Monday, 24 October 2016

Black African Soap Recipe

 I was interested to know the comparison of a standard potash salt bar and the African black soap as the reported benefits sounded like that of any well made potash soap.

After testing it, I am confident that my original suspicions were correct and that a standard potash soap is more convenient for the same results.  Except for supporting cottage industry in Africa, the mess in the soap holder due to the dark colour and the lack of extra benefit makes it undesirable.

Full Story
Original Black African Soap is made from palm oil, coconut oil and salt.  The major difference from other soaps is the lye used.  Plantain skins and/or Cocoa pods are burnt and the ash is used to make the lye.  It is favoured for its gentle cleansing and healing properties.

Many natural soap makers shortcut the process by buying a bag of "Black African" soap ash and add it into their standard natural soap batter except it is often Caustic Soda lye not Potash lye.

I have made a variation of African Black soap.  I made a potash (Potassium Hydroxide)salt bar in contrast to soda ash (Sodium Hydroxide) as this is the lye you get when using ash.  I took a shortcut here and using potash flakes but added roasted banana ash.  Plantain is a starchy banana used for cooking which I don't have.  I roasted a stem of small banana's and some leaf to charcoal and powdered it in my kitchen blender to add into the soap batter.  I am not concerned about the difference as banana has a lot of nutrient.

To preserve the vitamins I deviated from tradition and blended banana leaf to a fibrous paste and percolated water through it and also drained and saved banana sap from an entire stem to use.

Banana leaves are not eaten because of the fibre but food is often cooked in it and the goodness from the leaf does enter the food.  It is used for skin conditions with success. Ayurvedic medicine has a long list of uses for the entire banana plant and fruit.

Traditionally no scent's would be added but I did add a little Neem essential oil.  Neem is excellent for skin and may other uses but I find its odour unattractive.

I added a little clay, as I have heard an African soap maker say the colour comes from dirt.  I can understand that there would be dirt in the ash when it is gathered up. This has desirable properties for skin also.

I used a ratio of 15% Himalayan fine ground salt dissolved it in my water (leaf percolate).  Not all of it dissolved which I was fine with.

I used some of the leaf percolated water into the charcoal so I could add into the batter more easily. I used the rest of the leaf water and sap as my lye water but once the lye dissolved it began to thicken like soap batter come to trace. I quickly added it to the oils and blended adding the charcoal and Neem Oil.  It was thickening quicker than I was comfortable with and mixed in another good splash of water before pouring it into the moulds.

The soap heated up more than a standard potash salt bar which I think may be from the natural sugars in the sap and leaf juice.

The pH dropped under 8 on the second day.

It is very dark and I may have used too much charcoal. It's bubble and creamy but does have a very little bit of gritty feeling and some tiny bits of charcoal can be seen on your skin before rinsing off.  Charcoal has has health benefits and we will see how this works.

I used my Palm Oil, Potassium Hydroxide hard bar soap recipe.
About 1/2 cup of dry banana charcoal.
1 teaspoon Red Aussie Clay

I will update as the soap matures and my friends use and review it.
Six Months later... After using this soap myself and getting reviews from friends who used it I am confident to conclude that my original suspicion is correct and that Black African soap is no more beneficial than a natural potash bar of soap.  The negative aspects of BA soap make it undesirable to use.  Being black it is prone to leaving a mess in the soap holder and using plantain ash no better than using skin friendly essential oils.

I did enjoy sitting by my fire poking at it to get the banana ash but that as for soap its inconvenient.
Except for supporting cottage industries from Africa I see no particular benefit to using a more convenient firmer lighter coloured potash soap.

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Understanding SAP Values and Superfatting

Saponification value is the required amount of lye needed to saponify 1000gm of oil.  This is to change fatty acids it to a glycerol and salt of the acid that is in that particular oil = Soap.

