Homemade Sunscreen

Homemade Sunscreen

I’m addicted to sunscreen. It is a need I have to put it on every day and my body doesn’t feel ready to go until it is applied. Even my face feels funny until it is on. It doesn’t matter if I’m inside or out, I need it.

I am extremely sensitive to UV. It doesn’t matter if it is natural from the sun or artificial from light fixtures. For some reason, my body doesn’t recognize UV as helpful, and instead tries to attack it. Basically, when I get anything over minimal UV exposure I get extremely fatigued and may break out in a rash. It can also set off some of my other auto immune issues like arthritis.

Unless I want to medicate, I must wear sunscreen.

But there’s a problem. My body has become chemically dependent on sunscreen. I feel withdrawal and a difference when I don’t have it on. The higher the SPF the better. I wear at least 70+. I’ve seen the charts and I know that higher numbers only give you minimal added protection–I need that slight bit more.

Every time I make a change recently it has been a shift from commercially produced products to things I can make at home. I was very skeptical this time. There was no way I could make a sunscreen that would protect me as well as the chemicals for close to the same price. I thought it’d be expensive and I would blow my budget but I was willing to experiment.

[Tweet “#Homemade sunscreen is chaper and works better than store bought!”]

This sunscreen costs way less than what I was buying! I was paying about $8-9 for an 8 ounce bottle of 70+ SPF–about $1 per ounce. When broken down, this only cost me $2.70 for 6 ounces. That’s 45 per ounce!!!!!

No, they are not close to the same price. Homemade sunscreen is cheaper than commercial sunscreen.

I don’t know the SPF of this sunscreen. Without paying thousands of dollars for lab testing there is no way to know. I can guess and say it is above 20 SPF, but that is a guess. (based on this chart).

[Tweet “This homemade sunscreen and it works better than store bought sunscreen.”]

To sum it up, here are the pros and cons:


  • Less expensive per ounce than commercial sunscreen
  • Works as well if not better
  • Can customize your scent
  • I know everything in it and I can pronounce everything!


  • Not waterproof
  • It is an investment to buy all the ingredients (I spent about $40 getting everything together) but I can make several batches before needing to spend more.


Homemade Sunscreen Recipe:


  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (buy it here)
  • 16 grams (approx 2 Tablespoons) beeswax (buy it here)
  • 22 grams (approx 2 Tablespoons) zinc oxide (buy it here)
  • 32 grams (approx 2 Tablespoons) shea butter (buy it here)
  • Up to 1 Teaspoon Vitamin E oil as a preservative–I use 6 Vitamin E supplements that we keep in our medicine cabinet, I just cut off the ends and squirt them in
  • Fragrance–I used about 15 drops of peppermint essential oil. You can add whatever sent you would like. (this is what I used but I didn’t need to buy it as I already had it on hand)

You will also need a jar and pan or double boiler, tablespoon or food scale, jar to store your sunscreen in–preferably not clear, and a stirring stick–I use a popsicle stick.



  1. Shred or cut up the beeswax into small pieces.
  2. Add everything except the fragrance into a jar or double boiler. I use a canning jar dedicated to making lotions and sunscreen. This way there is no potential for cross contamination into my food.CAUTION:::Zinc Oxide is toxic if inhaled. Please wear a mask or bandanna over your face when measuring and working with the powder. Also use dedicated measuring equipment so there is no cross contamination to your food.
  3. Place a lid over the jar so that nothing evaporates. Don’t screw it down, just set it on.
  4. Place the jar into a pan and add some water. Bring the water to a boil and allow to boil for about 15 minutes.
  5. Transfer into your sunscreen container and allow to cool slighly.
  6. Stir in your fragrance. Add a little bit at a time until it smells how you would like. It may be stronger when applied so it is always best to go light on the fragrance and adjust over time.
  7. Stir occasionally as the sunscreen cools to ensure that all ingredients are equally mixed.

There you have it! I hope it works as well for you as it does for me. Have you ever made your own sunscreen? Leave me a comment and let me know how it worked for you.   ~Crystal

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Heather
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 14:36:49

    I have never even heard of this…although, now that I think about it, it makes total sense. I’m a little intimidated by the Zinc oxide. I wonder if you found this over time to be something that really works well for you and your family, if it could be a side business for you. You could custom the orders for scent choices and amounts purchases. Looking forward to reading more!



    • Crystal
      Jul 31, 2014 @ 06:48:56

      The Zinc Oxide made me nervous at first too Heather. I just mixed it on a table and away from my stove. By the time I took it over to stove to cook it, everything was in the cooking jar and the lid was on. Glad you’re enjoying the blog.



  2. tianna
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 09:03:59

    thanks for sharing this recipe! definitely will try



  3. Chris
    Jul 30, 2014 @ 09:31:16

    You must be a closet scientist. I wouldn’t think about cooking something up like this. I’m lucky if I get a good meal on the table. You are gifted and blessed.



    • Crystal
      Jul 31, 2014 @ 06:55:56

      LOL! Do you know how hard my high school chemistry teacher would laugh? I would have failed if he hadn’t let me retake every test. The sunscreen grew out of a need. I read a few other recipes and info and came up with this.



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