Natural Homemade Sunscreen

Homemade Natural Sunscreen Recipe

Most sunscreens contain toxic ingredients or endocrine disrupting chemicals that in many cases may actually promote skin cancer growth and free radical production in the body. In fact, in the years since sunscreen use began, skin cancer rates have actually risen, and a 2007 document from the FDA stated that: “The FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer” In fact, many reports show that most sunscreens actually raise skin cancer risk.

Even natural, commercially available sunscreens often have toxic ingredients! Check out your brand here!

Homemade Natural Sunscreen Recipe very moisturizing and easy to make 300x158Considering many people these days are actually Vitamin D deficient, I consider lack of sun exposure to be a much bigger problem than too much exposure. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many types of cancers including the most deadly types of breast cancer. Lack of Vitamin D has also been linked to problems during pregnancy including pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, premature labor, and more.

As a society, we’ve literally cut off our nose to spite our face when it comes to sun exposure. To avoid skin cancer, we’ve shunned the sun and the Vitamin D our bodies produce with sun exposure.

On top of that, sun exposure itself is not the only factor linked to skin cancer, and many other factors, such as Omega-6 Vegetable Oil consumption can have a big impact on skin health!

In most cases, my approach to sun exposure is to get adequate daily exposure, without getting close to the point of burning. Since most of us don’t work outside these days, it actually takes effort to get daily sun, rather than to avoid it.

In the event that I’m going to be out in the sun for much longer than my skin is used to, it is often easy enough to just put on a hat or shirt to shield my skin.

If none of these options are available, for instance, on a day at the beach in early summer before I’ve been in the sun much, I will very occasionally use natural sunscreen. I’m yet to use it this year, and hope not to at all, but I wanted to share my recipe so that if you are in the sun for extended periods of time this summer, you have a natural option.

This would also be a more natural alternative for really young children, those taking medication that increases sun burn risk, or those who burn very easily.

Just to clarify, even though this natural sunscreen smells great and is naturally moisturizing, I don’t recommend using it daily since the Vitamin D you get from the sun will be more beneficial in the long run!

Many of the ingredients in this recipe have a natural SPF but since this is a natural recipe and has not been tested by a regulatory organization, I can’t make any claims or even guesses as to the combined SPF. The individual ingredients that are naturally SPF are:

  • Almond Oil- SPF around 5
  • Coconut Oil- SPF 4-6
  • Zinc Oxide SPF 2-20 depending on how much used
  • Red Raspberry Seed Oil SPF 25-50
  • Carrot Seed Oil –  SPF 35-40
  • Shea Butter – SPF 4-6

The final version will have a varied sun protective ability depending on the amount of each ingredient used. For a simple version, even just coconut oil and shea butter with a little Raspberry Seed and Carrot Seed Oil or some Zinc oxide will work for moderate exposure.

As always check with your doctor or dermatologist before using any new products.

NOTE: This is an improved recipe since many people were having trouble getting the temperatures exactly right to get the lotion to emulsify (as per the comments below). This recipe will not have any of those issues!

Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients:

How to Make Sunscreen:

  1. Combine ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint sized or larger glass jar. I have a mason jar that I keep just for making lotions and lotion bars, or you can even reuse a glass jar from pickles, olives, or other foods.
  2. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.
  3. Put a lid on the jar loosely and place in the pan with the water.
  4. As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to incorporate. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide, stir in well and pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage.
  5. Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this. It will not pump well in a lotion pump!
  6. Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
  7. Use as you would regular sunscreen. Best if used within six months.

 Additional Notes:

  • This sunscreen is somewhat, but not completely, waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming
  • Make sure not to inhale the Zinc Oxide- use a mask if necessary!
  • This recipe has an SPF of about 15, though adding more Zinc Oxide will increase the SPF
  • Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smooth sunscreen
  • I recommend coconut or vanilla extract or lavender essential oils for fragrance
  • Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge
  • I prefer to store in a small canning jar and apply like a body butter. It will be thicker, especially if you use coconut oil in the recipe.
  • remove the Zinc Oxide and this makes an excellent lotion recipe!

An Even Faster Way To Make Sunscreen:

  • Get a bottle of your favorite lotion (that doesn’t contain citrus oils!)
  • Add a couple Tablespoons of non-nano  Zinc Oxide
  • Mix well
  • Use as Sunscreen

You can also make Sunscreen Bars by using many of the same ingredients and which are easier to apply!

Pre-Made Natural Sunscreens:

I’ve also gotten some questions about pre-made sunscreen options for those who don’t have the time or desire to make a homemade version. The best brand I’ve found is Badger and they have several great organic, non-nano versions:

Natural Sunscreen Ingredients

What do you think? Avid sunscreen user or Vitamin D junkie?

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Reader Comments

  1. I tend to fall somewhere in between.  If we are out all day, I will put on an SPF 60 in the morning. That keeps me from burning all day long.  I *might* re-apply after lunch, but usually I forget.

    We just went grain free and for the first time in YEARS I didn’t have a PMS migraine!  Yesterday it was cold and rainy and my feet weren’t freezing cold all day long.  (I don’t know if this is a grain free thing or not but I’ll take it)

    • I saw my menstrual symptoms disappear too, and definitely don’t get cold as easily anymore. The most surprising thing though, was that I actually don’t burn, at all, and tan really well (definitely a first- I’m Irish) so you might also notice that you have a higher sun tolerance.

      • Hi there Wellness Mama – Just came across your site and was trying to add my email to your list. I hope you get this because I would really enjoy your emails!! :-) Please add me if you can.

      • Having lost my mom to melanoma in 07, I take serious offense to the statement :

        “Considering many people these days are actually Vitamin D deficient, I consider lack of sun exposure to be a much bigger problem than too much sun exposure”. I’m sure if you talked with any end stage melanoma patient or their grieving families you just may change that utterly shocking statement. I’m all for the natural stuff…. but you HAVE to do your research. And you HAVE to protect your skin!
        Not as many ppl are as vitamin d deficient as you may think. If so- they sell vitamin d at any bloody drug store. For shame :(

        • Maybe YOU should do a little more research, she isn’t the first person to bring this up. It’s beginning to be more and more commonly known that by applying sunscreens you are literally baking the chemicals into your skin.. But hey it sells, and guess what pharma sells too because of the cancers it causes. Sorry you lost your mom but you can’t let emotions rule logical thinking.. sunscreen = skin cancer, period. And YES people DO have a lack of vitamin D because of not enough sun exposure. And by sun exposure she really does not mean spend hours in the hot searing sun… she simply means, go for a half hour walk in the morning when it’s light outside but not yet hot, that is enough to get your vitamin D for the day. But because of people’s hectic schedules they spend all their daylight time in concrete walls. So I suggest you read up a little on vitamin D deficiency and sunscreens and cancers…

          • I was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in 2004. I used chemical sunscreen religiously on my fair skin. After the diagnosis and research I tossed everything and started covering up and using Badger products. I go out in the sun without anything for about 20 to 30 minutes because vitamin D deficiency is so common. We do need to be more careful because we’ve destroyed the ozone layer . . . limit sun exposure if you burn easily but don’t stop exposure altogether. BTW, I’ve been healthy and melanoma free for almost 10 years . . .

          • I am a letter carrier so I’m outdoors 6-7 hrs daily. My last check up my Dr. told me that my vitamin D was low so I need to take supplements. A fellow letter carrier said that her doctor told her the same thing. Is BIG PHARMA at work??? I only wear sunscreen on my face n neck as I always wear long sleeves. What gives????

        • I’m sorry to hear you lost your mother to melanoma, but really you should research the matter further. Skin cancer is not caused by sun exposure. Many tests over many years (not funded by drug companies) have proven this time and time again.

          • Are you kidding? I’d love to see some citations backing up your above statement… If you tell me to do my own research, well all know you’re making you’re statement up, or getting your information from untrustworthy sources.

        • It doesn’t look like anyone here is promoting the skin cancer versus the lack of Vitamin D… Your statement is shocking because it is agressive, based on subjective emotions and are not scientifically relevant.
          As the previous readers said, I too am sorry for your loss, but since you mention the last stage patients, it could be really instructive to see how many of them DID actually use chemical based sunscreen and how many of them were over exposed during their entire lifetime…
          Again, nothing to revive your pain, but skin cancer is mostly an education/generation issue and could be easily prevented in most cases if we weren’t in a “all perfect-tanned-tonned”.
          Best protections are physical obstructive protections (Long sleeves, hat…) and shadow. The rest is common sense, don’t get to the pool deck between 12pm and 4pm… don’t put babies in the sun before they turn 3, don’t smoke, eat a healthy and balanced food etc.

        • So sorry you lost your mother to melanoma. I also had melanoma last November. Fortunately it was caught in stage one. However, I am supper fearful of a return. I see one dermatologist or another kind each month just to have them look at my skin to make sure.

          I just read many medical reports on commercial sun screens. According to all of these reports, all commercial sun screens produce free radicals and they cause cancer, through skin absorbing these products. Actual medical research in the USA, Australia, and the UK show that none of these sun screens prevent melanoma. In fact their blind tests show that the sun screens actually might be the cause of many cancers. Evidently the skin absorbs these added chemicals and activates female hormone which is a physical ingredient, when the body is chemically thrown out of balance, that will cause cancer.

          I agree with the person who commented that “You will feel a lot better about vitamin D and the Sun and making your own recipe for Sun Screen, once you look up the medical findings. You can start with Wikipedia, since they aren’t selling anything and then go on to read some medical research. I am glad I found Wellness Mama today. I will purchase these ingredients and make my own sun screens. I think the natural ingredients are better.

          I will continue to walk my dog at sunrise and sunset in the shade of the trees. I live in Florida so just getting in and out of my car will give me enough Sun exposure to increase my vitamin D. I have begun wearing a hat (sometimes) and binging a sun umbrella for shopping.

        • I agree with the first comment, YOU need to do your research.
          Firstly research has shown that sunscreen block vitamin D absorption and dry your skin out, if you research the ingredients separately on google scientific case studies will show up with the research on that single ingredient and it’s side affects.
          Secondly women use up two hundred synthetic chemicals and toxins a day on their skin from shampoo/conditioner, toothpaste, cleansers, toners, hand creams, moisturises, make-up, fake tan, hair removing creams, hair spray, hair gels, straightening products, You name it women use it daily and if you research those ingredients individually most of them will fall in the category of being a contributor to cancer.
          Thirdly I have my own experience with sunscreen and burns. When I was 12 years old I got second/ third degree burns from being in the sun,I was covered in sunscreen spent 2 hours in the swimming pool with friends, by that evening I was on fire and red like a tomato. When the pharmacist saw my back he said I should head to the hospital as I could barely move and my blisters looked deep under the skin. No one believed me when I told them I used sunscreen, so the next summer I wore a wet suit and only took it off once for half an hour, with in that half an hour with sunscreen on my back blistered and developed a crust that left a scare on my back for 7 years. After that I avoided the sun all together as i rather sit in the shade then ever use sunscreen again.
          To top it all off I now have dermatitis and an chemical/ toxin sensitive.
          Three years ago was the first year I was able to spend all day in the sun without burning thanks to making my own sunscreen. I had the most amazing colour and glow on my skin that everyone kept asking me how I get such an amazing tan and health skin…. Simple, home-made sunscreen!

          I have fybromyalgia and juvenile arthritis, when it was first diagnosed by vitamin d levels where horrible but I refused to get in the sun, I was so pale in most photos I looked dead, so many family members where shocked at how white I was, after using this home-made sunscreen my health has picked up so much, my energy level up, my blood tests are always perfect, arthritic pain has been gone for years, my physical strength and endurance had dramatically improved and so many other bonuses to using home-made sunscreen.

          Everyone needs to be responsible for their own health instead relying on the medical industry to know the answer, it’s your body it’s you choice. I’ve done my research clearly like many others have on this comment feed. I have lost many people to cancer but it would never make me want to use chemo/ radiation to treat my own cancer (god forbid I ever got cancer) because I have an educated opinion, done my research, formed an opinion and make my own choices for my body.

        • I agree. There is a lot of misleading information in this particular blog on sun screens. If you read all the research, the case for toxicity of sunscreen means using 100 x normal amount over a lifetime. The possible dangers of the sun are greater. The sun damages your skin. Look at the skin on your bottom and the skin on your face. They are the same age. Age is not the culprit. The damage that may lead to cancer/ melanoma is cumulative. We all get most of our sun damage as children. Therefore there is more cancer today because we are living longer, etc. Wellness Mama, please protect yourself and your children!

        • Most melanoma Pts have a cancer that starts where there is not sun exposure. Cancer is from inflammation. Not the sun. Wellness Mama is right. Medical doctors are about 17 years behind and will still have you believing what you believe, but it is incorrect. The science is there. Dig for answers and you’ll find them.

        • Wellness Mama and Heather,
          Heather, I am truly sorry about your mother. I know how in MY cases, sorrow has often turned to anger. Wellness Mama really is just trying to inform people that there are other ways than the chemical methods the stores offer and that there are vitamins and minerals we need.
          Heather, if you are still on the site maybe you can tell her privately, with facts, and not an attack, why her post angered you so much. Help prevent her from hurting someone else? I don’t think she was trying to hurt anyone purposely. She touched a nerve with you but really, she is just trying to help. I am not in any way trying diminish your pain Heather. Please know that.
          NEW TOPIC: Regarding the homemade sunscreen, I have a few questions. I don’t know if it means I am still not going to be able to go outside EVER or maybe there is some hope.
          I spent my life worshiping the sun. Indoors in high school shortly, just because I got permission to do something I thought was cool. I was in the sun so much people called me Tannon instead of Shannon. Silly, I know, but I am making a point.
          When I layed in the sun and felt it on me, I felt like it was something healthy and something I needed. I could get a tan in 30 minutes. I am Sicilian with olive skin so I NEVER thought I would have any kind of issue.
          When I was 37?, that funny spot next to my eye I had been avoiding, I could no longer avoid. Sure enough it was skin cancer. I had it removed but I am scared to death I am going to get more.
          At the same time I got the cancer, I got hyper pigmentation, melasma or photo aging. Who knows what it was. I do know I wasn’t pregnant, on birth control, or premenopausal.
          I used a product with hydroquinine in it and was able to erase the “stuff” on my face.
          Summer came for the first time since the skin cancer was removed. I had a brand new bikini from my paleo weight loss, I had the right number sun screen on per my Dermatologist. Bravely for the first time walked to my living complex’s pool. I layed for a while, went in the pool and talked a bit. To say I was there 3 hours would be pushing it.
          I got my stuff, went home, looked in the mirror and THE MELASMA, HYPER PIGMENTATION, PHOTOAGING WHATEVER was BACKKKKK!!!!!!
          UGGGGG!
          Ok. So apparently, that meant I couldn’t go outside, ever?? I took about two seasons? and I cleared my face up again. This time, instead of an outdoor tan, I tried the tanning lotion you use inside. Guess. It came back.
          So, I bleached the junk off my face again. Summer came, I bought a straw hat and went to my nieces first birthday party. It was outside.
          I was thinking how sad this was. I love to swim. Every picture of me as a child, I am bopping around in a bikini outside in those little pools or slip and slides. When I was older I was always in the pool and middle school high school I either was in a public pool or laying out. I’m pisces.
          I asked my Dermatologist what I could do. She said I don’t know. I said what about the number of sun block? I don’t know, she said.
          Being outside and especially swimming are very important to me and I hope you see this.
          My questions for you are 1: I have acne, can I wear this oily tanning lotion without breaking out?
          2: Is the highest amount of sunscreen with this recipe 35-40?
          3: Will it prevent the melasma, hyper pigmentation and photo aging?
          4: If not, do you have anything that will, so I can actually leave my house for more than the walk to the car? I have not gone out at all this summer.
          Thank you so much for everything Wellness Mama,
          Shannon

      • I just made the sunscreen recipe. Going away with my 6 month old daughter in a week. Im having some difficulty though. As it cooled the oil separated and floated to the top. What did i do wrong? I thought i followed it exactly?

