Homemade chemical free sunscreen recipe – a more user friendly formula

Summer is in full swing, and as a pasty-pale girl, I am always on the lookout for ways to protect my skin from sun burns.  This chemical free sunscreen recipe is my current favorite.  It provides me great sun protection and is much easier to apply than my previous recipe

homemade natural chemical free sunscreen recipe


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A commercially available option

Last month I told you all about a fantastic new chemical free sunscreen that I found on the market – from Goddess Garden Organics.  If you want the benefits of a natural, chemical free sunscreen without the hassle of making your own, I highly recommend you try out this easy to use product!

My chemical free sunscreen recipe

But if you’re feeling adventurous (or just want to make your own), try out my recipe!  If you’ve previously made my Homemade Natural Sunscreen Recipe, this “user friendly” sunscreen is super easy to make – all you need is that sunscreen and aloe vera gel.  I’ll give you the full recipe, too, in case you haven’t tried my other sunscreen.  

A note about aloe vera gel: many products that I have seen are loaded with chemicals and dyes.  When purchasing aloe vera gel, look for one that is over 99% aloe vera, and check the other ingredients (the Environmental Working Group website or app is really helpful).  This is a “do as I say, not as I do” moment – I checked the EWG for the aloe that I had on hand and used in my recipe, and found that it is NOT 100% aloe vera!  I am highly disappointed.  Next time I need to purchase aloe, I’ll go with an organic product like Nature Sense aloe vera gel.  While this Nature Sense product is not in the EWG database yet, I checked the ingredients against other aloe vera gel products and expect it to receive a “1” rating (best rating possible).  

From my original recipe:

Ingredients

Diana’s Homemade Natural Sunscreen

Aloe vera gel

Instructions

  1. For each tablespoon (15 grams) of sunscreen, add 5 teaspoons (25 grams) aloe vera gel.  Heat slowly (I microwaved in a mason jar for 10 seconds at a time) and stir well.  
  2. Allow to cool before using.
  3. When I use this product, I apply liberally any time I need protection from the sun!

supplies to thin homemade natural sunscreen

From scratch:

Makes about 2.75 cups

Ingredients 

70 grams coconut oil
109 grams shea butter
13.6 grams cocoa butter
82.5 grams non-nano zinc oxide powder
460 grams aloe vera gel (30.5 tablespoons, or 1 cup + 3/4 cup + 4 teaspoons)
homemade natural sunscreen ingredients
 
Instructions
  1. Melt the coconut oil and, very carefully, using care not to inhale any power, add the zinc oxide powder.  (A particle respirator can be worn if you’re concerned.)
  2. Still using care not to inhale any power, stir the zinc oxide powder into the coconut oil. 
  3. Add the shea butter and cocoa butter,  warm a little more if needed, and stir until evenly blended.
  4. Next, add the red raspberry seed oil and stir again until evenly distributed.
  5. Add the aloe vera gel and stir until completely blended.  

Store in an airtight container. I store in a mason jar and scoop out as needed.  Due to the thinner consistency of this sunscreen, you could reuse an old sunscreen or lotion squeeze tube.  Once this sunscreen cools, it does separate into the aloe gel (water based) and zinc oxide/oil blend (oil based).  It ends up having a cottage cheese-like consistency, as shown in the photo below.  This separation does not negatively affect the function of this sunscreen.  I have been using it for months and as long as I blend the sunscreen into my skin well, it is very effective at protecting my sun from burns.

sunscreen blended with aloe vera gel separates but still functions well

Why I love this chemical free sunscreen recipe

I like this sunscreen for many reasons.  #1, for me, it works: it protects my sun from burns and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.  Please use caution when trying any homemade recipe, as your body may react differently. #2, it is MUCH easier to apply than most of the oil-laden chemical free sunscreen creams that I have used (homemade and commercially available).  #3, it is cheaper than the buying sunscreen.  #4 Aloe is great – hydrating for your skin, cooling when applied, and smells nice and summery fresh!

This chemical free sunscreen recipe makes a product that easily blends into skin
This chemical free sunscreen recipe makes a product that easily blends into skin
Cost

Organic coconut oil – $14.99 for 54 oz (1458.99 g) at BJ’s Wholesale Club; (70g/1458.99g)x$14.99=$0.719 (or on Amazon for $16.99)

Organic shea butter – $11.70 for 1 lb (453.59 g) on Amazon; (109g/453.59g)x$11.70=$2.812

Organic cocoa butter – $15.15 for 1 lb (453.59 g) on Amazon; (13.6g/453.59g)x$15.15=$0.454

Organic red raspberry seed oil – $8.37 for 1.1 oz (650 drops) on Amazon; (30 drops/650 drops)x$8.37=$0.386

Zinc oxide powder – $8.95 for 1 lb (453.59 g) on Amazon; (82.5g/453.59g)x$8.95=$1.628

Aloe vera gel – $13.89 for 12 oz (about 354 grams) on Amazon; (460g/354g)x$13.89=$18.05

Total: $24.50 for 2.75 cups (735 grams = 25.6 oz), equating to $0.96 per ounce weight.  For comparison, Goddess Garden is $12.95 for 6 ounces, or $2.16 per ounce.  My recipe is less than half the cost!