Recently I was trying to find the saponification value for Carauba Wax.  I found that it was between 81-95.  I was looking for a number that was more like 0.1 -0.09 so it confused me and took a lot of searching for the answer, till I found one web site that explained it was per 1000gm of oil and is for Potassium Hydroxide (potash).

www.fromnaturewithlove.com/resources/sapon.asp
(They also have a comprehensive chart with SAP values for oils.)

To get it for Sodium Hydroxide (hard bar) you have to divide this number by 1.4025.    This will now be the NaOH needed for 1000gm,  To get it to your lye/gram oil ratio just divide it by 1402.5 . Now you can then multiply for each gram of oil.

Remember that there are seasonal and geographical differences in Oil saponification values and also the strength of the lye whether NaOH or KOH may vary slightly according to manufacturer.  This is one of the reasons soap makers recommend having a super fat (excess oil) of approximately 5%.

There is also a reasonable possibility that the Olive oil you use is not pure regardless of the label.  Even experts can't tell the difference by taste or appearance.  If Canola oil was used to dilute the Olive Oil this would result in a 2 gram difference in lye needed for 1000gm of Oil.  While this isn't much, combined with the other possible variations it could tip the lye balance over if you don't have a moderate super fat.

Yes the superfat is probably the main culprit for the build up in your sink.  It's the price to pay for moisturised skin.

Happy soaping

Friday, 29 April 2016

Honey Natural Handmade Soap - Tips and Recipe.

Honey is a wonderful ingredient in natural soap and with a few precautions you can get a lovely bar soap with all of honey's benefits.

My first attempts were not so successful as the honey separated and settled to the bottom of the mould.  Finally I found a comment that advised reducing the water content in the batter.

Instead of using the default water content Soapcalc lye calculator uses (38%) I use 33% and separate a small portion of that to add to the honey to thin it out before I add that to the soap batter at trace.

Be aware that honey or any type of sugar ingredient (including milks) will increase the temperature of the soap batter.  If you insulate your mould the temperature could get too high and cause the soap to erupt.  Normally I stop the gel phase by refrigerating or freezing the soap for about 12 hours though this is not necessary if you wish it to gel depending on your room temperature.

I have recently been successful in making a honey soap that has twice the recommended level of honey to use as a shampoo bar soap for dandruff problems.  I am hoping this eliminates the need to massage honey into the scalp (a very effective anti-dandruff) an hour prior to washing as it is a little inconvenient.

I made this soap harder than normal.  This caused it to have a lower conditioning level which I compensated with a higher superfat (free oils).  I also added  salt at 5% oil weight in a brine solution.  This adds to hardness and also I like using salt for its natural preservative characteristics as well as its benefits to the skin. ( Be aware that table salt has some nasty additives as free flow agents etc.  I like to use pink Himalayan fine ground rock salt but unrefined Sea Salt is good as well with all the other minerals salt was meant to have, still in it.)

I also used individual moulds (a silicon muffin tray) and put it in the freezer over night.  I could feel the increased temperature very soon after putting the batter in the mould, so I didn't waste any time getting it into the freezer.

A log mould will allow the batter to hold the heat and though I am sure it will be fine in the freezer.  If it was a standard honey content (1/2 the amount) I would use a fridge.  This may be fine but I would be a bit nervous about it.

I have read comments by cosmetic producers that salt should never be used on the head.  They obviously didn't live near the ocean and never sweat.  Salt is excellent for many skin problems.

A high honey content soap.

Beef Tallow      225gm
Castor Oil          60gm
Coconut Oil      215gm

Lye (NaOH)    78 gm(1% Superfat)
Water             150gm
Honey             30 - 40gm (2 Tablespoons)
Essential Oil   20gm    (Because I am hoping this will be good for dandruff I used Tea Tree Oil)
Coconut Oil    50gm    (To bring the superfat up to 11%.  I prefer to use Coconut oil for a larger superfat as it has a better shelf life than Beef Tallow,- your choice)

Use enough salt to dissolve in the water for the lye.  4% or less of the oil weight might be fine.
This is not a salt bar as there are no crystals in the soap but would be called a brine bar.  Increasing the salt content will decrease the bubbles and cream.

