Natural sunscreen is a gentle and effective method of protecting the skin from sun damage. While commercial products often offer extreme protection, they may cause irritation in some individuals. If sensitive skin is an issue or you just prefer a more natural approach, try a natural sunscreen recipe before you hit the beach next time.
Green tea leaves, which can be purchased at local natural health stores, are required for this natural sunscreen recipe. You also may use green tea bags, which can be found in your local supermarket. Sesame oil, beeswax, powdered benzoin and aloe vera gel are also needed. Sesame oil can be purchased from the grocery store, while beeswax, benzoin and aloe gel are found in natural health stores or ordered online. Additional required equipment includes a double boiler, electric blender, rubber spatula and a 4-ounce wide-mouthed jar.
Make a green tea infusion which will serve as the base for the natural sunscreen. According to a study published in Photochemistry and Photobiology in 1998, green tea contains polyphenols which protect the skin from dangerous UVB rays. To make a green tea infusion, pour half a cup of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of green tea leaves, cover and allow to steep for 30 minutes. If using green tea bags, tear one open and measure out 2 tablespoons of the leaves to use in the infusion. Strain the liquid from the plant material and set aside, discarding the spent leaves.
Place 1/3 cup sesame oil, one tbsp. chopped or grated beeswax and approximately 1/8 tsp. powdered benzoin in the top of a double boiler. Fill the bottom of the boiler about halfway with water. Place over medium-low heat until the beeswax is melted and the mixture is heated through. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Measure out 1/3 cup of the green tea infusion and discard the remainder. Pour into an electric blender container, and then add three tsp. aloe vera gel. Wait until the oil mixture has thickened and cooled to room temperature, and then add to the blender. Turn the blender onto high speed and process until it begins to sputter. Turn off the blender and stir the ingredients with a rubber spatula to remove from the sides of the container. Blend again, and continue until a smooth and creamy texture is achieved. Pour the natural sunscreen into a wide-mouthed jar, label with the contents and store in a cool, dry place.
To use, cover your skin thoroughly with the sunscreen about 30 minutes before you’ll be exposed to the sun. Reapply frequently, especially after sweating or swimming. This natural sunscreen is not waterproof. Although the homemade version will not be as powerful as commercial sunscreen, it will offer a significant amount of protection without the use of irritating chemicals.
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