As my regular readers know, I’m a fan of DIY beauty recipes. They’re quick and easy to do and they can save us some money too. Over the years, I shared lots of mine with you. I told you how to make your own cream eyeshadows, tinted brow gel, hands scrubs, and many other products. But there is one I’ll never recommend you make at home: sunscreen.
Sunscreen is not just another beauty product. It doesn’t just make your prettier, but protects your skin from UV rays, preventing premature aging and cancer. A good sunscreen can literally save your skin. And making a good sunscreen is not simply a matter of pouring some zinc oxide, with a bunch of natural extracts, in a bowl and mixing them all together. That may give you a natural mixture that spreads easily on the skin, but chances are, it won’t be effective.
You see, zinc oxide is a bitch to work with. It’s difficult to blend it into a base, and to keep it dispersed there. Instead, zinc oxide migrates and forms big clumps so that, when you apply it on the skin, some areas are well-covered while others remain completely exposed to the sun rays. And what’s worse is that you often can’t see these clumps with your naked eye.
If you had the means to test your sunscreen, which is quite expensive to do anyway, you’ll be surprised at how little sun protection it provides. Since many of us don’t have that opportunity, we only realise that our homemade sunscreen doesn’t work when it’s too late and we got a bad sunburn. And adding more zinc oxide to the formula won’t help that much. You may get a more evenly coverage, but you’ll have to deal with an unpleasant white cast and heavy consistency.
To make an effective homemade sunscreen, you have to have the right particle size of zinc oxide (large particles produce a white cast), you have to use the right amount to provide adequate protection, and then you need to make sure it is properly dispersed and stabilized in the formula. That requires extensive knowledge of cosmetic chemistry, special machines to break up zinc oxide particles and distribute them evenly in the formula, and a testing lab. All things very few of us have.
In other words, you’re much better off buying a properly formulated and tested sunscreen. Even if you’re not comfortable using a chemical sunscreen, there are many sunscreens on the market these days that are zinc-oxide based, and contain only a bunch of natural extracts instead of synthetic ingredients, such as Badger All Natural Sunscreen SPF 30 Unscented, MVO Everyday Coverage SPF 30, and Sunumbra SPF 30, so that really is no excuse to risk your skin by making yours at home.
Have you ever made your own sunscreen?