Trendzilla: Make Your Own Chemical-Free Sunscreen

One of the best things we can do for our skin is wearing sunscreen, even in “winter.” Seriously. When you meet an older woman with supple cheeks and nary a wrinkle, ask her what her secret is—it's gonna be sunscreen. But as with anything else in the world that seems beneficial, there are drawbacks. Store-bought sunscreens protect us from sunburns and the permanent lines that follow, but there's some gnarly stuff in those bottles.

The ingredients list on conventional sunscreen is long and filled with un-pronounceable words. Aside from preservative chemicals, some actually disrupt your hormones. Whose hormones are actually in balance, right? But there's no need to make it worse! Your hormones dictate so much of your bodily functions, and the more endocrine disrupters you dump in or on it can throw off moods, body weight and overall health.

So, how can we protect ourselves without becoming grouchy, fat people? Make your own, of course—but don't expect to whip up SPF 100 in your kitchen. It's difficult to tell the exact protection level of homemade sunscreen, and it's unlikely we can make anything much higher than SPF 20. That's not a bad thing, though: Vitamin D deficiency is common, so soaking in some rays is beneficial.

The DIY method isn't nearly as simple as throwing together a face mask, however. The base ingredient is zinc oxide, a natural mineral that acts as a skin barrier and also eases irritation. It's mixed in with a carrier material, often shea butter or coconut oil, and then essential oils are added because why not make it smell good? The entire process is too detailed to explain here, but excellent instructions can be found at Now, go forth, wrinkle free!

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