the skin, which is not desirable. These also tend to stain clothing, I found. I tried adding cocoa powder to darken the mix, which helped some, but still stained my swim suit. Besides that, the cocoa sunscreen smelled like brownies and kept making me crave chocolate cake! But this year I think I've finally done it: I've developed a recipe for clear, waterproof, insect- repelling, all-natural sunscreen in a roll-on!

All Natural Sun and Bug Screen

1 cup unrefined coconut oil
1/4 to 1 cup cup beeswax pellets
80 drops Young Living carrot seed essential oil
40 drops Young Living Purification essential oil
20 drops Young Living lavender essential oil

In a saucepan melt the coconut oil and beeswax pellets together. For a roll-on use equal amounts, in this case 1 cup each, wax and oil. For a lotion use 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup beeswax until the mixture is the thickness you desire.

Melt the oil and wax together.

When the wax and oil are completely  melted and combined remove the mixture from the heat and cool about 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat when the mix looks like this.
When the oil mixture is just starting to cool enough to solidify place the pan back on the warm burner or a burner on low and add the essential oils and whisk together.

Add the essential oils at this point.

Carefully pour the hot mixture into a cleaned out or new roll-on container if you're making a roll-on. Don't get it on your hands, as the wax will make it stick. I learned this the hard way (lavender oil is good for soothing minor burns, FYI). Allow the roll-on to cool completely and then it's ready to use!

The finished roll-on.

If you want sun lotion you can pour the hot mixture into a jar and let it cool like the roll-on or you can whisk the mixture as it cools so it has a consistency like frosting (or a thinner texture if you prefer; use less beeswax for thinner lotion). When you have the texture you want place the mix into a jar, but remember to use a plastic container if you plan to use this at a pool. Most public pools do not allow glass near the pool.

Sun lotion

This recipe has been extensively tested over the past week. My sister had my nephew's birthday party at the Triangle Volksmarch, where we walked around various state parks in the sun and woods completing activities. Nine people, adults down to babies, wore the sunscreen. No one got burned. The tops of my feet, where I applied less sunscreen and didn't reapply it, got tanned but that was all. My son got one mosquito bite toward the end of the day, several hours after the application. I should have re-applied it but forgot. One adult got three bites on his legs where he did not apply the roll-on. The Purification oil is the bug repellent, so you might want to use more of that if you're really susceptible. Since the Volksmarch I've used the roll-on at a swim meet and two practices and haven't gotten any sun or bites, even when working in my yard in the evening.

I would have tested less and posted sooner, except that over the past two days we have hardly been home, with all the end of school and swim team activities. I have orders to complete for my eBay store as well. I woke up around 4 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep. I should have just gotten up and finished some things but instead I tossed and turned. I suppose extra product testing never hurt anyone, though! I get sick of making blog recipes that don't turn out. The original recipe was not supposed to be a roll-on, but as I made it the result was so thick I realized it would never go through a squeeze bottle. I remembered I had a cleaned out deodorant roll on jar for just such an occasion, so I cleaned it out and filled it. I filled two other jars of lotion besides that with the recipe. So, rest assured, this recipe has proven itself to us! I really like the texture of this too; it's not greasy or sticky, at least to me. My teen said he found it greasy but he was the only one who thought so and is inclined toward contrariness at this point in his life.

The coconut oil and carrot seed oil are the sun blocking ingredients in this recipe. The more unrefined coconut oil is, the higher its natural SPF, so you will want to try to find an organic one that still really smells like coconut. I heard about this years ago from residents of the Dominican Republic. Whenever I travel I try to find some local people off the tourist track and see what they can teach me about their world. I wasn't too sure about trying oil for sunscreen but it turns out it does work! This particular ratio is supposed to provide an SPF of around 30. The beeswax does make it waterproof, but I always still re-apply after swimming or sweating to make sure I'm covered. The lavender oil is in there to soothe the skin, just in case you forget to re-apply and get too much sun or bug bites. Lavender is very good to soothe everyday skin irritations. You can purchase the ingredients for this recipe, sign up for a Young Living wholesale membership, and learn about Young Living here. Make sure to like my Naturally Amanda Facebook page as well for all kinds of recipes and information about natural products. I hope this improves your summer as it has ours!

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