It’s the season of sunshine, though London sure has an odd way of reminding us what time of year it is! Blissful blue skies followed by days of clouds so grim you might as well stay in bed with a warm drink and an extra thick duvet.
But I’m hopeful that summer will eventually arrive and what better way to prepare than with some DIY sun essentials.
The Not So Sunny Side
Since the release of their first guide back in 2007, the sunscreen industry has made some major strides toward cleaning up its products. In fact, there’s been a 34 percent rise in mineral-only sunscreens plus the amount of sunscreens that filter out harmful UV rays has increased 18 percent. With cosmetic regulations and testing standards getting stricter and stricter, this progress is likely to continue.
But after researching more than 1,000 sunscreens, SPF moisturizers, and lip products this year, the EWG has determined that there’s still a lot more work to be done.
Here’s what to look out for when shopping for sun protection:
1. SPFs above 50
Approximately 10% of the sunscreens the EWG analyzed this year tout SPF values above 50, even though the FDA has long called these numbers “highly misleading.” A product’s SPF value describes how well it blocks out UVB rays that burn the skin on contact, but it doesn’t say anything about how well it keeps UVA rays—those that infiltrate the body and contribute to premature skin aging and cancer—at bay.
Instead of equating a high SPF with a high level of sun protection, the EWG recommends that people choose sunscreen that falls below the 50 mark and reapply more often if they’re prone to burns.
2. Spray Sunscreens
Sprays being easy to apply, these sunscreens make it too easy to miss a spot or inhale noxious fumes.
Oxybenzone is an active ingredient in about half of the sunscreens on the market these days. Quick to penetrate the skin, the chemical compound has been detected in the bloodstream of nearly every American. It’s a known hormone disrupter that acts like estrogen in the body and has been linked to endometriosis and low birth weight in newborns.
4. Retinyl palmitate
A form of vitamin A, retinyl palmitate is an inactive ingredient in sunscreen that could expedite the growth of skin tumors and lesions.
I truly believe there’s no reason to buy sunscreen (or anything else) when you can make your own so easily!
MEADOWFOAM SUN LOTION
4 TBS Shea butter
2 TBS coconut oil
2 TBS meadowfoam seed oil
4 tsp zinc oxide powder
10 drops essential oil of choice
*you can add 5 drops of carrot seed oil to increase the SPF
Heat several cups of water until boiling. Pour into glass or ceramic bowl.
Put a dark 4oz glass jar upright in the water bath. Add shea butter and coconut oil. Mix with chopstick or knife.
Add meadowfoam seed oil. Continue to gently stir.
Teaspoon by teaspoon, add zinc oxide powder, stirring with chopstick.
Finally add essential oil, stir and pop immediately in fridge. Leave overnight.
To Use: Take out and apply 20-30 minutes before going out in the sun.
1/4 cup Shea Butter (SPF 6)
1/4 cup Coconut Oil (SPF 10)
1 TBS Avocado Oil
1 TBS Almond Oil
1 TBS Jojoba oil
30 drops Carrot Seed Oil
5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (this is to add in an aromatic scent – coconut, vanilla, or lavender essential oil would also work nicely!)
2 TBS Zinc Oxide Powder
(Adding in the Zinc Oxide Powder will automatically make this recipe contain an SPF of 30)
*Be sure to wear gloves when you are handling Zinc Oxide Powder!
Add all of the ingredients into a glass bowl. Leave the zinc oxide powder out until the end.
Boil some water in a pot, and place the glass bowl over it, creating a double broiler. Bring the water down to a simmer, and stir the ingredients until everything has melted together.
Remove from the heat, and now add in the zinc oxide powder. Mix up your ingredients until everything has blended together.
Pour the mixture into a glass jar or other container. I’d stay away from trying to use a pump bottle as the mixture is thick and may not pump out very easily.
Place in the fridge to cool and set.
SUNNY DAY LIP BALM
2 TBS calendula oil
1 TBS jojoba oil
1 TBS wheat germ oil
1/2 tsp raspberry seed oil
2 TBS grated beeswax
1&1/2 tspcarnauba wax
1 tsp shea butter
10 drops vanilla essential oil
8 drops sweet orange essential oil
5 drops carrot seed essential oil
Measure all the ingredients into a small double boiler or a Turkish coffee pot. I like to use the Turkish coffee pot because it has a pour spout. I can heat the oils up quickly and then pour them easily into the tubes.
Once the oils, waxes, and butter have all melted together turn off the heat and add in the essential oils. Stir well with a small spatula.
When everything is thoroughly mixed use the spout on the Turkish coffee pot to pour the lip balm into the tubes (makes 6). Fill each tube to the top and leave the lid off while it sets (approx 1 hour depending on the weather or you can refrigerate). Then you’re ready to use!
Summers looking exciting, we’d love to see you’re versions of our recipes so don’t forget to hashtag #TMHhacks or #themodelhandmade and show us your DIY masterpieces X
Lots of Love
Alex Brennan & The Model Handmade