Homemade Herbal Sunscreen

 It has been so hot and sunny here in Co. Clare the last few weeks that we’ve needed sunscreen! I usually make a new batch of sunscreen every year but realised I hadn’t made any last year. So time to whip some up. Every year my ingredients change slightly depending on what oils I have to hand. You can also alter ingredients depending on your skin type and

sun sensitivity. We’ve been making and using our own sunscreen for the last 8 years. With our outdoor lifestyle, it became especially important to us to make our own sunscreen when we had children – only wishing to use natural ingredients on their delicate young skin while still allowing them a healthy amount of sun exposure. Over the last few years, I’ve also become more vigilant putting sunscreen on the tops of my hands…

noticing my herbalist hands aging as I work outside all year round!!!  How to be sun safe using herbal and natural oils is a topic we are passionate about teaching on our practical skincare courses. There are numerous herbal oils you can make from everyday plants to protect your skin from sun on a daily basis by adding to your homemade herbal creams or by using daily each evening to replenish the skin after a day of exposure and of course in your homemade sunscreen itself.  It’s always lovely to hear the feedback from people who have made their own sunscreen and herbal oils with us. There are plenty of basic natural sunscreen recipes out there online for you to try. As you get more interested in herbs and oils that suit your skin your homemade creams and sunscreen recipes will evolve. We make separate sunscreens for our face and for the rest of the body, using various homemade herbal oils to produce different textures. Safe sunning yourself in this beautiful Spring sunshine

 As requested here is a basic sunscreen recipe that you could use as a guide. When we teach this we go through all the properties of the oils, herbs you can use, essential oils and how to make infused herbal oils for sunscreens and other cream. There are many herbs/ herbal oils that will lighten skin OR will darken skin. It would be too much information to be able to put in a post as we find it’s best to make sunscreens that work best for your individual skin etc but this recipe can be a guide for you.

 

Basic Recipe (with options)

100mls  Calendula infused in Grapeseed oil OR  Turmeric infused in Sesame oil

50mls   Wheatgerm oil/ Avocado oil/ Almond oil/ Hazelnut oil/ Carrotseed oil

10g Beeswax

150mls Green tea/ Chamomile tea/ Calendula tea/ Water

1-3tbsp Zinc oxide powder (depending on desired sun coverage/ skin sensitivity)

Essential oils: optional. Drop amount depends on the essential oil used. Please be careful using essential oils – know which ones suit your skin/ what amounts to use.

Heat up oils and melt in beeswax. Heat up tea/ water – do not boil. Add heated water slowly to oils. Use hand blender to blend (best to have a hand blender kept only for use in cream making/ soap making and not cooking). Allow mixture to cool slightly.  Add in zinc oxide slowly while blending. Wear a mask for adding zinc oxide as fumes can be given off if the mixture is too hot. Best to do this step outside/ in a well ventilated space. Add essential oils.

Note: All the oil amounts and beeswax amounts can be varied depending on your skin type and the desired consistency. Oils suggested are ‘lighter’ and ‘heavier’ than others  and they also vary in sun protection levels. You can experiment with what you have and what affects you want.

 

About Ivywood

Herbalists Ross Hennessy and Marina Kesso have moved their businesses and family to a new piece of land in Co Clare. They are busy creating new spaces on the land to reestablish their clinical practice and medicinal herb nursery. Formerly Bareroot Botanicals and Iona Herbal they have now renamed the woodland and business Ivywood.

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