Between lotions, bars, and sprays, I find myself reaching for my sunscreen spray more often. It’s easy to layer and is the most convenient to use.
Sunscreen is an integral part of our daily skincare routine. It protects us from the harmful UVA and UVB rays, fighting off premature aging and skin damage from overexposure.
That said, it’s imperative that we make sure that whatever we use is effective — not all sunscreens are equal after all. With so many recipes online nowadays, it’s growing more difficult to find recipes with scientific backing. Lucky for you, I’ve already done the research.
In this article:
- Natural Sunscreen Spray Recipe
- Physical Sunscreen vs Chemical Sunscreen
- Store-Bought vs Homemade Sunscreen Spray
How to Make Homemade Natural Sunscreen Spray
Natural Sunscreen Spray Recipe
This natural sunscreen recipe combines ingredients that will fight free radicals from sun exposure, and block UV rays. It’s a masterpiece if I do say so myself. It’s also a great base recipe that you can convert to different types of sunscreens like lotions or bars.
Before heading out to the beach, spray on an ounce of sunscreen directly on your skin. Even if it seems a tad tedious, re-apply your spray sunscreen every two hours. Yes, an ounce every time you apply.
This recipe will last you five applications if you spray on an ounce each time. This is approximately the size of a shot glass. Needless to say, this recipe is 100% alcohol-free.
What You’ll Need:
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel (must be pure, 50% or higher only)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin coconut oil (SPF 7)
- 25 drops walnut oil (contains some sun-protective properties, great nutty scent)
- 2 tbsp zinc oxide (a characteristic of physical sunscreens, required by the FDA!)
- glass spray bottle
- small saucepan (enough to hold approximately 1/2 cup of liquids)
- For acne prone skin: Replace the coconut oil with almond oil or jojoba oil, since coconut oil may be comedogenic to certain skin types
- To make a lotion: Add 1 cup shea butter as a thickening agent and additional moisturizer
Step 1: Mix the Coconut Oil and Walnut Oil in a Small Saucepan
Combine the oils in your small saucepan in medium heat. After a minute, let the mixture cool.
To make lotion: Mix the oils with a cup of shea butter.
Step 2: Add Pure Aloe Vera Gel
Since you can’t heat aloe vera, wait until your mixture has cooled for approximately 10 minutes. Stir in the aloe vera gel until it becomes a homogenous mixture.
Step 3: Add Zinc Oxide
Distribute the zinc oxide evenly on your mixture. Continue to mix your DIY sunscreen spray. The consistency should be fluid enough to go through your spray bottle.
Step 4: Transfer to Glass Spray Bottle
Transfer your sunscreen spray to your most Instagram-worthy spray bottle using a funnel to avoid any spills.
I love using glass spray bottles since it’s easier to clean especially after dealing with thick, oily substances. Look for a spray bottle with a wide spray rather than a concentrated spray to make it easier to apply all over the body. Since we need to spray on an ounce during each application, grab a bottle that can contain approximately an ounce to make sure you get enough.
Keep the spray in the refrigerator to keep the aloe vera cool! If you will be switching up some of the ingredients, stay away from photosensitive ingredients such as citrus oils. Those ingredients will destabilize in the sun and will lose their potency, and will leave your skin sensitive under the sun.
Physical Sunscreen vs Chemical Sunscreen
Physical sunscreens contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Because they are able to sufficiently block both UVA and UVB rays, the FDA requires that all sunscreens must contain either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Physical sunscreens usually leave a white cast over our skin, but it’s a small price to pay for protection right?
Chemical sunscreens require a combination of different chemicals. Unlike physical sunscreens, there isn’t one chemical that can block both UVA and UVB rays. Ingredients for chemical sunscreens aren’t available in our favorite stores unlike physical sunscreens, that’s why when we make a natural sunscreen recipe it can only be a physical one.
This homemade sunscreen spray is a physical sunblock. Zinc oxide will be our best friend this summer!
Store-Bought vs Homemade Sunscreen Spray
I would still recommend keeping a commercial sunscreen spray on hand if you’ll be under the sun all day. While we will be including zinc oxide in this recipe according to FDA standards, it won’t be as potent as their lab-tested counterparts.
What I do love about homemade sunscreens is that we’re able to do away with harsh chemicals and keep it clean with natural ingredients. This is definitely worth trying out for beauties with sensitive skin!
Homemade sunscreen sprays are also environment-friendly, and as a bonus, wallet-friendly! This, I’m sure, is something we can all get behind. Since we need to re-apply sunscreen over time, a homemade option is more cost-effective.
Check out Liah’s sunscreen guide for acne-prone skin:
We each have our own reasons for going natural, but before you make a final decision make sure to do thorough research! Unfortunately, it’s not as easy opening the first recipe we find online then just going for it.
More importantly, I hope you get into the habit of donning on enough sunscreen every day since the sun damages our skin more than we know.
Voila! You’re beach-ready and set to get a much-needed tan.
Do you have a favorite homemade sunscreen recipe? We’d love to hear about it! Let us know in the comments section below.
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