How can I reuse or recycle expired sunscreen/sun lotion?

How many of you happen to buy sunscreens, sometimes quite expensive ones, and then find yourself, at the end of the summer, with the bottles still half full because you failed to use them up? What’s worse, then, is that you can’t store them for the next year because they have an expiration date (usually 6 to 12 months after opening), beyond which the sunscreen may no longer work properly. But we give you good news: you will never have to throw them away again! You can, in fact, reuse expired or leftover sunscreens for some household or cosmetic uses. Let’s see them together!

For the home

First, let’s start by looking at how to recycle these creams for home cleaning. There are uses in the home, in fact, that will surprise you.

Cleaning sofas and leather items

Expired or leftover sunscreens can be used as an alternative to the common cleansing milk you commonly use to clean your face or leather items. All you will need to do, then, is to apply some of the cream to a damp cloth and then wipe the cloth over the stains or halos on the leather sofa or other items such as shoes, handbags and so on. Finally, use a cloth moistened with water, remove the excess product and wipe the fabric with a dry cloth.

Remove glue residue

How many times have you come across glue residue due perhaps to stickers or labels stuck on the surfaces of your furniture? You will be happy to know that sunscreens can also be recycled to remove these residues. All you need to do is put some of this cream on the “stained” object and leave it on for a while. Finally, rinse and goodbye halo!

Polishing oxidized wood and metal furniture

Although it may sound too good to be true, it does seem that sunscreens have a polishing power that can make wooden furniture and oxidized metal like new. Then apply a small amount of cream to a clean cloth and rub it directly on the wooden furniture to get a perfect polish or on the oxidized metal surface to remove the “black” stain due to oxidation. Surfaces will be as shiny and clean as ever!

N.B We always recommend you test on hidden corners to make sure you don’t damage the surfaces.

For skin and hair

Once we have seen how to recycle sunscreens for home use, let’s see together how to recycle them for cosmetic use, that is, for the beauty of skin and hair.


First of all, you can reuse these sunscreens as if they were ordinary moisturizers for our bodies. Since, in fact, they are sunscreens, they still contain moisturizers and nutrients that you can take advantage of even after the summer, when your skin turns out to be dry. Besides, let’s face it: these creams usually smell so pleasant and “summery” that they seem to take us back to the beach again (at least with our minds)!


Smoothing scrubs

In addition to as a moisturizer, leftover sunscreens can also be the basis for creating DIY face and body scrubs. So, take any amount of cream (depending on the area of the body you want to exfoliate) and pour it into a bowl. Then add coarse salt or brown sugar until you get a slightly grainy consistency, which is useful for scrubbing. We remind you, however, not to overdo the amount of salt or sugar: a too “rough” texture, in fact, could be too abrasive and irritate the most delicate skin! Apply, then, the obtained scrub on the skin by making circular movements, let it act for a while, after that, proceed with the shower.

Hair mask

Finally, here is the last use: hair mask.  Expired or leftover sunscreens, as we have already mentioned, still contain emollient, nourishing and moisturizing substances that could be an elixir for your hair. All you will need to do is apply some cream directly to the lengths of your hair and leave it on for about 10 minutes. After that, proceed with shampooing. This softening and brightening pack will make your hair shiny, detangled like never before!


Always try the sunscreen on a hidden corner of the various surfaces to be cleaned, so you can be sure it will not damage them. Do not use it if you have allergies or hypersensitivities.

Load More Posts Loading...No more posts.