How to Make Sunscreen – 4 Homemade Sunscreen Recipes - Simple Life Mom (2024)

How to Make Sunscreen – 4 Homemade Sunscreen Recipes - Simple Life Mom (1)

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We want to be frugal, natural, and healthy! Well, here are a few steps we had to make along this homemade, diy journey. Homemade Sunscreen is a big one! I made these 4 Homemade Sunscreen Recipes with natural, organic ingredients to be healthier as we move forward in our effort to get rid of toxins in the home.

And these recipes are easy!

How to Make Sunscreen – 4 Homemade Sunscreen Recipes - Simple Life Mom (2)

Know Your Ingredients

Ingredients to Avoid

If you’re reading this, you are probably already aware of how bad ingredients are in most sunscreens. But the long list can be daunting. Here are a few to look out for:

Oxybenzone, an ultraviolet light absorber and key ingredient in many sunscreen. This is what is responsible for many phototoxic and photoallergic reactions (breaking out in a rash or having your skin burned by the chemical within hours or days of using). It is highly absorbed by the skin and, according to research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is reported to be a contaminate within the bodies of 97% of Americans. It is also believed to be a human endocrine disruptor (European Commission on Endocrine Disruption) and can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, lead to cell death. and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease (K.M. Hanson). (1)

While Octinoxate is almost as bad as oxybenzone, it’s main concern is with estrogen mimicking, causing hormones to be disrupted and wrecking havoc on your system. It has also been found in breast milk.

Propylparaben, a preservative also known to disrupt the endocrine system. Simply put, for men or women, this basically blocks receptors so that hormones do not get to where they need to go. It mimics estrogen, throwing your body for a loop. (3)

Retinyl Acetate (Vitamin A Acetate) – High levels of Vitamin A put all over the body can lead to reproductive toxicity. It can also interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, lead to cell death. and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease (K.M. Hanson). The National Toxicology Program also reports that it causes tumors in animals at low doses (2)


Zinc Oxideand Titanium Dioxide are similar in benefits. They both protect against UV-B and UV-A radiation.

DangersNano-particles (tinier titanium dioxide or zinc oxide) are supposed to better help protect from the sun. Yet, some studies have now shown that the nano-particles do cross into the blood stream (4).

The study was on nano-titatnium, but we can assume the same possibility with zinc. It is also very dangerous to inhale either metal. Some studies show that cellular damage which can lead to cancer can occur if it is inhaled (Sayes CM, Wahi R).

So you can’t inhale it, and you don’t want nano-zinc, but can you use something else?

There is Non-Nano Zinc Oxide that you can buy. Here’s a product that we have used: Non-Nano Zinc Oxide.

Use – Zinc Oxide must be used only on very healthy skin. When used on skin that is damaged, sunburned, cut or scratched, or otherwise healing skin there is a much greater potential for absorption, which would cause cellular damage.

I look at it like this. My family and I are fair enough that the damage from the sun is greater than the danger from these products on a normal day. We believe in getting sun, but not burned (there’s enough skin cancer in my family that I have no problem monitoring exposure).

But!!! There are so many other options!!! Read Below!

How to Make Sunscreen – 4 Homemade Sunscreen Recipes - Simple Life Mom (4)

Spray, Powder, or Liquid?

Just say No! Sprays and Powders are a big no no! I can’t get over the ignorance or selfishness of people who sit right beside my family and start spraying. First, four of us will develop extremely itchy hives within minutes or hours (we literally have to get up and run).

Secondly, inhaling those products is cancerous! Avoid at all costs!!

Choose creams unless using an all natural homemade blend.

Natural Oils with SPF

There are natural oils with SPF ranges! These combined can go a long way in protecting your skin. I put on shea butter daily. It is not enough to protect me from getting burned. But I am finding that a combination of the following makes a huge difference.

I’ve included links to high quality ingredients.

Shea Butter – approx. SPF 5-6

Coconut Oil – approx. SPF 6-10

Avocado Oil – approx. SPF 4-8

Carrot Seed Essential Oil – approx. SPF 28-40 (contains antioxidants to protect skin cells) Must be diluted or it will burn your skin!

