The Sunscreen Problem

During the summer I like to have sunscreen with me at all times, but I do not like to carry around a lot of weight, nor do I appreciate it when bottles become uncapped in my purse and gooey cream covers all my belongings. So I’ve been designing a sunscreen which contains no water (no extra weight to carry around, plus no need to worry about mold or bacteria) and which has a texture solid enough to be stored in a recycled deodorant stick. Easy to carry, easy to apply! The active ingredient I use is zinc oxide. Anything else will cause my spouse’s sensitive skin to become unbearably itchy. I avoid the non-whitening nano particle size zinc because I suspect that in 25-50 years we will suddenly discover that stuff causes all sorts of horrible, painful long term diseases. This lesson was driven home by reading the (almost) one hundred year old collection of recipes, Henley’s. They used to think asbestos was great. So how to wear sunscreen without looking like a zombie? Melt some crayons into the formula, of course, just like my lipstick!

For my skin I chose one brown, one yellow and one red crayon which, when I first slid the deodorant stick on my arm, looked alarmingly red. However, as soon as I smoothed it on the color blended into the skin and gave me a nice slightly tan look. My waxy formula stays on really well, almost too well, even when wet. After my stint in the sun I took a shower and had to scrape it off with my fingernails!

I’m not publishing the formula yet — still tweaking it — but in the meantime you can try my sunscreen/bug lotion published on instructables.

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