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How to Make Homemade Sunscreen and Safe Sunscreens to Buy

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Make your own homemade sunscreen with natural ingredients for a non-toxic Summer. It’s easier than you might think. Safe for the whole family.

Affiliate links have been used in this post.

We have replaced most of the chemical-laden products in our house with essential oils and natural cleaning supplies. But there are two areas where I’ve been slow to replace products – sunscreen and make-up.

But that is about to change. At least the sunscreen part. {I’ll gladly take make-up recommendations, especially concealer.}

How to Make Homemade Sunscreen

I have always burned in the sun. Always. I was never one to turn a golden brown after a day at the beach. Instead, I turned a bright red and was miserable the rest of the trip. I don’t want that for my children, or myself.

While I have always wanted natural sunscreen alternatives, I’ve been too nervous to experiment on myself or my family. But last summer was our first year using essential oils and I wanted to test them out. See if they really did what people said.

We went to the beach for a mini-vacation and I tried some natural alternatives to sunscreen. It actually went better than I thought it would. We used coconut oil as our base since it has an SPF of 2-8, and Myrrh has an SPF of 20. The key to homemade sunscreen is to reapply, reapply, reapply. But let me tell you, while I did burn, it wasn’t nearly as bad as when I’ve used chemical-laden sunscreen in the past.

FYI, Lavender, Frankincense, and Peppermint essential oils with coconut oil make a great after-sun lotion. Lavender takes the burn out, Frankincense is wonderful for the skin, and Peppermint is cooling.

SPF of Natural Oils

Coconut Oil – 2-8
Olive Oil – 2-8
Shea Butter – 3-6
Jojoba Oil –  4
Castor Oil – 6
Avocado Oil – 4-10
Red Raspberry Seed Oil – 28-50 (protects against UVA and UVB rays)
Carrot Seed Essential Oil – 38-40
Myrrh Essential Oil – 20

Make Your Own Homemade Sunscreen

1/4 cup of Coconut Oil {or shea butter}
1/2 cup of Avocado Oil {or other oil such as olive}
1/4 cup of beeswax pastilles
2 Tablespoons {up to 4T} zinc oxide powder – 2T is about a SPF of 20
essential oils with SPF {about 30 drops} – we use carrot seed and/or myrrh

1. In a small saucepan, mix together coconut oil, avocado oil, and beeswax pastilles, until melted.

2. Add in the zinc oxide powder.

3. Pour into a glass jar and let cool.

4. After it cools to room temperature, add essential oils.

5. Enjoy your time in the sun without the worry!

Sun Safety

Just Buy It

Making your own sunscreen isn’t always possible. Sometimes you don’t have the ingredients or the time. Not a problem. Here are some safer options:

Badger Baby Sunscreen Cream – SPF 30 – All Natural & Certified Organic

Badger SPF 34 Sunscreen For Face & Body 2.9 oz (87 ml)

Green Screen Organic Sunscreen SPF 32 Original – Vegan and Gluten Free

Jersey Shore Sun Organic Sunscreen

Alba Botanica Very Emollient Natural Sun Block Mineral Protection Kids SPF 30 – 4 oz Alba Botanica

Blue Lizard Australian SUNSCREEN SPF 30+, Baby, SPF 30+, 8.75-Ounces

What to see how safe your sunscreen really is? Check out the score on EWG.

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Monday 21st of April 2014

I have always wanted to make my own sunscreen! I have most of those ingredients already. I just need to order some zinc oxide! Thanks so much for the great recipe!

Whitney at Beauty in the Mess

Monday 21st of April 2014

I am all about making my own products, but had no idea I could make my own sunscreen until I started researching it. It makes sense, but for some reason I thought I had to buy it. Silly me. Let me know it goes!


Friday 18th of April 2014

I'd love to make my own sunscreen! But until then, thanks for the list of kinder sunscreen options. I have very sensitive skin and most commercial sunscreens make my skin sting!

Whitney at Beauty in the Mess

Saturday 19th of April 2014

Ouch! We love the Blue Lizard Sensitive Sunscreen. That's our go to if I don't think I'll be able to reapply the homemade one often.

April @Pixie Dust Savings

Friday 18th of April 2014

I had never even thought of sunscreen alternatives! I am going to look into this. I wear so much sunscreen living in Florida.

Whitney at Beauty in the Mess

Saturday 19th of April 2014

If I can answer any questions, let me know! Coconut oil and essential oils would be a great alternative :).


Thursday 17th of April 2014

I had no idea!! We will definitely try this out this summer!

Whitney at Beauty in the Mess

Thursday 17th of April 2014

I've always been leery of the chemicals in conventional sunscreens, but I also want to protect us from skin cancer. These natural alternatives are the perfect solution. I had no idea essential oils and natural oils had SPFs until I started researching. Have fun experimenting with different combos!

Jamie Rippy (@MamaMommyMom)

Thursday 17th of April 2014

I had NO idea that lavender would help take the burn out. Gonna have to keep that little tid bit handy for our trip to the beach in July. Someone always ends up burnt!

Whitney from Beauty in the Mess

Thursday 17th of April 2014

Young Living's Lavender is AMAZING for burns. I had one I bought at HHM, but it wasn't so great. Now it doesn't even smell like lavender :(. I keep a bottle of YL's Lavender in my Kitchen and one upstairs. I consider it a First Aid Kit in a bottle because it's also great for bruising, cuts and scrapes, relaxing, and burns. It's great!