Summer is coming, and it’s time to start thinking about protecting your skin from the sun. If you’re wondering what’s the best zinc oxide sunscreen to buy, a better question is: what’s the best zinc oxide sunscreen to make?

There are a few reasons to make instead of buy. Many commercial sunscreens contain unnecessary ingredients, such as preservatives, artificial ingredients, or other potentially harmful chemicals. Whether you have sensitive skin or just want to control what you put on your skin, it’s making your own is a great alternative. After all, your skin is your largest organ, and why put ingredients on your body that you wouldn’t put in it? You also control the fragrance or lack thereof. Maybe you want to smell like lavender instead of the usual coconut. Maybe you want to be fragrance-free. That’s completely up to you.

Quality Ingredients

* Zinc Oxide Powder: First, you need a high-quality zinc oxide powder. Zinc oxide protects your skin from both UVB rays (the ones that cause sunburns) and UVA rays (the ones that cause wrinkles). Our zinc oxide is pharmaceutical grade, which means it’s safe to use in skincare applications.

Shea ButterShea Butter is moisturizing, nutrient-rich, and melts on skin contact, making it ideal for sunscreen and other lotions.

* Carrier Oil: This is where your personalization comes in. Typical carrier oils for lotions include jojoba oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. This helps dilute the shea butter a bit, making it more liquid.

* Optional Fragrance: If you want to include a fragrance, make sure to choose natural, 100% pure oils. Synthetic fragrances are full of chemicals that can irritate your skin. Also, be cautious with citrus oils, because some are photo-reactive and make you burn more easily. Skin-friendly choices include lavender, cedarwood, peppermint, or lemongrass.

Sunscreen Recipe

Once you’ve gathered your ingredients, the basic recipe for zinc oxide sunscreen is very simple.

  • 3 ounces unrefined shea butter
  • 1-ounce jojoba (or other carrier oil)
  • 1-ounce zinc oxide powder
  • 20 drops essential oil (optional)

Simply whip the shea butter in the mixer, slowly adding the other ingredients until fully mixed. Rub into skin until absorbed, and repeat as necessary. The oils all have a long shelf life naturally, so you can store in a cool place all summer long.