Homemade Sunscreen Bars

homemade sunscreen bars Homemade Sunscreen Bars

I’ve had fun lately creating a several different varieties of lotion bars. I started with the basic recipe and realized that the options were truly endless for variations.

Another of my favorites so far is the sunscreen bar!

It’s basically a bar version of my homemade sunscreen, and it avoids all the chemicals and potential carcinogens in regular sunscreen. It’s also easier to apply, since it is in a bar (use it almost like soap) and easier for kids to do themselves. I would recommend keeping it in the cooler if you take it to the beach, because it will start to get soft when the temperature hits the high 80s, but it will store well at room temperature.

I’d also encourage experimenting with how much coverage you want based on how much Zinc Oxide you add to the recipe, as this will be a smoother and thinner (and more waterproof) coverage than the basic sunscreen recipe. When possible, it is also important to spend some time in the sun without sunscreen for vitamin D production and there are some supplements and high nutrient foods that will help you avoid burn when you don’t use sunscreen.

Sunscreen Bar Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut oil (I get mine here)
  • 1 cup shea buttercocoa butter or mango butter (or a mix of all three equal to 1 cup)
  • 1 cup beeswax (can add an extra ounce or two if you want a thicker consistency, which leaves less lotion on the skin when used)(I get mine here)
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) of non-nano Zinc Oxide
  • Optional: Vitamin E oil to preserve. I added 1 tsp vitamin E oil for  this recipe made with 1 cup of each ingredient)
  • Optional: a few drops of vanilla or essential oil for scent (do not use citrus oils!)

How to Make:

Combine all ingredients (except zinc oxide and essential oils if using) in a double boiler, or a glass bowl over a smaller saucepan with 1 inch of water in it.

Turn the burner on and bring water to a boil. Stir ingredients constantly until they are melted and smooth:

lotion bars recipe Homemade Sunscreen BarsRemove from heat and add the zinc oxide powder and  essential oils.

Gently stir by hand until essential oils are incorporated.

Carefully pour into molds or whatever you will be allowing the lotion bars to harden in. I used these silicon baking cups, though any mold would work. This recipe exactly filled 12 silicon baking cups when I made it.

Allow the lotion bars to cool completely before attempting to pop out of molds. These could be made in different shaped molds for different holiday gifts (hearts for valentines, flowers for Mother’s day, etc.) or made in a square baking pan and then cut into actual bars.

They can be stored at room temperature or in the fridge or freezer for longer term storage. Keep below 80 degrees or they will melt! Adjust coverage to your needs and be careful not to burn while determining how long you can spend in the sun with these.

It is also important to protect your skin internally by making sure that your body has the nutrients it needs to avoid burning, even when you don’t use sunscreen.

About this time of year, I start taking a specific regimen of supplements that help reduce inflammation and improve sun tolerance. The supplements I take are:

  • Vitamin D3 (I take about 5,000 IU/day)- Emerging evidence shows that optimizing blood levels of Vitamin D can have a protective effect against sunburn and skin cancer
  • Vitamin C (I take about 2,000 mg/day)- A potent anti0inflammatory, and it is good for the immune system too.
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted in a cup of herbal tea per day- the Medium Chain Fatty Acids and saturated fat are easily utilized by the body for new skin formation and are protective against burning
  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil/High Vitamin Butter Oil Blend  (also great for remineralizing teeth)-Probably the most important supplement for sun protection. I take double doses during the summer and the kids take it too. Since adding this and the coconut oil daily, none of us have burned. It’s also great for digestive and oral health. (Amazon finally has the capsules back in stock)
  • Astaxanthin- A highly potent antioxidant which research shows acts as an internal sunscreen. It’s also supposedly an anti-aging supplement. I don’t give this one to the kids though.

Do you use sunscreen? What kind do you use? Share below!

Reader Comments

      • Jen says

         I just made it tonight.  I didn’t realize until I got down in the recipe that the zinc oxide was to be ‘powdered’.  I used cream.  Hope that’s not a problem.  I bought one of those tubes for camping that you can fill with stuff and seal off at the end.  I poured the mixture into that tube.  Hopefully it will squeeze out okay.  Can’t wait to try it.  I’ve made the shampoo and LOVE it.  I made the lotion but it didn’t emulsify properly … using it anyway.  I will try that one again and put it into one of these camping tubes this time.  Thanks for all the recipes.   Not too sure about the make-up one … I’m middle aged now and not sure this makeup will do the trick.  I’ll be curious to hear feedback on that.

