How to Make Your Own Sunscreen and Save Your Skin and the Planet

Andrea Breaux
4 min readAug 27

A hot day in the Valley of the Sun is enough to take your breath away. The golden sunlight envelops the landscape, the deep blue sky stretching for miles on end. The heat has a special glow that brings out the vivid shades of green in the trees and flowers’ colors. Annie paused at the kitchen window as she sipped a cold green tea. She and LJ were planning a day trip to Arcosanti to tour the experimental town. The tour was mainly outside, which meant a lot of sun exposure. She turned from the window as LJ walked into the kitchen.

“Babes, we’ll need sunblock and lots of it to tour Arcosanti.”

LJ nodded thoughtfully, “I’ll make a run to the pharmacy, but I don’t think we need a lot; it will be fall in a few weeks, so we won’t need it then.”

Annie shook her head. “According to the American Cancer Society, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage our skin and cause skin cancer at any time of the year. And rates of melanoma are increasing in all racial groups, regardless of skin color. Unfortunately, melanoma is often diagnosed at a later stage and has a lower survival rate for Black and Hispanic people. The CDC reports that melanoma is the fifth most common type of cancer in the US. If left unchecked, melanoma can be deadly. With global warming, we need to be even more vigilant and never go outside without sunblock.”

“Okay, but I heard some sunscreens contain chemicals that are bad for our health or the environment.”

“That’s true. Some sunscreens contain ingredients that can be harmful to hormone levels, cause allergic reactions, and, if worn in the oceans and rivers, can damage coral reefs and maritime habitats. That’s why I’d like to make our sunscreen using natural ingredients that are safe and effective.”

“So I’m making a grocery store run?”

“We actually have most of the ingredients already, like coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. I bought some essential oils a while ago and keep zinc oxide. I have six recipes right here. They all have different SPF levels and water resistance times. We can try them out and see which one we like best.”

LJ tied his apron, “Let’s get started.”

Andrea Breaux

Andrea started based on her goal to inspire a shift in consciousness that recognizes food-as-medicine as the core of good health.