The reason I make this hard is because of the high honey content; I don't want the soap to go "soggy".

 Smells great.

The second time I made this, I spontaneously thought to add some milk powder into the honey mix adding it at trace.  Don't try this.  The heat got away on me very quickly going very orange then dark brown and the mix separated in the moulds - like curds and whey.  The next day I cooked and and remoulded it.  I'm expecting that the milk burnt and will be able to tell soon by the smell.  It gets a vomit type odour.  If it is I'll just store it away somewhere till that passes.  The milk may have no benefit after that but the soap does work fine and the EO smell comes back OK after a few months.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Natural Homemade Anti-dandruff Shampoo


We have spent a great deal of money on anti-dandruff shampoos many of which don't give good results or were very expensive.  I wonder now what dodgy ingredients were in them.

The best natural cure we have used is honey.  Rubbing honey (a little diluted) on the scalp and leaving for an hour prior to washing worked well but is inconvenient.  Don't sit still too long or the ants will find you.  I combined some different ideas and successfully made an effective and very inexpensive anti-dandruff shampoo.

 Shampoo.
1 Cup of natural liquid soap ( such as Dr. Bronners. I make my own and use this more concentrated - about 20% to get a better lather)
2 desert spoons of natural honey
1/2 desert spoons of gelatine dissolved in a little warm water.
Use any antifungal essential oil of choice.
Mix.

I keep a small bottle (hotel size) in the bathroom and the rest in the fridge as I am not sure how long it would last without going off.  This solidifies, but I just warm it gently to refill the small bottle.

I think it would be best to lather up your hair first and not rinse it off till last. This would give more time for the ingredients to work.

My husband has been using this and his hair is soft and shiny even without a A.C. Vinegar rinse (like you would normally need after washing with natural soap) and the scalp problems have cleared up in record time.

Gelatine is very good for your hair and honey is good for "everything" (unless you are diabetic).

The down side:  The lather isn't good with long hair but you could try decreasing the gelatine level.  I tend to the oily side and would need to wash it every day if I didn't use an acidic rinse.

Monday, 14 March 2016

Natural Insect Rellent

I have been testing insect repellent. It works.
Once rock fishing at the beach, we had forgotten our repellent and were all getting badly bitten.  Finally my mother had enough and climbed the bank to see what she could find.  She came back smelling like Fennel.  She had found a fennel bush growing wild and crushed hand full's and rubbed it on her exposed skin. We laughed at her but she suffered no more sand fly bites. Even sceptics use natural products when nothing else is available.
Some sites claim that DEET is safe to use but even Wikipedia has a concerning write up on the effects of this synthetic, chemical insecticide on health. Even if you are not concerned about it, we are so overloaded with chemicals that we should eliminate what we can.  If it is simple to make your own with natural products it only makes sense to do so.
There are many Essential Oils that can be used in insect repellent.

I have these ones because Neem oil works against the malaria mosquito (we travel overseas sometimes) and Lemon Grass because of its similar constitution to Lemon Eucalyptus and pleasant smell.
Neem Oil  8gm
Lemon Grass Oil  8gm
Clove Oil  4gm
In 100gm coconut oil and shea butter carrier mix (thicker to prevent leakage in my purse).

Some essential oils do not work on certain genus of mosquito so research your choice.  Neem oil has an unfortunate odour but I find it is acceptable with the lemon smell.  You could also use Lemon Eucalyptus which is an excellent insect repellent (I don't have any). You can mix these into a cream, carrier oil or use in an infuser.

Because of the volatility of Essential Oils reapply every 2 hours.
I have read that if more volatile essential oils are mixed with something like vanilla extract which has a larger molecular structure it "holds" the essential oil and decreases its evaporation.  I am wondering if the mix with Neem Oil acts the same way as Neem is a lot more viscous. Time will tell.

