How to Make Your Own Sunscreen

summer survival guide

how to make your own sunscreenIf you're into DIY beauty products, then you might give making your own sunblock a try. Homemade sunscreen has less chemicals than commercial brands, and some people with sensitive skin find it to be less irritating. You can make sunscreen using your favorite store-bought lotion or completely from scratch...


Instructables offers two recipes for homemade sunscreen. Please note, both recipes require adding a sun-blocking agent—either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which should absolutely not be inhaled. Always use gloves and mask when working with these products. Use Instructables' SPF Table to determine how much zinc oxide/titanium dioxide to add.

1. Easy DIY Sunscreen

8 oz. store-bought lotion (your favorite brand)

Zinc oxide or titanium dioxide

Add zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to lotion, using the SPF Table as a reference. Instructables suggest using a new container rather than the original lotion container to be sure that every single drop of lotion is allowed to mix with the sun-blocking agent.


2. DIY Sunscreen from scratch

8 oz. carrier oil, (olive, sunflower, jojoba, soybean, or whatever you like)

1 oz. emulsifing wax

Sunblocking agent - zinc oxide or titanium dioxide - available online

Essential oils of your choice, optional

Mixer (either handheld mixer, submersible blender, or mini chopper--NOT TO BE USED FOR FOOD AFTERWARDS)

Silicone spatula

Pastry bag or plastic baggie

Container for your lotion

Scale for accurate measuring

Gloves and a mask for handling powdered agents

Measure 1 oz. of wax into a microwave-safe container. Melt in the microwave on high heat (approx 1 minute). Add 8 oz. oil, and blend well. Add a few drops of essential oils for scent (optional step). If the mixture starts to harden, put it back in the microwave for a few seconds.

Use the SPF Table to determine measurements of zinc oxide/titanium dioxide. For example, 8 oz. (weighed) of lotion plus 8 oz. of titanium micronized dioxide (weighed) equals SPF20+. In this case, the titanium micronized dioxide is 10 percent of the original amount of lotion used (not the finished weight).

Wearing your gloves and mask, carefully measure zinc oxide or titanium oxide into your blending container. Add the wax/oil mixture to the powder. Blend thoroughly. Scrape the sides of your mixing bowl and blend some more. Continue blending until the powder is thoroughly incorporated.

Use a silicone spatula to transfer your mixture into a pastry bag or plastic baggie with the corner snipped off. Squeeze the lotion into your new containers and label.

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