Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe

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Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe

In the book Zero to One, Peter Thiel asks readers to consider what views/truths they believe that very few people agree with them on. For me, it’s that most sunscreen does not help avoid skin cancer and may actually increase the chances of it! This is one of the reasons I’ve been making homemade sunscreen for years (even though I rarely use it).

Sound crazy?

Sunburn is harmful… we all agree on that and it should absolutely be avoided. But sunscreen isn’t the only way to avoid it.

It’s definitely not a popular opinion, and I’m certainly not encouraging you to avoid wearing sunscreen or to ignore the advice of your doctor. I am, however, encouraging you to do your own research, look at the actual studies, and use common sense when it comes to sun exposure.

Why Make Homemade Sunscreen?

I explain in full my stance on sunscreen here, but here’s why I decided to try making my own years ago.

Avoid Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals

In the years since sunscreen use began, skin cancer rates have risen. Many reports show that most commercial sunscreens actually raise skin cancer risk. This might be due in part to the fact that many sunscreens contain endocrine-disrupting chemicals such as oxybenzone. Oxybenzone is a known hormone disruptor that isn’t recommended for use on children. It’s been banned in many locations worldwide.

A 2020 study looked at several different active ingredients in sunscreen products. While they did offer SPF protection, chemicals like avobenzone are absorbed into the bloodstream, even after one use.

My DIY sunscreen recipe relies on a physical mineral barrier that stays on the skin’s surface. It doesn’t penetrate through as most synthetic chemical sunscreens do.

There are many more mineral sunscreens with safer ingredients on the market now than when I first started making homemade sunscreen. I’ve listed some of my favorite EWG-rated sunscreens below. That being said, you still have to read labels. Even more “natural” sunscreens can still contain problematic ingredients.

Protect the Coral Reefs

Recent research shows the ingredients in many sunscreens harm ocean life, especially coral. Researchers estimate over 5,000 metric tons of sunblock wash off of swimmers each year. This “swimmer pollution” threatens a large part of the coral life in the ocean and many other ocean species as well. This is because these compounds may awaken dormant viruses in symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae, which provide food and color to the coral.

Some sunscreen ingredients have even been banned in some places due to their negative environmental effects on the coral reefs. This natural sunscreen recipe avoids all such ingredients.

The Vitamin D Factor

Also, our bodies need some exposure to the sun to make vitamin D, a necessary building block for hormone function. Combine vitamin D deficiency with hormone-disrupting sunscreen ingredients like oxybenzone and is it any wonder some of us are concerned?

I don’t buy the idea that even moderate sun exposure is harmful when our bodies need vitamin D and light exposure for so many aspects of health. Getting some of the sun’s rays every day is an important part of my daily routine. I also take astaxanthin daily to help protect my skin from the inside out (read why here).

Looking at these reasons, it makes sense to ask if sunscreen is the best or only way to avoid sunburn.

Is Homemade Sunscreen Dangerous?

Several recent articles claim that homemade sunscreens are harmful and you should never make your own sunscreen. This is because the FDA tightly regulates and verifies the SPF protection of commercial sunscreens. Since you can’t verify the SPF of homemade sunscreens, the chance of burning is higher.

I certainly agree that homemade sunscreens don’t have the lab testing that conventional ones do. But you know what else they don’t have? Endocrine disruptors and coral-killing compounds. Also, sunscreen should be a last resort as shade and getting out of the sun’s UV rays in the heat of the day are better options anyway.

So while maybe we shouldn’t use homemade sunscreens like conventional ones, I’d also argue we shouldn’t use conventional sunscreens in the way we do either!

Bottom Line: Use common sense and get safe sun exposure. The amount and safety will vary by person. I recommend doing your own research and talking to a knowledgeable naturopath or dermatologist to figure out what works best for you.

A Common Sense Approach to Sun

In most cases, my approach is to get adequate but moderate daily sun exposure, without getting close to burning. Since most of us don’t work outside these days, it takes effort to get daily sun, rather than to avoid it. I definitely don’t slather on the coral-destroying sunscreen on the off chance I might encounter a few stray rays of sunlight, and in fact, I welcome it!

Thanks to Nutrition Genome Testing, I know that I have mutations that make it very difficult to get enough vitamin D. This puts me at risk for a lot of serious diseases, and supplements don’t work very well to raise my levels. For this reason, my doctor advised me to get adequate vitamin D… from natural sun exposure.

Of course, there’s a limit to how much sun a person needs or should get. Here’s what I do when I reach this limit:

Use the Shade or Cover Up

If I’m going to be out in the sun for much longer than my skin is used to, it’s easy enough to put on a hat or shirt to shield my skin. This is the approach that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends. It’s more effective at stopping excess sun exposure, costs less, and doesn’t harm the environment. A common sense win/win scenario.