Cream
I will be trying it in a cream to reduce the oil build up as I reapply it through the day.
100 gm water with Borax as an emulsifier (combine oil and water)
30 gm Coconut Oil
15 gm Bees Wax

Melt bees wax and mix in coconut oil.  Dissolve 50gm tsp of Mg in water or 1/4 tsp Borax.  Pour water into oils while blending to make a cream.  If the water fails to emulsify completely add a little more borax.  Mix in Essential Oils.

Not only does this repel insects but is excellent for your skin and general health.

There is concern that health issues blamed on mosquito born viruses are actually a result of insecticides.

For those who are travelling into area's where malaria is a problem please read the side effects of the anti malarial tablets.  Health agencies have known for over a decade that the pills can cause psychiatric problems.
Alternatives are wearing clothes that cover more skin, using insect repellent, washing with soap that has insect repellent oils in it, not eating bananas (serious- it true) and using defusers with insect repellent oils in your living  quarters.

DEET
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEET
As a precaution, manufacturers advise that DEET products should not be used under clothing or on damaged skin, and that preparations be washed off after they are no longer needed or between applications.[18] DEET can act as an irritant;[6] in rare cases, it may cause epidermal reactions.[18]
In the DEET Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED), the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported 14 to 46 cases of potential DEET-associated seizures, including 4 deaths. The EPA states: "... it does appear that some cases are likely related to DEET toxicity," but observed that with 30% of the US population using DEET, the likely seizure rate is only about one per 100 million users.[19]
The Pesticide Information Project of Cooperative Extension Offices of Cornell University states that "Everglades National Park employees having extensive DEET exposure were more likely to have insomniamood disturbances and impaired cognitive function than were lesser exposed co-workers".[20]
When used as directed, products containing between 10% and 30% DEET have been found by the American Academy of Pediatrics to be safe to use on children, as well as adults, but recommends that DEET not be used on infants less than two months old.[18]
Citing human health reasons, Health Canada barred the sale of insect repellents for human use that contained more than 30% DEET in a 2002 re-evaluation. The agency recommended that DEET-based products be used on children between the ages of 2 and 12 only if the concentration of DEET is 10% or less and that repellents be applied no more than 3 times a day, children under 2 should not receive more than 1 application of repellent in a day and DEET-based products of any concentration should not be used on infants under 6 months.[21][22]


DEET is commonly used in combination with insecticides and can strengthen the toxicity of carbamate insecticides,[23] which are also acetylcholinesterase inhibitors. These findings indicate that DEET has neurological effects on insects in addition to known olfactory effects, and that its toxicity is strengthened in combination with other insecticides.

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Fruit Kvass

See my page on Recipes (to the right) for making a Kvass; a very pleasant, healthy, inexpensive, fermented fruit drink.  Easy and quick (less than a week).

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Potash Hard Bar Soap Recipe

Potash makes a very nice hard bar soap that is very gentle on the skin.  This is a bubbly and very creamy soap.

Recipe
120gm Coconut Oil
120gm Castor Oil
760gm Palm Oil
217 Potassium Hydroxide (Potash)
380 Water.
150gm Himalayan Salt
35ml Essential Oil for scent and skin benefits.

If you haven;t made soap please read soap making instructions.
Melt the oils together.
Mix Salt and water together ans stir.  Most of it will dissolve but some will be left as granules.
Slowly mix the potash into the water as you stir, to dissolve.

Pour lye water into the oils and blend with a stick blender till the soap batter comes to trace and add Essential Oil.  Stir in.
Should it curdle and not thicken, put entire pot into a basin of cold water (preferably with ice packs in the water) and as it cools it will thicken up nicely.

Make sure the salt granules are not sitting on the bottom of the pot and pour batter into moulds.
Refrigerate or sit your moulds on ice packs if curdling happens.

The pH drops in 2 days and the soap does not have the uncured feeling that caustic soda lye soap has before it is cured.  The salt crystals that didn't dissolve can be seen.