    • Travis says

      Is there any way to make the sunscreen slightly less hard. I used to love the Vietnam-era sunscreen tins (don’t start I know it was LOADED with chemicals) but mostly for the fact that it was in a tin & that was easy to apply. It was like a heavy grease, you just take a big gob out with your fingers and smear it on. I would love to be able to do whit again with the empty tins, as they are now $5-15 online (since they are much rarer now) and regular commercial sunscreen is much cheaper. I am trying really hard starting this year to get healthy, and that includes less chemicals going into and onto my body.

    • says

      They will last about 2-4 months at room temp and over a year in the fridge or freezer. Also, none of the ingredients will go bad, so only after they come in contact with skin will that time start…

  1. Mary says

    Are your bars standard muffin/cupcake size (seem so from the glasses comparsion, but wasn’t sure) and how many does one batch make? I’m trying to get a guage on how much supplies to buy.

    • says

      Mine are standard muffin tin size and I used silicon because they are easier to get out but if you use a regular muffin tin you can just put in the fridge to harden and then really quickly dip the pan in boiling water to loosen and turn upside down quickly to get them out. I used 1 cup each of the oil, cocoa/Shea butter and beeswax and it perfectly filled 12

    • says

      Mine are standard muffin tin size and I used silicon because they are easier to get out but if you use a regular muffin tin you can just put in the fridge to harden and then really quickly dip the pan in boiling water to loosen and turn upside down quickly to get them out. I used 1 cup each of the oil, cocoa/Shea butter and beeswax and it perfectly filled 12

      • Sarah says

        My sons Pediatrician and allergy Dr. had recommended that with his Atopic dermatitis I avoid sunscreens with zinc oxide, but go for ones with the titanium dioxide instead. It does seem to make a difference with store bought sunscreens. He doesn’t breakout from the titanium ones, but does with most zinc. I would like to make these but am curious where I can find the titanium dioxide, if you know of any reasons not to use it, and if it would be used in the same amount as the zinc oxide. I have to make our own soap, laundry detergent and lotions already since his skin is so sensitive. I would much rather make this as well, and not have the chemicals in the store bought items. Thanks for what you do! It’s been very helpful.

        Sarah

        • Colleen says

          Hi Sarah, I am a soap maker and have purchased titanium dioxide from brambleberry.com. I have never used it for sunscreen so I don’t know a specific amount to use, but I know they carry it.

  2. Cathy says

    We do occasionally use my homemade sunblock (made with zinc oxide, could also use titanium dioxide), but avoid sun altogether, as it contains chemicals which react with the skin  to “protect” the skin.  They are actually very different products, though the names tend to get mixed up.

    • says

      Technically all of the ingredients are non-toxic. They will leave a small film that is tough to wash, but this actually works as a non-stick coating on it…

  3. says

    I’m sure most people are aware that generally  speaking what you put on your skin surface can be detected in your urine later that day (apart from Zinc oxide where the particle size is too big to pass through skin). 
    So limiting  sunscreen ingredients to those you may find in food is sensible. 
    Far better than the ingredients you find in typical sunscreens. 
     http://www.greenlivingtips.com/articles/127/1/Sunscreen—protection-or-poison.htmlSome of these are really very worrying. 

  4. Mary says

    Okay, I have another technical question.  If I order a pound of one of the butters, do you have any idea approximately how many cups that would be?  Same for beeswax? (An rough estimate is fine, I’ve never worked with these products, so I have no clue.)

  5. C1sarena says

    These look great! Thanx. Curious, how about using a crockpot geared especially for this purpose?

  6. Rachael says

    One of my kids is allergic to coconut products :(…is there another type of oil that you can substitute for the coconut oil?

  7. Julie says

    Could you use zinc oxide cream instead of powder in this recipe? I can’t find the powder anywhere except on line.

  8. Kimberly says

    Could I use a cleaned out deodorant applicator instead of a baking pan?  I’m just trying to think of ways to easily apply/transport.  And I think having the ability to roll up the amount I need would be beneficial. 

  9. Pam_randolph says

    Sorry if this seems like a stupid question but I live in a small town and the only zinc oxide cream I found was in the form of desitin and it is only 40%  zinc oxide, is this okay to use? I am assuming that it would be the lesser of two evils out of commercial sunscreen….

    • says

      You could try it… I haven’t tried with a cream, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. It just might be hard to not leave a white film, so play around with the ratios…

  10. Lisa says

    Hi..I am going to try this!   When you buy the beeswax. …..do you buy the beeswax pastilles or the filtered beeswax? 

    Thanks!

  11. says

    What a fantastic idea!  I have done a little of playing around with making my own bath and body products but never realized you could make sunscreen.  I also have been trying to go natural with sunscreen.  I like Bahainlove’s ideal of adding bug repelent  such as Citronella. 