Use Natural Sunscreen When Needed

If I’m going to be in intense sun and can’t easily cover up, I will very occasionally use a natural sunscreen. I’ve yet to use it this year and hope not to at all, but I’m sharing my recipe (and the healthiest options for store-bought sunscreens).

Important Note: Unlike most sunscreens, natural and homemade sunscreens may not be as waterproof or have as high (or broad spectrum) SPF. Homemade versions may not protect as fully against UVA and UVB rays. I am not recommending entirely avoiding sunscreen or getting too much sun which could lead to sunburn or sun damage.

Support Skin From the Inside Out

Sun exposure itself isn’t the only factor linked to skin cancer. Many nutritional factors, such as optimal vitamin D levels or even reducing harmful omega-6 vegetable oils, can have a big impact on skin health. Getting enough antioxidants in our diet from colorful fruits and veggies also plays a big role. See this post for how I optimize my diet and supplements for healthy skin and improved sun tolerance.

Natural Sunscreen SPF

This homemade sunscreen uses a blend of waxes, butter, and oils to make a moisturizing base. The main ingredient for natural SPF (sun protection factor) though is zinc oxide. It acts as a barrier on the skin to block harmful UV rays. Non-nano and uncoated zinc oxide is the healthiest option for skincare.

My homemade sunscreen also uses skin-nourishing and moisturizing antioxidant ingredients for even more skin protection. These include red raspberry seed oil, carrot seed oil, and vitamin E.

The final version will have a varied sun protective ability depending on the amount of each ingredient used. This recipe uses about 10% zinc oxide which is roughly a 6-11 SPF. If you want an SPF of around 20, then double the zinc oxide. Keep in mind it hasn’t been tested by a regulatory organization for exact SPF.

For a simple version, even just coconut oil and shea butter with some zinc oxide or a little raspberry seed and carrot seed oil 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 shouldn’t have any of those issues!

Optional Essential Oils

You can add some skin-safe essential oils here for added benefits and scent. Be sure to avoid any phototoxic oils, as these can cause serious skin burns if used before sun exposure. Common phototoxic oils include:

  • bergamot
  • bitter orange (wild or sweet orange are fine)
  • cold-pressed lemon (steam-distilled is ok)
  • cold-pressed lime oil (steam-distilled is ok)
  • grapefruit (experts are mixed on this one)

Do not use the above essential oils for sunscreen! Some better options include lavender, frankincense, sweet orange, or sandalwood.

homemade sunscreen
4.14 from 268 votes

Homemade Sunscreen Recipe

Make your own sunscreen at home with natural ingredients and avoid the chemicals in commercial brands. Make sure to check out the notes at the end of the recipe for tips.
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time10 minutes
Cooling time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 15 minutes
Yield: 10 ounces
Author: Katie Wells




  • Combine all the ingredients except zinc oxide in a pint-sized or larger glass jar. You can also use a double boiler instead of a jar.
  • Fill a medium saucepan with a few inches of water and place on the stove over medium heat.
  • Put a lid loosely on the jar and place it in the pan with the water.
  • Stir occasionally to mix the ingredients as they melt.
  • When all the ingredients are completely melted, stir in the zinc oxide. This will take some stirring to incorporate.
  • Pour into whatever jar or tin you’ll use for storage.
  • Stir a few times as it cools to make sure the zinc oxide is incorporated.
  • Store at room temperature or in the refrigerator to increase shelf life.


  • This sunscreen is not waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming.
  • Make sure not to inhale the zinc oxide. Use a mask if necessary!
  • Add more beeswax to make thicker sunscreen, less to make smooth sunscreen.
  • Store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge. I prefer to store it in a small canning jar and apply it like 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

This easy recipe just takes two ingredients. While there’s no exact SPF guarantee, it should yield about 20 SPF.

  • 1/2 cup of your favorite lotion (that doesn’t have phototoxic oils!)
  • 2 Tablespoons of non-nano zinc oxide
  • Mix well

You can also make sunscreen bars with many of the same ingredients!

Store-Bought Natural Sunscreens

Not Interested in DIY? I’ve gotten numerous questions over the years about pre-made sunscreen options for those who don’t have the time or desire to make their own. I list my favorite store-bought brands in this post.

Does your family regularly use sunscreen? Do you try to get regular sun exposure? Leave a comment and let us know!

This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Scott Soerries, MD, Family Physician and Medical Director of SteadyMD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

Get sun protection without the toxins with homemade sunscreen. Made with coconut oil, shea butter, non-nano zinc oxide and other natural ingredients.
  1. Matta M. et al. (2020, January 21). Effect of Sunscreen Application on Plasma Concentration of Sunscreen Active Ingredients: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2020;323(3):256–267.
  2. Ortenzi, T. (2011, November 17). Sunscreens With Vitamin A May Accelerate Skin Cancer: FDA Knows Danger, Doesn’t Report. Huffington Post.
  3. Hall, D. (N.D.). The Truth About Corals and Sunscreen. Smithsonian Ocean.
  4. Moulite, M (2018, July 3). Hawaii bans sunscreens that harm coral reefs. CNN.
  5. Roach, S. (2016, July 11). The Truth About Phototoxic Essential Oils and How to Use Them Safely. The Herbal Academy.
Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


975 responses to “Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe”

  1. Hope Avatar

    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).