        • Have you checked to make sure its 100% oil? I tried to use Vanilla and it seperated when i looked on the back it had add water.

        • After you melt the ingredients (oils, butters, beeswax) together, refrigerate for an hour or so until it hardens. Then add the zinc oxide and mix with a hand mixer for 5 minutes. That seems to take care of the separating issue, and does a good job of mixing the zinc oxide in completely.

          Wellness Mama, you are wonderful!

      • I’ve been fiddling with this recipe for a month now… Added basil, lavender, and neem because we get sand fleas at our beaches here. The #1 thing I don’t like about this is how bad it gets all over my clothing, bathing suit… anything I touch really, and it’s sooo hard to remove. I soak my items and wash them by hand in cold water right after I get home but it’s quite a chore. Any siggestions?

        • I have been experimenting with the sunscreen recipe. I add more zinc to add more screening. I keep reducing the wax also to make it creamier – have not gotten there yet. Next time I plan to totally eliminate the wax. I love the sunscreen, but when we go to the beach, the sand sticks to me like it is glued on. I cannot rinse OR wash it off. Any suggestions? Will leaving out the wax help much?

        • Hi Faith,

          I haven’t tried this yet, but have ordered ingredients. However, this recipe looks to me like a balm – I will be trying it as a cream/lotion. To do this, you will need to do a water phase and add emulsifier to your oil phase. Heat them separately up to 65 degrees Celsius and then pour oil into water and whisk intermittently while it cools. Add essential oils before you pour it into your container. You will need to add a preservative as it contains water. Geogard 221 is a good choice. My first attempt recipe would look like this:

          Oil Phase:

          25g beeswax
          25g Cetearyl olivate & sorbitan olivate (emulsifier, you need this so oil and water will combine)
          15g coconut oil
          15g shea butter
          15g almond oil
          10g raspberry seed oil
          10g carrot seed oil

          Water phase:
          350ml water
          15ml glycerine

          Last phase: 1-2mls geogard 221
          Zinc oxide – use this link to determine how much you should use (depending on how strong you want it) http://www.instructables.com/id/Homemade-Sunscreen/step4/SPF-Table/

          Good luck, let me know how it turns out if you do decide to try it :)

      • I use sunscreen solely to prevent freckling. Do you have any advice for this as your spf I don’t think would cut it. Also any REAL solutions to freckle removal outside of laser or lemon juice? Thanks

        • Learn to love yourself. Your beautiful the way God made you. Freckles and all. :)
          From a fellow freckled face.

          • I was also terribly’d freckled as a youth but was told they’re ‘Angel Kisses”. Wasn’t so bad after that!

          • I agree. When I get sun – I try for 15-20 min a day for the D, my arms and legs are covered in freckles. I really don’t care. My husband loves them.

      • Hi, how do you clean your mason jars, utensils, etc. after making sunscreen, lotions, etc.? Very sticky and scrubbing with hot water alone is not working very well.

          • I just bought all ingredients to make this (kind of expensive). I put 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 beeswax and Shea butter into a jar then put in a pan with a little water. It melted but oil is at bottom and top is chunky. I stirred but it isn’t incorporating. I’m thinking this recipe is not working for me. Did I do something wrong? All ingredients are pure. Glad I didn’t add the essential oils yet, as I’m thinking I’m going to probably have to toss this.

          • Patti, Oil and water don’t mix :/ I don’t see water in the recipe? If you have a hand emulsifier ( stick blender) then you might can salvage it. I make my own lotion this way and it combines the oil and water, but I use e- wax instead of bees wax. So not sure if it will work. It takes about 3 minutes of blending to emulsify in my recipe fyi. Good luck!

    • So if 2 tbsp of the zinc oxide is 20 spf then 4Tbs would be 40 spf and so on? Also is it uvb and Uva or does that matter?

      • Zinc oxide is a popular natural ingredient in both store-bought and homemade sunscreens for its ability to block the sun, but researchers at Missouri State University recently found that when exposed to sunlight, zinc oxide may actually create free radicals, destroy cells, and increase the risk of skin cancer. To avoid this danger, you should keep your homemade sunscreen as bare bones as possible.

      • No it is 20 tops you can’t “add up SPF” ingredients a product will only be as strong as the strongest single ingredient.
        zinc = 20
        cocoa = 5
        carrot = 35
        total = 35 max

        • “No it is 20 tops you can’t “add up SPF” ingredients a product will only be as strong as the strongest single ingredient.”

          I think that is wrong, at least in regard to ZO.

          Zinc Oxide is a barrier sun block. the more you put on the more blockage/barrier to get, but it will be WHITE so be prepared. if you rub it enough or use so little that you don’t have any white, you no longer have the benefit of the barrier protection.

    • I’m just wondering, do you use BOTH olive oil AND coconut oil? Or just one?
      Thanks!! We’re gonna try this since we’re at the ball field from now through summer.

    • Oh, Yes! After I went paleo my pms disappeared! :) My whole family notices a huge change in my mood swings (or lack there of now!). congrats!

    • Isn’t Vitamin A dangerous in sunscreens? The red raspberry seed oil in your ingredient list for the homemade
      natural sunscreen is rich in Vitamin A

        • While you re research the red raspberry seed regarding the Vitamin A, could you clarify
          the use of grapeseed extract ….isn’t that also dangerous…makes skin more sensitive to
          sunlight exposure….to many conflicts that need to be clarified…..
          Many thanks

        • To #wellnesmama, I was wondering if you found any further information as to if the red rasberry seed essential oil was alright to use in this homemade sunscreen? Amazon informed me my shipment is arriving, so I will be making the sunscreen very soon. Thank you, Heather

          • I have not found any sources that show that the natural oils like this are dangerous and personally feel comfortable using it but definitely do more research if you are concerned.

        • I was thinking that same thing! Do you have any sources for the SPF rating of carrot oil or other ingredients? I have not found much of anything and just want it to back me up when i tell people about this because people think SPF and the FDA mean something when they could just try for themselves since there are plenty of scientific studies showing the dangers of sunscreen.

    • My question is, does this work for brown skin color? I am a big follower of your blog. But I do not know how to add my comments directly Because there is no button to ‘comment’ unless you I ‘reply’ to somebody’s comments.

      Also whenever I want to add some comments, I get a message that I am repeating my comments, which is not the case. Please help

      • I ahve very fair skin so I don’t have any first hand experience with using it on darker skin but I would think that some variation would, you’d just have to experiment with the right ratios and possibly add more zinc if needed…

        • where does one find powder zinc oxide , and what kind and where would you find the shea butter to use in this recipie

        • @sandy The only difference between fair and dark skin is the amount of melanin. Melanin is actually greatly protective against UVB rays. The rest of the skin layers are identical, however, in all humans. As long as you have no allergy to any of the ingredients, using this sunscreen should be just fine.

          Those of us who are fair become tan with light exposure because the cells that produce melanin are stimulated to produce more when exposed to that sunlight. Don’t forget everyone that it’s not just what we put on our outsides that we must consider regarding cancer. You must eat well to be well and to maximize your bodies ability to fight the good fight. I look forward to smelling like raspberries and carrots soon!

    • Katie, I really appreciate your website, recipes, resources and philosophy. I have no idea how you are raising such a large family and doing all the things you do. I imagine keeping up with the website is a 50 hour/week job!

      I made the sunscreen today, and it was my first venture into DYI “beauty?” products. Was very easy. I spent about $60 on the ingredients, but went a little crazy ordering essential oils. I now have enough raw materials to screen a small army from the sun.

      You are correct that this is more like a body butter than a lotion. My skin loves it, but know some folks will be put off by the heaviness. Reading all the putative medicinal properties of the ingredients might win over many folks who prefer something lighter. I added the shea butter, and I would advise others who do so not to waste their essential oils that they are using solely for fragrance. The shea butter has a strong fragrance that masked my vanilla and expensive lavender oil. Without the added fragrance, it has a pleasant aroma.

      We have been swimming a lot this summer, and I expect this more ‘heavy-duty’ sunscreen will stay in place longer than a lotion.

  2. so funny I was just thinking about homemade sunscreen YESTERDAY because I was at my MIL’s house to play in the pool with daddy and baby! we where going to be out all day and while I was slathering us all in sunscreen  I could not help but cringe and think “I need to go home and research a natural alternative!” thanks for saving me the trouble!!

    • The homemade recipe calls for Red Raspberry seed oil which is rich in Vitamin A.. Shouldn’ t Vitamin A
      be avoided in suncreens…

      • I am having trouble finding pure non-nano zinc oxide.  I read the reviews for the type of zinc oxide that  Amazon carries in powder form.  I almost purchased it myself…but it is NOT non-nano. It is also not 100 percent pure…not usually a big concern except that the contaminant in Zinc is almost always lead.  Even the diaper rash ointments are usually only 20% Zinc.  Still looking for high quality zinc oxide so that I can make this sunscreen:) 

        • Seriously? Why did you not change it above, if you knew this information?! I already purchased the one in the recipe!

        • Hi Katie,
          I love your website thank you ! I tried out the sunscreen on my 6 month old. After a few hours I noticed a small spotty rash where I put the sunscreen (face and arms). Has anyone experienced this? I used the original Zinc Oxide link up above in the recipe that did note nano of 20%. Should I try the recipe with different Zinc Oxide or do you know of other ingredients that could have caused a reaction? I used Vanilla Essential oil and I popped open the vitamin E capsules for 1 tsp. What do you think?
          Amanda

        • I have recently gotten into essential oils and have made my own lip balm and lotion and am eager to try this sunscreen recipe because I live at a very high altitude in Colorado. But, was wondering, do you really need the non-nano zinc oxide if you use carrot seed oil—it has a SPF of 35-40 which is what I usually use ? Love this site !!!

          • Was just gonna ask the same question!! Why use all the other ingredients if carrot seed oil has SPF40 on its own?!

          • yeah, CARROT SEED OIL is an essential oil and not a carrier, meaning it should not be used (neat) undiluted on the skin, you should dilute it in a carrier oil to use it or risk sensitisation at best and anaphylactic shock at worst after prolonged use.

        • Yes…..but will be absorbed into the blood stream. The manufacturer does not list this as non-nano. I read soapgoods.com has a non-nano version.

        • Hello Wellness Mama:
          Love your site–thanks so much for all your natural recipes.
          This site does not say this zinc oxide is non-nano, but the recipe calls for non-nano. Is this particular one ok to use?

      • is the zinc  oxide  a powder or a cream ……help ….I want to make it to day !!!!!!! please …thanks…..

      • You said you get zinc oxide from amazon but you said it needs to be nano free. The Link to amazon goes to a zinc oxide that says “made up of nano + 20%, sized particles” i that ok? Im not sure what it means by that. I really need to make this stuff cause I cant even use sunscreen cause it made me itch so bad and took weeks to stop itching even when I quit using it. Same with bug spray, do you have an alternative to that?

  3. What does the grapefruit extract do? Can’t wait to make this as I’m working outside all summer. 

      • I noticed that citrus oils can effect the sunscreen I used about 20 drops of lemon eucalyptus so it would have bug repellent qualities as well as lavender and pachulli are those oils ok? Thanks

        • You should be super careful when using citrus fruit oils on the skin directly before or during sun exposure. These and a few other essential oils (like st john’s wort) are actually phototoxic. They don’t just make your skin more sensitive, it can actually burn quite severely, completely negating any benefits from the non phototoxic ingredients!
          I would personally avoid putting citrus oils or anything else phototoxic in sunscreens altogether. If you use any other products (home made or bought) with any of these oils (and citrus fruit juice/pulp etc.) in use them before bed on sunny days rather than during the day.

  4. Great, I’d love to try this…if I can get myself to shop for the ingredients. I tend to be lazy when it comes to searching for unfamiliar stuff :) We don’t use much sunscreen, even when we lived in Miami and went to the beach often. We would go at a nice time of day, not stay long, but if we did I would eventually apply a bit of sunscreen. In fact, I am not sure I burned much the two years we were there, and that was before “real foods” came into my life. Bottom line, we just try not to be out too long, but we do enjoy soaking up the sun!

    Last year at my daughter’s daycare they wanted to apply sunscreen every time the kids went outside! I did not think that was at all necessary!

    • Please don’t allow yourself to believe that chemicals = bad. Neither does “natural” = good. A chemical is a molecular compound or substance. Water, therefore, is a chemical. There are chemicals naturally produced in your body. Many synthetic chemicals (made in a laboratory) are helpful to your body in skincare and medicine. Actually, the best exfoliants to use are chemical exfoliants that are able to adjust the surface of your skin to allow it to release dead skin cells better. For zinc oxide in particular, a quick Wikipedia search shows that it’s not toxic. It’s not something you want to breathe in, but that doesn’t mean that it’s harmful to your skin. (Make sure to do your research before accepting any new science.)

      Also, there are plenty of “natural” things that can be very harmful to your body. Of course there are certain berries that can even be grown organically that would still be poisonous is you ate them. If you were to put lemons on your face, it would completely mess up the natural pH levels of your skin and it could seriously irritate your face. If you used coffee grounds or sea salt as an exfoliant, the abrasive textures would be so harsh that it could actually cause small tears in your skin!

      As for this “sunscreen,” a homemade batch would never have an accurately measured nor a consistent SPF. Most companies go through extensive testing to ensure that their sunscreens are 100% effective. Please read to learn more about the holes in this recipe: You don’t want to invest your time and money in something that won’t protect your skin!

