Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Homemade Organic Sunscreen


Fulton, as you are well aware, has special needs when it comes to his skin.  His skin grafts require vigilant care when it comes to cold weather, but even more so when it comes to the sun.

Most agree these days that your skin needs a certain amount of sunshine to help boost your vitamin D levels, and I have never been one to slather too much sunscreen on my children.  It seems to me that there are more benefits to moderate sun exposure than benefits to exposing your skin to toxic chemicals found in most sunscreens, just to prevent a little sunburn.

Being of Irish descent, I understand the hazards of too much sun, but I have always longed for a happy medium.  Sunshine for its benefits vs harmful chemicals to prevent a burn.  What to do.  What to do.

Since Fulton's burn, I have learned far more about the skin than any non-medical person should need to know.  And one of the most concerning things that I learned has to do with the sun and Fulton's scars.  He is completely missing the dermis - the thicker under-layer of skin.  And because of this, he has lost all natural protection from the sun's rays.  So sun exposure on those scars is an absolute no-no.  However, because the dermis is missing, anything I put onto his skin is also quickly absorbed into his bloodstream and at higher levels than normal skin.  The last thing I wanted to do was put those chemicals on the skin we worked so hard to harvest and nurture.

My solution?  Fulton's Super Special Sunscreen! (as he likes to call it!)

I modified the recipe found HERE to address Fulton's needs, plus I added some tamanu oil and sea buckthorn oil for some extra scar nourishment and therapy.  According to the original recipe, the spf should be about 20.

Interested in the recipe?  Here it is!

Please note:  All ingredients are assumed to be organic - I am just too lazy to type out the word over and over again

1/2 cup almond oil  (use olive oil instead if you are allergic or sensitive to nuts)
1/4 cup beeswax pastilles  (I subtracted about a tablespoon plus a teaspoon less to make sure it will be a soft cream for his scars)
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
1 T shea butter
5 drops tamanu oil
5 drops sea buckthorn oil  (do not use if you are allergic or sensitive to nuts)
3 drops lavender essential oil
2T zinc oxide

Combine all ingredients except the zinc oxide in a canning jar, and slowly melt the shea butter, coconut oil and wax using the double boiler method.

When everything is melted and combined, add the zinc oxide (wear a mask - do not inhale the powder!) and mix thoroughly as it cools.  Fulton only got to mix this when the powder was already well incorporated - much to his disappointment!

Pour into whatever containers you want to store it in, and continue to stir until it is pasty and the zinc oxide no longer tries to settle to the bottom.  I divided this into 2 containers - the large one for home use and a smaller purse sized one for outings.  

BTW:  Remember to reapply every 2 hours as needed, just like any other sunscreen!

Wow!  I love this stuff!  Soft and creamy, so I don't have to rub too hard on his face, easy to see where I missed a spot, and smells pleasant and mild.  I am completely comfortable putting this on his scars, and I am also able to leave the unscarred skin on his legs exposed to the sun for a bit each day to boost his vitamin D. 

The entire family can use this without fear of chemicals or sunburn - a happy, sweet smelling compromise for us all!


  1. How much zinc oxide do we use? I do not see it?

  2. Oooh good catch, Wendy! Thank you! It takes 2Tablespoons. (Off to edit the post now...)

  3. Wonderful post Cassandra. Best of luck with continued healing for Fulton.

  4. Wow, this looks great. Now that my husband is fighting cancer, we have been trying to move away from all the chemical products and find more natural solutions. This is a great idea. This is actually my first visit to your blog and I am eager to spend some time looking aorund and finding out more about you and your sweet Fulton. Thanks for linking up! :-)