  2. Laura Avatar

    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.

  3. Michelle Partington Avatar
    Michelle Partington

    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.  

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      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/

      1. Michelle Partington Avatar
        Michelle Partington

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

        1. brooke Avatar

          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

  4. Allison Johnson Avatar
    Allison Johnson

    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?

      1. Jessica E. Avatar
        Jessica E.

        I have a question…what’s the difference between the carrot seed oil you use and carrot seed essential oil. I have YL carrot seed oil, can I use that instead of the one you’ve used?

  5. Slu Avatar

    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?

    1. Austin Avatar

      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.

  6. Kena Avatar

    Great natural homemade recipe but what retail stores sell beeswax and zinc oxide?

    1. Deborah Harris Avatar
      Deborah Harris

      Inquire with some bee keepers about the beeswax. Zinc oxide is probably found at a pharmacy, but you need the non-nano kind.

    2. R Avatar

      Lots of natural foods stores see plain beeswax in one form or another.

  7. Kat Avatar

    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…

  8. Danelle Avatar

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

      1. Amber Avatar

        Can you make this without the beeswax? I don’t have that ingredient.

        1. Cherie Parham Avatar
          Cherie Parham


          I absolutely love this and it is my 2nd summer of making it!
          Can I use candelilla wax instead of beeswax as I am becoming a vegan?

          Many thanks


    1. Kelly Poe Avatar
      Kelly Poe

      if you’re talking about to relieve sunburn, black tea works amazingly well

      1. Sierra mark Avatar
        Sierra mark

        Roughly, How much SPF is in a tsp of carrot seed oil? How much SPF is in a tsp of raspberry seed oil?

  9. Bitty Avatar

    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….)

    1. Kat Avatar

      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.

      1. Amanda Avatar

        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 🙂

  10. Bama Avatar

    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.

  11. Taily Avatar

    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!

    1. Rebecca Avatar

      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.

    1. Lindsay Eryn Avatar
      Lindsay Eryn

      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!

      1. Mary Avatar

        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!

        1. Crystal Avatar

          How is your skin doing now. I been wanting to have a glowy complexion but I wanna see how it works in the long run 🙂

      2. Kristen Avatar

        5 stars
        Thank you for trying to spread the truth about chemicals ( they are good) and science to an audience that has been brainwashed by the “chemicals are bad” movement. It is completely irresponsible for WM to suggest that DIY sunscreen is a good thing to use ( and only after you’ve gotten too much sun, b/c she doesn’t understand about UVA rays that lead to premature aging and skin cancer before you look burned due to UVB). I guess all of her followers would decline chemotherapy if they contracted cancer b/c it is a bad chemical that could save your life. Surely they think life before antibiotics was so much easier. LOL.

  12. Kristina Avatar

    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!

    1. Kelly Poe Avatar
      Kelly Poe

      i just bought everything i needed for it off of ebay for around $25

  13. sally Avatar

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

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      It is not necessary, it just helps preserve it so it lasts longer,
      but it isn’t completely needed.

      1. Craig Avatar

        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

        1. Steph Avatar

          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.

          1. Angelo Avatar

            I agree with you, I avoid citrus oils for the day creams I make.

            Would you know which essential oils are appropriate specifically for lengthy sun exposure?

            Also, nano or non-nano? Any thoughts

    2. Annalisa Palen Avatar
      Annalisa Palen

      Do not use any citrus essential oils in sunscreen it makes your skin more prone to burn.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I usually just get it on Amazon, though a few natural stores carry
      it… might be worth checking your local health food store.

      1. April Chronister Avatar
        April Chronister

        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:) 

        1. Jenny Fowler Avatar
          Jenny Fowler

          Well, shoot balls, I just purchased that one from the recipe. 🙁

        2. Katlin Munoz Avatar
          Katlin Munoz

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

        3. Dawn Avatar

          Do you know if French Process is non-nano? I bought some not even thinking, thanks!

        4. Amanda Avatar

          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?

          1. Kristen Avatar

            Why not just buy a commercial sunscreen that was tested by an accredited lab to guarantee it will block harmful UVB and UVA rays? Ask your pediatrician about sunscreen use for babies. So many misguided people here that have no trust in products regulated by the FDA as OTC drugs? I guess none of you vaccinate or take antibiotics? Better to tough it out with the flu virus, chicken pox, measles…

        5. Sue Avatar

          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 !!!

          1. Mary Avatar

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

          2. Mima Avatar

            5 stars
            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.