      • Your statements are not true at all. First of all how did people live many years ago without all kinds of lotions, creams, etc? There was no nearly this many problems with skin cancers! People just became more dumb over the years, because of the lazziness nobody even reads anything in the stores. I agree that not all of the products in stores labeled as organic and natural and whatnot aren’t good for you, but to state that:
        1. coffe scrub with sea or hymalaian salt is not good- I am using it together with oils for more than 2 years and my skin has never ever been so smooth and healthy
        2. Freshly squezzed lemon juice with oils on my face – I have been using it for more then a year now couple of times a week and my face skin is fresh and glowing, all my dermatologist check ups say my skin is in a great condition

        to state that it is just nonsense. Don’t just copy paste texts, read, think with your own head and try. That is by far the only way to see if something works or not!

  5. So I bought 40% zinc oxide diaper rash paste as thats the best thing that I could find! The inactive ingredients are: BHA, cod liver oil, lanolin, methylparaben, petrolatum, talc, and water. Think its okay to use this by itself? A lot of natural sunscreens are soooo expensive so I really hope that this can work as an alternative!

    • You don’t want parabens of any sort…. carcinogenic. So no, that is not ok. I also would not want any product that has petrolatum in it.

  6. I am religious about getting sun daily. I go out in the morning and try to get at least 30-40 minutes. Because i am African-American and naturally brown, I need a little more time in the sun than a fair-skinned person to get adequate vitamin D-making light. After that initial exposure, I rub on sunscreen. Thanks for the recipe! I think I might add shea butter, since I have read that it is has sunscreening properties.

  7. OMG!  I have hit the mother load!  I want to go check in a motel somewhere and just sit and READ and make lists and get to work making all of my own things!  I am sooooooo excited!  Thank you Wellness Mama!  I’m so motivated and excited!  THANK YOU!!!  (We live on a lake and spend all day, every day in the summertime outside….)

    • I do sit and read these things and make lists of all the ,ore natural and healthy things I want to make on my own…Pinterest makes this super easy! It even gives you the means to catalogue and organize them by topic. My only problem now is finding time to do ALL of the awesome things I’ve found in the last few weeks. A lot of the things I’ve found are on Crunchy Betty’s website. She is an an excellent and humorous writer and a woman after my own heart.

      • I LOVE CB!!! She has some great stuff. I just found this website and I’m going to try to make this when summer comes :)

  8. My husband is allergic to Aloe Vera (it makes him itch, A LOT) . Do you have any recommendations for a substitution.

  9. I WANT to make this, but is this oily or greasy on the skin though? I don’t want my face to become an oil slick…

  10. So I see the the Zinc oxide is the main ingredient that really provides the protection from UV rays – but is it safe? I guess it’s safer than the alternative?

    • As long as you use non-nano zinc oxide, which can’t be absorbed into the skin, it will do nothing but form a protective layer on your skin like clothing does.

  11. This sounds awesome! I love being outside with my baby, and I’m good about keeping his skin covered, but when we’re at the beach or swimming, I’d like to have sun screen on him. Would this recipe be okay for babies, as well?

  12. I have a question…I recently read that coconut oil is a comedogenic and my concern is using this on your face.  Can it be used on the face?  I have acne-prone skin and I am SO excited about this sunscreen recipe, but the main reason I want to try it is to use daily on my face.  

    • Personally, I would encourage you to do some more research before using sunscreen on your face daily, especially if you aren’t a lifeguard :-). If you are going to use it, I would definitely encourage a natural solution like this one instead of a commercial sunscreen, but in most cases, some sun exposure is a very good thing! That being said, I have oily skin (and pretty acne prone) too and have never had trouble with coconut oil. While it is an oil, it is also antibacterial so it tends to help with acne/

      • I am definitely not a life guard!  Thank you so much, I’m filling up my Amazon/Mountain Rose Herb carts right now!

        • I think her point was that some sun exposure on the face is good and you probably don’t need sunscreen everyday unless you are getting a LOT of exposure

  13. What is your experience with melasma?  I am not on birth control pills but I will get dark spots on my face with any sun exposure even though I tan very well so that is my reason for wearing a hat and using sunscreen.  Just curious what your thoughts were on that.  Thanks.

  14. We are a family of 6, all of us, with blonde hair and blue eyes. The 4 of us tan really well, the two that are the unhealthiest (from the past), have the harder time getting tan, but, it is improving. I do use coconut oil, try to cover the kids up (shirts & hats) when we’re getting too much (we’re in Fl.), I bring along Aubrey Organics Natural Sun and/or Badger brand sunscreen just in case (1 bottle lasts us about 2 years!), and we eat healthy 98% of the time (meaning grain/refined sugar free/paleo).

  15. Taking the easy route… adding powdered zinc oxide to a “bottle” of lotion (like the simplicity) — what size bottle?  I want to get the ratios right!

  16. THANK YOU for this post. I’m a huge vit D junkie. Since I work indoors and can usually only get out on my lunch break (fully clothed) I take a liquid D3 supplement daily. When I am in the sun  I am religious about getting my 15 mins of maximum exposure before starting to cover up. I also cringe whenever I put on sunblock. This is a recipe I can lather on without regret.

  17. Wondering if this homemade sunscreen can be worn under makeup.

    Thank you in advance for your response!

    ~Jan

  18. Why didn’t I think of this sooner?  There is an excellent lotion recipe I made for my mom when she was going through cancer treatments.  It would make an amazing sunscreen!  Zinc oxide added to it… thanks for posting this.

  19. Uh Oh! I just made this recipe and had a separation problem. :-( I looked beautiful for the first 15 minutes after I made it, all creamy and pretty, but then when I went to pour it into a bottle, it started separating into creamy clumps and liquid. What am I doing wrong? Please help! 
    Thanks,
    Michelle in MN

    • You should be able to either whisk/shake as it cools to keep incorporated, or slowly blend in another teaspoon or so of cold water to re-emulsify… What was the temp of your ingredients?

      • I am having the same problem. It is a little gritty looking (doesn’t feel gritty) and liquid seems to be settling out. Plan to try the bar but wondered what happened. Thanks!

        •  I have the same separation problem.  I didn’t check the temperature, I just heated up until the beeswax melted.  I get a hard layer on top and then more than 1/2 a layer of water on bottom.  Tried melting whole thing and mixing better but same thing happened after it sat.

  20. This sounds Devine!! And is the recipe I have been looking for!! I live next to the beach, I have really fair skin and I always find I literally start to get a bit mental if I don’t get my daily vitamin d, so I go to the beach and sit in the sun for 5 mins before putting on sunscreen. This means I’m using a lot of sunscreen every day though, although I do go later in the afternoon. I’m more worried about wrinkly leathery skin than I sm about skin cancer though which is why I always put sunscreen on! Thank you for this awesome recipe!! 😀

  21. I made this sunscreen and have found it impossible to get the zinc powder off the utensils I used. Any suggestions? Also, I ended up getting too much sun when I used this as opposed to the area where I used a store bought high quality product even though I added more zinc than the recipe called for. Am I doing something wrong? Would definitely prefer to use this but don’t want to get burned or get sunspots. I tan very easily but don’t want to get melasma

    • For the utensils… are they metal or wooden or plastic? I usually wipe them down with paper towels and then wash in scalding water with dish soap. How long were you in the sun? This recipe should work at about SPF 20 for several hours… It will, however, block Vitamin D production, so I’d encourage getting some sun before applying (15 minutes or so).

  22. i can’t wait to try this! just a question: could i just use the liquid from inside an aloe plant or is the gel different in some way? i have a huge aloe plant that i’d love to use! thanks! :) lisa

  23. Hey Mama,
    I tired out your recipe with the coconut oil, omitting the optional extras.  
    Everything mixes smoothly and then cools as a white waxy lump floating in a container of water.
    I have remelted and mixed.  It mixes up smoothly and then separates out again.  I’ve cooled at room temp and in the fridge.  I’m not sure why it continues to separate. 
    If you have any experience with extreme separation, I’d love your thoughts on how to keep in combined.
    Thanks for all your posts!

  24. I Think natural way is the best way for beauty tips,and it will also help to reduse skin cancer which is a very dangerous thing.

  25. Please use all natural sunscreens if you feel you need to use any at all.  I find that if I’m careful about the first few times I stay outside without sleeves and don’t get a burn and let my skin penetrate the suns wonderful Vit. D rays then gradually I can stay out without sleeves for long periods of time and don’t burn. I never use sunscreen.

  26. Can u recommend a good brand of zinc oxide that’s not in the powder brand that can be found more readily available in the store?

  27. Thank you for this recipe, I doubled it and added an extra tbls. of e wax. 1/4 c. of Coconut oil and 1/4 c. infused grape seed oil. I stirred the Zinc into the oils until well mixed. I warmed the “tea” and aloe a bit and let the hot oils set for about 10 min then used the stick blender. I blended then let it set then blended again about 4 times . Then stirred gently to release the air bubbles. It came out beautifully!  I do believe temperature is a key element here. Oh , not greasy either.  Great recipe with or without the zinc.

  28. I just tried this recipe today and as I was adding the brewed green tea, it started to separate. Was my tea too cool? I was hand stirring, vigorously and adding the liquid very slowly. Should I have stopped adding the liquid a bit earlier? If I reheat it and stir vigorously, will this help blend it all together again? Thanks for your help.

  29. Didn’t have time to read all the comments here yet but I was so excited to make this and followed directions I think to a T and the water or tea(I chose to make tea) after I mixed it was sseparated from the wax and oil. Did I do something wrong or what. I don’t see in the directions any indication that will happen. I ended up just pouring the water off and am using it like a body butter. I even tried reheating first again but it did not work. Any suggestions on making it into more of a lotion? 

    • Unfortunately, homemade lotion is very persnickety about temperature. Re-blending with a teaspoon of really cold water might help. I’m going to try to post more detailed temperature directions. In the meantime, the body butter will actually have a higher SPF :-)

  30. I tried this recipe (well – a really similar one that I adapted from your recipe and a few other sites), and so far it’s working really well!  I was afraid it would stay white on my skin, but it rubs right in, and it’s not sticky or anything!  And the best part: I didn’t get burned!!! 

    Thanks!!!!

  31. Is the aloe vera necessary or could I substitute with something else? Just made the natural bug spray, thanks for the recipe!

  32. Question about the deodorant and sunscreen. I made the deodorant that is arrow root, baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils (lavender is what I used). Can I add zinc oxide to this to make sunscreen?

  33. This is an excellent article. People should not be afraid of the sun just wise at how they get exposure. 
    According to The Essential Oil Handbook, the follow citrus essential oils are not phototoxic: Sweet Orange, Tangerine and Mandarin. The following oils can cause negative reactions if applied to the skin/sun exposure: Bergamot, Lemon, Angelica Root, Grapefruit, Lovage Root and Lime.

    • The Lavender scent Badger sunscreen linked above has lime oil and Sicilian orange oil in it so does that make it not ideal?

    • What we know of solid science is usually about 50 years or so behind the new updated information. Using natural less toxic ingredients is always safer. Why do so many people have such a myriad of health issues today that we didn’t have in the past, just coincidence?

      • Probably because they weren’t being diagnosed in the past, science has come along way. If you haven’t noticed, life expectancy is up these days.

        • People are just living SICK longer. How many medications are in your medicine cabinet? That’s no way to LIVE.

    • I have tried several different manufactured sunscreens for my face and can’t find any that I don’t have a reaction to. My face will sting and then layers of skin slough off the next day. Even the type for children and sensitive skin bother me. I’m hoping that minimizing the number of unnecessary ingredients will help.

      • Have you tried 100% Pure products? I too have sensitive skin. Read ingredients and check on EWG.org website for toxicity levels.

    • “solid science” is merely a theory that has been “proven” (for the time being), but how many times has “tried and true” theories we took as “solid science,” been proved inaccurate? It’s not Called the art of Science… science evolves over time and adapts to accommodate new information learned along the way.

      Us “natural types” recognize the importance of vibrating in harmony with the world around us. When using (topically or ingesting) products containing synthetic/manMade chemicals, we alter the natural “chemical” composition of our bodies, which causes unneeded stress on our body systems, especially the elimination organs. Various symptoms begin to manifest… from acne to skin rashes to allergies to gastro intestinal Issues (and so on). We “Natural Types”merely see this & Choose to make a conscious effort to limit our intake (via any method) of added chemicals.

  34. What happens if there are citrus oils in the lotion. I have a lotion I love and want to add zinc, it doesn’t list any citrus oil but essential oil blend is on the label…….

  35. I could not be more disappointed in this recipe. I ordered all the ingredients that I didn’t have and was so excited to try this. I ended up with a grainy watery mess. I could not get the ingredients to blend so I poured off the excess liquid, reheated some more and tried again. Same thing. I also tried the suggestion to add a little bit of cold water. Nope. The resulting “body butter” is like white clown paint. Just a dab is enough to make my whole arm completely white. It will not rub in. I wish I would have read the comments before investing in these ingredients :(

    • I’m so sorry you had trouble with it. I didn’t have any trouble at all when I made it so I’m trying to remake several times to see what could be wrong…

  36. My Sunscreen seperated, all the white settled to the bottom and the gel/water mixture is sitting on top.  Any suggestions for what I may have done wrong?

    • I didn’t have any problems making this sunscreen, but several people mention a watery mess. but there shouldn’t be any water in the actual sunscreen (at least not as I read the directions). Make sure you are using the water ONLY as a double boiler. My sunscreen is fairly firm and stayed incorporated quite well.

  37. Although I like this sunscreen recipe and I don’t like to put chemicals on my skin, my advice to readers is:  do not take advice given on blogs as a substitute for medical advice.  Just ask someone who has lost their nose how they feel about this statement:  “To avoid skin cancer, which is not a particularly deadly cancer”.

    • I’m not saying that skin cancer isn’t horrible or trying to downplay it, I’m just challenging the assumption that it is caused by sun exposure and only sun exposure. In fact, the three people I personally know who have had skin cancer on their face have worn sunscreen everyday for YEARS before that.

      • Encouraging the public to try a natural alternative as opposed to the toxic products our FDA allows to be made and sold to the unknowing public, is doing a HUGE service to anyone interested in bettering their health. READ READ READ. We are not being protected from toxic substances in our food OR our skin products. I am also an RN, only I don’t blindly believe what that we are protected by any Government agency, where our food or ‘health products’ are concerned. We are all free to make our own decisions on what we read on the internet, use due diligence to educate yourself before making that decision.

    • You are right however, each case is unique. I got the best advices for my kid’s eczema from other moms and blogs. Docs loaded us with steroids and antibiotics till I learned that are other natural ways to fight eczema.

    • I just made mine without beeswax. I am allergic. This unblock is for my son. He’s allergic to other things, but I just figured I’d avoid it for both of us just in case. I used shea butter, coconut oil, zinc oxide and carrot oil. Hoping it works and smells better once it’s solidified a bit.

