Click here and scroll down a bit for more information on photo-aging.) So how can we turn our lovely products into sunscreens?
Yes, I've written about this before here and here, but I feel the need to write a little more.
Sunscreens aren't cosmetics, they are drugs. And the one thing we don't make around here are drugs. We don't make anything with claims, and we don't make anything that could lead to future harm. I know people will say, "I'm only using it for myself," but I don't want to encourage others to make products that could lead to harm. We have no way of knowing what SPF we've made (and yes, I know there are charts out there that claim to give you information on how much of this leads to an SPF of that but they aren't accurate) and no way to know if we are safe. We have a way of knowing if the product doesn't work - we get horribly sun burned or end up with skin cancer - but no way of knowing if the product worked as you could have stayed in the shade, the sun might have been lower that day, or you just got lucky. Considering the short term impact of using a poor sunscreen - sunburn - and the long term impact - skin cancer - is it worth making your own? No.
I have a very good reason to make sunscreen. I've mentioned it before, but my lovely husband has vitiligo, so sunscreen is our constant companion all year 'round. A long weekend camping trip can cost us an extra $30 in sunscreen alone...but I won't consider making my own.
This is one of the reasons I rarely talk about the possible SPF offered by this or that oil. It's an illusion that we can use an oil with a very low SPF rating - 4 to 8 or so - as a sunscreen. Think about how little you're adding to a lotion, which works out to maybe 20% of your entire product, then think about how much you're putting on your body (about 10 ml or 2 teaspoons). It's simply not possible for 2 ml of oil to give you any realistic sun protection. Even in an anhydrous product made of 100% of that SPF containing oil, you're lucky if you put 20 ml on your body. You aren't going to get any significant level of protection.
If you are still gung ho about making your own, please read the comments in the two posts to which I linked because there is so much more that goes into figuring out how to make a sunscreen than adding a bit of titanium dioxide. I'll say it again - don't make your own sunscreen.
The goal of this blog is to share information that will help you make wonderful, luxurious, handmade products that make can your life, your skin, and your hair moister, more fragrance, and shiny. I don't want to help you make products that can harm you, which is why I encourage good manufacturing practices, the use of broad spectrum preservatives, and not to make your own sunscreen. Please!