        6. Lori Avatar

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

        7. Doreen Avatar

          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?

      2. carol hastings Avatar
        carol hastings

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

        1. Wellness Mama Avatar
          Wellness Mama

          It can be both but the powder is easier to work with in this and the cream can often have other additives…

      3. Candice Avatar

        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?

          1. Angela Avatar

            What happens if you use a lotion that contains citrus oils?

    2. Kelly Poe Avatar
      Kelly Poe

      i just ordered a pound of it off of ebay for $9.71 with free shipping.

    3. Chantal Avatar

      4 stars
      I just bought all my ingredients on Amazon. Great prices..

  14. Emily Avatar

    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!!

    1. Maria Avatar

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

    2. Healer Avatar

      What is the point of using the zinc oxide if raspberry and carrot seed oils are a higher spf?

      I’m sure using the same amount of bentonite clay would be at least as effective as the zinc oxide. I’m not convinced that the non nano isn’t absorbed. I don’t need anymore heavy metals in my system.

      Thanks for the effort though.

  15. Sunny Avatar

    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)

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      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.

      1. Amy Smith Avatar
        Amy Smith

        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.

        1. Kate Avatar

          What is the shelf life on this? I have some left I made last year but want to know if I should be making a new batch for my 2 year old

      2. heather Avatar

        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 🙁

        1. Helena Avatar

          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…

          1. Darris Avatar

            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 . . .

          2. Mary Ann Traba Avatar
            Mary Ann Traba

            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????

          3. Kelly Avatar

            Vitamin D is also stored in excess fat stores. So, if you are over weight (45% of US is), being out in the sun is not enough. Your fat lipids are grabbing the Vit D and your body can’t utilize the D. Per your doctor you would need to take their recommended dosage of D.

          4. Barbara Avatar

            Agree with you and I have lost someone to Melanoma.

          5. Heather Avatar

            You ain’t got to be a butch about it

        2. Sere Avatar

          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.

          1. Sara Avatar

            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.

          2. Ella Avatar

            Maybe sunscreen plays a part in causing cancer with its toxic etc ingredients but the UV radiation from the sun is high-frequency ionizing radiation (as are x-rays,gamma raus etc). That high-frequency radiation (especially UVB) causes mutations in the skin cells. It can damage the DNA and cause the cells to multiply uncontrollably -which is the cancer. So it is incredibly important to use some kind of protection since no D vitamin is going to stop the UV rays from damaging the cells.
            Oh and in terms of D vitamin deficiency..well there are supplements that you can (and should especially if you live in northern countiries) take orally.
            I would like to go in much more detail in this topic but I am from Finland and have not studied this topic in English…
            But really, research!

        3. Frog Avatar

          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.

          1. Chloe Avatar

            I do agree with your comments about sun exposure and lifestyle, but having studied vitamin D a few weeks ago as part of my nutrition course, I remember reading that breast-fed babies do need sun exposure.

            Vitamin D is not transported in breast milk, so an exclusively breastfed baby does need limited sun exposure in order to get vitamin D so as to prevent rickets.

            Dark-skinned people need more frequent exposure periods as it is more difficult for them to synthesize vitamin D.

            Vitamin D is very important and may indeed play a role in cancer prevention. However, more RTCs need to be conducted before we can determine whether or not this is true, how much exposure is needed and where the safe upper intake level of exposure is before cells become radiation damaged.

            This is a really interesting debate and I think that to a large extent, it is governed by where in the world you live. I am in New Zealand, where the sun is so strong most people don’t take the “sun safety” messages seriously until they get really, really burnt for the first time. It is absolutely essential to wear a sunscreen in the summer here. Anyone that argues this point hasn’t been here or is crazy. The burn period is from 10am until 5pm and at the peak (12-4) burn time can be as little as 4 minutes. For this reason, the Govt. sends very strong sun safety messages, which can and do result in vitamin D deficiencies.

            For me, the take home message is: yes we need vitamin D and the best way to obtain this is through sun exposure. Yes, sun exposure can be dangerous and cause cancer. Yes, sun screens can be dangerous and cause cancer. As “Frog” said, the best thing you can do is limit your exposure when the sun is at its strongest (12-4, maybe longer in summer depending on where you live) and get exposure for short periods when the UV rays aren’t as strong.

            Commercial or homemade, it still doesn’t pay to slather on sunscreen so that you spend all day with lots of skin exposed to the sun.

        4. Penny Avatar

          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.

          1. Anita Avatar

            Your comment made the most sense!!!! Great attitude. Genetics play a role in everything. ??

          2. Amy Avatar

            Please do not use wikipedia as a source. It can be edited by anyone. Schools in our area will allow that a source when students write research papers.

        5. Lara Avatar

          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.

          1. Andy Avatar

            Please post a link to any legitimate, peer-reviewed research showing that sunscreen is dangerous/that sun exposure does not lead to skin cancer.

