DIY Natural Sunscreen Recipe

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Avoid toxic chemicals during your fun in the sun this summer! This DIY natural sunscreen recipe is easy to make, and works great. It’s waterproof and safe for babies and marine life.

DIY sunscreen recipe

Homemade waterproof sunscreen

It’s true – you can avoid sunburn and toxic chemicals, at the same time! This DIY natural sunscreen recipe uses only the safest, most natural ingredients.

Babies can safely use this sunscreen. There’s no risk of them being exposed to toxic chemicals this way. For very young babies, shade and clothing are the best form of protection.

But as they get older and want to join the fun, sunscreen is helpful for those times when they’ll be in the sun longer than usual. I’ve used this sunscreen with my babies and it works really well.

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DIY natural sunscreen recipe | waterproof & safe for babies & marine life #sunscreen #diy #nontoxic #ecofriendly

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Why make homemade sunscreen?

There are definitely a lot of choices when it comes to sunscreens at the local drugstore! Why are they often not a good choice? Commercial conventional sunscreens contain a lot of ingredients that are not safe or good for our health. Let’s look at some problems with conventional sunscreen ingredients:

  • Nano zinc oxide is zinc oxide with particles small enough that they can go deep into the layers of skin. That’s not safe, and it leaves the top layers of skin unprotected.
  • Non biodegradable chemicals lurk in commercial sunscreens. These chemicals are carcinogenic and are hormone disruptors. Remember how our skin rapidly absorbs whatever we put on it? We definitely won’t want these chemicals being absorbed into our bloodstream!
  • Conventional sunscreens carry these chemicals deep into the body. Once the chemicals are deep within the skin’s layers, they can react with UV light and cause skin damage. In fact, commercial sunscreens can actually raise skin cancer risk (source).

There are starting to be some good, natural sunscreen choices you can buy. But, I still read the label. Even sunscreens that are commercially available and labelled as “natural” often contain ingredients that are not the best.

Did you know that the chemicals in conventional sunscreens are also harmful to marine life? That’s right, the choices we make about what to put on our bodies have far reaching effects. It’s good to keep that in mind. This organic sunscreen is perfectly safe for marine life, and the rest of the earth.

DIY natural sunscreen recipe waterproof

DIY natural sunscreen recipe directions

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Weigh and combine all ingredients in a heat safe glass pitcher.
  2. Create a double boiler by placing pitcher on a cloth inside a pan of water.
  3. Heat water to a simmer.
  4. Melt all ingredients completely, stirring well to combine.
  5. Remove pitcher carefully from hot water. 
  6. Allow sunscreen to cool slowly, stirring periodically. 
  7. Once sunscreen has started to thicken but is still pourable, pour into glass container or silicone squeeze tube.
  8. Allow to come to room temperature. 

Possible variations

Like any DIY skincare product, you are in completely control over everything! The recipe I’m sharing here uses olive oil for the liquid oil component.

But, you can substitute the olive oil for another liquid, skin friendly oil. Some really great options are argan oil or carrot seed oil. These particular oils add additional SPF and antioxidant protection than the olive oil does.

One of my shop customers came up with another great variation. Instead of the coconut oil, she asked if I could substitute tallow balm. This worked beautifully!

As I’ve talked about before, grass fed tallow contains so many antioxidants and skin nutrients. It’s definitely a great addition to this DIY natural sunscreen recipe. Get my tallow sunscreen recipe here

DIY natural sunscreen recipe safe for babies

Does homemade sunscreen work?

This one does! We have used it for years, and it has always worked perfectly for us. My organic sunscreen recipe works by using a variety of safe, natural ingredients to protect skin.

What is the best homemade sunscreen? This recipe uses non nano zinc oxide. This type of zinc oxide has particles that are too big to sink deeply into skin, and that’s good! It creates a physical barrier that protects both the top layer and deeper layers of skin from the sun’s damage.

I also like to use a variety of nourishing, skin friendly oils and butters to protect the skin. This is a homemade sunscreen with coconut oil, cocoa butter, and olive oil (or argan and carrot seed oil).

These oils and butters naturally have SPF protection on their own, and are stable fats that don’t go rancid easily. And, the cocoa butter gives it a wonderful chocolate scent!

Beeswax is added to make the sunscreen waterproof. It really works well during swimming! We’ve personally used it many times while we swim, and it has never let us down.

Is homemade sunscreen safe?

There is some information out there about homemade sunscreens being dangerous. The reasons given are that you can’t measure the SPF of homemade sunscreens without a laboratory, and that the risk of burning is higher. 

