Thursday, April 30, 2015

Easy Homemade Sunscreen, Mosquito Spray, and Arnica Lotion

With hot weather arriving here, I thought I'd share some of my favorite homemade skincare products. I blogged previously about my Top 10 Storebought Body and Hair Care Products, and now I am excited to share some of my favorite homemade products. I love using homemade skin products as they are healthier than most of the storebought products, and I can customize them to fit my family's needs. 


On a daily basis, I don't use any sunscreen at all, but on days when I will be outside for extended periods of time I find that I am likely to burn without sunscreen.  We have a high UV factor here in the dry desert with its many sunny days, especially at our altitude. I have always abhorred store-bought sunscreens: they were too heavy, some were greasy, and they often led to breakouts on my face.  About a year ago I decided to try making my own sunscreen after reading this Natural Homemade Sunscreen post.

I opted to try the "Even Faster Way to Make Sunscreen" from that post, and have been very happy with the results.  My own homemade sunscreen is made by combining the following:
  • Ingredients:
  • Instructions:
    • Remove a small amount of lotion from the bottle so there is space for the added zinc oxide powder.
    • Using a funnel, very carefully pour the zinc oxide into the lotion bottle. Beware that the zinc is a very fine powder, so you may choose to wear respiratory protection during this step.  
    • Put the lid back on the bottle and shake well to combine.
    • Shake well before each use. Apply the sunscreen and rub it in to reduce any whitening effect from the zinc. Re-application may be necessary if there is heavy perspiration.
I don't know the equivalent SPF of this homemade sunscreen, but I do know that this keeps me from getting sunburned when I am outside for several hours. This sunscreen is not waterproof, so I will stick with my Badger Sunscreen for those times when I will be perspiring greatly or swimming outdoors.

Arnica Lotion

I've blogged previously about the many wonderful uses of homeopathic Arnica in treating soft tissue injuries such as bumps and bruises, sprains and strains. For particularly strong injuries we do take Arnica pellets internally, but for very minor injuries I prefer to use Arnica lotion externally.

Because I was dissatisfied with the inactive ingredients in storebought Arnica lotions, last year I decided to make my own as follows:
  • Ingredients:
  • Instructions:
    • Remove a small amount of lotion from the bottle so there is space for the added Arnica liquid.
    • Pour the Arnica liquid into the lotion bottle.
    • Put the lid on the bottle and shake well to combine.
    • Apply lotion as needed for bumps, bruises, or sore muscles. (NOTE: Arnica should NOT be applied externally to broken or scraped skin.  Calendula salve is better to use in those instances, and can be used alongside Arnica taken internally for any shock or pain with the injury.)

Mosquito Spray

Here in the desert, the mosquitoes arrive with our yearly monsoon season in July. I've always been one of those people who is highly attractive to mosquitoes, and I can be literally covered in mosquito bites in just a short time outside.  Sadly, I seem to have passed this trait on to my children as well.

For several years, we used natural mosquito-repelling bracelets, and we did have some success with those (especially if we used multiple bracelets per person). However, the smell of those bracelets is so very strong and even leaves a taste in my mouth, so so I was still open to finding a better solution.

Thankfully, last year my sister-in-law passed on a recipe for homemade mosquito spray that is made with essential oils.   My family used this spray last year and found it to work very well so long as it is applied often.  It smells heavenly, so it is no chore to spritz myself and my children with it every 30-60 minutes when we are outside during mosquito season.

(This recipe is re-printed with permission from Camp Wander.) 

What are your favorite sunscreen and mosquito-repellent products?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these wonderful recipes. Does anyone know if you can buy California Baby products in Canada? Our targets closed out recently.