            Those are big statements to make, given that they oppose the mainstream scientific view.

            I look forward to reading the studies to which you are all referring.


          2. MARIA Avatar

            The recipe includes red raspberry seed oil which is rich in Vitamin A. Isn’t that something
            that should be avoided in sunscreens?

          3. Tamiz Avatar

            Can you give me YOUR sunscreen recipe…exacts on everything. I have a skin chemical sensitivity, and an internal one. I still have gut issues, even with what I can eat, and all lotions make me breakout. I use the ones that do that the least. I don’t wan trial and error though. I want a tested recipe that gives me color, and Vitamin D, as mine can be low, but also something I can use on my whole body as my skin does get dry. I use no sulfite shampoos and body washes, but have been thinking about going natural/homemade. There is just so much to choose from, and I am sensitive to some natural items (olive oil and basil for two)…but I want one that works for my flyaway wirey gray hairs, and my tendancy for oily scalp, but dry/frizzy ends. The products I do use, except Cetaphil cleanser, dry out my skin. Cetaphil lotion helps a little, but does not last…probably not absorbing and then washes off. :)) Your recipe sounds PERFECT!

          4. brooke Avatar

            Wow Lara that is a great story! I hope to have success making my own sunscreen. can you share your recipe or ingredients for effectiveness?

          5. Teri Avatar

            If the sun were the skin cancer culprit. come countries whose people live in the sun don’t get our cancers? They can’t afford our chemicals, that’s why

          6. Lara Avatar

            Sorry for the late reply…. To those of you who wanted my recipe here it is.

            To those who ask for the research to back myself up….
            1. I have a life!
            2. I’m responsible for the choices I make in my life and I own it #likeaqueen!
            3. When I do my research I don’t think I should save everything just in case some other person disagrees with my opinion and experience so I better save everything otherwise I’ll look like an uneducated TROLL trying to turn everyone against the pharmaceutical industry, they do a great job of that on their own!
            4. How hard is it for you to type in “why sunscreens are bad” or “toxins and chemicals in sunscreen” or the individual ingredients in sunscreen in to the Google search engine, it’s so easy but it’s hard for people who just want to be right about everything. I’ve researched both sides and I like third side the most, that’s my side!
            5. I have experience with sunscreens and I know my recipe works! This summer I didn’t get burnt once and I’m a fuckin Gardener!!! I’m in the sun 5 days a week, 8+ hours day and in 40 degree heat!!!

            Lara’s HomeMade Sunscreen
            Homemade Organic Infused Oil, Organic raw Coconut oil, Organic hemp seed oil, Organic Raspberry seed oil, Beeswax , Zinc oxide (optional)
            A jar/s, double boiler pot and some timber cooking spoons

            Infused oil… Get a large jar, add fresh flowers from the garden like lavender, calendula and borage. Any flowers that have good skin properties add to the jar. I fill most of the jar with those flowers and then pour the oil over the top, make sure the lid is sealed tightly. Let it sit in a cupboard for about 2 weeks and give the jar a shake every few days.

            The method…
            1. Cut the bees wax up and put into the double boiler first because it takes a while to melt (make sure every little lump is out)
            2. Keep the heat on low once the wax has completely melted. If the pot seems to hot remove it off the stove for a minute will you add in your oils.
            3. Once the wax has melted add in the coconut oil, hemp seed oil & infused oil (I mixed it with a whisk (egg beater)
            4. When all the oils and bees wax look blended remove from the heat if you haven’t already, add the raspberry seed oil and zinc oxide if you want.
            5. Put aside to cool down a little before pouring into jars.
            6. Keep in a cold dark place.

            If you feel that the consistency is to thin or you want it thicker then warm up some bees wax and add it it because I found the bees was doesn’t melt well when mixed with the other oils.

          7. Jessica Avatar

            There is still a lack of REAL cited research here…All I see is websites that quote people…no actual studies shown. The sun causes cancer and it has been exhaustively studied and proven over and over again. Most of the studies claiming sunscreen ingredients are toxic or bad are badly done. I’ll get to those in a minute. Yes, people still get melanoma while using sunscreen, that’s because most people do not apply it correctly, don’t apply enough, and don’t reapply when they should!!

            It’s lack of knowledge. I think it’s also important to note that if your skin is tanning, you are getting skin damage. Your skin produces melanin to protect itself, so if you’re tanning, your skin is needing protected! There is no such thing as a safe or healthy tan(unless it comes from a bottle). Research has made it clear that repeated unprotected sun exposure, getting sunburned, or repeatedly getting tan causes DNA damage that triggers skin cells to mutate. Over time and in the absence of sun protection and sun-smart behavior, these mutations turn into skin cancers.
            Also, these “recipes” are horrible. Red raspberry see oil and the carrot seed oil have NO studies proving they provide broad spectrum UV ray protection AT ALL. The study that tries to claim the carrot seed oil does is HIGHLY misinterpreted. It offers no spf at all. The oils that do have some protection, have a very low protection percentage. 20-30%…sunscreen ingredients offer 97% protection in a spf 30 product.

