DIY Natural Sunscreen Recipes

May 24, 2016

I was first introduced to homemade sunscreen shortly after having my first baby. Since I had a May baby, this all natural sunscreen was gifted to me by a friend. I tried is out and it worked wonderfully! DIY Natural sunscreen is all that I have used on my kids and myself since. Read on to learn why you should consider making and using a natural DIY sunscreen.


Most sunscreens contain toxic chemicals that can cause hormone disruptions, skin irritation, and even skin cancer. This is ironic because preventing skin cancer is one of the main reasons that people use sunscreen to begin with. Since anything you put on your skin can be absorbed into your body, chemicals in sunscreen can also cause problems in the fetal development of pregnant mothers. 

Great for Kids

Getting some sun exposure is essential for the health and happiness of kids (and adults!).  Often since so many people keep little babies out of the sun completely, vitamin D supplement drops are often recommended. People often buy special sunscreen for kids, however, I use this non-toxic all natural sunscreen to allow them to be protected while still getting the benefits of a little bit of sun each day.

Helps Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency

Oftentimes, too many people are overapplying sunscreen and using formulas with a very high SPF. This can prevent you from getting the benefits the sun provides, like  Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is a very prevalent problem in this country, especially since many work and play indoors and get minimal sun exposure. Vitamin D deficiency can lead to various problems including breast cancer and decreased bone health. It is important to get a healthy dose of the sun’s beneficial rays each day. How much should you get? This article has some ways to help you figure that out. 

Protection without Prevention

Rather than completely avoiding the sun and using sunscreens with very high SPFs, it is more beneficial to ensure you get a bit of sun each day, and use a natural sunscreen for more long-term exposure, such as a day at the beach.

I have ONLY used this sunscreen on my babies for the past 3 years and we have not gotten any sunburn. We are outside a lot and I just reapply frequently, especially when in the water to ensure they are protected.

Easy and Inexpensive

The ingredients used in these sunscreen recipes are common ones that I use in multiple DIY creations, from lip balms to body butters. Therefore, I keep them on hand and buy them in bulk. The Zinc Oxide in this recipe may be the only ingredient you have to buy if you have been making you own natural products at home. I can whip up a batch of this sunscreen in about 10 minutes. Based on my calculations, I can make a batch of sunscreen–a whole cup–for around $5. Store bought sunscreen, especially organic and natural varieties can be VERY pricey!


As with most of the DIY natural health recipes on my blog, this sunscreen is customizable. The ingredients in this recipe have a natural SPF. I have also included some additional suggestions such as red raspberry and carrot seed oils, which you may add if you want to make a sunscreen with a higher SPF. These would be great additions if you have fair skin and are prone to burning. Since this is a homemade recipe that has not been tested officially, please minimize sun exposure as you test how your skin responds.

  • Almond Oil- SPF around 5
  • Coconut Oil- SPF 4-6
  • Zinc Oxide SPF 2-20 — depending on how much used
  • Red Raspberry Seed Oil — SPF 25-50
  • Carrot Seed Oil – SPF 35-40
  • Shea Butter – SPF 4-6

For added benefits, I often add lavender essential oil to my sunscreen, since it helps to heal skin naturally and prevent irritation from the sun. For sunscreen, I would avoid adding citrus oils like orange and lemon, as they can actually make skin more susceptible to sunburn and sun sensitivity. The recipe in this post also contains doTerra’s Terrashield, making it an easy way to combine sun AND bug protection!

Now that you have read about why I love to make and use DIY natural sunscreen, here are two of my favorite recipes that are non-toxic, customizable, and provide sun protection. The DIY Bug N’ Sun is more of a “salve” consistency, as it contains a higher percentage of beeswax. It is fabulously water resistant and great for the pool or beach. It also helps to repel pesky bugs with the addition of DoTerra’s Terrashield essential oil blend. The DIY Lavender Sunscreen Lotion recipe is similar to the consistency of a body butter. This nourishing lotion helps protect against sunburn and tones skin for a healthy look. 

DIY Bug N’ Sun

  1. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.
  2. Combine the almond oil, coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax in a glass pyrex cup or glass jar. Place the jar in the pan of water.  
  3. Stir the ingredients frequently as they melt together.
  4. When all ingredients are completely melted, remove from heat.
  5. Whisk in the zinc oxide. Use caution to avoid ingesting the zinc oxide powder.
  6. You can now whisk in any optional ingredients of your choosing such as carrot seed vitamin E oil. 
  7. Next add the lavender and Terrashield essential oils. 
  8. Whisk well to ensure the zinc oxide is thoroughly distributed and pour into jars of your choice. I have used small mason jars and small tins.

DIY Lavender Sunscreen Lotion


  1. Fill a medium saucepan with a couple inches of water and place over medium heat.
  2. Combine the beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter, and coconut oil in a glass pyrex cup or glass jar. Place the jar in the pan of water.
  3. Once melted add the jojoba, hemp seed, and sweet almond oils.
  4. Once everything is mixed together, remove from heat and then stir in the aloe vera gel
  5. Next, carefully whisk in the zinc oxide being sure to avoid breathing in the powder.
  6. Lastly, add your essential oils and Vitamin E Oil. Stir until well distributed.
  7. Pour into containers and let cool until solid before closing with a lid.

Have you ever made homemade natural sunscreen? What is your favorite recipe? 

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