By Lauren Cox of Closer To Your Food 
The summer offers opportunities for unforgettable memories, family vacations and weekend getaways. However, with the sun high and hot in the sky and as summer vacations in wooded or swampy areas exposes us to flying and stinging pests, it’s a good practice to protect our families with sunscreen and bug spray. And you don’t need to visit the local pharmacy for products with toxic and potentially harmful ingredients.
Why not make your own?
Making your own bug spray and sunscreen at home might sound daunting and expensive but it’s actually quite the opposite. Conventional bug sprays and sunscreens are packed with chemicals you wouldn’t even want in your house, let alone on your skin. So when you research what’s in them, you rule out the cheap stuff and go for the organic all natural options—and you end up spending a paycheck on skin care. Something has got to give.
Enter: Closer To Your Food
We created these recipes to show you a middle ground option between cheap toxic sprays and lotions and over-priced organic ones. Like most instances with your health, we confront the “pay now or pay later” paradox. My answer? Invest more up-front, save more in the long run, reap the benefits of clean living. Many of the ingredients–like good quality essential oil may be expensive, but they last a long time because a little goes a long way.
When making the bug spray, you can make a concentrated version by simply omitting the water. If you want a milder version, you can just add a ¼ – ½ cup more water. This is a good option for babies and kids with sensitive skin. If you have pets, add more vinegar to use as a fly spray for livestock. If you are having problems with ticks, add 10–15 drops of cedar oil. This works great on both people and dogs.
When choosing your sunscreen, please use common sense. The homemade oil-based version does not contain the chemicals that the cheap water-proof/sweat-proof sprays have so you will need to apply according to the SPF. This particular mix is about 35 SPF, so you need to re-apply about every 35 minutes for full and complete coverage, especially if you are sweating or out in the water.

Interested in more outdoor, skin and summer tips? Click here!


Bonus: these oils are great for the pH of human skin and act as a luxurious moisturizer for dry skin. If you are worried about your pores getting clogged from the oil, just make sure you exfoliate with a good salt or sugar scrub in the shower afterwards to achieve that luxurious sun-kissed glow.


*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.