Increase the salt to 20% for a stronger salt bar.
Good for skin and skin problems such as acne and dermatitis.


Potassium Hydroxide Bar Soap

I have searched for recipe's for bar soap made from KOH with little sucess.  I found a French site that claimed success with salt but refused to share their recipe details.  It was stated to be very gentle on the skin. Another was a survival web site and they used Borax and Ammonia but this was complicated and I'm not using those ingredients for soap. Others say you can only use animal fat.

I based my process on historic accounts of soap making (though they had no recipes) and the principles of thickening liquid soap

The key ingredient is salt. Because higher levels of Coconut oil and castor oil in liquid soap wont allow it to thicken with salt I kept these two ingredient quantities low.  I knew Beef Tallow or Lard was used in the past so would work,  Olive Oil as this thickens very well with salt in liquid soap so am confident with this.  I have read that Shea Butter has been used. I had also read that salt should be 20% of the oil weight.

My first attempt worked very well and you can read about thiat but I have simplified this recipe and process and it is working really well.

Recipe:
Palm Oil          760gm
Coconut Oil     120gm
Castor Oil         120gm
Potassium Hydroxide  224gm (gives a 1% Super Fat)
Water                           380gm
Himalayan Salt            150gm  (fine ground)
30gm Oil of your choice added at trace to increase the super fat to 4%
32gm Essential Oil for fragrance and health benefits.

I dissolve the salt in the water prior to adding the lye.  Some of the salt will not dissolve but I like this as a salt bar.  This has a salt level of 16% but you could try lowering it, but I don't know how low you can go. Just make sure the lye is stirred really well.  It is not a drying soap.

I advise wearing a dust mask as well as safety glasses and gloves as the Potash is a bit dusty.  This is easily breathed in.

Very easy to make and handles well. After a day or two the pH drops nice and low. Nice bubbles,  very creamy and a gentle cleaner.  A favourite to make and use.

If altering the recipe be mindful that soap with higher levels of Coconut oil and Castor oil do not thicken with salt.  I am not exactly sure of the percentage but it is not much higher than I have used here.

In hot weather I have had the batter curdle on me as I mixed it and also after it was poured in the mould.  The reason for this is heat of the batter.  Best solution is to sit your pot of soap batter in a basin of cold water (I added ice packs). As it cooled it thickened up nicely. I now sit my moulds on ice packs just to prevent this happening in the mould.

An alternative recipe with Beef Tallow
Beef Tallow              660gm
Olive Oil                   100gm  (to increase the conditioning level)
Coconut oil                120gm
Castor oil                   120gm
Potash                       217gm  (gives a 4% super fat)
Water                         380gm
Himalayan Salt        150gm

My First Potash Soap.
When I turned the solid KOH soap from the mould it was pH 7ish on litmus paper.  It was firm but spongy to squeeze, not soft.  It sliced well and was a pale yellow/creamy colour.
Hard Potash / Potassium Hydroxide Bar Soap

 Because the pH was so low at the early stage I used some trimmings to test washing my hands.  It didn't feel like NaOH uncured soap (slimy).

It has a mottled whitish effect which was not undissolved lye, but salt as much of it didn't dissolve in the water prior to adding to the oils.  Small salt granules catching the light. The zap test was good and had a pleasant enough taste.



If you use Hymalayan salt you will benefit from the minerals that are removed from refined salt. You also don't get the anti-caking agent in refined salt (and what ever else they put in it). I would dissolve the lye in the water before adding the salt as a lot of the salt wont dissolve and I like to see that the lye is dissolved.

It came to trace quite quickly but there was no panic to get it into the mould.  It didn't heat up as much as Na OH soap and didn't go through a gel phase even though I had covered it with a towel.

The cost of the salt is offset by the very cheap price I paid for a big bag of Potassium Hydroxide from a pool chemical outlet.

You can make your own Potassium Hydroxide (Potash) running water through ashes. There are web sites that show how to do this.

