Natural Homemade Sunscreen
+ added bug repellent ingredients
Learn how to make an easy, natural, homemade sunscreen to keep you and your kids safe this summer! Shea butter, zinc oxide, and essential oils are the stars of this natural homemade sunscreen recipe.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. I may earn a small commission if you make a purchase, but you will not be charged a penny extra! And mama, I never recommend products I don’t love or believe in.
Beautiful summer time! The days are getting pretty darn hot here in the Pacific Northwest, and even with some very overcast days, I have to remember to bring that sunscreen with me everywhere.
Apart from it actually working, this natural sunscreen is EASY to whip together.
You throw it all in a kitchen mixer and whip it.
Don’t have a stand-alone mixer? Use whatever beater you’ve got.
There is NO heating. No double-boiler. No refrigerating. And it’s seriously done in less than 5 minutes. And I even have a clean-up tip at the end of this post for added easy-peasiness.
Why I started making our own natural sunscreen
One word: hives.
My first born son broke out in hives all over his poor little body at three months old.
As per our pediatrician’s recommendations, we stopped using our laundry detergent, various lotions, and soaps.
Related post: DIY Laundry Detergent (cloth diaper safe)
That experience made me sorta kinda super paranoid about everything I did put on his skin.
I started reading labels and paying very close attention to ingredients. And come summer time, I was all over checking out various sunscreens, not wanting to have another hives flare up.
And know what I found?
Sunscreen is scary, man. Really, the list of ingredients on most of the store bought brands is terrifying (I’ll tell you some reasons why in a minute).
So we completely stayed away.
What we did instead
We tried a couple natural, organic products, but they were SO sticky and SO very thick.
And expensive. Like, you got the tiniest tube and it cost triple what a giant, family size bottle of regular sunscreen would cost.
I researched homemade recipes like crazy and ended up trying some really bad ones. Some that just were so white it made us look like we were dying and some that made us (ok, ME) breakout (thanks, coconut oil).
Not helpful. But we finally landed on this recipe that has been a collaboration of things tried and true.
I know everyone’s skin is different, but this works really well for us.
So why make your own if you don’t have skin sensitivities?
Like I mentioned above, the ingredients in many sunscreen products are just plain bad. And some may even be deadly.
Some studies have shown that people who use sunscreen are at a high risk of skin cancer…the exact thing you’re trying to prevent by wearing it.
Why is this?
According to Dr. David Jockers,
“All of these compounds [ingredients found in most sunscreen] are extremely toxic to our skin and the rest of the body. These toxins create large quantities of free radicals which promote oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a powerful carcinogen that causes genetic mutations. These compounds mimic the effects of estrogen in the body which leads to hormonal changes and the increase of cancer cell development.”
I would definitely urge you to do your own research on it. I’m not a doctor or an expert, but there are doctors and experts who have some great content available about the potential harm in regular sunscreen.
So after that pep talk, aren’t you ready to get started on this homemade natural sunscreen recipe?!
The ingredients used in this DIY sunscreen
This natural sunscreen includes ingredients that have naturally occurring SPF (sun protection factor)! all have their own form of SPF. I love that. It’s natural protection that even has benefits for your skin.
Shea butter: SPF 4-6
Jojoba oil: SPF 4
Carrot seed oil: SPF 35-40
Zinc oxide: SPF 10-20
Especially since sunscreen=outdoors, and outdoors=bugs.
That’s usually the math.
Related Post: How to Know if Your Essential Oils are Pure and Real
Not all essential oils are safe for children, and many shouldn’t be used on children under the age of two. Including lavender, lemon eucalyptus, and tea tree oil. If you want to use this sunscreen safely on your infant, you’ll need to leave out the essential oils.
Just a note on these ingredients
I know that these ingredients are not common household items in every home. Heck, I didn’t own ANY of these ingredients prior to my son’s hive experience.
All of these ingredients can be used for more than just this recipe.
- Shea butter with jojoba oil is perfect for this kid-friendly body lotion.
- Plain ol’ shea butter is a simple frizzy-hair tamer. Just rub a pea size amount in your palms and apply to the ends of dry hair.
- Zinc Oxide can also be used in homemade diaper cream or a charcoal face mask for it’s antibacterial properties.
- Lavender, carrot seed, and tea tree oil can be used in a face serum.
Don’t be scared! It might sound a little crunchy, but crunchy is trendy right now anyway.
Ingredients for Natural Homemade Sunscreen
- ½ cup shea butter
- 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
- 1 teaspoon carrot seed oil
- 1 tablespoon zinc oxide
- 15-20 drops your choice of essential oil (optional)
- I do not advise using citrus essential oils like lemon or orange as they can make your skin sensitive to the sun
- For added bug repellent, use lavender and tea tree oil for your essential oils in this recipe. I recommend 12 drops lavender and 8 drops tea tree oil. You can also use lemon eucalyptus in place of half of the lavender.
How to Make Your Natural Sunscreen
- Put shea butter in the bowl of a mixer and turn it on medium for a few seconds until it breaks apart. If your shea butter is quite solid, follow the tip for you below.
- Add the jojoba oil, carrot seed oil, and essential oils and whip on high for one minute, scraping the side of the bowl down as needed.
- Stir in the zinc oxide and then whip it once more until all of the powder is fully incorporated.
- Scoop sunscreen lotion into a container of your choice.
- Now go enjoy your summer!
Quick Clean-Up Tip
While making this natural sunscreen, put a pot of water on to boil. I like to use my electric kettle.
Once you’re done putting the sunscreen away in a cute container, put the beater and spatula in the mixing bowl and put it in the kitchen sink.
Now pour your boiling water into the bowl and stir it around until the butter and oils are melted.
Dump it out and wash as normal (I always wash it in the dishwasher after making skin care products. It helps de-grease it more and makes me feel better).
In-Store Sunscreens to Purchase
If you don’t have time to make your own sunscreen right now, here are some options I recommend.