Applying sunscreen is a must to protect the skin from the dangerous UV rays and prevent melanomas. However, there are several reasons that could justify you not wanting to apply one, like their possible harmful chemicals or skin rashes. Enter the homemade sunscreen recipes.
The intake of some foods helps the body increase its own defenses against UV rays when eaten. Therefore, it’s only natural that some will also present a similar effect when rubbed directly on the skin. Check out the following homemade sunscreen recipes and get ready to face the sun.
5 Homemade sunscreen recipes: fighting Nature with Nature
Creating your own sunscreen can look like a daunting task. Failing to recognize the real effect of an ingredient can put your skin in danger and, in an attempt to protect it, you might actually harm it.
Don’t worry. You can leave your doubts aside with these homemade sunscreen recipes as they already take everything into account.
1. Homemade sunscreen coconut oil
Coconut oil and shea butter have more than just a moisturizing role in this recipe. Both ingredients provide an average of SPF 4 protection against solar radiation when applied over the skin.
- Coconut oil: 1 oz.;
- Shea butter: 0.8 oz.;
- Jojoba oil: 0.1 oz.;
- Vitamin E oil: 0.1 oz.;
- Lavender essential oil: 15 drops;
- Eucalyptus essential oil: 10 drops;
- Peppermint essential oil: 5 drops.
- Zinc oxide powder: see below how to calculate the quantity
How to prepare it
1. Add the first three ingredients in a double boiler and heat them up until they melt.
2. Remove the mix from the heat and let it cool down.
3. Stir the zinc oxide in, together with the essential oils and the vitamin E.
4. Once all the ingredients are combined your homemade sunscreen is ready. Just remember to store it in the fridge in a dark jar.
Warning: always wear a mask when dealing with the zinc oxide powder to prevent any inhalation.
2. Homemade sunscreen with aloe vera
Aloe vera, together with the essential oils and the coconut, has a soothing and antibacterial effect over the skin. Therefore, it helps to protect the skin from damages caused by the sun but it also promotes its regeneration in case of sunburn.
- Aloe vera gel: 1/4 cup
- Coconut oil: 1/4 cup
- Raspberry seed oil: 1/4 cup
- Shea Butter: 5 tbsp
- Beeswax: 1/4 cup
- Zinc oxide: 5 tbsp
How to prepare it
1. Stir all the ingredients together except for the zinc oxide.
2. Warm up the mixture to melt all the parts and stir well again to ensure all the ingredients are well combined. Be careful not to let it cook.
3. Pour the mixture into a blender and add the zinc oxide. Set it to maximum speed and let it blend all the components perfectly.
4. Once you get a perfectly combined mixture, pour it into a jar with a lid and store it in the freezer for 20 minutes. This will help solidify the cream before the ingredients can start to separate. After, you can store it in the fridge.
Store your homemade sunscreen in the fridge when possible and keep it always in a cool place. The heat will make the ingredients separate, which will condition its efficiency.
3. Homemade sunscreen without zinc oxide
Most homemade sunscreen recipes require the inclusion of zinc oxide as the main ingredient for protection. However, you can avoid its use, provided you replace it for a natural and equally effective solution.
In this case, the red raspberry seed will be the substitute. According to a study from May 2000, the oil from this seed can present the same level of protection against UVA and UVB (SPF 28-50) as to titanium dioxide, also a controversial ingredient of chemical sunscreens.
- Coconut oil: 1/4 cup;
- Shea butter: 1/4 cup;
- Jojoba oil: 1/8 cup;
- Raspberry seed oil: 1 tbsp;
- Beeswax granules: 2tbsps;
- Carrot seed oil: 1 tbsp.
How to prepare it
1. Warm up the coconut and jojoba oil, beeswax and shea butter until melted and stir them together. You can use a double boiler to reduce the risk of cooking the mixture.
2. Once all the ingredients are melted (note that beeswax will be the last to do so), remove it from the heat and let it cool a bit.
3. Store the mixture in the freezer for 15-30. The goal is to make it solidify but remain creamy enough to be whisked.
4. Passed this time, removed it from the freezer and whip it. Add the red raspberry seed oil and the carrot seed oil slowly. Keep mixing until the cream is fluffy and soft.
Store it in a glass container in the fridge. You can apply it normally as any other sunscreen.
4. Homemade sunscreen with essential oils
- Almond oil: 1/2 cup;
- Shea butter: 2 tbsps;
- Coconut oil: 1/4 cup;
- Zinc oxide: 2 tbsps;
- Carrot seed essential oil: 10 drops;
- Myrrh essential oil: 10 drops;
- Lavender essential oil: 25 drops.
How to prepare it
1. Melt all the ingredients except for the zinc oxide in a double boiler. Stir occasionally.
2. Remove mixture from the heat once all the parts are combined and add the zinc oxide and stir very well, making sure this ingredient is completely diluted too.
3. Pour the cream into a glass jar an store in the fridge between uses.
4. Don’t forget to shake this sunscreen very well before using it to guarantee all the ingredients keep well combined.
5. Homemade sunscreen for hair
The good news is that the UV rays don’t cause cancer to the hair. The bad is that they still damage it, leaving it dull, dry and weak. Applying a homemade nutritious sunscreen to it can thus help to prevent these damages and keep your hair beautiful and strong.
- Filtered water: 1/2 cup;
- Organic coconut oil: 1 tsp;
- Carrot seed oil: 5 drops;
- Pure myrrh oil: 5 drops.
How to make it
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl or in a jar, stirring well to combine them all.
2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and you’re ready.
Spray the sunscreen into your hair before exposing it to the sun. You can also use it over damp hair to keep it protected and reduce the frizz effect.
Zinc oxide, the unavoidable ingredient
Zinc oxide is unavoidable in any sunscreen at it is one of the main sources of protection against the UV rays. It is an effective broad-spectrum sun blocker that sits on the skin and simultaneously absorbs and reflects these rays to prevent them from getting to the skin.
This compound is also one of the ingredients in the center of the controversy regarding sunscreen safety. However, it is only its nano form that raises the debate for fear the tiny particles might be absorbed by the skin causing harm instead of protecting it.
Homemade sunscreen recipes always use the non-nano form. This will provide effective protection without the dangers of the one used in chemical made sunscreens.
How to know the right quantity to use
To know how much zinc oxide you must add to a sunscreen recipe you need to take two things into consideration: the level of SPF you want and the weight of your formula.
The relation is as follows:
- 10% zinc oxide = 6-11 SPF
- 15% zinc oxide = 12-19 SPF
- 20% zinc oxide = >20 SPF
To calculate the amount of zinc oxide you’ll be using, weigh the formula you already have. Then, decide the level of SPF you’re looking for. Now you just need to do a bit of math and add the percentage calculated.
For instance, if the lotion weighs 2 oz. and you want an SPF 10, you calculate 10% of 2 oz. The result is 0.2 oz, so that’s the quantity of zinc oxide you’ll need to add to the recipe.
Before you give these homemade sunscreen recipes a try, check the video below for an example of how to make these sunscreens.
You can learn how to set a makeshift double boiler and check how the liquid and mixture changes throughout the process so you can have a better sense if you’re doing it right yourself.