What do I think about this? Obviously homemade sunscreens aren’t tested in a laboratory. But, homemade sunscreens also don’t contain the cancer causing and hormone disrupting chemicals that conventional sunscreens do.

It is also true that homemade sunscreens might not have the same broad spectrum SPF as conventional sunscreens. But I think there is still a very smart way to avoid sunburn and avoid toxic chemicals in conventional sunscreens. They key is using the right tools at the right time, in the right way. Balance! 

According to the Environmental Working Group, sunscreens should be used more as a last resort. Avoiding the most intense, midday sun and using clothing and shade to avoid sunburn is best (source). 

Here’s what we’ve decided: We definitely aren’t going to use conventional sunscreens. We don’t want the toxic chemicals they contain!

Also, I do agree that we shouldn’t consider or use homemade sunscreens exactly the way people use conventional ones. We’ve chosen to go the route of smart sun exposure, a healthy, antioxidant rich diet, and some homemade sunscreen when needed. This combo has worked very well for us for years, and has never left us with a sunburn.

I recommend doing your own research, and talking to your doctor or dermatologist to decide what is best for you and your family. 

DIY natural sunscreen recipe safe

Things to know about making and using this natural sunscreen recipe

All of the ingredients in this DIY natural sunscreen recipe are by weight. It’s a simple recipe, and very easy to remember! There are equal parts by weight of each ingredient.

For a storage container, you can either use a glass jar, or a silicone squeeze tube. I’ve used both and they both work great. The jar is good for making larger quantities at a time. Squeeze tubes are great for tossing into a bag to bring along to the beach or pool. They’re also perfect for travel.

It can be hard to say what exactly the SPF is of DIY sunscreens, and I definitely can’t claim to know the exact SPF of this recipe. In the research I did on the individual ingredients and amounts, I found that this DIY natural sunscreen recipe should have an SPF of over 30. 

This DIY natural sunscreen recipe should stay on during swimming and other water activities for at least two hours. After that, if you’re still going to be in the sun, it’s a good idea to reapply it.

If you’re new to mineral based sunscreens, you might be surprised how little of this sunscreen you need. The commercial, liquid sunscreens require a lot more product, but a little of this organic sunscreen goes a long way. If you use the right amount, it will easily rub in without turning you white.

Safe sun exposure

We do need exposure to the sun in order to make vitamin D, and for many other reasons (source). However, there is a smart way to go about it.

As part of an immune boosting, healthy habit, we make a point of trying to get some sunlight on our skin every day. We try to work up a tan gradually, so that our skin gets used to the sun without any burning. 

Once we’ve gotten enough sun for the day, we either head for the shade or use clothing to cover up, as the Environmental Working Group recommends. 

We really only very rarely use sunscreen, and just use it for those times when we’ll be in the sun longer than usual, such as a special vacation or beach day. 

Protect skin from the inside out

How can I protect my skin from sun without sunscreen? Did you know that sun exposure is not the only thing linked to skin cancer? Not having enough vitamin D and eating omega 6 vegetable oils have been linked to developing skin cancer (source). 

On the flip side, eating a diet rich in fat soluble vitamins and antioxidants, like the Nourishing Traditions diet, is a great way to keep skin healthy and boost sun tolerance. 

We avoid processed foods and vegetable oils, and focus on eating healthy fats, omega 3 rich foods, and a nutrient rich diet in general. 

More Summertime DIY organic skincare recipes

After Shave Lotion

Shaving Butter 

Whipped Tallow Salt Scrub

Whipped Tallow Sugar Scrub

Homemade Deodorant Stick

Herb Infused Tallow Salve

Tallow Balm

What are some of your favorite summertime DIY recipes?

I’d love to hear what you’re making this summer. Share in the comments!

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Virgin coconut oil, organic

Extra virgin olive oil, organic

Argan oil, organic

Carrot seed oil, organic

Cocoa butter, organic

Beeswax, organic

Non nano zinc oxide

Silicone squeeze tubes

Want to shop for organic handmade skincare products?

Check out the Bumblebee Apothecary Shop here.

Want to grab some labels for your homemade sunscreen and other DIY skincare products?

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I’ve done all the hard work for you with this set of 30 printable skincare product labels. All the recipes are included on the back labels, too! Get your set of printable skincare product labels here.

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Yield: 8 fl oz.