            The benefits of daily sunscreen use are absolutely clear. Research has shown when you wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen rated SPF 25+ properly (applying liberally, reapplying after more than a few hours in direct daylight) every day, your risk of deadly or disfiguring skin cancer dramatically decreases (not to mention premature aging, i.e. wrinkles, brown spots, and skin sagging). An Australian study done in 2013 showed that when a well-formulated sunscreen is applied to exposed skin as directed, it offers 100% protection against all three types of skin cancer. What’s more, regular sunscreen use also protects an anti-cancer gene in skin known as p53 from becoming damaged.

            If these unsubstantiated claims of sunscreen causing cancer (meaning carcinogenic) fears were actually true, one would expect cancer rates to increase (especially among those that work in the cosmetic industry, as they are surrounded by high concentrations of these “suspect” ingredients). Yet, the medical data does not support this, as overall incidences of cancer have declined in the U.S., per 2012 statistics from the American Cancer Society.

            I also want to point out for people who do not know, spf is not accumulative. If you take 3 products that are all 3 spf 15, they do not make spf 45…it’s still spf 15. Just in case anyone was looking at this recipe(which has false ratings anyway) and think they’re getting super protection. It’s more like spf 6-8…which is not sufficient sun protection.

            Now the ingredients in sunscreen:

            Vitamin A: This vitamin has been said to increase skin-cancer risk because of a SINGLE UNPUBLISHED 10 yr old study! Researchers in that study didn’t test sunscreens containing retinyl palmitate (of which use very small amounts of the antioxidant), rather they applied high concentrations (i.e. much greater than what is used in cosmetics products) of retinyl palmitate directly to rodent skin! This isn’t at all representative of how retinyl palmitate is used in skin care formulas—and researchers used a rodent breed THAT IS PREDISPOSED TO CANCER! (80% the mice who were exposed to UV light alone, without retinyl palmitate, developed skin cancer anyway)…..yeah..

            Oxybenzone: the safety data on it is exhaustive and as it is globally recognized as a safe and effective sunscreen agent. Headlines hoping to get your attention love regurgitating that minute levels of oxybenzone are absorbed by skin, of which trace amounts (one millionth-per-gram, that is infinitesimally small,) can be detected in urine. A 2004 study in Journal of Investigative Dermatology and a 2008 study in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology & Venereology demonstrated by applying a full-body application of a 10% concentration of oxybenzone over the course of 4 days had no negative health effects, and did not accumulate in the body. The American Academy of Dermatology, the Skin Cancer Foundation, The EU Union scientific and regulatory bodies and many more groups all over the world totally agree that it’s safe and causes no ill effects as used in a sunscreen.

            Octinoxate: decades of research and thousands of studies establishing its safety in sunscreens as indisputable. No studies demonstrate octinoxate when used in your SPF products causes, or increases the risk for developing cancer. In the sole studies cited when the “octinoxate = cancer” claim is made, the conditions are completely inapplicable to how sunscreens ingredients are used in skin-care products. For example, such studies use octinoxate in high concentrations (much higher than would ever be used in sunscreens) applied directly to skin cells, or fed in high concentrations to lab animals. The moral here is that octinoxate is safe as long as you aren’t drinking it! No studies exist that back the claim octinoxate has any link to causing cancer or other illnesses when used in sunscreen formulas.

            Titanium dioxide & zinc oxide: There is no evidence that nano-sized titanium dioxide or zinc oxide sunscreen actives pose any health risk (and certainly not in comparison to skipping, or skimping, on your SPF).
            Globally, extensive and continuous scientific and medical research has shown your sunscreen remains safe to use, and unprotected exposure to the sun itself is the”toxin” of which you should be concerned. Along with other practices such as limiting sun exposure, wearing sun-protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses, reapplying sunscreen as often as needed is critical to reduce your risk of skin cancer and numerous signs of aging.
            Here’s some more REAL scientific studies that aren’t totally bogus or just quotes. There’s tons more proving sunscreens are safe and that the sun is a major cause of skin cancer and other skin issues. Exhaustively proven! You people saying otherwise with no proof or bogus proof(and believing random blogs, companies, websites with no proof or bogus proof) are possibly contributing to many people becoming fatally ill.