Note:  The expensive ingredient in this sunscreen is the aloe vera gel.  My experience has shown me that aloe vera gel is one product that is often less expensive in brick and mortar stores than online, so you may be able to save even more by checking your local drug stores and grocery stores!

Have you ever made your own sunscreen?  Share your experiences in the comments below!

My new favorite commercially available chemical free sunscreen

Now that summer is in full swing here in New England (finally!) I want to let you all know about a new natural, chemical free sunscreen that I found and LOVE.  It is called “goddess garden organics natural mineral sunscreen.”  

Goddess Garden sunscreen title - chemical free sunscreen


Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  See my Disclosure Policy for more information.


Goddess Garden organics natural mineral sunscreen – a chemical free sunscreen

I happened upon this sunscreen when I was walking through Walmart.  Maybe it was the endcap display, the pretty colors, the hummingbird on the packaging, the “organic” label.  Anyway, I stopped and picked up the bottle.  I read through the ingredients quickly and it looked pretty mild to me.  

I scanned the barcode in the Environmental Working Group‘s app and found this sunscreen listed as a 3 (on a scale of 1-10 with 1 being best).  Other than the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, which are the active ingredients, all ingredients were a 1.  Great!  

I researched titanium dioxide and zinc oxide again to refresh my memory on their health risks.  Both ingredients are a moderate health concern, but only when aerosolized, or when the particles become airborne.  In sunscreens, the titanium dioxide powder and zinc oxide powder are mixed thoroughly into the inactive ingredients.  This makes it impossible for the particles to become airborne.  

Also, the particles used in sunscreens are “non-nano,” meaning that the particles are too large to be absorbed into your skin.  Basically, unless you decide to eat this sunscreen (yes, I know kids may do this), I personally do not believe that either ingredient is harmful.  

Goddess Garden Sunscreen

My Review

I decided to give this Goddess Garden Organics sunscreen a try.  When I got home I read the instructions on the bottle.  I shook it well and sprayed some into my hand.  Unlike traditional spray chemical sunscreens, this sunscreen came out as a more lotion consistency than mist.  It’s like a slightly watered down sunscreen cream.  It’s very easy to apply and spread over your skin.  And it feels cool and smooth, not sticky like most of the chemical free sunscreens.  

goddess garden chemical free sunscreen

I have used this sunscreen on numerous occasions for short outdoor excursions, and it works very well for me.  It’s definitely protected me from burns, which is my main concern.

This Goddess Garden sunscreen is mild and gentle enough for my very sensitive face.  I have experienced no itching, burning, or redness – it’s as gentle as my every day coconut oil moisturizer!  This sunscreen is a definite win in my book.

Notes:  Because this sunscreen is thicker than the regular spray chemical sunscreens, it is not as easy to apply as those sprays that you may be used to.  It’s fine for an adult and probably older children, but don’t expect to be able to spray this on your toddler as he or she runs past. 

Also, because this sunscreen is more watery than other natural sunscreens, I make sure to apply it extra thick to make sure I get enough coverage of all areas of my skin.

A Caution – Shake well!

It’s very important to shake spray mineral sunscreens well, and to know what this sunscreen should look like (see photo).  I have heard that these mineral based spray sunscreens separate more easily than chemical based.  If the spray is a clear/less white liquid, it’s not providing the sun protection benefits of the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  Based on my experiences with home made sunscreens, this separation is more likely to occur if the sunscreen gets very hot, such as in your car or in the sun at the beach.  

Cost

One 6-oz bottle of Goddess Garden Organics Natural Mineral Sunscreen costs around $13.  Amazon seems to have the best price I have seen at $12.95 (as of the time of the writing of this post).  I have also seen this sunscreen at Walmart and Stop & Shop.  I’ve even seen rebates in some of my couponing apps for this sunscreen, so you might be able to get it for an even better price!

Comparison

Previously I wrote about Raw Elements natural suncreen. It’s currently about $16 for 3 oz on Amazon.  Based on the spreadability and potency of Raw Elements (active ingredient zinc oxide is 23%) versus Goddess Garden (active ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are combined 12.4%), I think the cost per usable volume is pretty similar, though I prefer Goddess Garden because it is so much easier to apply and feels better on my skin. 

I also wrote about my own home made sunscreen which to me is very similar to Raw Elements as far as effectiveness and feel.  It’s only about 12% the cost per volume of Raw Elements (much better deal in my book!) but isn’t as easy to use as Goddess Garden.  I am inspired to improve my recipe, and I will be reporting to you soon!

Do you have a favorite natural sunscreen? Tell me about it in the comments!