3 Weeks Later
I used this from the second day to test because of the very low pH (in the 7 range) and it was very easy on my skin and tolerated water well right from then.
The hardness rating on SoapCalc is not relevant.  It starts off a bit sponginy but hardens up beyond the rate given on SOapCalc.  The yellow colour has faded to a very white in colour.  The lather is creamy and lightly bubbling.   I'm very happy with the very creamy feel of it.  It is moist to touch with humid weather.  In spite of this it is not slimy or messy. For a mild and gentle soap I would rather have this than Castile soap (80% Olive Oil) because the salt bar doesn't leave such a mess when wet.  There is no scratchiness though there are some salt crystals

Conclusion 6 months later
I have given some bars to friends for testing.  One told me that at first she thought it was drying but then she noticed that the dermatitis she had always suffered was clearing up.  When it was gone, the skin looked good.  No dermatitis and no dryness. No one I have given them too has reported drying.

This is being reported by friends as their favourite of the soaps I make including goat milk soap with very good results for skin conditions.  This is far less complicated than making a milk soap.

I am thinking that it will be good for acne and skin infections. I am very happy with this soap.

Brine Bar:  This is where all the salt is dissolved in the recipe water.  A salt bar has crystals.
Some people add the salt at trace to keep the crystals when using NaOH but at the moment I am more confident dissolving as much as possible in the water as I am reliant on the salt to thicken.

Making your own Potassium Hydroxide.
To make your own Potassium Hydroxide, or potash you collect ashes and percolate water through them and collect it.  Wooden hoppers were traditionally used and lined with straw for a filter and the ash put on top.

This water will be very alkaline and damaging to your skin.  In history, this water was concentrated by evaporation till a feather could dissolve and a fresh egg would float so it sat half in the water.  I do not have the quantities that should be used.

One day I plan to try this.  At the moment I think the best way to work out the quantity is to get an accurate measurement of the pH of the lye water used from my "pool chemical" NaOH, then use the same amount of water at the same pH from ashes.

Other variations of KOH soap are:
Black African Soap and Gray Polish Soap both of which are prized for their gentle cleaning characteristic.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Homemade Sunscreen: Pro's & Con's and Recipe Ideas

If you want a sunscreen that does work and skip the reading, go to the bottom of this post.
In my search for alternatives to cancer causing sunscreen (yes even the establishment acknowledge this) I found many sites with natural home made sunscreen recipes.

PRO's: Blogs I have found to be consistently reliable had recipes with readers comments supporting their efficiency.  They are easily made.  In the end it is a lot cheaper, definitely better for your skin (non chemical moisturising etc) and definitely better for your whole body (no toxins).  I made my own and the results were, no sunburn.

UVA rays are ones that cause the cancers and most commercial sunscreens don't stop them.  They may stop UVB which is the main cause of the burn.  Sunscreen does not decrease basal cell carcinoma forming.

Zinc oxide appears to be the best sun block and has a long, positive history of skin use.  While other ingredients may degrade in the sunlight, zinc does not.   Beware that  nano zinc oxide probably enters into the skin through the pores and creates the same problems you are trying to avoid.  Buy non-nano zinc oxide.  

Commercial sunscreens have chemicals that increase the risk of:
skin cancer,         endocrine system disruption,          hormonal disruption,          allergies,         damage to the environment,         decreased Vitamin D uptake (which decreases cholesterol sulfate - in turn increasing the risk of Alzheimer's, depression, cancer, Parkinson's etc).

People get sunburnt using commercial made sunscreens often because of misleading advertising, overstated claims and wrong expectation.

There is debate about whether Essential Oils do have SPF.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3140123/table/T3/
An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.
Object name is PR-2-22-g005.jpg

The FDA has a long list of approving dangerous medications and foods that eventually were banned because of the great damage done to people. 
The most recent head of FDA was previously a lobbyist in the White House for pharmaceutical companies ($$$$) and was a board and consultant member for a company whose sole purpose is to help pharmaceutical companies evade and manipulate FDA regulations($$$$)
The last one was a former employee of Monsanto ($$$$).