            Jou PC; Tomecki KJ. Sunscreens in the United States: current status and future outlook. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2014;810:464-84

            Norval M; Wulf HC. Does chronic sunscreen use reduce vitamin D production to insufficient levels? Br J Dermatol. 2009 Oct;161(4):732-6

            Diehl JW1; Chiu MW. Effects of ambient sunlight and photoprotection on vitamin D status. Dermatol Ther. 2010 Jan-Feb;23(1):48-60



            And here’s an informative article with references:


          8. Hana Avatar

            Hi, I am relatively new to wellnessmama and loving it! I have highly sensitive skin and want something that is anti-aging too, this site is perfect! Thank you… I wanted to ask- do the oils loose their properties if reheated? I made the lotion last week (almond oil, beeswax, coconut oil, vit E and shea butter), but I would like to make it into a sunscreen and add a fragrance like lavender, is it OK to put it all back in the pan and add the zinc and carrot seed oil and lavender and then allow to reset?

          9. renee Avatar

            Is this the homemade sunscreen you used? Or do you have one you can share?

          10. Alessia Avatar

            Lara, I have a very similar history to yours, with my skin.
            I wanted to ask you: is it necessary to put zinc oxide in home-made sunscreen recipes?
            May I ask you for your sunscreen recipe?
            Thank you so much! <3

          11. Angela Raum Avatar
            Angela Raum

            Tanning is actually an Inflammation process. Fibro, Arthritis (RA) are both inflammation diseases. Sun causes flares with people with RA. I haven’t had a burn this summer. I don’t spend all day but I do put sunscreen on & have started using magnesium & Turmeric supplements. I feel the Turmeric must help alot cause there are times after I work overnights I go on my walks & it’s hot & sunny & no burn.

          12. Jessica Mudge Avatar
            Jessica Mudge

            As a quick note, sunscreen has not been shown to prevent melanoma If I remember correctly is only protects against squamous cell carcinoma. Better than burning, but if natural sunscreen can also prevent burning, that would be a good choice. Also, if you don’t burn, you’re not increasing your cancer risk; in fact studies show that people who work outside are less likely to get skin cancer than people who work indoors, presumably because they get tan instead of just burning on Saturday. So enjoy the sun…just don’t burn!.

        6. Gail Avatar

          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!

          1. Tanja Odzak-Goppold Avatar
            Tanja Odzak-Goppold

            go on to the Environmental Working Group’s website and read all their various posts about sunscreens. They reference the National Cancer Institute, various research studies, etc. All you want.

            you can start here:

            or somewhere else on their website.

            You can also go onto “Skin Deep”, where you can look up the relative toxicity of specific ingredients. It’s pretty cool.

            Its’ all on there.
            We are all masters of our own destiny.

            Best in Health to you and yours~

          2. Ella Avatar

            Yes exactly. I was quite horrified when I read this blog post and all the comments claiming that sun isn’t the issue really but the sun screen.
            But yet through numerous of studies and research show the dangers of sun exposure, especially UVB. It does cause mutations in the dna of the skin cells and causes them to multiply etc->cancer.
            Hopefully people will at least protect their children if not themselves…

          3. Grena Avatar

            Science isn’t everything. The research and focus are narrow and I realize why but the fact is it doesnt take into account the the big picture. We are all individuals who react different and no one two or even three things can be said to truly explain how or why react as we do to the sun or anything else for that matter. Every health issue is the result of an exhaustive amount of factors that yield each of us unique what works for one may not work for all but it does not invalidate anthers experience. The most important thing to remember when caring for your health, skin or otherwise, is you. Your knowledge of your bodies reactions is paramount. No one regime yields the best results for everybody. These are guidelines given by someone who wants to share what they have learned. The is no need to be against it or for it just consider it. Use what you can and move on. Personally I would like to add that I have been using a DIY eidelweiss extraction in my sun block as it grows wild near by. I have found it effective and was wondering if anyone else has experience with this ingredient to share. I have looked at great length at scientific papers, very interesting, but absolutely without value when it comes to using it in practical application.

        7. Diane Avatar

          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.

        8. Shannon Avatar

          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!!!!!!
          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,

          1. Ria Avatar

            “The tanning lotion you use inside” refers to tanning bed/ solarium lotion? Those are actually meant to increase pigmentation aka tanning, so it might have triggered the return of your hyperpigmentation. You previously used hydroquinone, so you should indeed avoid the sun for the rest of your life. Whitening products and chemical peels change how skin normally functions and there’s no going back, sadly. You could try spf 50+ PA++++ japanese sunscreens, for example hada labo makes good products, wear hats, long sleeves, long skirts or trousers when out. Rashguard shirts and leggings for swimming and always sunglasses. This might sound harsh but I’m very sun-sensitive too and have to adhere to these in summer or when traveling. Try to see it as an opportunity: by covering up you are wearing more chanches for self-expression. There are beautiful lightweight kaftans, kimono jackets, maxi dresses, scarfs and wide-brim hats.

