Thursday, August 2, 2012

Meadowfoam Sunscreen DIY

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This summer, I've been developing my own recipes for sunscreen. I'm here to share my favorite recipe.

I'm not about to go buy a $30 natural sunscreen (not that there is anything wrong with that - there are some awesome brands out there) or a $7 sunscreen with chemicals that I can't pronounce. I don't feel safe putting those on my little one and myself.

So what's an herbal lady to do?

Why, make her own! That's right, folks! You can do this in the comfort of your home (or my home if you want to come over for tea).

It looks lickable but don't tempt fate. This meadowfoam sunscreen is a wonderful buttery cream that goes on easy and smells divine! Yeah, that's me whipping it up.

Meadowfoam, coconut oil, and shea butter all have a natural UV protection but by adding zinc oxide, we're really in business. This is about SPF 20-30 approximately (it's not an exact science at my house).  Meadowfoam seed oil provides protection against ultra-violet rays. Coconut oil has a natural SPF 4 to 6. Shea butter has a natural SPF have about 5.

Zinc oxide is available from essential depot or Amazon. I buy my coconut oil from vitacost (You can get some for free if you sign up for this $10 gift certificate). My oils came from Mountain Rose Herbs. If you decide to use essential oils, do NOT use citrus oils. These can actually increase your risk of sunburn.

There is some controversy about using zinc oxide in sunscreens and whether or not it leads to cancer. Personally, I strive to be inside between 10 am to 5 pm. In the summer, those seven hours are the harshest for UV rays. Of course, one can't always avoid those times and I prepare myself and my little one with this sunscreen and protective hats. Skin Cancer is real, people. Now I suggest doing your own research and deciding whether or not you decide to use zinc oxide. Gorgeously Green 's Expert Sophia Uliano has some great information in her books Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life and Do It Gorgeously: How to Make Less Toxic, Less Expensive, and More Beautiful Products about what ingredients in skincare to avoid. She also has a lovely sunscreen recipe using sesame oil (which has also natural UV-blocking protection) and zinc oxide in the second book.

If you decide to opt out on zinc oxide, this cream can still help protect your skin since all the ingredients have a natural UV protection. Just remember to only go outdoors in the morning and evening and buy yourself a brimmed hat!

This all being said.... And last but not least, I'm not a doctor. I'm not licensed to diagnose or prescribe. This is for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Use information at your discretion, taking into account medical history.

I originally made a sunscreen lotion but all of my attempts seperated. This is a cream with no water added and is pretty much foolproof.

Meadowfoam Sunscreen DIY
4 T shea butter
2 T coconut oil
2 T meadowfoam seed oil
4 t zinc oxide powder
10-60 drops essential oil (I just used 10 drops chamomile for an even lovelier scent)*optional

4 oz sterilized dark glass jar
Plus tools to make water bath: thick glass bowl and boiling water

1. Heat several cups of water until boiling. Pour into glass or ceramic bowl.
2. Put dark glass jar upright in the water bath. Add shea butter and coconut oil. Mix with chopstick or knife.
3. Add meadowfoam seed oil. Continue to gently stir.
4. Teaspoon by teaspoon, add zinc oxide powder, stirring with chopstick.
5. Finally add essential oil, stir and pop immediately in fridge. Leave overnight.
6. Take out and apply 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun.

I don't suggest doubling this batch, only halving it (use 2 oz jar) or making as is. When I tried to double it, the batch didn't get cold fast enough and it seperated.

All these ingredients are available from Mountain Rose Herbs except for the zinc oxide. Zinc oxide and shea butter are available from Essential Depot. I buy my coconut oil from VitaCost (here's a $10 gift card on your first purchase - coupon emailed after info is entered).

I buy my herbs and oils from Mountain Rose Herbs. A herbs, health and harmony c


  1. Maybe I overlooked it, but what is the SPF of zinc? Thank you. I'm very excited to give this a try.

    1. Hi Heather,
      Because I'm not a scientist, I don't know the exact spf of zinc in this recipe. Altogether, it's probably around 20-30 SPF.
      Hope that helps!

  2. Oh I love this - you go girl whipping that awesome stuff up!
    You are super cute!!!! ;D
    Love this recipe!
    *hugs* Ella

  3. This sounds awesome! Since you're into Uliano's book you might be interested in

    I have liked a lot of her recipes plus she has a new book. I'm now following you on pinterest.

    1. Thank you for the recommendation. I will check it out!

  4. What fun! I'm absolutely fascinated.

    And I'd love to visit for tea, though I don't seem to have found a location for you...


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