Myrrh Essential Oil – approx. SPF 15 (ultra healing oil to help take care of your skin)

NOTE: Avoid Citrus oils (orange, lime, and lemon) as they are usually pressed oils and will increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun. Everyone’s skin is different. So please use caution when using essential oils and sun exposure until you know how your skin will respond and how often you need to reapply sunscreen.

How to Make Sunscreen – 4 Homemade Sunscreen Recipes - Simple Life Mom (5)

4 Homemade Sunscreen Recipes

Whipped Shea Butter Sunscreen

This is my go to recipe. I’ve been using it for years and it’s very similar to the one I make for my shop.

As a guess (because that’s what it is), with the zinc oxide, this will be an SPF of about 40+ (estimate as government hasn’t had their hands on it in a lab to verify). I am guessing this because of the ingredients calculated together, plus we have fair skin and I’m comparing to use with spf tested products. Without the zinc oxide it may be somewhere around 15-20spf

This makes 8 ounces or 1 cup.



  1. Whip raw shea butter until creamy.
  2. Slowly add melted coconut oil while whipping.
  3. Add essential oils (and zinc oxide if adding – do not inhale!) and whip until fluffy.
  4. To use, apply often and apply after getting in water.

Note: Measure ingredients carefully. A little variance makes a big difference in the end fluffiness.

Sunscreen Oil

If you’d rather use an oil, you can make one using coconut oil and essential oils. This does not a high spf. Instead, you are protecting your skin and helping it heal faster if it is damaged from the sun, so use accordingly.

This makes 4 ounces or 1/2 cup.



Combine all ingredients and keep in an amber bottle or jar (to help preserve oils). Apply over all exposed skin. Re-apply often.

Bees Wax Sunscreen (more water proof)

I keep this lotion in the fridge until I’m ready to use. It makes 1 cup or 8 ounces. You can whip it again after it is completely cooled to create a more whipped consistency.



  1. Add avocado oil, coconut oil, and beeswax to a double boiler.
  2. Stir over medium to low heat until all ingredients are melted.
  3. Remove from heat and add shea butter and essential oils. Stir until shea is melted (do not add before or heat will make shea grainy).
  4. If you are adding zinc oxide, add now and whisk until there are no clumps.
  5. Transfer to storage container and use as you would your regular sunscreen.
  6. If you want it to be fluffy, then cool in the refrigerator and then whip.

Aloe Vera Sunscreen

This is a body spray with aloe and essential oils. Again, this is a recipe to help protect and heal, but doesn’t have a high spf. Use if you have darker skin or already have a base tan and want to give your body some extra care in the sun.

This makes 12 ounces.



  1. Add all ingredients to a sprayer bottle.
  2. Shake before each use.
  3. Reapply often and after getting in water.

I have another recipe that I use and love that has a higher spf but comes in a spray form. Get the recipe for Organic Spay Sunscreen here.

If you don’t have the ingredients or want to give it a try before buying the ingredients, I sell three versions of sunscreen in my Etsy Shop.

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How to Make Sunscreen – 4 Homemade Sunscreen Recipes - Simple Life Mom (2024)


How do you make sunscreen at home with simple ingredients? ›

In a double boiler or a heat-safe bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, melt the coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax pellets together until fully melted. Once melted, remove from heat and allow the mixture to cool slightly. Carefully add the zinc oxide powder to the mixture, stirring well to combine.

What are the two ingredients in homemade sunscreen? ›

My homemade sunscreen recipe relies on two ingredients to provide SPF: zinc oxide and carrot seed oil. You can increase the amount of SPF you want in your homemade sunscreen by adding more zinc oxide, or by using less, in relation to the amount of lotion you're starting with.

How to make homemade spray sunscreen? ›

Open your continuous spray bottle and empty the contents of your sunscreen in. Add the 1/2 bottle of Lavaderm if using, followed by the fractionate coconut oil and essential oils. Shake well to blend. Note: if your sunscreen is very thick you may want to mix everything up in a small bowl and pour it into your sprayer.

What ingredients are used to make sunscreen? ›

Sunscreens containing oxybenzone, octinoxate, cinoxate, dioxybenzone, ensulizole, hom*osalate, meradimate, octisalate, octocrylene, padimate O, sulisobenzone, and avobenzone are included in this category. Most sunscreens commonly found on shelves, besides mineral sunscreens, have at least 1 of these active ingredients.