  38. Is there anything that can be substituted for the beeswax? my mom is allergic to all bee products and breaks out in hives from even touching them, so i dont want my baby slathered in bees wax. Thanks! 

  39. I’m a vitamin D junky! I just have to do a couple of short tanning periods at the beginning of summer then I’m good to go for the year, texas summer n all with very little red n no peeling(occasional exceptions like once every couple of years) If I’m at the lake or somewhere with little shade to give my skin a break i might put sunscreen on half way through the day, but I haven’t used any all summer n only got red ones (n it was tan the next day) but texas has had a surprisingly mild summer this year…

  40. What is non-nano version of zinc oxide??  and what is it important to not inhale it if it is safe to put on your skin?  I could no find zinc oxide in powder form but did find zinc caps that are “natural” and chelated. I just opened the capsules until I had 2 tablspoons of powder.   Is this the same?  

  41. I have found just using coconut oil alone is protection against the sun when we are outside swimming. I am one who usually burns easliy. This summer since using only coconut oil on my skin I did not burn at all even after hours in the sun. It has worked for my kids too so me get good vitamin D exposure when we are outside.

  42. I am currently trying to replace all of the commercial products I currently use with natural ones, and I love sites like these. But you really lost credibility here with comments along the lines of skin cancer not being a particularly deadly cancer. In Australia melanoma is the fourth most common cancer and the ninth most fatal. You really need to research before writing throwaway comments such as that. Melanoma is exceedingly dangerous, especially because it can begin with a tiny spot you never even realise you have.

  43. Natural homemade sunscreen are much more better than the ones being bought in the market. At least with this recipe you will sure that what you are using is much safer for your skin.

  44. I made the mentioned sunscreen and have to be totally honest, that it DID NOT work, i was badly sunburnt in a few hours, so switched to a commercial sunscreen out of desperation. However, as a skin moisturiser, its great.I think i have less chance of skin cancer with a branded sunscreen than one that had no effect.

    • Thank you for letting us know about your results. If I do try this recipe, I will be sure to use extreme caution, and will test it on myself before my Son!

  45. I work as a fashion photographer and it is not uncommon for me or a co-worker to get burned – lights, props – anything! When these accidents happen, without hesitation, i apply Made From the Earth “Pure Aloe Vera Treatment”. I keep this product on hand at all times. I went to the beach with my children and experienced the worse sun burn i have ever experienced. I fell asleep in the sun. I remembered this product was for burns and i prayed it would work… MAGIC is the best word for this product. It was soothing, fast acting, cooling, long lasting, non-greasy, non sticky.

    I went from being in tears to wearing clothes and leaving the house in 2 days.

  46. Hi was wondering if titanium dioxide can be added also or both to create a stronger SPF? I love the sun but am aware of its dangers esp. as im australian and our sun can be scorching although I do believe mainstream sunscreen is worse than the sun….I use coconut (spf 4) or black sesame (spf 8) on body but would like to create a facial and decolletage sun cream for use during summer. Thanks for great info xxx

  47. How do I know the zinc ozide that I buy is safe to use? I read that most is synthetically made and having not used it before I am unsure what to look for. I dont want to replace one bad thing for another. Thanks.

    • If it doesn’t say it on the packaging, then you will have to check with the company or the original listing you bought it on. I would definitely confirm that it’s non-nano before applying to your skin.

  48. I made this up, and it mixed beautifully. I saw another comment below that someone’s was a liquid mess. I mixed mine up (with double the zinc oxide) and refrigerated it until it set, and the texture is awesome. Next time, I’m going to whip it in my mixer to make it more creamy, but I think the recipe is great!! :)

  49. I Make A Homemade GoAts Milk Lotion From FresH Milk. if I Take My Current Recipe And Add The Zinc And Coconut Oil Will It Add Sunscrean Qualities. My Lotion Is A Shea Butter Base.

  50. So I live in Southern Arizona and both my boyfriend and my mother burn INSANELY easily, as in we use SPF 100 (conventional sunscreen) every few hours just to make sure they don’t blister. My poor boyfriend can’t even be out in direct sun for more than fifteen minutes without starting to burn. I worry about all the chemicals in sunscreen, but I also worry for their comfort and health. How much Zinc would you recommend to make a sunscreen of about 80 SPF?

  51. I did some checking on the zinc oxide that you listed. It seems there may be some question about whether there are actually nano particles in that brand. Do you happen to know of another brand that is non nano?

  52. zinc oxide from what i know is not very natural, its all changed and processed and in organic, very little of it is not. your not suppose to breathe it in, so i am if-y about putting it on my largest organ (my skin). is there any suncreens that dont need metals?

    • Carrot Seed Oil has a natural SPF of 38-40, Raspberry Seed Oil has a natural SPF of at least 28. There are many others, too. Check it out :-)

      Non-nano particles stay on the surface of your skin and are either
      sweated off, or washed off when you shower. So, overall, I would say it
      pretty safe, as long as you do not buy nano-sized. The reason why you should not inhale Zinc Oxide is because it will get stuck in your lungs and can cause health problems later. It is best to use a face mask when working with this stuff.

      • Raspberry seed oil is rich in Vitamin A….isn’t that to be avoided in sunscreens….
        have not yet heard back from the author but she recommends avoiding it in comercial
        sunscreens but adds it in this “Natural” version?
        Please advise…

    • You’re not supposed to breathe anything besides air in. 😛 Zinc oxide is a mineral, just like baking soda and table salt. If you buy non-nano zinc oxide, the particles are too large to absorb into your skin, and will sit on your skin just like clothing does – no worries about your skin absorbing your jeans, right?

    • I’m with you maddy.. I don’t understand why using zinc oxide would be recommended, it’s not necessary for spf protection when there are so many natural choices. and she specifically warns against inhaling it, if you want to protect your nose which is the most sunburnt prone spot you need to put the crap by it! ridiculous wellness mama.. you should have a stricter nontoxic policy for your articles that so many people are trusting

      • Seriously? You aren’t snorting the sunscreen. The powdered zinc oxide would be like breathing in flour while baking. Once it’s mixed with the wet ingredients, you aren’t going to breathe it into your lungs.

  53. Hi Katie, What brand of Zinc Oxide Powder do you use? The above link no longer works. I’m finding it diffcult understanding what contains nano zinc and what doesn’t. Many thanks!

  54. i will be making this today but im curious what the purpose of the beezwax is? just a thickener? can i just mix the coconut oil and zinc ?

  55. While it is good to get some exposure for vitamin D production we usually cannot get as much as we need. It has also become more dangerous to be out in the sun because we have polluted our air and depleted our ozone layer. This has happened relatively recently and we haven’t evolved yet to combat the extra uv rays. That is why we do need sunscreen and we need to get most of our vitamin D from nutrition.

  56. I have beeswax in the bar form not the Pastilles. How much in grams of beeswax should I weigh? I can’t figure out how to convert 1/4 cup into grams and its too much of a pain to melt it then measure it. Can you help me?

  57. I’ve been making this and love it. I like it best when I let it cool and then whip it in my kithenaid mixer. I’ve used it, doubling the zinc oxide, and it works great. I do feel like I need to reapply after about 3 hours, which is acceptable. I spent one day last week schooling my kids in the sunshine without sunscreen and accidentally got burnt. So I used the sunscreen to help my skin heal in the days to follow. The ingredients in this are amazing for skin and for even for sun damage, so it’s a total win-win!

  58. I’m going to be in Costa Rica for 3 months and will be out in the sun everyday all day long (I’ll be farming) and really want a natural sunscreen and bug repellent that wont cost me a fortune. Can you combine the natural insect repellant essential oils with this sunscreen recipe so you only need to apply one product???

  59. So if I add 6 Tablespoons of Zinc will the SPF be estimated at 60? Stupid question I know…LoL

  60. Great recipe. I just made it and added lemongrass essential oil as a bonus since we have an irrigation ditch on our property and have lots of bugs. Is this safe? In your quickie version it says not to use citrus scented lotions. Since lemongrass is an herb does it qualify as a citrus oil?

  61. I would like to find where I can buy the non-nano zinc oxide cause the page you mentioned does not really seem to sell that non-nano version

  62. HELP!! I just made my first batch of this sunscreen. I think I must have done something wrong. It’s very hard and difficult to smooth on skin. I was hoping for a more “body butter” consistency. It seems to work ok, just not what I thought it was going to look or act like. Any tips or advice would be great! TIA!! :) I’m super excited about this natural sunscreen!!

    • I noticed that more or less beeswax is the trick to change the
      consistency, less beeswax will make it more liquidy. I also found out
      that raspberry seed oil has a very high SPF, so I reduced the coconut
      oil a bit and added the raspberry. Love the fluid consistency and seems
      to work great, I’m in the Florida sun for close to 8 hours each day,
      everyday. I use lots of it, so I was able to twick the formula on each batch

  63. Another question: where can I get that same zinc oxide in less amount? I don’t really need 1 pound if I only use 2T at a time.

  64. I really want this to work, but I believe my kiddos are getting redder from it. No protection. Sigh. I added 4 TB of zinc oxide instead of 2. Suggestions? Anyone else alter this and have it actually prevent burning? We live at a high altitude in NM: high and hot.

    • Add carrot seed oil to your mixture. It has a natural SPF of 38-40. Raspberry seed oil has a natural SPF of at least 28, so you could put that in, as well.

  65. help! Im having a hard time with this recipe. My zinc oxide will not mix in with the rest or it. its clumps up and settles on the bottom

    • My batch did that also. The second time It seemed like it mixed in but went to the pool today and I fried with this sunscreen. I want to try it again But I need some suggestions from people out there. Please help because I hurt and I don’t want to burn again.

  66. I’m curious, the zinc you linked says nano- but a reviewer said not necessarily since the particles are larger. I may have missed it in the comments, but was it cleared up that it IS non-nano?
    Also, when infusing the oils, what herbs would you recommend? I have Lavender, chamomile, and calendula on hand :) Thank you!

  67. can you just leave it in the jar you heat it up in? or do you have to transfer it to another one?

  68. Help please! I made this sunscreen yesterday And today I went to the pool. And I fried, I’m as red as a lobster. What did I do wrong?

  69. One thing that may be worth mentioning is not to use citrus essential oils, which are photosensitive. Bergamot, for example contains bergapten, which can cause phototoxicity. Citrus essential oils tend to be dermal irritants, if inadequately diluted. Otherwise, loved this post! I will be trying it.

    • Funny thing. I just noticed in the bottom of the article you hinted at this. “Get a bottle of your favorite lotion (that doesn’t contain citrus oils!)”. Guess I should have read the whole thing before commenting. 😀

  70. Hi Wellness Mama, I was looking into the option of mixing the zinc oxide into a lotion…and I was thinking of adding it to vanicream. Here are the ingredients: Water (Purified), White Petrolatum, Cetearyl Alcohol, Ceteareth 20, Sorbitol Solution, Propylene Glycol, Simethicone, Glyceryl Monostearate, Polyethylene Glycol Monostearate, Sorbic Acid (A Preservative), BHT. Is there anything in the cream that I should be concerned about? I am new to the area of making my own things outside of food prep. I would like to take the approach of not using much sunscreen at all…ever, but if we need to, I want to be VERY careful about what goes on our skin. Thank you for the post!

    • Yes. White petrolatum is petroleum. I’m not sure what the rest of it is exactly but I’ve read a lot about propylene glycol being dangerous. I would recommend just making a whipped body butter with zinc oxide added in :) If it makes you look like a clown, try adding a tiny bit of cocoa powder, but use a light hand as it’s easy to add too much.

  71. Hi!

    I have been trying to get a hold of Zinc Oxide to make this suncreen. But I live in Canada and unfortunately Essential Depot brand does not ship to Canada. Do you know of any other trustworthy brands of zinc oxide?

    • Not sure if you’ve been able to find any, but I got my zinc oxide on Amazon. I’m hoping to try this recipe today, as my kiddos and I will need sunscreen this weekend.

  72. I have a question. I made this (with shea butter and lavender EO) and put it in a small stainless steel container. When we were outside at the pool the container would not close, like it was sweating…any ideas why?

      • Thanks. Maybe it was just the metal. I really like the lotion (even my fair skinned red-headed daughter was burn free!) so I bought a plastic bottle to dump some into. Also, her preschool director was fascinated by this so I made her some too.

  73. Hello,
    I’m vegan, so I don’t want to use the beeswax. Do you know any substitute?
    Thank you for this post.

    • I used 3 tbsp of zinc and it did not leave white on my skin, but you need to rub it in and then for the tiny bit of film fades as the oils melt.

  74. I always use coconut oil on my four year old daughter for sunscreen. If I mix it with just the zinc powder will that work and increase the spf?????

  75. Hey from Portugal :) I’ve been following your blog for a few months now, since going grain-free. We’ve been mostly healthy in our home since my mom is a cook, so I grew on veggies and loads of fresh fish (we lived by the sea) and not so much processed foods. Since I started a family of my own, I started to search for info on decreasing our toxin intake… You’ve been really helpful! That said, I have a few zinc gluconate tablets I no longer use but was thinking… can you use them as a sub for the zync oxyde? Thanks for sharing your knowledge <3

  76. Love This !
    I ordered some zinc oxide online, and it reads “The powder is pure white and made up of nano + 20%, sized particles (a white fluffy powder like flour). This size particle is perfect for sunscreen. It is not so small that is can be absorbed into the bloodstream, but small enough to turn transparent after sunscreen application.”
    Is This True, and safe to use on skin,? Thanks alot, super love blessings _/|_ <3

  77. I’m so excited to try this out! Can you tell me about how much this makes? Does it fit perfectly in a pint jar?

    • The completely oil- and butter-based sunscreen butter will keep for a very long time as long as you don’t introduce water into it. The lotion, as it has water in it, will last only a few weeks until bacteria starts growing, then you need to throw it out.

  78. I’d love to include this post in a round-up post I’m working on featuring DIY, all-natural sunscreens. Ok to include a photo with full credit to you and a link to this page?

  79. You mention that you can use your favorite lotion as sunscreen by adding zinc oxide to it. Why is it that you have to make sure it doesn’t have citrus essential oil? I just made my sunscreen with the recipe you gave us and used citrus essential oils because that’s the smell I like. Is that going to be a problem? Also, do you recommend anything to make the sunscreen more water proof? Thanks!

    • I like the smell of citrus too and I read that not all citrus has that problem, so I looked up “photosensitive essential oils” and found this:

      “Lime oil obtained by steam distillation of the fruit rinds does not have a phototoxic effect on the skin so is wonderful for skin care.”

  80. Do you know how long the shelf life of the sunscreen would be if you do opt to use Vitamin E to preserve?

  81. I want to turn a bottle of Earth Mama Angel Baby Lotion into sunscreen, but it has citrus sinensis in it. You mentioned not to use a lotion with citrus oils in it…what will it do if the lotion has citrus oils?

