Natural Sunscreen for Frugal Moms

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Most frugal moms will admit the necessity for sunscreen for themselves and their children. Not only does sunscreen protect the skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, it also hydrates the skin which is extremely important in maintaining healthy skin. Sun exposure not only causes premature aging, but skin cancer as well so sunscreen is critical.

But when commercial sunscreen contains chemical ingredients that we can’t even pronounce, it makes us cautious of using them! There is a solution, though… and that’s to make your own sunscreen. That way you know exactly what it contains and you can feel safe using it on yourself and your family.

While homemade sunscreen contains several ingredients, most of them are easily purchased from a drugstore or health food store.

Natural Homemade Sunscreen

1 T. almond oil
1 T. avocado oil
1 T. jojoba oil
3 T. sesame oil
1 T. shea butter
2 T. cocoa butter
1 t. beeswax
1 t. soy-lecithin liquid
2 T. aloe vera gel
2 T. rose water
½ t. borax powder
20 drops carrot seed essential oil
3-5 drops coconut essential oil

Combine the oils, butters and beeswax in a small pan. Stir over medium heat until melted and soft. Add the soy-lecithin liquid. Mix together well and remove from heat. Combine aloe vera gel with rose water in another small pan and stir over medium heat until warm. Add borax powder and stir until well blended and powder is dissolved. Remove from heat and place in a bowl filled with ice. Combine the oil mixture and the rose water mixture until well blended and creamy. Add essentials and mix well. Store in a tightly sealed container.

Homemade sunscreen can also be made with zinc oxide, but to do so you must set aside pans used to heat the ingredients for use only in preparation of the sunscreen. Zinc oxide can be found in the diaper rash aisle in the grocery store. It’s advisable to wear gloves when handling zinc oxide. Here’s a recipe using that method:

Simple Sunscreen

1 c. olive oil
1 oz. crumbled beeswax
2 T. zinc oxide

In small pan that will not be use for food preparation after making sunscreen, heat olive oil on low heat. Add beeswax and stir until wax is completely melted. Remove from heat and immediately add zinc oxide. Mix well. Store in a tightly sealed container. If separation occurs, shake before using.

There are also foods that are said to boost your body’s natural sunscreen capabilities. These include dark chocolate, green or black tea, cold water fish, tomatoes, peppers. carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, goji berries, watermelon, apricots, strawberries and blueberries. Any food that is said to provide antioxidant properties is also considered a natural sunscreen.

Don’t forget that clothing will protect your skin, too. Hats, caps and visors, shoes with socks, long or three-quarter sleeve shirts (even those made from gauze) and any other clothing that covers the skin is good.

While summers are always too short, and it’s easy to overdo our sun exposure after being trapped in the house all winter, it’s still a good idea to protect ourselves from the harmful aspects of the sun. Healthier, more youthful skin is one reward that makes it worth the effort.


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