Can vaseline act as sunscreen? ›

No, Vaseline petroleum jelly cannot be used as a form of sun protection. While it may create a barrier on the skin to prevent water loss and lock in moisture, it does not offer any sun protection from UV radiation or other environmental assaults.

What are the best ingredients for best sunscreen? ›

If you are interested in using physical sunscreen, the ingredients to look for are zinc dioxide or titanium dioxide. These ingredients will act as a protective layer above the skin when applied.

Is it possible to make homemade sunscreen? ›

Recipes for homemade sunscreens are easily found and promoted online, often by individuals without any specific health expertise. These recipes frequently contain coconut or vegetable oils, essential oils, shea butter, beeswax and zinc. Cancer Council does not recommend making or using homemade sunscreen.

What are the 3 most common active ingredients in sunscreen? ›

The active ingredients in chemical sunscreens include avobenzone, octinoxate and oxybenzone. Physical sunblock sits on top of the skin and reflects the sun's rays. The minerals titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are the main active ingredients in physical blocks.

What is a natural sunscreen? ›

The only active ingredients in a natural sunscreen are the naturally occurring minerals zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide. Both compounds have been deemed safe for use in cosmetics by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Chemical sunscreen active ingredients typically include: Oxybenzone.

How do you make sunscreen with chapstick? ›

Add the red raspberry leaf oil, lipstick sliver and beeswax to the glass bowl. Once the beeswax and lipstick is melted, remove from heat. Add vitamin E oil, peppermint oil and vanilla oleoresin oil. Pour into lip balm container.

How do you make sunscreen with water? ›

DIY Waterproof Sunscreen!
  1. 1/2 cup coconut oil (natural SPF of 10)
  2. 1/4 cup sweet almond oil.
  3. 1/4 cup beeswax.
  4. 2 Tbsp Shea butter.
  5. 1 tsp Vitamin E.
  6. 2 Tbsp Zinc Oxide powder (natural SPF of 20)
  7. 25 drops of your favorite fragrance oil. We recommend: Coconut Sandalwood, Gardenia, or Honeysuckle!

What is the safest sunscreen? ›

“I recommend my patients use whatever sunscreen they feel comfortable applying to their skin and that they will use regularly,” says dermatologist Samer Jaber of Washington Square Dermatology in New York City. “I personally prefer the mineral sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide as they are less irritating.

What is a natural substitute for sunscreen? ›

10 Best Natural Sunscreen Alternatives
  • Sun-Protective (UPF) Clothing. ...
  • Coconut Oil. ...
  • Raspberry Seed Oil. ...
  • Carrot Seed Oil. ...
  • Olive Oil. ...
  • Wheat Germ Oil. ...
  • Zinc Oxide. ...
  • Shea Butter.
May 26, 2023

What ingredients make sunscreen waterproof? ›

A manufacturer will add additional ingredients to the active ingredients to make them waterproof. They grip the skin, allowing the sunscreen to stay on after water exposure. They also make the sunscreen water-insoluble so it will not dissolve in the water. These additional ingredients include cetyl octanoate.

Is there a homemade sunscreen? ›

Recipes for homemade sunscreens are easily found and promoted online, often by individuals without any specific health expertise. These recipes frequently contain coconut or vegetable oils, essential oils, shea butter, beeswax and zinc. Cancer Council does not recommend making or using homemade sunscreen.

What natural things can I use as sunscreen? ›

Cranberry Seed Oil: Cranberry seed oil is high in vitamin E and contains naturally occurring UV filters, which assist to protect the skin from sun damage. Grapefruit Seed Extract: Grapefruit seed extract is naturally high in vitamin C, making it a great oil to protect irritated skin.

What is a natural form of sunscreen? ›

Wheat Germ Oil

A final seed oil that's among the common natural sunscreen alternatives is derived from wheat germ, a part of the grain's kernel. With high amounts of Vitamin E, it's popular for its skin-nourishing benefits. From a sun perspective, it's been known to provide protection up to 20 SPF.

How can I protect my skin from the sun naturally? ›

Shade. You can reduce your risk of sun damage and skin cancer by staying in the shade under an umbrella, tree, or other shelter. Your best bet to protect your skin is to use sunscreen or wear protective clothing when you're outside—even when you're in the shade.


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