    • It’s a mineral, just like salt or baking soda. Non-nano zinc oxide particles are too large to be absorbed by your skin, so they sit on the outside of your body and diffuse the UV rays just like clothes do.

  82. I love this recipe, it is great for my family. I only have on question, after about a week, the lotion turned yellow. Any ideas?

  83. can I just add zinc to cocoa butter lotion or aloe vera? I get the dollar lotions they work pretty good, could I just add zinc to that? and would the zinc still get into my skin fast? how much would you put in a 20 oz bottle? and if I put enough zinc for full protection well is absorb fast and how much would I have to out?

  84. Hi Katie,
    I love your website and have a question about a post. In your homemade sunscreen, I didn’t read anything about UV-A vs UV-B sun protection. Would you know if this sunscreen protects against both types?

    Thanks!

  85. HI! Do you think I could add magnesium to it and get a 2for1 cream?? I’m planning a 3 month trip to southeast asia and I want to figure out everything I can make myself at home before leaving but need to carry as less weight as possible. I was thinking I would be wonderful if I could only cary 1 cream! Thanks and have a fantastic day! :)

    • If it makes your skin appear very white, and you want to reduce that, you can add a very small amount of cocoa powder. If it feels oily, you could maybe add a little bit of cornstarch too it? You don’t need to use very much of the body butter. If your lotion is oily, it’s probably not mixed correctly. One reader refrigerated their mixture until it set, and then whipped it with the water-based ingredients – that worked for them.

  86. Hi Katie. I sell daylight for a living (solatube skylights) and am putting together a book to educate my customers about sunlight. May I use you home made sunscreen recipe. I will of course credit you and your site. Does the sunscreen stop us absorbing vitamin D?

  87. Thank you so much for your site – it’s quickly become a favorite! I’m a greenhouse manager and work outside or in a greenhouse almost year-round. I’d like to try this sunscreen recipe for daily use on my face only. What do you think of this plan? Thank you kindly!

  88. Has anyone tried raspberry seed oil also? I ordered some organic cold-extracted stuff from Canada and its purported to have an SPF of 28-50, again depending on quality. Carrot seed oil is also said to have an SPF of 38-40. I can’t say I’ve noticed much difference in sun protection between my plain old coconut oil and coconut oil with raspberry seed oil added. Anyone’s thoughts/experience?

  89. what can you use instead of beeswax? and in what amount? I’ve heard that if using a vegan wax you need half the amount, is this true?

  90. I made the sunscreen based on the recipe this summer and I still got burned. Any ideas? I’m pretty light skinned and I was red all over. I’m going to central america and would like to bring some, but would like to tweak the recipe so I don’t fry. Thanks!

  91. Really enjoyed your article, and will implement the diet and supplements you recommend, but my husband wants to know what about premature aging. You address burning from the sun but not premature aging since it’s caused by a different type of radiation. He really wants to know your take. Thanks I’m advance.

  92. As I was searching the Internet for homemade sunscreen recipes, yours happened to have been the first I came across. You are very VERY poorly informed about the fatality rate associated with skin cancer. As a survivor of melanoma, which was discovered at stage 3civ, it is not a less dangerous cancer by any measure, featuring a 5 year survival rate of %53 and no common drug therapy available. Melanoma is a free radical cancer which means that it can travel to any part of the body and establish itself; particularly in the lungs, liver and brain. The fact that you are playing down skin cancer to your readers is COMPLETELY disgraceful and you should be ashamed of yourself. Shame, shame, shame.

    • I am sorry for your struggle, however, as I explained in earlier comments, I wasn’t referring to skin cancer not having the potential to be very dangerous, but to the rates of skin cancer in the general population compared to rates of other types of cancer. It is now estimated that as many as one in three women in my generation might get breast cancer. This is much higher than the rate of people who will get melanoma. Vitamin D deficiency is often found in women with breast cancer. Additionally, people get malanoma in areas that do not get sun exposure, indicating that sun exposure is not the (only) cause of skin cancer. I was trying to make the (obviously lost on you) point that avoiding the sun to avoid skin cancer might put a person at risk for other cancers that occur at higher rates. Also, for what it is worth, I’ve had potential pre-cancerous cells removed from my skin (in my college years of eating vegetable oils) and I still make it a point to get healthy sun exposure.

      • Agreed, Katie.
        Just fyi, I totally eliminated a skin cancer lesion on my face 5 years ago by natural means. The cancer was the size of my thumb nail when I began treating it, the scar is now light colored and less than half the size of my pinkie nail – about 3mmx4mm. In five years there has been no return, but the scar has shrunk and lightened. All while staying out of the sun.

        The sun is not the enemy that people think it is, but nutritional deficiencies are.

        After taking vitamin D3 for a year, I can stay out in the sun in a northern climate all day in mid-July without getting even pink, much less burned. I am of Irish descent and fair, pale blue eyes. I used to burn in 20 minutes.

        If your vitamin D3 levels are up, your sunburning likelihood will be down, I just don’t know how far down, but I did this as an experiment and for me it was a raging success. Will I still use a homemade sunblock at the beach? Yes, but only during the peak burning hours; I will also go without in the morning and evening and see what happens.

        Thank you for this, and for your excellent site in general!

      • I made this today because we went to the beach. I used avocado oil (instead of almond or olive oil), coconut oil, beeswax, the shea butter and 2 TBSP zinc oxide.

        WE BURNED HORRENDOUSLY!! We were out for about two hours, and I was sure to slather it all over us before we got in the car. Our faces, shoulders, chest, back. Everything. It’s literally like we didn’t use sunscreen AT ALL!!!

        Did you not test this recipe by actually going out into the sun, on a summer day for an hour or two!?!?!? Shame on you! And I am someone who doesn’t “burn easily” but after 2 hours I sure will!! And I did!!!

  93. Hello, many thanks for your wonderful site. I have gained lots of practical knowledge from reading your articles. My husband and I both surf and spend allot of time in the sun. I made a version of your sunscreen recipe so that it was thicker and more water resistant with slightly more zinc (quite opaque) so it stays on in the surf. Its worked a treat, actually better than commercial zincs I have tried. Next I would like to swap out the store bought facial cleanser I use and try the cleansing cloths. Although I don’t think they will cut it when it comes to removing the zinc. Any suggestions for a facial cleanser recipe to successfully remove sunscreen?

  94. Hi. I ordered supplies to make your sunscreen. I’m just curious though, can you tell me why no citrus oils allowed when making the simple sunscreen lotion?
    Also, I was wondering if you have a rough idea of how long both sunscreens will last, particularly the first more complex one. Thanks.

  95. Hi, Katie! I came across your site when googling coconut oil as a sunscreen. I have heard bits and pieces here and there lately about coconut oil being a good sunscreen, but somehow it just didn’t seem right to me.
    Your recipe makes sense to me, and I would like to try making it.

    Is it okay to use it as a lip balm as well–one that is broad spectrum?

  96. I want to know what brand/where your find it of the vanilla extract that you use. the only one i found was mixed with jojoba oil and it did not smell like vanilla. you aren’t referring to the organic vanilla extract used for cooking, are you???? that would be great but i guess that probably isn’t the case!

  97. Can I add hempseed oil or substitute it? I recently doscovered it and love it. I would like to use it in more ways can consumption and as a mousturizer. I read that its has really good SPF.

  98. my toddler 2 1/2 has echzema on her face and get an allergic reaction to sun, do you think this sun block will be ok for her, for now I only use coconut oil for sun protection.

    thank you

  99. I made this last year and I thought I had read somewhere that it expired after 6 months but now I’m not finding that. Did I make that up or is it true? If so, why does it expire? I have a lot left from last year that I’d like to use now. Thanks!

  100. How many ounces is 1/4 cup of beeswax? I see they sell them in bars, little pellets or gel type, which would you prefer?

  101. Quick question…the zinc listed in the recipe (essential depot brand) is that the correct one? I saw another post in the comments where a different zinc oxide was linked and it said you had verified with the company it was non-nano. I was a little confused on which one is right. Thanks for the info!

  102. What type of almond oil do you use in this recipe? Do you know anything about the zinc oxide from bulkapothecary?

  103. Can I use only shea butter and leave out the coconut oil? My skin can’t seem to tolerate any kind of oil besides the shea butter which has a comedogenic rating of 0.

  104. Both of my kids(4yo and 16 months) are in daycare and I need to send sunscreen with them. I would prefer to use a natural and safe option. In your article you said, that this should not be used daily. What is a good daily option?

    Thanks.

  105. For those that are vegan can substitute the beeswax for candelilla wax. Also don’t use soap in your legs, arms and chest after after sunbathing. The oil needs 48 hours to be absorbed to our bloodstream.

  106. Was wondering if you can use a couple tablespoons of diaper rash cream if you don’t have any zinc on hand?

  107. I made this sunscreen last weekend and I must have done something horribly wrong. I’m sure I followed the ingredient list amounts correctly, but I looked like a lobster after being in the sun for two hours. I usually don’t burn, but this was the first time being in the sun since warmer weather set in (FL). Do you have any ideas what I could have done wrong? I really want to get away from the chemicals in regular sunscreen.

  108. My hubby is dark skinned and every commercial sunscreen he’s tried with zinc ends up making him look like a Smurf. The white on his dark skin seriously makes him look blue tinted. Anyone dark skinned had any issues with any amount of the zinc?

  109. Hey wellnessmama, I’d just like to say love your blog!
    I have been learning more and more about more natural substitutes for things such as this and this sunscreen would be perfect to try out this coming summer for my son(under a year), and my partner and I.
    I am very excited to make this recipe, but am having some trouble finding a good vitamin E oil to use(everything is mixed or diluted), so do you have any suggestions on what would be good to get for this?
    ( like I said, I am still a little new to this whole thing 😛 )
    Thank you!!
    p.s. A lot of people commented about aloe vera is that supposed to be used as well, I wasn’t sure if I was missing something…?

  110. Have you heard about raspberry seed oil? Apparently oil itself has sunscreen 20-50. What do you think about that?

    • Yeah that is a good idea, raspberry seed oil can have an spf from 28-50 and protects against both UVA & UVB rays and is good for eczema and psoriasis.
      I wonder if carrot seed oil could work too? That has an spf of 38-40, especially when diluted with carrier oil.
      Can either or both of these substitute for anything in this recipe or be added and how much do you think?
      any other suggestions?
      I found this website, maybe it can spark some ideas?
      livingprettynaturally.com/natural-oil-sunscreens-what-you-need-to-know

  111. how long will a batch of this be good for? i know most natural products dont last as long bc there isnt a bunch of junk in it :)

  112. Is the consistency of this spreadable and will it leave a film on clothes? I guess the shelf life would last up until 6 months? Thanks in advance!

  113. I have a hard block of beeswax I bought from the farmers market should I cut a chunk off of it then melt it to get the 1/4 cup? and what about the coconut oil? do i put the solid form in a measuring cup or melt that on double boiler also to get the 1/4 cup suggested??

  114. Love the recipe & all the comments.
    we have a dermatologist on our local radio show that says the HIGH rise of skin cancer is due , primarily to the use of too much sun screen.. so he totally agrees with you :-)
    everyone should get 15 min of unprotected sun exposer .
    I NEVER apply sun screen as some day cares do.. 30 min before going out side.

    if you look at how the skin functions in the sun.. you will see that God designed skin perfectly.. research it for yourself. it’s amazing.. the sun actually repairs skin damage.

    also the majority of those that develop skin cancer are the type that avoid the sun at all cost..
    ironic isn’t it :-)

    thanks for all your do . keep up the good work.
    lisa

  115. I made this last Saturday and it works great!! I did tweak it a bit though. I used about 1/3 c coconut oil, 1/2 c beeswax, and 5 Tbsp zinc oxide. I did not add any EOs. I stirred it often as it cooled to be sure the zinc didn’t float to the bottom. It’s a tad harder than a cream, but isn’t so hard that I can’t easily scoop it out with my fingers.

    My kiddos haven’t burned at all the times we’ve used it – when they were outside most of the day and only once reapplying where they’d rubbed it off. They’re both fair skinned, one being a blue eyed red head.

    I look forward to making another batch and putting a bit less zinc to use myself.

    • Let me comment about my comment. :) I used everything else the same as in the original recipe posted above, but I added additional coconut oil, beeswax pastilles, and zinc oxide powder. Those weren’t the only ingredients that I used. I left out essential oils and vitamin e.

  116. I tried to find this answer in the other comments but since there are a bajillion I got overwhelmed. I want to start my daughter on the right path of sun exposure and not using sunscreen often, but how do I do that with a 7 month old? Do I just make this sunscreen recipe for her as a baby (all her other consumables I’ve made from your recipes and love them – thank you!!!), then as she eats more solids (we are doing baby-led weaning) make sure she’s eating what you mentioned? (I bathe her monthly with water only, and just use a wet washcloth to sponge bathe when she actually gets dirty or tries to store milk under her neck.) How do I ease her sweet baby skin into the sun? We have a pool that I really want to start using with her, but the darn sun limits us to such a short time out there. And going in when it is not sunny just makes it colder!

    • With my kids, I just start with a few minutes a day and work up, making sure they don’t get pink. I also make sure they get a really nutritious diet and fermented cod liver oil to help provide internal protection.

    • Rachael, a cup is 8 oz. If you’re measuring everything out in a measuring cup like you’d use for cooking, it would come up to approximately 8-10 oz +/- depending on how much you use of each ingredient. I used a wide-mouth pint canning jar to make mine, and it filled it to about an inch or so under the rim.

  117. Ok so I just made this and it seems to be thickening since I have it in the fridge and I take it out every so often to stir it but I feel like it feels gritty and when I wipe a little on my hand it seems oily. Is it supposed to be like that?

    • Renee, it sounds to me like you didn’t get it blended very well to begin with. I had no need to refrigerate mine to cool it. And I stirred pretty regularly as it cooled. It’s not gritty or oily when you get it mixed right.

  118. I was excited to make the recipe that I added all the ingredients right away including the zinc oxide and realized only after that I was supposed to mix it in once all the ingredients were heated and blended together. Does it matter that I put the zinc oxide at the same time?

  119. Protecting skin for sun damage is vitally important to me. I love homemade skincare recipes, but I am hesitant to make my own sunscreen. I would not be able to test the SPF, I would not be able to make sure there is uniformity (or, uniform protection) in the product – I just couldn’t do quality control.

  120. So I’m curious about something,if coconut Oil has an SPF of about 4 and Shea Butter 4-6 and the zinc Oxide about 20, wouldn’t those ingredients combined create a product with an SPF closer to 28-30? Doesn’t it compound or do the SPF properties essentially cancel each other out? Also, any knowledge on red raspberry seed oil or carrot seed oil for sun protection? Research as I’ve seen it puts these with a very high SPF,but I cant seem to find the ratio Of oil to product for the desired result……thanks for the input!