  12. Sarah B. says

    Hi,
    I just stumbled upon your blog and I LOVE this idea of homemade sunscreen. I purchased some natural sunscreen for my kids and me because my skin won’t tolerate regular sunscreen. But it is $18 per 3.5oz tube. Which is crazy expensive. So I wanted to find a more economical/fun way of making my own. We have just started incorporating a Primal/Paleo diet in our family and we use a lot of coconut oil and I’m hoping it will help with our sunscreen dilemma. Anyway…I’m rambling… My question is when you are measuring out your ingredients it says 1 cup coconut butter/butter mixture. Are you packing all that down into a measure cup? Or are you melting it all to get a 8floz measurement?

    Thanks so much! I’m adding you to my netvibes feed! :)
    Sarah

  13. carole says

    do you avoid burning simply through supplements? i like that better than applying sunscreen — even a natural one (yours looks great). we’ve also started trying pure coconut oil as a sunscreen this summer … so far so good, but it’s got such a low melting point that it’s getting tricky….

    • says

      The last few years I have avoided burning just with supplements. I do start slow though to make sure I don’t burn, but now am spending several hours a day in the sun (pulling weeds) in the heat of the day without burning… never been this tan before either! So funny, I used to hate my pale skin and chalked it up to genetics, thinking it couldn’t change…

  14. M_sears says

    I used 40% zinc oxide like diaper rash cream (that’s all I could find). Is this ok? I did put extra in though.

  15. Jillian Navejas says

    These seemed to separate quite a bit as they “set”, it almost looks like all of the zinc is on top.  Any tips?

  16. Laurenacraig2 says

    LOVE your stuff!! Was just wondering…can you take coconut oil supplements instead of melting some in tea? Do you think that would work as well?

  17. says

    Just made them!  So excited to use them on our camping trip on the Frio River in the TX sun.  I’ve been grain free for 2 months now thanks to you:)  Feeling great and down 10 pounds with radiant skin at 37 with 2 kiddos.  Still working on getting the entire family on the bandwagon.  Thank you Wellness Mama….love your posts. 

  18. Berry0316 says

    I just made these, and after I poured 90% of the mix into the cups, I realized most of the zinc was curdled at the bottom of the mix.  I poured everything back in, mixed up more, poured again, and it was still doing the same thing.  Is there a trick to get the zinc to mix in properly?  Do you think enough of the zinc mixed in?

    • says

      A lot of the zinc will mix in, even if some sinks to the bottom. You can let it cool slightly and mix it when its thicker and then scoop into molds to help it mix better…

      • Berry0316 says

        Thank you, I will try that in the batch.  I could tell some mixed in because the color lightened up alot when I added it, but I wasnt sure it was enough.  Yesterday afternoon I went outside to test, and when I started rubbing it on, I could see the white of the zinc in the mixture, so I knew it was in there!  I was outside several hours and didn’t burn, so I would say it worked!  Thank you so much for this recipe!  

  19. Teejaystar says

    How can you post something like this without including Any precautions about the dangers of working with a powdered mineral like zinc? This must not be inhaled, proper ventilation as well as respiratory protection are necessary. Please revise the article to include this information before someone hurts themselves. Sheesh. 

    • says

      Those instructions come with any of the zinc powders I’ve linked to and it is also a common ingredient in mineral makeup or cosmetics which women regularly up on their face and nose

      • Mandy Boyd says

        I have just made these today, and they turned out awesome, I used the silicone muffin cups..they set really well in the fridge for a short period of time, and you hardly get the white residue.. I did use the non-nano zinc oxide powder! LOVE THEM, and your site is my favorite :) Thank you!

        • chellie says

          How did your zinc oxide mix in? I seem to have quite a bit left in the bottom of the jar. Some is mixing in, but it seems some is just sinking. looking for a tip on this.

          • Jessica says

            I had the same problem, looking for advice on how to fully mix the zinc in???!! Can I re-melt everything and remix and repour?

          • Lara says

            You might try letting the oils cool to a semi-firm state. For instance, mix everything together, let cool until the mixture just begins to harden, stir again to incorporate the zinc more completely, repeating this until the bar has set up completely. This is a method I use when I make scrubby shower bars or any lotion bar with additives. Another method I use is to let the mixture cool until mixing it creates more of a “paste”, then smooth the “paste” into the molds to harden the rest of the way. This method works well with additives like zinc or clay. Hope this helps!

  20. sara says

    You mentioned at one point “a cup of each ingredient”, are you including the zinc oxide in that statement?  I’m just curious because I know you said 2T in the ingredients list, but I thought maybe you actually used 1C and it was a much higher SPF?  I’m someone who usually used SPF 70+ and can STILL burn.

  21. angela butters says

    I have a daughter who has such terribly sensitive skin and has had a recent allergic reaction to the “baby” version of sunblock. Coppertone I think. So, I am excited to give this a try. If you had to give this a number, what SPF would you give this with org recipie?