Waterproof Sunscreen Recipe

DIY sunscreen recipe

Avoid toxic chemicals during your fun in the sun this summer! This DIY natural sunscreen recipe is easy to make, and works great. It's waterproof and safe for babies and marine life.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. coconut oil, virgin
  • 2 oz. olive oil, extra virgin (or subsitute argan or carrot seed oils, or a combination of both)
  • 2 oz. cocoa butter
  • 2 oz. beeswax
  • 2 oz. zinc oxide, non nano

Instructions

  1. Weigh and combine all ingredients in a heat safe glass pitcher.
  2. Create a double boiler by placing pitcher on a cloth inside a pan of water.
  3. Heat water to a simmer.
  4. Melt all ingredients completely, stirring well to combine.
  5. Remove pitcher carefully from hot water. 
  6. Allow sunscreen to cool slowly, stirring periodically. 
  7. Once sunscreen has started to thicken but is still pourable, pour into glass container or silicone squeeze tube.
  8. Allow to come to room temperature. 
The information in this blog post is my personal experience and opinion. It is for general information purposes only, that may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for your own physician’s medical care or advice. Always seek advice from your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding nutrition, medical conditions, and advice. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical care because of something you have read on this blog.

49 thoughts on “DIY Natural Sunscreen Recipe”

  1. Hi Marisa!

    I want to make this sunscreen recipe that looks fantastic, but I can’t work with fluid oz for the life of me. Is there a way to get this recipe in weight? I always work with a scale and I am a bit lost with oz, especially living in a non-imperial country.

    Thank you in advance! ^^

    Reply
  2. Hi Marisa, thanks for the recipe. It is the best sunscreen I’ve ever used. 🙂
    I have made this for my family and friends and discovered it is not only good for sun protection but also for eczema skin reactions. However, is it possible to make it into more of a lotion texture? so we can store it in a squeeze tube?

    Do you think emulsifying wax will do the job? Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Hi Marisa,

    I know you mentioned the SPF is 30. I am wondering if you know if this covers both UVA and UVB rays/ is a broad spectrum sunscreen. Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Hi, I made this today & poured it into 2 silicone squeezy tubes, its set so hard now, I can’t squeeze it out. Any ideas pls ?

    Reply
  5. Bonjour, j’aimerais savoir s’il serait possible de remplacer l’huile de noix de coco vierge par l’huile de noix de coco fractionnée? Je l’utilise pour d’autre soins vu qu’elle ne laisse pas de film huileux…perdrais-je quelconque propriétés? merci 🙂

    Reply
  6. Hi, great sunscreen thanks!! Some people commented it’s too thick; that’s also my experience. Half of the bees wax would be sufficient in there.

    Reply
  7. I love this recipe for sunscreen, glad I found your page! I do not like working with shea butter, so I was so happy to find your recipe with cocoa butter instead. Just made a batch and I love the consistency. And I love that the recipe is easy and ingredients are equal parts.

    Reply
  8. I made this sunscreen and it turned out too thick. I added more oil but it is still too thick to squeeze out of the silicone tube. Is there anything I can add to thin it out without compromising the SPF?

    Reply
    • It will be thicker in cooler temps, but you can add more liquid oil to make it softer. Carrot seed and argan oils especially have a good amount of SPF in them and won’t compromise the SPF 🙂

      Reply
  9. I made this sunscreen and it keeps coming out too thick. What will thin it out to be able to squeeze it out of the tube without compromising the effectiveness?

    Reply
    • I’m happy to help! It is often thicker in cooler temps. You can add more liquid oil. Argan and carrot seed oils especially will help to add SPF 🙂

      Reply
  10. Hi, I was wondering what you thought would be on substituting the cocoa butter for Shea butter? Do you think it could work just as well in this recipe?

    Reply
    • You could, but the coconut oil would make the mixture thicker above 76ºF, which might make it too stiff to easily use. You can substitute any other liquid oil, though!

      Reply
  11. Hi,

    I would like to make a sunscreen that is very thick, like a paste. What do you think is the best way to achieve that with this recipe? I’m considering using zinc oxide paste instead of powder & cutting back the oils a little. Thoughts?

    TIA!
    Amanda

    Reply
    • This sunscreen is already on the thick side, so if you make it as is, I think it will be what you’re looking for!

      Reply
  12. Question regarding the DIY Sunscreen, is cocoa butter a must? I cringe when seeing or smelling cocoa butter. To me it’s a greasy, rancid smelling ingredient and I’m a chocolate lover.
    Can it be fully excluded from the recipe? Or substituted for something else?
    Other than that, the recipe is natural and exactly what I was looking for to make!

    Reply
    • You could probably substitute it for more coconut oil, but the sunscreen will have a different, softer consistency. I’ve never tried it this way, so I’m not sure how it would work. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

      Reply

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