        9. Shelley Coletti Avatar
          Shelley Coletti

          I just read your comment. I have been researching Vit D deficiency for over 15 years. Went to a conference about it in Long Beach California. Most people get Melanoma from lack of Vit D. In Canada it costs 25.00 to have your Vit. D checked. In our research we took supplements up to 4,000 iu’s and the results still came up low for anyone living above the Georgia (USA) border. If you look at the Cancer stats its those who live in colder temps that get Melanoma and then expose themselves either to chemicals in store bought sunscreens or too much sun exposure without Vit D to protect them in the first place. Also most people who get this type of skin cancer get it on the back of their body. The area that is covered up. It is important to understand all people are different I am very passionate about educating people about their lack of Vit D especially here in Canada. Also to make sure they use natural sunscreens.

          1. Alessia Avatar

            If intakes of Vit. D even as high as 4,000 iu still showed Vit. D being low in those patients, what could we do to increase our Vit. D?
            I’ve been taking supplements and my vit D is still, always low. (a problem which, by the way, I never had before moving to Phoenix, Arizona, 10 years ago!! Most people I know here are vit.D deficient. And, here, we can’t avoid the sun even if we wanted to!)
            Thank you!

        10. Brittany Avatar

          That statement bothered me too. I had melanoma and it is SCARY stuff. I am so so sorry for your loss.

        11. Kendra Avatar

          Melanoma is not always caused by the sun. Stop trusting these doctors who say so. What you EAT ((or vitamins you lack)) and what you put ON your body are way more likely to cause cancer than the sun.

        12. Pam Avatar

          My husband also has stage four melanoma. Yes most Americans are vitamin D deficient. Some research says more vitamin D would help us from burning.We also know we need healthy sun screen if we are going to be in the sun long.

        13. Jodi Avatar

          Store bought sunscreens are proven to have ingredients that become carcinogenic when exposed to sun…I am so sorry you lost your mother to melanoma. At this stage of my life I would much rather try natural ingredients in sunscreen than chemicals.

        14. Jenn Avatar

          Sorry for your loss.

          My dad has stage 4 melanoma and I still agree people are vitamin D deficient. Our recent global ailment was substantially worse in people who were vitamin D deficient.

          Conventional sunscreens are contributing to skin cancer far more than preventing it, sadly. We should take time in and out of the sun.

      3. Grace Hedaya Avatar
        Grace Hedaya

        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?

        1. Beka Avatar

          5 stars
          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.

        2. Kim Avatar

          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!

          1. Audrey Avatar

            Hi, do you mean an electric hand mixer or a manual one?

      4. Faith Avatar

        4 stars
        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?

        1. Christie Pollard Avatar
          Christie Pollard

          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?

        2. Chloe Avatar

          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)

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

        3. phyllis bala Avatar
          phyllis bala

          For removing oil on clothing & hard surfaces, there is a non-toxic, non-oily hand cleaner called Goop. It’s one of the very very best oil removers ever. I live in California & it’s sold in grocery stores & hardware/tool stores, in every shape & sized container. I clean with it all the time, as I often use cold pressed castor oil & castor oil packs for skin care and injuries.

      5. Joelle Avatar

        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

        1. Angie R Avatar
          Angie R

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

          1. Doug Avatar

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

          2. Christie Pollard Avatar
            Christie Pollard

            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.

      6. Kara Avatar

        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.

          1. Patty Avatar

            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.

          2. Angie R Avatar
            Angie R

            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!

      7. Gale Avatar

        I clicked on the link for the zinc oxide and they do not have any. Is there another place to order from? Preferably in Canada?

        1. Myliece Avatar

          I get mine from our local pharmacy (Janzens). They have to order it in as they don’t carry powder in store. Thunder Bay, Ontario.

    2. Elizabeth Avatar

      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?

      1. caryn stockwell Avatar
        caryn stockwell

        3 stars
        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.

          1. Sharon Avatar

            The post i included a link to, in that link is another to the researchers studies. But that link does not open, so i found it else where. In it if you read it all. He never at any time states ZO causes cancer, and at the end states to carry on using sun cream. here is the broken link.


        1. Tanja Odzak-Goppold Avatar
          Tanja Odzak-Goppold

          Also… that article is about NANO-SIZED ZINC OXIDE PARTICLES.

          NOT “Non-Nano Zinc Oxide” which is what is used in this recipe.

          It’s all about the details.

          Read up on EWG folks.

      2. brooke Avatar

        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

        1. Nysia Avatar

          “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.

    3. Dawn Avatar

      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.

    4. Nysia E Avatar
      Nysia E

      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!

    5. Maria Avatar

      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

        1. MARIA Avatar

          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

        2. Heather Avatar

          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

          1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

            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.

        3. brooke Avatar

          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.

        4. Ashlie Avatar

          Are the raspberry seed and carrot seed oils used essential oils? Can’t wait to make this! Thank you.

          1. Oumaima Avatar

            Is this natural sunscreen valid for oily skin? Since it contains oils too

    6. sandy Avatar

      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

      1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

        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…

        1. lisa Avatar

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

        2. Pam Avatar

          @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!

    7. Bonnie Avatar

      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.

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