  22. says

    I can not wait to get all these ingredients , my skin is so sensitive I  can only wear mineral make up. Most over the counter sunscreens, even the ones for the face are too strong and upset my Roseau.

  23. Jill Betts says

    OK, so I make the bars.  I thought they came out great but I got sunburned today.  I was pretty disappointed since I had such high hopes.  I actually doubled the amount of zinc oxide used and I thought it would be enough.  Could I melt them down again and add more?  If so, how much more can I add?

  24. Ashtyn Buhler says

    My sun is so allergic to every sunscreen and breaks out all over his bod when I put it on a small part of his face! I hope this solves my problems. Thanks for the post.

    • Shawna says

      I substituted carnauba wax for beeswax (vegan). Carnauba was has a higher melting point, thus a harder wax and will withstand higher ambient temperature. It is a little tricky, you have to melt this first and keep the double broiler going and add a little of the other waxes/butters in small quantities or the carnauba cools and hardens in clumps. Yes, ended up making 2 batches for this reason.

      Any recommendations for cleaning up the bowls, pans, spoons. What a mess. Ended up reheating and wiping with papertowels. Hottest water I could stand and soap did nothing for the residue.

    • says

      It has a shelf life of at least a year if that is what you are asking, though if you are asking how long it will take to use up, it will depend on how much you put on and how often.

  25. says

    So I made these and combined the bug off idea with the sunscreen idea and am excited to see  how it works!  My only issue lately is that when I make things I am absolutely terrible about the clean up!  I’m finding it really hard to get the beeswax off of my bowls and spoons and whatnot…the lotion bar/sunscreen bar “stuff” is on my tools and I can’t seem to get them to come off.  It’s making me crazy!  Lol!  Do you, or anyone else, have any ideas?  What do you guys do? Thanks!

    • says

      A tip I just recently though of… form now on, just mix all the ingredients in a glass jar and place the glass jar in the pan of hot/boiling water. Stir or shake every couple minutes, then just pour into molds. I just have a glass jar that I use only for this and it is working great… just can’t believe I didn’t think of it sooner!

  26. Sampfaffly says

    How do you take these with you in the summer to the pool or beach?  Or be able to travel with them on vacation?  Just wondering about the melting point.

  27. Heidi says

    I just read your revised Sunscreen lotion recipe. Do you think you can use the same Jar method rather than the glass bowl/double boiler for the sunscreen bars?

  28. Juanita Marion says

    I was curious about the issue regarding the nano particles of the zinc and was wondering how safe it is to be absorbing nano particles of zinc into the blood stream. I would also like to know what is the recommended daily intake of zinc as I am getting conflicting bits of information regarding this. I am also confused about the differences between zinc oxide and naturally occurring zinc.

  29. jan_pam1@yahoo.co.uk says

    Hi, I really want to make these but after buying some zinc oxide online I’m slightly concerned that it says on the packet its not suitable for prolonged contact with skin… I’m a bit worried. Are you sure it’s safe to wear on the skin?

  30. Jennifer says

    Hi- I just love your blog. I have a question about the amount of zinc oxide for these bars. You have a sunscreen lotion recipe that has 1/2 almond oil,1/4 beeswax, and 1/4 coconut oil and 2 TBS zinc oxide to make about 20 spf. Then- I read through this recipe and it has triple the amount of ingredients- using a cup of each to make a bar and still the same amount of zinc oxide….I just assume that you would triple the amount of zinc oxide to make it a 20 spf?? So I made some bars based on that thought- I used 6 TBS zinc oxide with the 1 cup of each ratio and it made a really white lotion bar- I just want to make sure that it’s ok…or did I use too much?

  31. says

    That’s a big load of vitamin D3, and then you’re adding cod liver oil! I would never do it. You might want to look at vitamin K to keep that D from depositing calcium in your vessels. Just sayin’…

  32. says

    LOVE the sunscreen bars! So convenient. I’d like to weigh in on the
    Vitamin D issue. I think taking 5000 IUs during the winter months is a
    good idea. But in the summertime a fair-skinned person can get 10,000
    IUs after just 10 minutes of exposure to the sun. So I don’t think
    vitamin D supplements would be needed by the average person in the
    summer. Last summer I tried spending a moderate time in the sun each
    day without sun screen. Depending on the day it was as little as 5
    minutes to as much as an hour or so. If the sun was hot enough to cause
    sunburn I wore a sun hat and loose long-sleeved top along with
    sunscreen. I think that’s one way to get that valuable vitamin D when
    the sun is high enough for us to take advantage of it :) LOVE your blog
    and recipes :)

  33. jess says

    Hello, Do you know what the spf is of the original recipe for these bars. I am so happy to have found your site because we really needed a natural sunblock due to allergies.

