If I'm not wrinkly when I'm old, I didn't live a life exposed.
The thing is, I don't want cancer. Not when I'm old, and not before I'm old. Not skin cancer, and not the cancer you get from slathering chemical sunscreen all over your body. Alongside being loaded with parabens, fragrances, preservatives and other toxins, most drugstore brand sunscreen is also made with oxybenzone, an endocrine disrupter—think 8 year old girls menstruating and fish with no genitals—I don't want whatever that does to me either.
Which is why I'm taking a summertime bodycare workshop with Kathrin and Andrew from For the Love of Body. We're making a natural lotion which effectively blocks out the sun, without the creepy side effects.
1 Tbsp goji berries
120 ml olive oil
120 ml shea butter
1½ tsp melted beeswax
1 ml vitamin E
1/3 tsp raspberry seed oil or carrot seed oil
100 ml distilled water
3 Tbsp zinc oxide
2.4 ml borax
Optional: essential oils for scent, but avoid citrus oils as they increase sun sensitivity
1. Infuse olive oil with goji berries for at least 24 hours, then strain with cheesecloth or nut milk bag, setting oil aside. Top up to 120 mL if needed.
2. Boil distilled water, then set aside.
3. Melt beeswax in a double boiler. Add shea butter and melt. Add infused olive oil and stir. Remove from heat and add vitamin E and raspberry or carrot seed oil and any essential oils.
4. In a separate container, mix heated distilled water, zinc and borax and stir well to dissolve.
5. When both oil and water mixtures are similar temperatures, approximately 70°C, you can begin to mix the two together.
6. Add water mixture a little at a time to the oils, using either a whisk or blender (a hand-held blender works well) and stir to turn into a creamy lotion. To ensure ingredients won't separate later, stir or whisk until lotion has cooled to room temperature (you can speed this up by placing the container into a bowl of cold water).
7. Pour into containers and store in the fridge when not in use. Will keep for at least a year, if stored properly.
The sunscreen provides broad spectrum sun protection thanks to the zinc oxide; antioxidant rich oils protect your skin from free radical damage. For more information on sunscreen safety, check out this comprehensive review from the Environmental Working Group.
The bodycare workshop also includes an after-sun spray which is deliciously cooling and smells divine. But I won't tell you how to make it—you'll have to take the workshop for yourself.