DIY: Sunscreen Salve {No Zinc} |
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DIY: Sunscreen Salve {No Zinc}

admin May 11, 2015

Written by Kate Tietje and updated by Sarena-Rae Santos in February of 2024. 

This sunscreen is kind of unbelievable.  Almost.

See, I’ve never used any sunscreen on my kids.  They don’t need it — we don’t stay outside too long most of the time, and they don’t really burn.  One or two of them have gotten a little pink once or twice, but no one’s ever had a “real” sunburn.

Still, it’s nice to know there are options for days when we’re at the beach (there’s a lake beach near us) or outside for several hours.  We wouldn’t use it immediately but after an hour or so of soaking up the sun (and the resulting vitamin D).

I’m not really comfortable with physical blockers like titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.  I know they are common in “natural” sunscreens and probably fine, but I just do not want to rub that on my children’s skin.  I don’t know, I worry.  Maybe that’s crazy.

But!  There is another solution.  I finally found a way I am comfortable with that will protect their skin, which is totally natural.  You could literally eat this sunscreen (although I wouldn’t recommend it).  It’s also crazy simple to make.  A bunch of my friends and I got together and made it one night in April, so now we each have a small supply to use in the summer.

Don’t want to make it yourself?  Check out a similar, premade sun protectant, Earthley’s Sun Shield.

About the Ingredients

So, what makes this sunscreen so awesome and so safe?

There are no physical or harsh chemical barriers used in this sunscreen.  In fact, it’s really a salve — a combination of natural, plant-based oils and beeswax.  These oils are known for having a natural SPF.  That’s why I chose them.

Olive and coconut oil both have an SPF of about 8.  They form the base of the salve.  Then, there is raspberry seed oil as a special ingredient.  Raspberry seed oil is estimated to have an SPF of 25 – 50.  That gives the finished salve an SPF of about 10 – 15.  (Most higher SPFs aren’t that helpful anyway.)  You could reduce the olive oil by 1 tablespoon and use extra raspberry seed oil.  In that case, the finished salve would be 12 – 19 SPF.  Raspberry seed oil is crazy expensive, though.  (You can buy a 4-ounce bottle for about $20 right here. That’s $2.25 – $5.50 just for this ingredient in the recipe below.)

The skin will absorb these oils- much like commercial sunscreens- but are fully safe.  As I mentioned, you could eat it without worry (although it wouldn’t taste good!).

Sunscreen Salve {No Zinc}

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. raspberry seed oil
  • 1 tbsp. beeswax

Directions:

Step 1: Combine all the oils in a small saucepan over very low heat.  Let them melt completely (only the coconut oil isn’t liquid at temperatures below 76).

Step 2: Add the beeswax and allow this to melt completely.

Step 3: Remove from heat and pour into a jar or tin.  It makes 4 ounces.  You may choose a 4-ounce jar or two 2-ounce tins.  I made mine in two 2-ounce tins because it’s easier to get out and use.  Plus, I can keep one with me and one at home.

Completely natural sunscreen!

Usage: Rub on a little when you will be in the sun for extended periods of time, concentrating on the face, neck, and other likely-to-burn areas.  For safety, reapply every few hours or after going in the water.  Since it’s not chemical, it’s not waterproof.  It may keep working since it’s not a physical block; it is fully absorbed, but it is better to be safe, especially if you or your child burns easily.

How do you keep your little one safe in the sun?

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6 Comments

  1. Hi! Just wondering where you buy your beeswax and rasberry oil. Is it more expensive to make your own homemade products? I am on a very tight budget and cannot afford to buy a lot of expensive ingredients. Thanks, and this sounds great!

    Reply

  2. Hi,
    I just wanted to let you know (in case you weren’t already aware) raspberry seed oil has an SPF of 8 against UVA. It is 28-50 SPF only against UVB. Just something to keep in mind. 🙂

    Reply

  3. My son has a food sensitivity to raspberries. Would the raspberry seed oil be ok for someone with that food sensitivity?

    Reply

  4. […] of time outdoors, and she came back with a slight sunburn — I’d forgotten to send my all-natural gentle sunscreen salve with her, […]

    Reply

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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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