Organic DIY sunscreen

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So it is summer and we are playing a lot outside so that means going through a lot of sunscreen to keep us protected.  Sometimes white tee shirts and those big floppy hats aren’t enough. 

Coconut oil – contains natural SPF properties

Shea butter – naturally protects skin, making it perfect for use in a sunscreen

Jojoba oil, sunflower oil, or sesame oil – these oils are easily absorbed into the skin and also provide some natural sun protection

Eucalyptus and lavender essential oils – eucalyptus has very low natural SPF and lavender is great for soothing and repairing skin. DO NOT use citrus essential oils in your sunscreen, as they may increase sensitivity to sunlight. 

Vitamin E oil – nourishes and moisturizes skin, and helps naturally preserve homemade sunscreen

Zinc oxide (non nano) – a non-toxic, usually non-irritating, effective broad spectrum sunblock. The particles sit on the outermost layer of your skin, scattering and absorbing UVA and UVB rays, protecting the skin below. Be sure to use non nano zinc oxide to produce a natural homemade sunscreen. We purchased ours here. (The smallest amount you can purchase is a container that will last you years!)

Different amounts of zinc oxide are needed depending on what SPF you would like your lotion to be. Once you have chosen the SPF a little math is involved. The zinc oxide must be a certain percentage of the weight of your ingredients (before adding the zinc oxide). For this reason, it’s easiest to use a kitchen scale when making your sunscreen. For example, if you have 2 ounces of lotion and you’d like to make SPF 10 sunscreen, according to the values below you will need to add .2 ounces of zinc oxide to the lotion. Use the zinc oxide recommendations below.

For SPF 2-5: Use 5% zinc oxide

For SPF 6-11: Use 10% zinc oxide

For SPF 12-19: Use 15% zinc oxide

For SPF >20: Use 20% zinc oxide

  • 1 oz. coconut oil
  • 0.8 oz. shea butter
  • 0.1 oz. jojoba, sesame, or sunflower oil
  • 0.1 oz. Vitamin E oil
  • 30 drops essential oils, optional – I use 15 lavender, 10 eucalyptus, 5 peppermint oil
  • zinc oxide powder (determine amount for 2 oz. of lotion)

Add coconut oil, shea butter, and jojoba/sesame/sunflower oil to a makeshift double boiler. (To make your own double boiler, place a Pyrex measuring cup containing ingredients inside a small pot filled with a few inches of water). Heat gently until shea butter is just melted. Remove from double boiler and allow to cool a little. Put on a mask that covers your nose and mouth (to avoid breathing in the fine particles of zinc oxide powder), and measure out your zinc oxide. Add zinc oxide, Vitamin E oil, and optional essential oils to the other ingredients. Stir well to combine. Store in a dark jar in the refrigerator.

Apply liberally to exposed skin. Reapply every few hours, or more often if swimming or sweating. A little bit more complex then my other recipes, but well worth the work. Staying chemical free is the only way to be! Comments, questions, concerns drop them below. Smile, you’re beautiful!


Organic DIY sunscreen
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7 Comments on Organic DIY sunscreen

  1. I am all for anything organic and natural treatment over chemicals in a product, I love using my herbs from my garden for home remedies and they really do work for me.

    I never realized coconut was a natural sunscreen, it is amazing how everyday you hear something else coconut is healthy for.

    • Absolutely! Myself and my family have benefited greatly from going organic. Coconut oil in my opinion is a super star because it can do so much for us! Thank you for your comment.

  2. Hello Barbra, I just wanted to give you some feedback on your website. Some of the Tags on your main pages did take me to the Tag location. When I clicked on your Benefits of Organic tag, I was expecting to see some factual information about organic living. But, it just took me back to the same recipe page. I also suggest adding more pages to your main menu. I think I accidentally found a organic beauty products page on you site. In your About Me page you talked about sharing personal recipes, beauty products, and home cleaning products. These could be separate pages on your website. As someone interested in organic recipes and products, it would make it easier for me to navigate though your site. I love the fact that you are family oriented and it show through you site. I like your recipe ideas. You give some great ideas on how to make an organic lifestyle more tolerable for children. Overall, I really liked you site. I’ve pinned it to my start menu. Good luck moving forward.

    • Thank you for your feedback. At the end of each page I have a category tab that seperate all my recipes. There is one for skin care, hair care, whole house cleaning, main dishes, breakfast recipes, bread recipes and sides recipes. If you didn’t see it I will try to add it to the top of my site as well. Thank you once again.

  3. This is pretty interesting. It never crossed my mind to make my own sunscreen. Where would you be able to buy zinc oxide? And how long would your homemade sunscreen last on you, before you had to reapply? I learnt something new today, that’s for sure! I may think about making my own, I just bought some but I think my own would be much better.

  4. Hello here, thanks for the valuable recipe for sunscreen. I previously thought about it because the summer is approaching. I use Karel Hadek products. These products are from Europe and are made using organic oils.
    However, this your mentioned recipe requires attention. Nowadays when so much pollution and stress, we need to take care of our skin and bodies.
    I will try to make it by myself. Thanks for great idea, all the best, Nemira.

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