Want to smell like a can of Betty Crocker frosting after a break-up, or Dobrilo Nenadić on a sunny day in Arilje? For Bali and the Anadaman Islands, I brought a TSA-approved bottle of my own raspberry seed oil sunscreen. Highly water-resistant and spectrophotometrically calculated to have a high SPF, herbal oils protected me from tropic sun while my husband slathered himself in Banana Boat and burnt to a crisp. If you prefer traditional non-comedogenic sun creme, scroll down for a buttery, all-natural recipe. It's cheap, quick, and makes the whole apartment smell amazing. A word of caution: Homemade sunscreens may not be effective for everybody. However, according to this EWG study, commercial sunscreens aren't always effective either! In vitro studies show comparable efficacy with titanium dioxide, but results do not necessarily translate to human skin (as is the case with raspberry oil). I can only speak from personal experiences in tropical and desert climates, but I stay out of the sun, and cover up with clothing and a hat. To protect against the sun's rays, wear tightly woven fabrics, denim, and dark colors- not gauzy cover-ups or basket-weave hats- and keep clothes dry, since wet garments transmit more UV radiation. Since posting this, I've read as many scientific studies touting the sun protection potency of natural products as not. Never risk your health for the sake of zero waste. Proceed with care!
Water-Resistant Red Raspberry Seed Oil Sunscreen
Protects from UVB and UVC rays only. All ingredients purchased in bulk, Buly 1803
50 mL raspberry seed oil
100 mL carrier oil (I used coconut)
Optional: 5 mL carrot seed oil
Combine in a dark amber bottle. Seal tightly. Reapply every two hours.
Homemade Broad Spectrum Sunscreen
30 grams non-nano, uncoated zinc oxide (available at Aroma Zone)
60 grams beeswax (available at Famille Mary)
60 grams shea butter (Aroma Zone) or mango butter (instructions below)
60 grams coconut oil (Buly 1803)
Combine melted beeswax and zinc oxide powder with shea or mango butter and coconut oil. Store in a tightly sealed glass jar. Use within six months. Add more beeswax for enhanced water resistance.
DIY Mango Butter
Scrub mango pits under running water and dry in the sun, approximately one week. Using a butter knife, carefully cut pits open lengthwise- find the little groove at the top, insert knife, and slowly work around the exterior so as not to break the seed. The seed is very slippery and looks like a peanut. Grind seeds into fine white powder using mortar and pestle, blender, or food processor. Add a little water for natural mango butter, or a few drops raspberry seed oil for toothpaste. Used alone, it's an effective tooth powder.
Where to Buy Plastic-Free Natural Sunscreen
Balm! Baby In glass and metal
Surf Yogis In recycled metal and compostable cardboard
Avasol In biodegradable cardboard