  121. I am going to make this recipe for sunscreen, is it just pure vanilla extract you use like what is used to make food? And is there any other essential oils you would recommend to put in?

  122. wondering if you have made batches and frozen them? i live where it’s warm and sunny year round and it would be nice to make a batch and freeze it so you have it for the whole year. not so hard to make it twice, but it’d be nice to have it ready-made.

  123. I work up to 10 hours a day on the beach as a lifeguard. Thanks for this recipe! I will be trying it this week.
    However, I want to correct something you wrote. Sunscreen, even all natural, will NOT block out vitamin D so it really should be used daily, even when just running errands.
    And for readers concerned about zinc oxide, it’s not dangerous and is usually the main active ingredient in the best mineral (the good kind) sunscreens sold in stores. Zinc oxide acts as a barrier between skin and UVA/UVB rays, versus chemical sunscreen which absorbs the rays to “protect” the skin.

      • I should’ve expanded my claim. Sunscreens can prevent the body from producing vitamin D, but not enough to cause a deficiency. The right kind of sunscreen should be worn daily regardless (spf is in a multitude of make-ups and lotions). A vitamin deficiency can be easily combated by a supplement; skin damage/cancer cannot.

          • Yes it will. It’s just that Raspberry oil has a SPF between 28 & 50. But you can add more Zinc Oxide if you want to

  124. I am sensitive to coconut, is there another alternative that has a natural SPF in it? And which essential oils have natural SPF?

    Thanks!

  125. Hi ! How oily is this version? That’s problem I seem to be having w natural sunscreens. I’m using green beaver right now and its like putting canola oil on. Gross !

    • I’m not familiar with Green Beaver and I’ve never tried homemade sunscreens but I have been using coconut oil as a moisturizer and it’s wonderful. I have oily skin and it does not cause me to break out at all. Coconut oil is a natural anti-bacteria agent. Infact, based on what I’ve read, A LOT of natural ingredients contain some kind of natural anti-bacteria. The coconut oil actually makes my skin feel really amazing and kind of glowly. Alot of store bought products use a lot of water as filler. This is especially true for any kind of moisturizer. They don’t hydrate like the purness of a coconut oil or other natural oils. Although, I’m not sure if this applies to store bought natural sunscreens. But just because it has natural incredients doesn’t mean they aren’t using water as a filler. Something that should be looked into.

  126. I can’t wait to use this all summer long. I live in Colorado and love the sun but don’t want to aging or cancer effects that go with being a sun worshipper

  127. Hi there! First of all, I’m very glad to find this post…I have been experimenting with making my own sunscreen for a while. I tend to agree….the lack of sun exposure poses more problems than a burn or two do…..

    I do want to point out, however, that melanoma – the potentially deadly form of skin cancer – is definitely something to be careful with. And we should do everything we can nutritionally and with watching the products we put on our skin to make sure we are setting our defenses up for the best possible outcome for sun exposure!

    “As a society, we’ve literally cut off our nose to spite our face when it comes to sun exposure. To avoid skin cancer, which is not a particularly deadly cancer, especially if caught early, we’ve shunned the sun and the Vitamin D our bodies produce with sun exposure.

    On top of that, sun exposure itself is not conclusively linked to skin cancer, and many other factors, such as Omega-6 Vegetable Oil consumption can have a big impact on skin health!”

    I am a 9 year melanoma survivor. I had the most aggressive type of melanoma, the one most likely to show up as a distant metastasis, even years later. Once melanoma metastasizes, it is VERY difficult to contain, and has a very low 5 year survival rate.

    You may want to edit your post to reflect that…I know many people who have lost loved ones to this deadly form of skin cancer.

    Other than this one statement, I find your post VERY helpful, and one that I will pass along!! I always appreciate people’s posts about helpful, healthful things we can do to make life better!

    God bless your hard work for in the fight for wellness!!

    Dawn

    • I completely agree. I found the post helpful, but as a stage three melanoma survivor that paragraph completely threw me off. Melanoma is a dangerous and deadly cancer.

  128. This sounds great in theory, but as a microbiologist I have some concerns regarding the lack of preservation in this formula. Storing it in the fridge is a good idea, and zinc oxide is somewhat inhibitory to microbial growth, but in all honesty none of the ingredients will completely prevent it (even in the fridge!).

    Six months is an ambitious shelf life for a product that is accessed repeatedly in the same container and is not tested for microbiological safety. I share in the sentiment that it’s good to minimize exposure to certain chemicals when possible, but please be aware that there is some risk here and never apply to broken skin.

  129. I think one reason why skin cancer has increased with the use of sunscreen is that it creates a false sense of security. Most don’t know how to properly apply it, which makes it almost useless. In the past, clothing was the means for sunscreen and people weren’t as obsessed with getting a tan. I imagine through the perfect way to get the right amount of Vit. D is through clothing. Today, most put on a bit and spend the whole day never reapplying. Being extremely pale, I burn. :( With a family history of skin cancers, I know I need to be more careful than most. But… I am not a big fan of the chemicals in all the sunscreens. I’ll have to give this a try, thank you for this post! Excited to see it this works for me!

  130. We are animal product free. Do you have a substitute for beeswax, or know of a reputable way to get it from a local and/or bee-friendly source?

    • Do I have to use zinc oxide at all in this recipe? I’ve read several articles that say red raspberry seed oil has an SPF of 20-38. I’m very fair & burn easily although, I make sure I get 15 min of sun everyday that it’s out. Also, when I was younger everyone used “suntan oil.” Is it ok to mix the oils without the beeswax & zinc & use it that way?

  131. Hi!! I came on your blog to read about the bug spray, which I am definitely going to try, and found this. I do have to say I find your statement about skin cancer not being particularly deadly misleading. I am a stage 3 melanoma survivor. More and more young people are being diagnosed with melanoma which, yes caught early has a great survival rate, can often kill silently. You can even, though rare, get melanoma in your eye. Sunscreen is very important. I love your blog, but I would respectfully ask you not to downplay the deadliness of all skin cancer. It is the most common cancer in the US right now and one person dies every 57 minutes of melanoma. There are other ways to help yourself not be deficient in Vit D and still save you from skin cancer.

  132. Thanks for posting this! I’m allergic to the active ingredients in most sunscreens, but I know that zinc oxide is one of the ones that I’m okay with. This is going to make summertime so much easier! :)

  133. An Even Faster Way To Make Sunscreen:

    Get a bottle of your favorite lotion (that doesn’t contain citrus oils!)
    Add a couple Tablespoons of Zinc Oxide
    Mix well
    Use as Sunscreen

    Why did you mention to use a lotion that doesn’t use citrus oils? And does that include citrus essential oils (from young living specifically)

    Thank you.

  134. Skin cancer rates have risen because of several reasons. Increased life spans gives the sun more time to do it’s damage. Skin cancer is s typically a slow growing cancer that occurs over many years of exposure. The ozone layer has gradually been depleted. Suntans were not “in” until recently. People used to have very white skin and that was considered attractive. People are involved in much more outdoor activities than ever before and the clothing that is worn now exposes more of the body to the sun’s damaging rays. Also there are more diagnostic tests that show skin cancer much earlier than in the past. There are also dietary sources of Vitamin D. Please do your own research before using no protection or too little protection when you go out into the sun.

  135. Those of us that make bath & body products legally do NOT make sunscreen for one very important reason. To legally market a sunscreen, it needs to be tested by the FDA. You make claims regarding SPF value that you cannot make; for one, in order to obtain an SPF of 15 or more, it would take a huge amount of zinc oxide. Without proper testing, there is no way to know what the SPF value would be. The idea of simple doubling the amount is incorrect.

    Another thing you endorse is the addition of water to your product in order to help emulsify it. Water is not an emulsifier. And another thing, the addition of water without a preservative will most surely grow bacteria. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

    Please make sure when you provide information that you thoroughly do your research. I would think that an article like this could open you up to a huge amount of liability.

  136. I’m sorry, but I have to comment on this….you are entirely wrong! I lost my husband at 43 to melanoma! NO risk factors, and it was caught early. The fact that you say that skin cancer is not ‘particularly deadly’ is so misinformed and frankly ignorant. Anytime your skin changes color you are risking skin cancer! It is NOT healthy for the pigment in your skin to change color. I am all organic, and clean eating, but this is one thing I will not budge on! There are options on the market without all the toxins. Melanoma is the fastest growing cancer out there. 1 person dies of melanoma every hour..still think it’s not ‘particularly deadly’!!! Please do not make statements without all the inforation!

    • I am so sorry for your loss! I agree with your points and I think that the wording has been confusing to several people. I wasn’t saying that skin cancer isn’t potentially deadly but rather than proportionately, other cancers like breast cancer still kill more people and there is research showing that Vitamin D deficiency increases the risk of other cancers (including, ironically, skin cancer). I was just trying to point out that while melanoma is a horrific cancer, we should take a step back and consider that factors other than just sun exposure are potentially to blame.

      • I work in a dermatology office- one of the top offices in the US- and skin cancer is a HUGE problem. Sun exposure over the accumulation of our life leads to precancers, Basal Cell Carcinomas, Squamous Cell Carcinomas, Melanomas and the occasional (but still potentially deadly) the Merkel Cell Carcinoma. Yes, there absolutely can be genetic predisposition to getting these, but sun radiation is the main culprit. It does not take much exposure from the sun to get more than enough Vitamin D from the sun, about 15 minutes. Skin cancers can destroy local tissue. Skin cancers can develop anywhere on the body- a lot are on the face. It’s not fun to have a huge chunk of your face cut off and then sewn back together because of a skin cancer. Basal Cells are the #1 CANCER in the US, not just skin cancer. Precancers can turn into Squamous Cells. Squamous Cells, while the percentage is low, they potentially can metastasize and spread internally, like Melanomas can. Precancers are treated with liquid nitrogen. Has anyone been sprayed with liquid nitrogen? I sure have! It is COLD! And it is PAINFUL. I recommend to everyone to prevent these. WEAR SUNBLOCK! Zinc oxide is FABULOUS as it is a physical blocker from the sun. It’s recommended to use at LEAST SPF 30 and reapply every couple of hours. I used to not care about protecting my skin. I tan naturally and have burned once in my life. But witnessing other people’s experiences with skin cancers, I am converted to sunblock, wide-brimmed hats and long sleeves. It’s critical to protect our skin. Our skin is our largest organ and it protects us from an unimaginable amount of things every day. Don’t we owe it to our skin (ourselves) to take care of it? Skin cancer is much more serious than people think.

  137. I came across your site while researching homemade sunscreen. I totally agree on getting Vitamin D from the sun but I also want to protect myself and my kids somewhat. If coconut oil has a natural SPF of 4 is it necessary to add the zinc oxide?

  138. I making the sunscreen per your recipe. The bees wax is taking very long to melt. Is this normal? Should I have cut it into small pieces? I so excited to try it! Thank you.

  139. I have now read through every comment above and there are many useful suggestions. However, I do absolutely agree with the comments above about taking skin cancer very seriously. Using sunscreen, especially for those who spend a lot of time in the sun, will not cause a vitamin D deficiency unless an individual has a disorder that causes problems for their body’s vitamin D production. Also, quality control and SPF claims are a concern since this is a home kitchen recipe. Home recipes of any type cannot be guaranteed to have uniform quality within a batch or between batches. I would also like to add that sun exposure without protection can and does damage skin regardless of cancer risk. Furthermore, it will also fade tattoos. Perhaps no one who commented above has tattoos but I have a lot of body art that is quite special to me. This is half the reason I must use sunscreen, the other half being family skin cancer history and burning easily.

    That being said, I am mainly interested in making my own products to save money with the complete understanding that they may not be 100% as effective as lab tested products. Making homemade products can lead to significant cost savings. And I do plan to try out some of the recipe suggestions above.

    I have used All Terrain products and Banana Boat Natural Reflect Kids SPF 50+. It does leave my skin looking white but only if I don’t rub it in completely. I suspect this may be the trouble with the natural recipe. The more zinc you add, the whiter the product. Proper application takes a bit of time.

    Cheers!

  140. I’m curious to know (and if its posted and I missed it, my apologies). How much did it cost you to purchase and make your own and how much does it yield? The store bought organic sunscreens are great, but so darn expensive so I’m curious if its worth the time/trouble to make my own! :) Thanks for sharing this!

    • Yes, I second that question! I would like to see a breakdown of cost/yield for this recipe. The store-bought all natural sunscreens are very expensive as compared to the chemical laden ones. I would like to avoid harmful chemicals but still be economical.

      • 1 x Zinc Oxide SPF +-30 – $1.92
        SKU: wsZinc

        1 x Butter: Shea Ripe Natural Grade, Fairly Traded COSMETIC MAKING – $3.00
        SKU: wsShea 100g
        Size: 100g

        1 x Wax: Beeswax Pucks, Local, 100%, Organically Farmed – $3.20
        SKU: BeesWaxBeads100g
        Size: 100g

        1 x Witch Hazel Alcohol-Free – $1.29
        SKU: WHAlcoholFree

        1 x Vitamin E, GMO-Free and Gluten-Free – $2.80
        SKU: wsVitE10
        Size: 10ml/g

        1 x Lavender Bulgarian, Organically Farmed, Social Enterprise NEW!!! – $7.84
        SKU: eoLavC10
        Size: 10ml/g

        I also purchased lemon eucalyptus oil $3.50/10ml, patchouli oil $5.80/10ml and almond oil $7/120ml

        It was well worth it I have made 2 batches of sunscreen doubling up on the zinc and 2 batches of mosquito repellent with about half of the essential oils left so it is cheaper than store bought anything but the fact that it is healthy, feels better, works great and is better for you would it really matter about the cost?

        The almond oil is the most expensive I used 2 bottles but you can use olive oil instead as a cheaper alternative. I used the oils to make the sunscreen a bug repellent as well so I am hoping it works for those sand flees in the Caribbean but that is not yet determined. The mosquito repellent works great the mosquitos come up to you confused than fly away it’s great!

  141. I’m allergic to beeswax. Any tips for a replacement or can I just leave it out? Thanks for all the great recipes and info!

  142. Would it be okay to just use straight raspberry seed oil, or does it need to be diluted? I like things as simple as possible, and I have no issue with it just being oil. If it has to be diluted, what would be the dilution rate to just use it in coconut oil?

  143. I’ve tried reading all the comments, also in Facebook and I can’t find an answer to this question.
    Can I just avoid the Zink if using more raspberry or carrot oil?
    And can I just mix raspberry and / or carrot oil with either almond or apricot kernel oil to create an oily sunscreen?
    I’ve made the sunscreen lotion bars but I can imagine they melt pretty quickly when in the beach and the oil solution might work better so..

  144. it is the carrot seed EO that has the SPF – not the cold pressed carrot seed oil that is more like a carrier oil that your link goes to … at least from all the research i have done.