  34. says

    How much zinc oxide? your recipe says 2 tbls or more. As I read comments you said 1 cup. How well does the larger particle zinc combine? I cant seem to find pure zinc oxide in diaper isle. Has lots of other ingredients. <3 Thank you

  35. Rima says

    Does anyone know what SPF this recipe would have? Also how do you know how much zinc oxide to add to make different SPF?

      • Klara Ibarra says

        Hi Wellness mama. Wow I just read through all of these comments. So
        after doing some research I saw that it was very important to get
        purified distilled pharmaceutical grade zinc oxyde. the particles need
        to be greater than 30nm. I went to the link you provided for purchasing
        zinc but it didn’t say what size or quality the zinc particles were.
        Could you please tell me? And also, how did you figure out how much zinc
        to put for the recipe?

        Thank you!

  36. Kaela Green says

    Hey wellness mama, I’m new to the making of the lotion bars and such… I saw that you updated your post on lotion bars to heat the ingredients in a mason jar in water- will this work in this recipe too? Also, do you need to get these wet to apply, how about the lotion bars too? Thanks!

    • says

      You can make that way. Just put the ingredients in a mason jar to melt and make sure that no liquid at all gets in the jar. They are both applied to dry skin..

  37. Liz says

    I just made these tonight and I’m so excited to use them! Do you think they would also be an effective diaper rash cream, and if so, ok to use with cloth diapers? Thank you!

  38. says

    Do you give your children the same dosage when supplementing? I am interested in taking supplements to help improve sun tolerance (we live in Southern California). If you don’t how much should I be giving them? My kids ages are 3, 5, and 9. Our homeschool science project will be making sunscreen bars!!! Thank you so much for posting this!

  39. says

    I rub coconut oil as a sunscreen, I love it , it doesn’t clog my pores. I even put it in my homemade toothpaste, I would love to make sunscreen bars , going to do this soon.

  40. says

    I just finished my first batch. When I got down to the last little bit I noticed a lot of zinc oxide powder hanging out in the bottom of the bowl. Did I not stir enough? Did I wait too long getting the liquid into the molds?

    • says

      That can happen… it is so temperature dependent so it could just be that it was still slightly too warm when it went in to the molds but it should still have a protective effect…

  41. Kelly says

    I have a 5 year old, fair skinned, red head. She will turn into a lobster after just moments in the sun. Needless to say we go through A LOT of sunscreen. I really want to make this for her, but I need to make it at least a 50 SPF. Any ideas about ingredient ratios to get a 50? Thanks!

  42. Lauren says

    I’m curious about why you take D3 in the summertime, when you can get a great amount of it from the sun? Granted, sunscreen blocks some of this out, but if you are out without it in the less harsh times of the day, it’s not an issue. I would have thought taking D3 supplements would be more for the winter time. I plan on making these bars tonight, thank you for the idea!

  43. icalyn19 says

    Katie, since you have experience with children, do you know if Astaxanthin is safe to take while breastfeeding?

  44. alicia says

    My zinc oxide seemed to settle a bit when I mixed it in. I stirred it for a while trying to get it all mixed. When I finally poured it into my deodorant containers, there was some thick white stuff in the bottom. I’m assuming it was zinc oxide that didn’t get mixed all the way. What did I do wrong? Did I just use too much? Thanks again! And by the way, I LOVE your website!! :):)

  45. OBW says

    I’m getting ready to make this and my beeswax is really tiny pellets — it almost seems like snow. Can you tell me what the weight of one cup of the Pastilles is so that I can just weigh my tiny snow beeswax. Thanks!

  46. Sadie Brazier says

    Hi wellness mama.

    I’ve just made the sunscreen bars. They look great I was a bit caught out with how quickly it started to set. I can still see some really small clumps of the zinc oxide. Is that normal? Ok to use? Thanks x

  47. Marie says

    Hi and greeting from Denmark
    I´ve just made two amazing sunscreen-bars – and now I am wondering… if it is possible to make as a liquid sunscreen, using some of the same ingredients or other oils/butters? – if so…which one(s) would you recommend? =)

    Thank you, for your great work and advice.

  48. Jenna says

    I just made your sunscreen and am about to make these bars but noticed your instruction not to use citrus oils… I used Lemon Essential Oil in the sunscreen I just made! Is that a problem? If so, why?

