Energy & Sustainability Science
How-To: Homemade sunscreen

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Scoochmaroo shares this recipe for basic sunscreen free of the umpteen additives used in commercial varieties.

Sunscreen is intended to shield your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. These can cause premature aging, and more tragically, skin cancer. But commercial suncreens often involve more nasty chemicals than necessary.

By making your own sunscreen, you control exactly what goes in!

In addition to some natural oils and emulsifying wax, the ingredients list calls for either zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as a sun-blocking agent (both can be found from online suppliers). Read on for the how-to over @ Instructables

10 thoughts on “How-To: Homemade sunscreen

  1. I dunno, sometimes those ‘umpteen additives’ actually do something *useful*. Zinc oxide is a great sunscreen, but as anyone who has used Zinc cream knows (practically anyone who grew up here in Australia, sun cancer capital of the world) the layer of sunscreen has to be fairly opaque to do it’s job – and that’s hardly practical over your entire body.

    Commercial sunscreen ingredients don’t just block or reflect UV, they also absorb it. And since they’re generally strictly controlled by any government worth it’s salt, you can be guaranteed of being well protected.

  2. I think that sometimes the ‘do it yourself’ goes a bit too far.

    Seriously… a tube of sunscreen costs what, $5? That’s definitely worth a few hours of my time for ordering and mixing up this stuff, and then being concerned it might not work.

  3. Personally, I don’t always pursue DIY remakes to save money. More often than not, I’m more interested understanding how it works or simply to have my own version/take on something commonplace.

    Sunscreen’s always been a must-use for me in summer – cool to find out I can make myself and have control over ingredients.

  4. I would rather chemists and experts in dermatology control the ingredients since I have no knowledge of what is really needed.

    1. …because big companies always have your best interests in mind, only hire the best and brightest minds, and would NEVER release a product without fully understanding it’s long term effects? Just because you will never want to make it yourself (I doubt I ever will) doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t be of interest to learn what makes it work. Besides this is Make magazine not Buy magazine ;-)

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