  145. I figured I should give my review since there aren’t many comments from people who have actually given this recipe a try. My husband and I used this at the beach today. We were in full sun for about three hours and now we both have terrible sunburns! we reapplied it twice while there, after going in the water, even though it felt pretty water resistant. He is very fair but I am olive skinned and go outside every day. I followed the basic recipe (without any of the “optional” ingredients added in because I didn’t have them) with only one slight change, I used pure cocoa butter instead of Shea butter because that’s what I had on hand. I didn’t think that would make a huge difference as the sunblock comes from the zinc oxide. I did the 2 TBSP of zinc for what should’ve been an SPF of 20 or so according to the recipe. So disappointed! I will try again and add more zinc oxide next time, however I’m a little nervous as I take very good care of my skin and don’t want to risk another burn. It felt ok going on. A little thick and greasy but I don’t mind that as I feel like I’m being protected better with a thick lotion. It smelled good too!

  146. Sorry if I missed it in all the great comments above but what would you recommend to make this into a lip balm? I make homemade lip balm now but the sun exposure now causes sun sores because I usually have lots of chemically based spf on my lips in the summer. Help! Love your recipes!

  147. I’ve seen several comments above about their experience with this recipe going badly and I have some thoughts. First, one commentator noted how she had blended/chilled her sunscreen several times to be sure it was thoroughly mixed and the right consistency. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of properly blended ingredients when it comes to sunscreen. When in doubt, blend it, then blend it some more.

    Also, regarding ingredients and SPF factor, I’ve come across a few articles that lead me to believe using zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide is best for achieving a higher SPF and that there’s a particular way to calculate ingredients to reach a desired SPF. It’s not as simple as some readers above suggested.

    Additionally, several individuals above asked about alternatives to beeswax. I recommend using one of the following: palm wax, candelilla wax, or vegetable-based emulsifying wax. I have seen soy wax mentioned as an alternative but that has a lower melting point than the other alternatives.

    Oh, and FYI, I’m totally going to try it out for economical reasons. However, I am going to do a lot of research to make sure I do it as well as I can, e.g. more zinc, addition of titanium dioxide, lots and lots of blending, amber storage jar, etc.

    I hope this info helps. Cheers!

  148. I’ve made the natural sunscreen and I really like it but I have found it isn’t water resistant, is there any ingredient that could help make it water resistant?

  149. With the concern of ingredients not blending well and the preservative issue, how about keeping all the ingredients separate (not convenient I agree) and applying a few drops or quantity of each ingredient.

  150. I was wondering, can u use red raspberry seed oil or carrot seed oil instead of zinc?? Is that a better SPF coverage? It would be greatly appreciated if you could reply in a few days as I would like to make it as soon as possible. Thank you kindly!!!

    • I tried it on my six month old but she ended up with a spotty rash ( I asked a question somewhere else in this post). I am not sure why though. I will try to melt it down again and mix to ensure they re mixed properly. My husband and I used it and it worked as expected without a rash.

      • U cud have found ur answer but 2 of my babies r allergic to shea butter, they get a spotty rash from it. Its from a nut and can b highly allergic. Did u put that it in ?

  151. I had a ton of success with this recipe tonight! I made it according to the directions but used lavender essential oil in it to make a sort of bug off sunscreen. Goes on nicely, smells pleasant and hopefully, it will be effective against pesky flying critters!

  152. I made this sunscreen and checked to get the SPF. Using your recipe (minus the options except the shea butter) and using 3 tbsp zinc powder I come up with an SPF of only 12-19. Are you including the SPF factors of the other ingredients to come up with a more than 20+ SPF?

    Thanks!

    • Partially, yes. If you included only shea butter out of all the options, you would get a little boost of sun protection from the coconut oil (spf 4) and the shea (spf 4-5). More optional ingredients will continue to increase the spf.

  153. Hi, I am new to your site and postings. I have been wanting to make some natural sunscreen, but the ingredients seem to be very pricey, so doesn’t look like I will be making any. Seems better to just buy some every summer? I currently have Original Sprout, have you heard of it? Does it compare to the Badger you recommend?

  154. Hi Katie — thank you for the information! I have a question about the quick lotion recipe. What is the 2tbs of zinc oxide ratio to lotion? I need a short cut being a working mom, I want to do this but dont have the time. Thanks!

    • Because it’s a quick recipe, it’s a little imprecise. For round numbers say about a cup
      Of lotion per 2 TBSP of zinc oxide. You can add more zinc oxide if you want more SPF, though.

  155. Hi after reading the link regarding zinc oxide I am wondering 2 things is non-nano zinc really safe and could I just put some carrot or red reaspberry oil in coconut or shea butter and leave the zinc out?

    • Non-nano zinc oxide can’t get into your body through your skin, so unless you inhale it you’re safe. If it concerns you, however, you can definitely leave it out… Just use some of those optional ingredients that you mentioned to increase the SPF of the lotion to make up for it.

  156. I made your sunscreen today. Love the texture! When I was done, I wondered if I could have incorporated the oils used in the bug lotion bars too. Would you recommend that? Would be great to apply a lotion that accomplished two important things!

  157. One problem I have with commercial physical block sunscreen is that they cause my kids eyes to sting and water (like if they rub their eyes with the back of their hands). Will this recipe do that? Will certain added ingredients do it while others don’t? I looked through many of the comments and didn’t see any addressing this. I’m really excited to try out this recipe!

  158. Katie, can I add the raspberry seed oil after I’m done with the recipe or do you recommend remelting it?

  159. I made this today and so far so good- I used lime and coconut extracts to scent it, yum! My biggest question is: how the heck do you clean your utensils afterward? The mason jar and stirring spoon are coated in the stuff, and it will not come off! I’ve used up most of my dish soap :) help!

  160. I made the zinc oxide recipe tonight but accidentally added the zinc in with the other ingredients while on the double boiler.

    Does this change the compound? Is it still safe to use?

  161. The American Cancer society says slather on the sunscreen. and a shirt, hat and get in the shade. They said that the best way to get vitamin D is in your diet and supplements because they don’t cause cancer. I would just hate to advise people to play Russian roulette with their life and guess whether or not they are getting enough sun to get cancer or prevent it. I doubt anyone has done as much research as the cancer society. I tend to take their recommendations pretty seriously.

    • The Canada Food Guide here recommends we eat 7-8 servings of grains PER DAY so I guess I should go do that bc it’s the CANADA FOOD GUIDE, they must know what’s best for our health.

      • I wouldn’t listen to anything the government said either. The American Cancer society is not in any way a part of the government. It’s a private organization whose only existence is to do research and fight cancer.

    • FYI:

      “Researchers concluded that the conventional dogma, which advises avoiding the sun at all costs and slathering on sunscreen to minimize sun exposure, is doing more harm than actual good.”

  162. I am looking for a new daily face lotion with sunscreen capabilities. I just made this recipe. Would this be a good daily face lotion or do you think it would clog pores? Anyone tried it daily on the face?

  163. I’ve seen both Zinc Oxide as well as Titanium Oxide used as active ingredients in “natural” sun screen. What is the difference? And is it OK to just use one or the other? A friend, who makes her own lotions, etc, offered me some titanium oxide powder. I’d love to use it for this recipe if it’s OK to do so…

  164. I’ve made this recipe a couple times (successfully) and just want to share a couple of pointers/tips.

    The first batch I made I was obviously too excited to read the bit about NO citrus oils and thus used tangerine oil. Fear not though, I repurposed this batch as a stretch mark cream (currently 8 months pregnant) since all of these ingredients plus tangerine oil are amazing for skin not exposed to sun.

    I purchased my zinc oxide from ebay. You can find it in many different quantities there.

    I found the recipe was a bit too much beeswax and resulting cream was much harder than I’d like. Will definitely cut beeswax amount in half for a creamier result.

    I stored mine in mini jam jars from the dollar store. I like them split up in smaller amounts so I can keep one in the fridge and one in the bathroom.

    I had no problems at all blending or with texture. I feel some people may be doing the double boiler improperly? Getting water in recipe somehow? Not sure.

    Some people ask WHY not just use coconut oil? The answer for me is simple – it’s fun! I love making WM recipes as a little hobby on a Sunday afternoon and if you are an avid WM follower you are probably pretty sick of coconut oil haha. And of course nothing beats the esthetic of homemade products in cute jars and containers!

    • Oh I forgot to mention which ingredients I used. I kept it simple with coconut oil, olive oil, shea butter, beeswax, zinc oxide. So with fewer oils I would recommend cut down a bit on the beeswax.

  165. My sunscreen is way too thick. I must have used too much beeswax. Can I re-melt everything and add some more of the other ingredients to make it less thick?

  166. I’ve seen both Zinc Oxide as well as Titanium Oxide used as active ingredients in “natural” sun screen. What is the difference? And is it OK to just use one or the other? A friend, who makes her own lotions, etc, offered me some titanium oxide powder. I’d love to use it for this recipe if it’s OK to do so…

  167. For sunscreen…do I HAVE to use the zinc oxide? I have all ingredients except the z.o. If I use coconut oil, and red raspberry oil, beeswax etc… what is the purpose of the zinc? I will get it if I have too but curious for the answer. It seems like red raspberry oil has a high SPF rating.

  168. Thanks for the help.
    What if you just use some coconut oil. And that’s it.
    How will the effect be?
    And what if you mix the coconut oil with carrot seed oli or/and raspberry seed oil?
    How will that work?

  169. My kids really like peppermint essential oils, can i use it in this sunscreen? will it affect the sunscreen at all?

  170. Do you happen to know which one has a higher SPF (Carrot seed oil or Carrot EO) or is it the same? Which one would be better to use?

  171. Why not just add Red Raspberry Seed Oil or Carrot Seed Oil to lotion? It seems it would provider a higher SPF. than Zink Oxide.

    • I was wondering the same thing after doing the research. I would think you could add the raspberry or carrot seed oil to a carrier oil such as coconut oil… or make a bar using shea butter and bees wax, without the white sticky zinc.

  172. I have a question, I found “Carrot Oil” on amazon, is that the same thing as the “carrot seed oil” listed above? also will this work for VERY easily burned skin? I’m a redhead and I even look at a patch of sunlight and I get a sunburn, will this be enough protection for me?

  173. Check out this post on the chemistry of sunscreens from Point of Interest
    “If you’re considering making your own sunscreen, there is a lot of chemistry to know. (Check out this post from Zenitech!) You have to worry not only about the pH of a sunscreen but the emulsification of our lotion when making a sunscreen. As well, how do you know how effective your chosen sunscreen might be? Only by going into the sun and seeing if it works, and anecdotal evidence is not data – it might have been a cloudier than normal day, you might have been under a tree, you might have really sun resistant skin that doesn’t burn for 30 minutes or more! If you have a fair skinned friend, she might burn in 10 minutes, and the product that works well for you might mean sunburn for her!”

    I think it’s irresponsible to put homemade sunscreen on children. You are risking them having sunburn and/or skin cancer in the future. If you don’t understand the chemistry you shouldn’t put your kids’ health at risk by making your own.

    • yeah, and thats how marketing works, fear, fear, fear… blah blah blah your putting your children’s life at risk by using this home made recipe. buy my product instead. This recipe is perfectly safe ad the only disadvantage to it is that some company is not going to make any money from it. Or are you trying to say that all the human beings that lived before us without sunscreen were irresponsible parents who risked the lives of their kids? Give me a break!

  174. So, I need to understand chemistry before I put something on my blonde haired blue eyed son? I guess he’ll be in for at least the next summer. Everything I put in the sunblock aside from the zinc was completely natural. I guarantee it’s safer than any chemical crap I can buy.

    You are right about effectiveness being trial and error. Considering he’s had an allergic reaction to pretty much every sunblock, even my special order hypoallergenic, it’s my only choice for my fair skinned child.

  175. I have been reading up on how harmful sunscreen is for you for awhile and I believe it! We live in india and its hard to get ingredients that listed in alot of these natural recipes. We do however get coconut oil and I was able to find carrot seed oil at an organic store. So I mixed the 1/4 c coc oil with 20 drops cso and off to thailand on cacation we went.

    Today we r still recovering from our first day on the beach , me and my 4 kiddos 2-9, got burnt horribly, blisters, chills, peeling… what went wrong?

    We were out for 3 hrs, and I lathered us up twice. I was forced to go buy storebought sunscreen after, so we didnt have to hybernate the rest of our time here, but I really dont want to give up on natural sunscreen… :(

  176. While I would love to make my own sunscreen, I don’t have the time. However I do use and have used Badger sunscreen for me and my family! Love the tangerine and vanilla and love that it is a 1 according to EWF! Thanks for all of your knowledge!

  177. I have cancer and my husband is not in good health either. He is 100 percent disabled. Now that I am retired I feel I have the time to go “natural”. I hope that giving up chemicals in cleaners and beauty products, we will feel better.

  178. thanks!
    so HOW DO I CALCULATE THE MEASUREMENTS FOR 1/4 OF THIS?
    i mean how much, for example, would be 1/4cup divided by 4? I mean how do i measure these when one thing is liquid the other is powder and another is close to solid..?

    Thankyou for any advice asap!!!

  179. Does anyone know if this is protects against UVA or UVB, one or both? We try not to use sunscreen unless we are going to be out during peak hours or for extended amount of time and LOVE our homemade version adapted from WM. Great article today on FoodRenegade.com about the difference in UVA and UVB and that we really need (limited amount) UVB for Vit D, but not the UVA at all! so I wandering what the homemade stuff protects against?

  180. Would sesame oil work as well? It is very easily absorbed, supposed to be a natural anti-oxydant and has none of the “greasy-sticky” inconvenience…
    Thanks in advance!

  181. Hi Wellness mama,

    I would like to know how long do i need to boil the coconut and the shea butter during the double boil ?

    I dont know why my sunscreen is still is a very watery and not in a cream form .

    Looking forward for the reply :)

  182. How do I keep the zinc oxide from precipitating to the bottom of the jars? I am in the process of digging sunscreen out of several jars. Lots of zinc oxide on the bottom, hardly any on top. Please help!

  183. Just made my first batch. By the way 1 oz. solid beeswax equals 1/4 cup liquid. I had to ruin a glass measuring cup to find that out.

  184. Thank you SO much for this recipe! LOVE IT!!! and it works so well :) I gave some to my brother and friend for the ultimate test: They hiked for 3 days on glaciers in Valhalla, blazing sun on ice and snow, without getting burned! I love that I can put it on my toddler and 5 month old without the worry of toxic chemicals injuring them :) And the water resistance is really great! I will definitely be making this again! your site is amazing…. my ne3w favorite!!! Thanks again, Katie :)

  185. wow so many comments..

    firstly for *VEGANS* – i have used candellila wax and its great. I also found that carnauba wax can be used. Just google how much u should use in recipes if u sub bees wax, i think ure supposed to use less. I was in a mad hurry so just used almost the amount it says here or something and twas fine.