  49. Laura says

    Thank you so much! What does the Zinc powder actually do to your skin? Does it prevent vitamin D from the sun getting to you? Would it be bad for you to wear this lotion everyday, all year? I am very sensitive to the sun and have quite pale skin. My dermatologist told me off because my skin was in a terrible state and said I should wear sunscreen every single day of my life from now on, and limit sun exposure. To her, I should have stayed in bed under a blanket in a dark room everyday of my life! I thought it was ridiculous, also because I’ve read a great book on vitamin D and sun exposure that proves her completely wrong. I never noticed my skin being in a terrible condition before, it’s not dry or anything, I just have freckles. But the lady did kind of get me a little concerned…

  50. Roberta Horsman says

    Was wondering how you know you have an SPF of 20 with the zinc oxide. You use 2 Tbsp. zinc oxide in both the sunscreen cream and bar recipes, but the total contents of the bar recipe is double the cream recipe. Doesn’t that mean you have to double the amount of zinc oxide if the ingredients are double? And the ingredients that are naturally SPF of 4 and 6 Coconut oil and Shea Butter, do you add those numbers to your zinc oxide SPF number? or do they just exist separately? Just asking as I am making a product to market and want to be accurate. Thanks so much! Roberta Horsman

  51. kittendelight says

    Coconut oil in tea!? That sounds really interesting. I assume it’s without any milks too because it’s herbal? I’ll have to try that

  52. terri says

    Hi Katie I need your help. I got ambitious and made these sunscreen bars into a double batch that didn’t work. I had to pour two jars, one beeswax and one with the rest and melted them down, poured them into a glass bowl to mix everything. I poured the mixture into the molds but it wasn’t until the last one that i realized that the zo was still at the bottom. So, One bar got all the zinc. If i re-melt them will it ruin the zo sunscreen ability? What if i used the microwave, would that make the zo a non-sunscreen?

  53. Rissa Marie Verayo says

    hi katie i am from the Philippines i just want to ask if i can franchise your homemade product because i was planning to start a small business. Could you help me please because i just wanted to help my parents. Right now i was hardly to find a job so this is my second option.

  54. renee hough says

    Thank you so much for this recipe/post, I’ve loved everything I have read on your site! A question I have is regarding the temperature – you mention keep it below 80 degrees but I live in Hawaii and just wouldn’t be able to keep it under 80 degrees at room temperature but also don’t want to have to go to the fridge every time I want to put lotion on :). Any suggestions for a change in recipe or storing method to keep it from melting at higher temperatures? Our max in summer is generally around 90, maybe 95 but the most normal is at about 85. Thanks for any add’l info!

  55. Cassandra Delacote says

    Is it possible to make the sunscreen without using any beeswax ?(“I can only get the bleached beeswax in South Africa and I believe it is bleached with hydrogen pyroxide, which can’t be good for the skin!).

    Would the sunscreen be less effective? or would it just change the consistency?
    Could I perhaps use castor oil which is easy to find here?

  56. Leanne Mitchell says

    Hi – These bars sound great, I will definitely be making them because I have rosacea and I fry like a crispy critter in the sun. With these being solid, I can take them on an airplane and not have to worry about “declaring” them!

    Also, thank you so much for your wonderful website. I just found it today and I’ve been thrilled with all the incredibly helpful recipes and information you post!

  57. Shawna says

    Hi, I read you post about the deodorant and how you make it into sticks. Since the recipes are the basically the same base, could I do the same thing with this to make sunscreen sticks ?

  58. Erica says

    Wellness Mama!! I am LOVING this site!! Just found it :-) I saw where you said this made a dozen cupcake molds, do you sell them at all? I would be SO interested in purchasing some!

    Love your site! Thanks so much Katie for your time and info!

    Sincerely
    Erica Montgomery

  59. says

    Hi! Love this site. I’ve been making body butter with lemon essential oil and was planning to add zinc oxide to counteract the photosensitivity the lemon can cause. It doesn’t work that way? Why? It smells exactly like lemon meringue pie and I’d hate to have to scratch my recipe. Thank you !!

  60. Sharon says

    Have you tried this on your face? I am trying to switch to all natural products but I live in Arizona and if I don’t wear sunscreen on my face I get terrible dark sunspots.

  61. Amy says

    My father who is a science teacher told me about titanium dioxide instead of zinc oxide for better sunscreen options. Now I looked on Amazon and the Titanium is water proof. Have you ever looked into it before ? I don’t know anything about it if it is truly safe to use. I like to use all natural as well as you and love your recipes.

  62. Stephanie says

    This recipe looks great and I can’t wait to try it out! The problem I’m having is that I can’t seem to find the zinc oxide powder. The few pharmacies I’ve asked haven’t even heard of it. One pharmacist, when I told her why I needed it, showed me the zinc oxide cream in the baby isle, but it’s mixed with petroleum jelly (just those two ingredients). I’ve seen that a few other people have asked about zinc oxide cream and I would’ve bought it but wasn’t sure about the petroleum jelly. Any info on this? Thanks!

  63. Elizabeth says

    I thought that both titanium dioxide and zinc oxide were known carcinogens? How is this more natural than store-bought? Am I missing something?

