The Offshore Voyaging Reference Site

Badger Sunscreen Review

So, after years of slathering on sunscreen in order to avoid getting skin cancer, we’re now being told that a number of the chemicals used in these very sunscreens are themselves carcinogens. It just makes me crazy!

However, after getting over my snit and doing some research, I have found what I think is a good solution: Badger 30 SPF sunscreen. It is a mineral (zinc oxide) instead of a chemical sunscreen. Though Badger uses micronized zinc oxide, studies have shown that it doesn’t penetrate the skin the way nano-sized chemical particles do.

We’ve noticed two things which support the fact that Badger is safer:

  • Our eyes used to burn terribly if we got chemical sunscreen in them. That doesn’t happen with Badger sunscreen.
  • It used to be that chemical sunscreens would dissolve the varnish on surfaces we touch a lot (handrails, the edge of the navigation desk, etc.). That is no longer happening since we switched to Badger.

Now, the reason people moved away from using zinc (the original sunscreen) is because of the whiteface problem and Badger sunscreen does leave a white residue. For us, it’s worth a bit of whiteface to not have to deal with carcinogens. But then, we wear Tilley hats (lovingly dubbed ‘dork hats’ by John’s daughter), so fashion is obviously not high on our agenda!

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Jackson Hole Skier

If you want to make your own organic natural sunscreen, here is a recipe. You will need:

* Electric mixer
* Doubler boiler
* 2 ½ oz. sesame oil
* 1 ½ oz. coconut oil
* 1 ½ oz. beeswax
* 4 oz. distilled water
* 2 tbsp. of zinc oxide
* 1 tbsp. wheat germ oil

Mix the sesame oil, coconut oil and beeswax in the double boiler and warm over medium heat. Remove from the heat and add the distilled water. Mix with the mixer until the ingredients are thick and smooth. Add the zinc oxide and wheat germ oil. Pour into a storage jar and leave to set.


There is also a great company in New Mexico that makes a
SPF 30 non-chemical sunscreen. They are called the Super Salve Co. from little mining town of Mogollon, NM. I use it in Colorado where the sun tends to burn a little hotter and I don’t notice it leaving much of a white residue. Look them up on the web they will mail to you.

John Harries

Hi Sam,

Thanks for the tip.