    I would suggest making 1/4 cup of this or less for the first time and then see if the consistency is what you like.
    A lot of people on here say they got a watery mess, i think that might be because of the tea or aloe gel, i havent actually seen that anywhere in the recipe..
    My intuition would say tea (water) and aloe gel wouldnt mix very well with all the oils (including wax, yes i know its not really “an oil”). But if anyone knows anything about adding
    *ALOE* vera gel to this, i would love to hear, cause i got 3 massive plants.
    (i make antibacterial spray in a small 10ml dark glass spray bottle from pharmacy for less toxic 1st aid kit)
    I think aloe gel/juice DOES NOT KEEP very long! Ive read that in the fridge it would keep for a week in a dark glass bottle. It said somewhere here that you would add grapefruit EO to it for it to keep longer, but then it says citrus oils are dangerous to put on skin before/during sun exposure..
    I think this sunscreen is great as it is just with olive and coconut oil, candellila wax and zinc oxide though. But i would love to hear if someone knows how to keep
    ALOE gel/juice longer. And how to know its fine and kept the properties. Preferably without EOs as this is for a BABY (well ok, a toddler :D) so i would like it to be “edible” to some stage.
    (im a complete paranoic. I dont use metal nearly with anything thatll go in our mouths, or for recipies like this.)

    for those of us in
    UK/Ireland, this is where i got the zinc oxide mistralni.co.uk/products/zinc-oxide
    I confirmed with them its non-nano, uncoated etc.

    Would anyone know where to get data/proper info about
    *CARROT AND RASPBERRY SEED OIL* as SPF?? Are these essential oils or just oils? I tried to google around and have not found much, except negative articles that say its not proved.

    Great recipe, thankyou muchly!
    Will still do a test on babys and my own skin, covering a square of skin with this, covering another square with less of it to see if theres much difference and leaving one uncovered.

    A lot of the people i meet from “closer to nature” communities say not to put anything on kids/especially babies skin, just cover them with clothes, hats, be in the shade when u can and not to worry much about it. Same if i ask any older people. They seem very grossed out and surprised when they hear uve to put sunscreen on babies. They say they never put any of this stuff on their kids (15-20 or more yrs ago) and they were fine. So im confused slightly. I mean, ive heard our ozone is now swiss cheese and all, compared to 20yrs ago..
    Thank you all for any info!

  186. Hi Wellness Mama,

    I tried many time to make natural sunscreen but i dont know the reason why the zinc oxide powder cannot competently mix with the oil ?

  187. coconut oil is very good for skin, its supposed to be antibacterial. I have tried many oils (using oils only) for my skin during the last 5 yrs or so and coconut is the best i found.

    Trista, zinc oxide doesnt mix well because its insoluble in water or oil. Thats actually a question i forgot to ask in my post. How do you mix the zinc oxide in? I just shhook it all the tome as twas cooling but thats annoying. And it didnt really mix well.
    Its possible to use i guess, but not great. Are the lumps of zinc oxide not bad for babys skin when they get on it pure?

  188. To enjoy the benefits of Vitamin D, we need to avoid using soap because it takes 48 hours to get into the blood stream. I personally know a surfer that was diagnosticated with Vitamin D deficiency and he was in shock.

    Thank you for the recipe and rain of blessings!

  189. Hi, I was just wondering can I add ALL the optional ingredients? They all appeal to me and I cant choose!
    Thanks

  190. Please consider taking this post down. This recipe will not create a reliable, safe sunscreen. The sun damages our skin, and to promote a concoction like this as a way to protect against sun damage is not right.

  191. I’m looking at the carrot seed oil you have linked to Amazon. There are different Carrot seed oils apparently. Is this the same as carrot seed essential oil found here on Mountain Rose Herbs?

  192. You mentioned adding a couple of tablespoons of zinc oxide to a favorite lotion – would this be for the entire bottle of lotion or for single use applications? Thanks!

  193. I made this recipe at the beginning of September to take with us for a week at the lake. I LoVeD it. It worked really well, and I wasn’t burnt at all. I added every optional ingredient, and also doubled the recipe. Yikes!! I didn’t realize how much it would make. My only issue is that I got some of it on my swim suit. I can’t seem to get it off, and my swim suit isn’t one that I replace every year. :( Do you have any recommendations as to what to do? Has anyone else had this issue? Thanks!

  194. What about Jojoba oil or avocado oil, could they be used instead of the cocnut oil? coconut oil doesn’t work with my children’s very dry skin

  195. If coconut oil can be used as a lotion, and you can make the simple sunscreen recipe using lotion + zinc oxide, then is it possible to make an effective sunscreen using only coconut oil and zinc oxide? What is the benefit of all the additional ingredients? I’m just starting out in trying to transition all my products to natural versions, so simplicity is key for me! :)

  196. Dear Katie,

    First and foremost, thank you for this fabulous website. I’ve made the sunscreen and the baby wipes and have greatly impressed my non-organic family with the quality of both. Even enjoy how my hands feel after using the wipes!

    Further, I adore the fact that your baby food advice matches that of my child’s pediatrician. It’s so refreshing to have a doctor who doesn’t promote grains as a first food….just organic veggies, fish, steak, avocado, and healthy oils. Yay.

    Finally, here is my question. I use this recipe for my skin care: http://www.crunchybetty.com/simple-homemade-3-ingredient-facial-oil-moisturizer-customize-it-for-your-own-gorgeous-skin.

    Could I just add carrot or red raspberry seed oil to it to give it an SPF? Or do those oils need to be used in combination with the ingredients above to become effective?

    Many many thanks for the work you do!
    KT

  197. Hi there – I have just made some sunscreen (yay!) but am looking to make another one without the coconut oil, as my stepson reacts to it on his skin. What would you recommend as an alternative? More olive oil, some sweet almond or apricot?

  198. Hello Wellness Mama

    I’m really pleased i found your website having been doing some research on sunscreens. I’m a 30 something year old man who by his twenties had given up on putting pretty much any kind of lotion on my skin as they often made it feel and look worse, this included sunscreens but would tolerate for obvious important health reasons. I need to prepare for a long trip where sunscreen will be essential. An other motivations in avoiding commercial sunscreen is actually for environmental reasons. Having read about how some ingredients used wash off into the sea and cause coral bleaching. Given I’m going to be doing a lot of wild swimming i want to be able to protect my skin, my health and the local water ecosystems. As all ingredients in your lotion are biodegradable it looks set to be a win situation all round (and a lot cheaper than shop bought Eco natural equivalents).

    I’m excited about trying the recipe but have one question. You say that the lotion would not be suitable for a pump action bottle but would it work well in a squeeze bottle, for example a recycled shampoo bottle?

    Just a minor detail but if there are any moderation it would be cool to know. I’ve never done anything like this before!!!

    thank you
    Johnbythesea

  199. I’m looking forward to making this. I don’t use sunscreen at all at the moment, for a long time i’ve been suspicious of them and every summer I go through the internal debate about it.. it seems hard to make a right decision when we’re told that both sunshine AND sunscreen are carcinogenic.

    I’ve been wanting to make my own but haven’t yet found a confirmed source of safe zinc oxide here in Australia, as the producers of zinc oxide here were found to be marketing their zinc as non-nano when it was in fact found to have nano particles. This meant that even the all natural commercial sunscreens who claimed to be non-nano could not be reliably trusted to be non-nano. When they use a grinding process to make it down to a certain size, there are a certain proportion of smaller particles that are formed. Also, they sometimes say they are non-nano but in fact use something they call ‘aggregate’. This means it is nano-particle sized zinc that has been clumped together into larger than nano sized clumps, to be able to claim non-nano. However these aggregate clumps have been found to break down into nanos again, and also have the higher surface area which is the problem with nanos in the first place. I highly recommend researching the source of your zinc carefully. The Badger website has a great explanation of all this at http://www.badgerbalm.com/s-33-zinc-oxide-sunscreen-nanoparticles.aspx and the Friends of the Earth are campaigning for better labelling of nanos and have a some interesting information at http://emergingtech.foe.org.au/sunscreen-and-cosmetics/

    One quick word to all the commenters who complained that this sunscreen didn’t work and you got burned; no sunscreen should replace good sun sense. Avoid direct sun during the middle of the day, (here in Australia where we have very large ozone holes, that’s from 9-4 in summer), and if you are out during those hours always wear a hat and long sleeves. You can get plenty enough sun to make vitamin D just in the incidental sun you get while walking about or driving. Otherwise my doctor advised that 10-15 minutes of direct strong sunlight on the stomach and thighs should be about the right amount each day. If you’re going to be out for longer than that (particularly at the beach or lake where you’re getting reflected light as well), use protective clothing and stick to the shade where possible. I would not expect any product to protect me from direct sunlight for hours on end, home-made or otherwise.

    Thanks again for the recipe and all your great work!

  200. I usually dont wear sunscreen in the summer, but we’re headed to Hawaii soon (yay!) and this will be great to try out! Thanks.

  201. Hey, Wellness Mama!! Thanks for all your great recipes – I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with them!

    I have a question about the sunscreen recipe…what’s the yield? I’m thinking of making this in bulk as gifts and need to know how much stuff I need to order…

    Thanks!

  202. First, thank you for your continued posts–they are always helpful and insightful.
    Secondly, I have a couple of questions/concerns:
    1: I would love to make this recipe for my family, but I am not sure if to use the essential oil or the fixed oil versions of the Red Raspberry Seed and Carrot Seed oils. What’s your advice?
    2: I’ve read that oils, such as the ones listed above, can actually contribute to sunburning. These allegations came from doctors and sunscreen manufacturers and, since I’ve had less than trustworthy advice from most doctors (not to mention their irrational fear of supporting anything homemade) and since sunscreen manufacturers would love for us to buy their products (no matter how harmful), I am not sure if this information is actually trustworthy. Do you have any thoughts?
    Thanks!
    -Joe

      • Thank you so much for your response! (I just saw it)
        I will definitely take a closer look at those fixed oils, especially with our upcoming move down south!
        Again, thank you!
        -Joe

  203. Since Red Raspberry oil and Carrot Oil have good SPF’s is it even necessary to use the Zinc Oxide, Shea Butter and beeswax? They seem good for the skin and have some SPFactor? Would the oil component cause the skin to actually burn or be protected? I’m not too crazy about the zinc oxide.

  204. Katie, you are fantastic, i dont know how you do it all, but you inspire me in many ways. Can the sunscreen reciepe be whipped? I dont want to do all that then mess it up! Thx so much for all you do
    Ann

  205. Hi,
    I just found, your webpage surfing in the internet, and I find amazing the idea on making my own sunscreen. I just need some help with my situation.
    Last year I was living in London when spring started, I decided to go to the park to get my vitamin d charged. With a 18 degree sun, I managed to get 3 black spots in my T zone, since then, every time I go out to the sun exposure my dark spots get darker. I am Mexican so I “am/was” used to a 30 degree weather, so I never actually thought that that was the reason for my face spots. (18 degrees is nothing).
    Right now I’m on an “acid-peeling-chemical” kind of treatment from a French laboratory, to get rid of the spots, but obviously they’re not disappearing, they are just getting lighter, anyway, I need to use sunscreen every day, every time otherwise I can get worse, and even by using sunscreen if I go to the beach my spots just get darker. Im 27 years old and im scared of going out when the sun is too strong, and even when its not too strong, I hate how my face looks with dark spots.

    So, is there anything you can recommend me to use instead of the chemical? Is your sunscreen strong enough to protect my face-spots?

    (Im in Italy at the moment, and I just hope I can find all the ingredients to start preparing this recipe)
    Thank you!!!!!!!

  206. Hi Katie!

    Thank you for the recipe. Can you give us a guide for how much zinc added to this recipe gives what SPF? At least nearly.

    Thank you.

  207. everyone be very careful w/ this recipe! i bought the one in the link and i guess i shouldve read all the comments first because she posted another brand that’s better….can u please change the link then for other people? anyways W.M says u can just add more zinc oxide to get more SPF? OMG! im over here w/ flu-like symptoms, my nose is bleeding and i NEVER get sick, i dont even sneeze and havent in many years i take care of myself, eat organic whenever i can, take supplements…..im sick as a dog rite now, its horrible and i know its because of the zinc oxide, the extra i took….BE CAREFUL… its no joke

  208. I love this recipe, I’m using it as a sunscreen and also a moisturizer! I added a few drops of tea tree oil and have been told that is not good to add to sunscreen. Do I need to remake this batch adding more of the other ingredients to dilute the tea tree oil?

  209. Hi,
    I would love to be able to apply a tinted moisturizer with sunscreen every day. Would it work if I added cocoa powder and mica powder to this recipe for color? Or would the ingredients react poorly together?

  210. Hello! Love the thought of doing this but I can find no research backing that these EO’s have any spf. Can you please tell me where you got your data from? I would not feel safe putting eo’s in a sunscreen without knowing this first, thank you!

  211. I think my baby is allergic to zinc oxide as she gets severe diaper rashes if I use the regular butt creams, so I only use coconut or lavender oil on her bottom. If I make it without the zinc oxide would it still be effective?

  212. Ina, there are many things in “regular butt creams” that are causing allergies, I would not blame zinc right away. Also if you remove the zinc oxyde you remove the real SFP factor… so it would not work and I would NOT count on “SFP inside” of oils… Especially with Baby. Best option is to try a sample on a little spot and see if she gets a rash… or try the zinc + coco on her butt instead of regular creams… At least you’ll see if she reacts to zinc as you think or if you can give it a try…
    Overall necessary precautions are to be used with babies & kids and no direct exposure during mid-day is very important…
    We see people around here who come and complain because the cream “did not work” when they stayed 2 hours in a pool middle of the day… You get the idea, Baby skin is hers and we have no right to spoil it before she is making her own choices.
    Any doubt? Use 100% organic and minerals with NO nanoparticles sunscreen (Europe has quite a choice and some good brands around here are working too)
    Good luck!
    Luda

  213. Hi

    Can you tell me how many jars 120ml this would fill.
    Do you know how many grams or ounces for each ingredient as i am in the UK and don’t have cup measurements

  214. Hi Katie!
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share so much of the research you’ve done and the homemade healthy alternatives that you’ve created/discovered!
    Until I have the time to make the fully homemade sunscreen, I’m going to add the zinc to an already existing lotion.
    Do you happen to know if there are any other lotion ingredients (other than citrus oils, as you mentioned) to avoid not only because of the risk of increased sun sensitivity, but also because of any potential reactions with the zinc? I am currently in search of a more natural daily lotion to use in place of my popular store brand whose ingredients I’m unsure of as it is, so am hesitant to add anything additional to a bottle whose contents are already potentially questionable before the addition of extra ingredients.
    Thank you again!