  64. Heidi says

    Wellness Mama,

    Since I have noticed that beeswax is purchased by the ounce, I wondered, when you say 1 cup of beeswax, are you talking about 1 cup of the beewax pastilles or 1 cup of a grated or cut up beeswax? Do you know if 8 oz of beeswax would be one cup? Thanks so much for your help.

  65. Heidi says

    Wellness Mama,

    I apologize for being redundant. I now found where you had already answered the question about how many ounces of beeswax in a cup.

  66. Jeannette Monroy says

    I’ve been reading these comments and haven’t seen any mention of adding carrot essential oil which I believe has natural sunscreen properties. I found another recipe when I was searching that called for 1/2 cup of coconut oil and 10 drops of carrot oil it claimed 30 spf. 10 for the coconut oil and 20 for the carrot oil. It also said reapply often if in direct sunlight.

  67. Brittany says

    Love how simple the recipe is, I am new to all this! :) How much SPF is this recipe? Wanting around a 30spf and wasn’t sure how to figure out how much zinc powder to add to this recipe or if what you called for is enough? Thanks!

  68. Cami says

    I LOVE your whole blog and sometimes when some of us are sitting around wondering about different health questions or thoughts or natural recipes we say “Let’s check what Wellness Mama says,” Anyway, as I was getting ready to make your sunscreen bars for the summer I was e reading aver the internal SPF you recommend as far as supplements goes and I found this on Cod Liver Oil from Mercola…
    http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/12/23/important-cod-liver-oil-update.aspx

    I’d like to know what you think about this…

    • says

      I read this and looked in to it too… unfortunately, it coincided with his split from the Weston A. Price foundation and his release of his own Krill oil supplement which he promotes as an alternative to FCLO, so I don’t believe his motives are entirely pure!Also, the studies he refers to are testing regular cod liver oil and not fermented, which can go rancid, altering the form of Vitamin A. I also take Vitamin D or get adequate sun exposure with FCLO to make sure to keep Vitamin D and Vitamin A in balance, which is his main point in that article… Hope that helps :-)

  69. Quianna says

    I will definitely be trying this for me and my son who is 1.5yrs. If I were to try the supplements how do I get a little one to take them? Are there alternatives? I think I can get the vitamin D3 and C in powder but not sure about the fish oil? Thanks!

  70. Kaitlyn says

    Wondering if I can make these vegan by substituting the beeswax for something else? Also, wondering what the approximate SPF is,

  71. Faith says

    I hate to add ANOTHER question to this long list, but I’m shopping for Vitamin E oil, and can’t seem to settle on one. Do you recommend a particular one? (There are so many containing soy, which we DON’T use, and other fillers…)

    Thanks!

  72. Jess says

    So excited to have found your website & recipes. Looking forward to making these today. I was reading through your bug repellent lotion bar recipe too – can the two be combined to make a 2-in-1 sunscreen/bug repellent bar? Infuse the herbs in the oil & then follow the rest of the directions for this recipe? Or, are there bug repellent EO’s you recommend using (individual oils, not blends) in this recipe? Thank you!!!!

  73. Ellie says

    Katie, When I made these bars I didn’t have zinc oxide so I included myrrh and other oils that have a bit osf spf each and we love the bars. But now I have the zinc and was wondering if I could melt my remaining bars to add the zinc or I should make a new batch. Im concerned with heating up the oils that are already in the mix. Any help will be truly appreciated.

  74. SaraBeth says

    Can you use Tea Tree Oil in this recipe? I’m making these as a party favor for an outdoor wedding! Great price point for the bride on a budget:) Thanks!

  75. Amanda says

    I have light skin and I burn VERY easily. I never use sunscreen lower than 50spf. I plan on making this. I go to a lot of music festivals, and they are very hot so I won’t be able to cover up. I’m gonna try to use an umbrella for the sun, but I can’t always do that. What is the max SPF I can make this? How much zinc oxide should I use for the maximum coverage? I don’t care about white streaks. I just want it to be easy to put on (so I don’t get deterred from reapplying. I expect to reapply very often) and work.

  76. Kat says

    Hello, thanks for all your wonderful posts!

    I just tried making these bars, but made a fatal mistake! I halved all of the ingredients (1/2 cup of the oils and wax) and accidentially put in 1/2 cup of zinc instead of 1 TBSP! Is there anyway I can still use these so the material isn’t wasted? Like remelting a half of one into a new batch, or should the zinc not be reheated?? Thanks for the advice.

  77. Syrita Barbera says

    Love this mix, our family has used it for myrtle beach and Florida trips. Worked great, goes on white but then disappears. Be careful with anything that has coconut oil, it melts quickly and seems to find a way to leak out of any container. The best I have found is a glass jar and I still put it in a zip lock plastic bag. Thanks for the site. Love it!!

