Homemade Sunscreen Recipe: Ditch the Chemicals

Summer is still going strong, and that means lots of sun! While it’s good to have some sun exposure to up your vitamin D, a decent sunscreen is still a must.

Just one problem: most commercial sunscreens are chemical barrier sunscreens loaded with toxins that are absorbed into the skin and enter the blood stream. No, thank you! There are some good natural sunscreens on the market now, but they can be expensive, and not nearly as much fun as making your own!


Ingredients for DIY Sunscreen

It is relatively simple to make your own physical barrier sunscreen, which typically uses zinc dioxide and other helpful ingredients to protect your skin from too much sun exposure. Here are some of the ingredients you’ll find in DIY sunscreen:

Carrier Oils
These oils have sun-blocking properties on their own and can be used solo in a pinch. They are used as a base for homemade sunscreen recipes.

Essential Oils
Essential oils can be used to add scent or to boost the SPF properties of your sunscreen. Just steer clear of citrus oils, as they increase your skin’s sensitivity to the sun.

My Favorite Sunscreen Recipe

Sunscreen recipes can be as simple or as complicated as you like. The main one I use is from my favorite essential oils company, Native American Nutritionals (Read all about my skeptic’s journey and how I became sold on NAN).

Learn how (and why) you should ditch the chemical laden sun-screen and make your own with this EASY {DIY} Recipe! #DIY #Sunscreen #Natural #NOChemicals

Carrot Seed and Copaiba Sunscreen

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Carrot Seed and Copaiba Sunscreen


1/2 cup Coconut oil

2 tablespoons Shea Butter

1 teaspoon Sesame oil

1 teaspoon Aloe Vera gel

3 teaspoons Zinc Oxide

15 drops Carrot Seed

10 drops Copaiba


  1. Melt the oils and shea butter in a double broiler or a glass bowl over boiling water.
  2. Pour into a blender and add the aloe vera and zinc oxide. Blend until well mixed.
  3. Add the essential oils and blend a bit more to mix.
  4. Store in a convenient container: empty tin, small food storage container, small canning jar, etc.
  5. Keep refrigerated when not in use.


You can omit the essential oils or add different ones such as those listed above. I like palmarosa paired with lavender as an alternative.


Our Homemade Sunscreen Experience

The sunscreen smells SO good and has worked really well so far, even on the hot summer days when we’ve been out playing the whole time. I found it a bit inconvenient that the sunscreen was always hard or liquid because of the coconut oil. While I was keeping it in the fridge so it lasted longer (up to 6 months instead of about 3), I had to take it out for a while to melt a bit before applying.

To fix that problem, I modified the recipe by adding 2 oz of beeswax (melted with shea butter) and a teaspoon of vitamin E oil. The vitamin E helps preserve it while the beeswax gives it a creamier consistency and helped prevent it from liquifying. You can store this recipe in the similar containers or refill empty sunscreen face sticks or deodorant containers.

Learn how (and why) you should ditch the chemical laden sun-screen and make your own with this EASY {DIY} Recipe! #DIY #Sunscreen #Natural #NOChemicals

Some Things to Note

  • Never use citrus essential oils because they can increase the skin’s sensitivity to the sun.
  • Keep refrigerated to last longer. We go through ours so quickly during the summer, I’ve decided to just store the thicker version in the purse or diaper bag.
  • Be sure to reapply every two hours, especially when swimming.
  • Taking vitamin C and D3 supplements in the summer can help prevent sun damage.

More Recipes and Sun Safety


  1. Nicky Larson says:

    I can’t wait to try this! Is it more oily than store bought versions or is it thicker and creamy based like the store bought brands? It’s very humid in the summer where I live so I can’t do oily. Also, I had no clue that citrus oils can make you more sensitive to Sun! I like lemon to keep bugs away :) thanks for sharing!

    • Let us know how it goes! It’s hard to say about the oiliness. Coconut oil is different to me than, say, olive oil. It seems to absorb better and not feel so… oily. That said, it is not that creamy texture of store-bought lotions. It’s more of a lotion bar texture and then goes on thin, if you’ve ever tried that. The beeswax version is creamier, and you could always try adding more shea butter as well! I’d just experiment with it until you try what works just right for you. :) Good luck!

  2. If you want to make sure ALL the products you use are safe and non-toxic but don’t want to make them yourself, I have a suggestion. I searched for a long time and found Ava Anderson Non-Toxic. They have a line of products for women, men, babies, the home and even pets that are truly SAFE! I loved the products so much I joined the company! 😀


  3. Radiantly You also makes a completely natural sunscreen with raspberry seed oil. It is a huge 8 oz bottle and I’ve compared it to other natural brands and it is one of the best prices per oz! Check it out at http://www.radiantlyyou.com/ErinRF

  4. Regina says:

    I am going to try this and put it in an empty deodorant container for easy application!

    • I think that would work pretty well! I still have my glass jar of it and it’s pretty solid. Just don’t let it get too warm or in the sun, because then you’ll have a mess when you open it!

  5. I’m curious about adding tea tree oil. We use it as a natural bug repellent. I’ve never read anything about it increasing sun sensitivity.

    • I haven’t heard anything about it increasing sun sensitivity either. I think it’s usually the citrus ones we want to avoid for that issue. As far as I know it doesn’t have any natural SPF properties but it might be interesting to add it and see if it doubles as sun and bug repellent! :)

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