CON: I have read criticism such as,"if you use home made sunscreens you will get cancer" because you will get burnt so bad.  This was written by doctors.  I reserve my comment....just.

 I like the idea of Essential oils having high SPF levels and hope they do.
 Tisserand (essential oil expert) says he doubts there is any SPF of any great value.  https://www.facebook.com/RobertTisserandEssentialTraining/posts/969961426368392

Some have noted long historical use of coconut and olive oil use to help prevent sunburn.  Mostly people who lived where there are coconuts have black skin and those who live where olive oil was used have Mediterranean olive skin.  I'm not satisfied that it prevented sun burn on my ancestors Irish skin when it wasn't raining in Ireland.

Another concern noted by some is that zinc oxide has a tendency to clump leaving "holes" in your cover that are not seen by the eye.

Some people say their home made sunscreen didn't work (but didn't show their failed recipes).

I have seen some curious claims of high SPF with some home made recipes and couldn't get the maths to add up to their claim, even on the presumption that Essential Oils have high SPF.

Conclusion: This is not the end of the story because the sunscreen did work.  It is reported that zinc oxide adds a SPF according to the percentage of Zinc powder used.  Over 20% it will show up increasingly white.

SPF does not work in percentages so to have SPF 20 is not 1/2 of SPF 40.  Don't believe very much of what is advertised in regard to sunscreens SPF levels if only for the fact that SPF is not the whole story.  What they are not telling you makes the difference.  Marketing is propaganda.

Even if Essential Oils do not contribute notably to SPF they do contribute to improved skin healing.  This in itself is a good reason to include it in sunscreen as damage control.

If you make sunscreen and you keep getting burnt STOP USING IT!  Its not hard to work out.
Another thing, its not sensible to test it on your baby.  Test it on yourself or a willing adult.  This is the failing of those who are very vocal against home made sunscreen.  It does not hurt to try as it is very easy to tell if it works.  Normal skin colour for success, Red for failure.
Patch testing on your skin will minimise a catastrophic failure.

You don't need to know what the SPF is, you just need to find out if it works and how long it works for.

This is a basic, inexpensive recipe for you to try

20gm Zinc Oxide powder  (non nano)
10 gm Red Raspberry Seed Oil (its cheaper than Carrot Seed Oil, but you could mix this with say, Lavender oil as it is soothing on the skin)
30gm Coconut Oil
40gm Shea Butter

Use Olive oil instead of some of the Shea butter if it is too stiff a mixture.
If you need "stick" because of excessive perspiration or swimming, replace 10gm of the coconut oil or shea butter with bees wax.

When using wax, melt it and pour your other oils as liquids into the wax slowly, mixing, not the other way around (it is likely to lump).

This should roughly give you a SPF over 20..  For a higher SPF, increase the percentage of Zinc Oxide if you don't mind an opaque, whitish sheen.

Living near the tropics the coconut oil is often liquid.  Work out what will make a spreadable cream with the mix for your climate.

I have added some turmeric to the sunscreen because of:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19577913
It doesn't show up as colour on the skin in the amount I used but be aware that turmeric stains.  Turmeric is excellent for skin.
Aloe vera gel may also be beneficial.

A friend who works out side in our hot weather often would get terribly burnt even using commercial sunscreens.  I gave mine to him for testing (where the rubber hits the road) and he loves it.  He even said the smell is good and it tastes ok.  Because he sweats so much taste was important.  He gives it to his work colleagues now also and they like it too.
How do I know its stopping most of the UVA rays that don't cause burn? The Zinc Oxide.  If there are "holes" in the Zinc spread, there should be burn spots also.  If they are too small to allow burn, then the amount UVA getting through is small enough not to concern me.  Don't let the fear mongers get to you, we need some sun to live.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Natural Fungicide and Pesticide for Plants

See my page on Gardening Naturally (to the right) for a simple, safe fungicide/pesticide recipe.