Category Natural Living

homemade sunblock recipe

Some ladies and I recently got to together to do a Natural Cleaning Party where we each made one cleaning item and then swapped so everyone got one of each item. We had liquid laundry detergent, powder laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, glass cleaner, sunscreen and bug spray. I picked sunscreen, mainly because I was interested about learning more about what items have SPF and how to put them together for an effective sunblock. Here’s what I came up with:

Sunblock Recipe ~20-30 SPF – makes approximately five 8oz bottles
Purpose Cost for recipe Cost for entire item
1 ½ c olive oil Carry/thin lotion $8.00 $10 16.9 fl oz
1 ½  coconut oil SPF ~15 $8.95 $17.89 (32 oz)
60 drops lavender EO Fragrance/Soothe Skin $5.25 $21
60 drops helichrysum EO SPF ~10 $11.25 $45
120 drops myrrh EO SPF ~20 $22.50 $22.50 (5 ml)
120 drops carrot seed EO SPF ~38-40 $8.75 $17.50 (5 ml)
¾ c zinc oxide SPF ~20 $5 $20 (1 lb)
¾ c shea butter Carry/moisturize $4.00 $9 (16 oz)
5 oz bees wax waterproof $5.65 $5.65
12 vitamin E capsules Moisturize $0.96 $8 (100 count)
5 – 8oz plastic bottles contain $9.38 $11.25
Total $89.69
Per Bottle $17.94

Melt bees wax, shea butter, coconut oil over a double boiler. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients (use a mask when incorporating the zinc – you don’t want that stuff in your lungs) and let cool even more. When it seems like the mixture is hardening, whip to incorporate thoroughly . Once completely cool, I’ve found the best way to get the lotion into the bottles is to put it all in a gallon sized freezer bag and snip the corner.

To increase the SPF, you can add more zinc oxide (although it will make the lotion mixture much thicker). SPF is calculated based on percentage of total mixture with zinc oxide.

At first glance the cost of this is pretty high, but I used almost exclusively organic ingredients. Commercial organic sunscreens seem to run in the $30-40 range, so it’s not too bad in that comparison. Simply removing the myrrh EO, would take cost down to $13.44, which is a significant difference. The bees wax does make the sunscreen pretty thick and I wonder if using fractionated coconut oil instead of the coconut oil would help thin the sunblock out a little further since FCO is always in liquid state.

Next time, I would like to use jojoba oil (SPF 4) to replace the of olive oil or even better, non-GMO organic soybean oil (SPF 10), maybe add Red Raspberry Seed Oil (SPF between 28-50) and remove the myrrh.

Have any of you ever tried to make your own sunblock? Other homemade cleaning items? What has worked for you?

 

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essential oils bandwagon

I’ve recently jumped on a bandwagon that seems to be spreading, at least according to my facebook feed. Are you guys experiencing the same thing? My curiosity got the best of me as I heard success story after success story of people using essential oils to take care of headaches, shorten colds, provide allergy relief, calm their children, help with sleep, disinfect… etc.

I did some research (this series as well as this series in particular were most helpful) and decided for a large variety of reasons, not to go with the very vocal MLM essential oils groups. No hard feelings towards those companies as I received a lot of preliminary education from them, but I found a direct sales company that is slightly cheaper, provides great customer service as well as a quality product. Enter Native American Nutritionals (aka Rocky Mountain Oils). And a lot of reading and research. There is so much information to wade through!

learning about essential oils

We have had some notable success with the oils: using the Calming blend to help sooth Jude’s night terrors, Tummy Rub to sooth upset bellies, Pain Ease to sooth head aches, Skin Care with Lavender to sooth sunburns and prevent peeling, Helichrysum to heal cuts and Molluscum bumps that Jude gets on his skin, lavender + tea tree to stop itchy bug bites, lavender + lemon + peppermint to reduce outdoor allergies … I am slowly losing my skepticism.

If you are interested in trying some out, there is a sample kit for $15 with beginners guide that they didn’t have when I first ordered.

What about you guys? Have you used essential oils for anything? Do you buy in to all the hype that’s circulating out there right now?

 

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How To: Wool Diaper Covers

To follow up my cloth diaper 101 post and my how to: prefolds, I thought I would share more about wool diaper covers.

Happy Wool Diaper Baby

We use Little Beetle wool covers. Curious how wool covers work? Wool is naturally water repellant but not water proof. The microscopic structure of the wool, along with the naturally produced lanolin contribute to this. This article explains it much nicer than I ever could. And then, listen to this. Lanoline is amazing. When urine and lanoline come into contact with one another, a chemical reaction occurs and the result is soap and water. These covers, when regularly lanolized, are self cleaning. As soon as you can smell urine on the wool cover, you know it’s time to re-lanolize the cover.

The downside? Wool covers need to be handwashed when washing time comes. And spot cleaned if any poop gets on them. Here is what we use with our wool covers:

Wool Diaper Care

We use ImseVimse Shampoo and Wool Cure (lanoline). Lanolizing is as simple as adding a small amount of the wool cure to warm water, allowing it to fully melt and then soaking the cover overnight. Easy enough to do when baby is asleep. Then just line dry in the morning! AND if you have any lanoline ointment from breastfeeding, that can be used to lanolize the covers too!

One of the beauties of using prefolds and wool covers is how cheap you can do them for. If you are crafty, you can knit or use shrunken, thrifted wool sweaters to create your own wool covers. There are lots of free patterns out there for knitting for cloth diaper making – just do a google search! My favorite free cloth diaper pattern is located here and easily adapted into a wool diaper cover.

Any questions?

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