  78. Carolyn Ang says

    I make these sunscreen bars every summer for friends and family so THANKYOU! After watching North By Northwest this morning about the importance to of protection from uva and uvb I was curious if the sunscreen bars are effective to protect from both? Thanks:)

  79. chellie says

    I have trouble with the zinc oxide blending. I always have some left at the bottom of the jar. I’ve added it slowly. Any tips for this?

  80. Jessica says

    I just tried this recipe…I mixed all the ingredients (with the zinc) for at least 5+ minutes. I thought I had the zinc mixed into all the melted oils well so I poured it into many molds. When I got toward the end of the oils, it was a think, clumpy mess of melted oil with lots of zinc. Any advice on how to mix the zinc in better?

    Can I remelt the bars and then re-pour them to get the zinc more evenly mixed in?

  81. Ashley says

    I’m vegan and would love to make this without the beeswax, is there an alternative to this ingredient? Thanks!

    • says

      The beeswax keeps the bars from melting too much. I use them on my kids… I think it’s fine. If you are concerned, you could try it without the oils… They are mostly for scent anyway, and totally optional.

  82. Rachael says

    I just finished making sunscreen and basic lotion bars that I intend on using on myself and my 6 month old daughter and noticed that the beeswax pastilles have a label on the back that says “WARNING: (California Proposition 65): This product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause birth defects or other reproductive harm.” Is this true?

    • says

      That warning is on basically everything in California… basically, california Prop 65 mandated that if a chemical had the potential to cause cancer in any way it had to have that warning label. Definitely do your own research, but I don’t worry too much since practically everything we come in contact with will require that label

  83. Maire says

    Hi, I made a batch of sunscreen with the coconut oil, olive oil, zinc oxide, beeswax and vitE. it dried yellow, and it is somewhat hard. It does rub in, but i really wanted a softer consistency. So I have two questions: Can I go back and reheat the batch to fix the consistency? and what can i add to make it more liquid/softer, like a lotion?

    Thanks!

  84. Lizzy says

    If someone else has already said this, I apologize for the redundancy. If you are especially sensitive to poison ivy, you may not want to use mango oil. I get poison ivy very easily and can enjoy mango very carefully, but MUST wash my skin well if I get mango on it. The two allergies are related. I just had a vision of what would happen if I smeared mango oil all over myself, and it wasn’t pretty. I hope this helps someone.

  85. Leigh says

    Hi!

    I’ve been doing a lot of research on vitamin E oil and sweet almond oil…..do you recommend a company that is 100% pure and organic?

    Thanks!!

  86. Gina says

    Congrats Mama on an awesome website. I’ve been reading with great interest for hours and with anticipation of trying many of your recipes. I’ve made a list, but what to try first!
    I note the comment re: Vitamin E used as a preservative in a couple of your recipes and thought I would share info regarding Vitamin E and its function…
    Application: Vitamin E can be added into the oil phase of a formulation where it can work as a skincare active and an antioxidant to reduce the likelihood of oxidation of the formulation. Vitamin E is NOT a
    All the best and thanks for the time you take in sharing your info.

  87. Barb says

    I made my own sunscreen today for the first time. Can’t wait to try it out. Now my question is regards to cleaning my kitchen tools: my measuring cup, whisk, spatula! I have tried soap, lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda and muscle. I have a really hard time getting the white residue off everything. Any helpful comments would be much appreciated :)

  88. Angelica says

    I’m going to use this recipe to make some sunscreen lip balms so I wanted to add a little vanilla to it. I have some vanilla absolute diluted in jojoba. Would adding vanilla cause any concern in regard to sun exposure? Thanks!

  89. Vicky says

    Hi Katie,

    I only have a bit of beeswax left but i have a lot of soy wax. Would that be fine if i use 1/4 beeswax and 3/4 soy wax?

  90. Cheryl says

    My dermatologist told me that no amount of sun is OK. She also said that you will still get the benefits of Vit D with sunscreen on. The problem is not the few days we sit in the sun or suntan, although that is a problem.. The problem is cumulative sun over your lifetime. I have skin cancer on my left arm. That’s the arm that gets sun exposure when you drive. That is no coincidence. I also have it in the corners of my forehead where I tend to miss the sunscreen. Wear sunscreen every day-its the best thing you can do to prevent wrinkles, skin cancer and age spots. I have always used it on my face and I look twenty years younger until you see my hands and chest. Love the idea of this and will try to make it higher SPF. I also will poor some in a lip gloss tube to carry in my purse. My hands are in constant exposure to the sun from driving. This way I can reapply often. Great idea, Wellness Mama. Be careful about any sunscreenless sun exposure. I have large, noticeable scars from teeny, tiny dots of skin cancer. Hoping to protect you!

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