Taking the plunge with homemade sunscreen {DIY recipe}

Taking the plunge with homemade sunscreen {DIY recipe}

My very first foray into natural living came about almost six years ago when I made a discovery about sunscreen. Those "trusted" brands that claimed to be "pediatrician recommended" were actually chock full of chemical ingredients that were quite dangerous.

I had slathered up my baby Gigi, starting when she was six months old, without realizing I was exposing her to ingredients that could do a lot more damage in the long run than just a little sunburn could do.

I soon found that there were ways to choose safer products, and I've since used several products that I really like (my most recent favorite is by the John Wayne Cancer Foundation (it’s very similar to the recipe below) for spray, The Honest Company's sunscreen).

The only problem with those products? The cost. You get what you pay for, right? Natural, safer sunscreen is darn expensive. It's one of the areas where I've been willing to splurge though.

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Until now! I've thought about it for a while, and finally decided that this was the year I would try my hand at a homemade sunscreen.

Armed with a recipe from a trusted source, MadeOn Hard Lotion, I got my ingredients and got started.

Gigi and I whipped this homemade sunscreen up in about a half hour.

Homemade Sunscreen - the recipe

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I made a double batch of what's below, and it filled the jars you see photographed here.


Measurements & weights are given.

  • beeswax (pellets or pastilles are best): just under 1/8 cup (1/2 oz)

  • shea butter: 1/4 cup (2 oz)

  • coconut oil: 1/4 cup (2 oz)

  • non-nano zinc oxide powder: 2 tbsp. (1 0z)

  • optional: drizzle of apricot kernel oil (This is to help the lotion be a little softer, use up to 2 tbs if you're sunscreen will normally be in >80-degree temperature. Grapeseed and olive oil work, too.) You can also add cocoa powder to tint your sunscreen. I’ve done this and it does help a bit with rubbing it in.

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How to make it: 

1. Measure out all the ingredients into a flat-bottomed quart mason jar.

2. Melt in a double boiler (I just used a little rack inside a pot).

3. Blend with an immersion blender until all blended (especially making sure the zinc oxide powder is blended). When you're done, be sure to clean your blender well, while it's still hot!

4. Pour into glass jar(s). The sunscreen will solidify as it cools.

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So far we really like this sunscreen. We've been using it consistently this summer, and as long as it is applied regularly it works great for us (we are not super fair, although my husband normally burns easily). I'm prone to cold sores when I spend a lot of time in the hot sun, so I use this on my lips, too (I’ve also poured it into empty lip balm containers for this purpose).

It can be a little hard to rub in; I find that if my skin is dry it's harder, so that's one reason for me to remember to moisturize. :) Most zinc-based sunscreens leave you a little ghostly, so I don't mind.

Cost: Renee from MadeOn estimates that this costs $4.25 for 5 oz, which is way cheaper than the store-bought natural sunscreens.

I was not paid to do this review. I bought my supplies and loved the process so much that I wanted to share it with you! This does post contains affiliate links though. Than you for support! 

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