It is always my goal to try to improve our bodies’ ability to do what they already do — or should do. I like to support natural functions much more than I like to interfere with them, even using natural medicines.
Now that spring is here and we’re having more sunny days, getting vitamin D into my kids naturally — via sun — is high on my priority list. We head outside for at least a short time every day, usually around 1 PM (“solar noon,” when the sun is highest in the sky and the most UVB rays, the ones that produce vitamin D, are present). That’s a good thing. Not bathing them with soap (which removes the skin’s natural oils, in which the vitamin D is produced and must be absorbed) is also good.
But, there’s more I can do. We need magnesium for optimal vitamin D production, absorption, and usage. Most of us are deficient in magnesium because our soils are depleted. Plus, many of us don’t eat a lot of foods that are rich in magnesium (beans, whole grains, nuts). Magnesium is also used up fairly quickly, especially in times of stress. If you’ve been tested for vitamin D deficiency, and are deficient even though you get a lot of sun and/or take supplements, magnesium may be a key issue.
My solution was to create a lotion that contains magnesium, but also contains specific skin-soothing, easily absorbed ingredients. It will keep skin soft, help prevent any skin damage (it’s the UVA rays that cause the long-term damage) and hopefully increase vitamin D absorption. I’ve only just started using it, so I don’t know yet — but I’m hoping to get the kids’ vitamin D levels tested before and after (or at least after — I’m sure they won’t like the needles) to see if this appears to help! At any rate, it’s a very nice, light lotion for summer and should soothe any sore or dry skin.
I plan to put it on before sun exposure, but after is also great.
Skin-Soothing Post-Sun Lotion
Makes 16 oz.
- 3/4 c. magnesium oil (3/4 c. water and 3/4 c. cup magnesium chloride flakes, approximately)
- 1/4 c. aloe vera gel
- 1 oz. evening primrose oil (1/8 c. or 2 tbsp.)
- 1 1/2 oz. avocado oil (3 tbsp.)
- 1 1/2 oz. sweet almond oil (3 tbsp.)
- 1/2 c. shea butter
- 3 tbsp. beeswax
- 15 – 20 drops essential oil, if desired
First, you need to make the magnesium oil. Pour the water into a small saucepan and heat until very warm — it does not need to boil.
Add the magnesium chloride flakes. I assume that you could use Epsom salts or another form of magnesium if you prefer, but it may not be as well absorbed and I have not tried it.
Stir this to combine, then add the amount you need to a blender. I’m making a double batch here, so I actually have 1 1/2 cups.
Then, measure out your other oils. I used one of the pint-sized glass mason jars (in which I put the finished lotion) to measure out my oils.
Add your aloe vera gel.
Melt your shea butter and beeswax together.
Pour everything into the blender and turn it on (add your essential oils now if you wish; I didn’t use any. Some essential oils can increase photosensitivity — or sensitivity to the sun — and since we were planning to use it in the sun I didn’t want to risk it). It will start out being rather yellow in color — this means it is still lightly blended oils and water.
Turn the blender higher. Watch the mixture turn whiter, and thicker. This means an emulsion has formed and your lotion is done. Pour into prepared jars (I used pint-sized mason jars)
Now, I have to warn you. I tried to blend mine at first when the melted oils were very hot and everything else was more like room temperature. It turned white, I poured it into jars, and it immediately separated. I poured it back into the blender, allowed it to cool slightly, then whipped it at a higher speed. That time it worked beautifully, and after several days hasn’t separated at all. If it separates at first, turn the blender back on higher. This will cool it and also create the right emulsion. It will work…have patience.
What do you use for lotion in the sun?