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Homemade Sunscreen Recipe

Updated on March 17, 2015
Homemade sunscreen recipe looks to nature for natural sun protection.
Homemade sunscreen recipe looks to nature for natural sun protection. | Source

Learning The Hard Way ~

Sunscreen has been a hot topic for years and something I am very familiar with using and not using, I hasten to add. Picture the scene if you will.

The merest sign of a bit of sunshine in Ireland, sends the mass population out to beaches, the garden or just walking out and about with next to nothing on in the clothes department.

Adorned with nothing or practically nothing applied to protect the skin, no precautions taken by covering up heck, we slathered on the baby oil, cooking oil or sun oils we thought would make us get the perfect tan in an hour!

Oh how wrong we were and I have been guilty of all of the above and paid the price on my fair freckled skin, getting severely burnt, blistered and having several moles removed as they were suspect skin cancerous.

Lying on the beach in Turkey, by a cool pool chilling out in the Canary Islands or sitting outside a Greek cafe on the Island of Santorini are all things I have done and loved being a sun lover not fully appreciating the dangers.

How things have changed and thankfully I have learned lessons in safely enjoying the benefits of sunshine.

Sunbeds are Inviting for Sunworshippers

sunbathing on the beach should be done with adequate protection. shade and for minimal time.
sunbathing on the beach should be done with adequate protection. shade and for minimal time. | Source

Ray of Sunshine

UVA and UVB rays
UVA and UVB rays | Source

Sunscreen ~

Thankfully research and technology has prevailed and the dangers of the sun have been persistently highlighted along with the benefits sunshine brings.

Wearing sunscreens has been an important part of modern culture and not only alone as a product but has been incorporated into numerous color cosmetic products including foundation, face powder, lip balms and lipsticks. Skin care products are all available now with added SPF including anti aging serum, face moisturizer, eye cream, cleanser and body wash.

From researching homemade sunscreen there are mixed opinions as to the use of two particular ingredients, mineral zinc oxide and titanium oxide.

Zinc oxide is the more commonly used ingredient in a sunscreen recipe and has the ability to reflect the harmful rays with minimal negative effects and it is the one I have included in this homemade recipe.Zinc oxide powder is not safe to inhale so it is best to wear a face mask or cover the nose and mouth while mixing the powder.

Research and evidence is not conclusive as to whether zinc oxide is indeed harmful but so far the Environmental Working Group (EWG) find that sunscreen with mineral zinc oxide rates higher than chemical based options because

  • They do not break up in the sun (stable)
  • They provide better sun protection properties with fewer health issues
  • They believe zinc oxide provides good protection from dangerous UVA rays

Ultimately the decision is yours, I am not trying to persuade you just show you the possibilities of making your own sunscreen which uses gorgeous butters, oils and essential oils that give SPF protection, are nourishing on the skin, very cost effective and smell wonderful.

Olive Oil

one of the great oils with a natural SPF
one of the great oils with a natural SPF | Source

Essential Oils

Peppermint SPF 7

Tulsi SPF 7

Lavender SPF 6

Eucalyptus SPF 3

Tea Tree SPF 2

Homemade Suncream

easy to make in your own kitchen.
easy to make in your own kitchen. | Source

Did you know about SPF in everyday oils, butters and essential oils?

See results

Natures Sunscreens ~

Many ingredients and essential oils have natural SPF protection that originate from plants and need to be combined to get a higher protection.

On their own they are not necessarily sufficient.

I have discovered quite a list of natures natural sun protectors which makes sense when you consider that plants are exposed to sun every day and they need protecting from harsh dangerous rays.

They have evolved to produce nutrients, phytochemicals and pigments to provide this protection.

Ingredients high in antioxidants are also natural sunscreens and Vitamin C and E are two of nature’s antioxidants.

Here are some of the common carrier or base oils and essential oils that have SPF protection.

Vegetable Oils

Raspberry Seed Oil SPF 28 – 30

Carrot Seed Oil SPF 30

Wheatgerm Oil SPF 20

Olive Oil SPF 15

Soyabean Oil SPF 10

Macadamia Oil SPF 6

Avocado Oil SPF 4 - 10

Jojoba Oil SPF 4

Almond Oil SPF 4

Shea Butter SPF 3 – 6

Coconut Oil SPF 2 - 8

Green Tea Benefits

green tea helps protect us from disease and from the effects of sunburn.
green tea helps protect us from disease and from the effects of sunburn. | Source

Homemade Sunscreen Recipe SPF 20 ~

This recipe incorporates ingredients that you may easily use in many homemade recipes in skin care, personal hygiene products and cosmetics, making them very versatile and cost effective.

The oils, butters and essential oils have a shelf life up to a year when stored in cool, dark cupboard making them useful for making later on in the season.

Recipe yields 3 - 4 oz of sunscreen.


1Ttbsp Shea Butter

1 Tbsp Mango Butter

1 Tbsp Jojoba Oil

1 Tbsp Avocado Oil

4 Tbsp Green Tea (1 teabag)

1 Tsp Beeswax Pellets

4 Tsp Zinc Oxide Powder

½ Tsp Vitamin E Oil

6 drops Essential Oil of Choice

6 drops Essential Oil of Choice

You Will Need:

4 oz Dark Glass Jar (recycled sterilized clear jar will do)

Stainless Steel Bowl (to fit over a saucepan)


Hand Whisk


  • Boil the kettle leave for 5 minutes to slightly cool and pop the green tea teabag into ½ cup of boiling water and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Add the butters, oils and beeswax into your stainless steel bowl and place over a saucepan of boiling water (about a third of the saucepan full) to melt.
  • Wait until all the ingredients have fully melted and remove from the heat. This will only take a few minutes.
  • Remove the teabag and add 1 tbsp of green tea to the butter and oils whisking immediately and vigorously. Wait until it has been blended in completely before adding the next tablespoon until all 4 tbsp have been whisked in.
  • Add the zinc oxide powder and whisk extra VIGOROUSLY to ensure no lumps are formed.
  • When satisfied, add in your chosen essential oils and whisk in to your sunscreen.
  • Pour into your container and your gorgeous sunscreen is ready!

Applying Sunscreen

remember to apply adequate sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every few hours.
remember to apply adequate sunscreen 30 minutes before going outside and reapply every few hours. | Source

More Homemade Goodies ~

If you fancy any more of my homemade beauty recipes you can check them all out @ my homemade skin care recipes board on Pinterest.

Sunscreen Tips ~

This sunscreen will last a month if stored in a cool, dry dark cupboard. It will last up to 3 months when stored in the fridge. Remember storing it in the fridge will harden up the cream so just remove it a few hours before you need it.

Avoid using CITRUS essential oils as many are sun sensitive so are best to avoid completely in this product.

If you want to adjust the texture or thickness you can do this easily by adjusting the green tea amount. For a thicker sunscreen you will use less green tea (2-3 tbs) and for a thinner consistency a few tablespoons more.

Ideal to make for all the family, remember to reapply every 2 hours and immediately after swimming. Whilst many believe the beeswax pellets provide waterproofing it is questionable so I would air on the side of caution for this use.

Many people do not use enough sunscreen when applying, you should be using ¼ cup to ½ cup for all over body coverage.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen on the "nooks and crannies" such as the ears, behind the ears, the heels of the feet, front of feet and back of neck.

Staying protected makes sense and taking unnecessary risks is compromising your health so make your own healthy batch of sunscreen all the family may use and stay safe.

"Creating health awareness through homemade beauty solutions"

Easy Non Toxic Sunscreen Recipe With 5 Ingredients

Author Info ~

Information on the author, her bio and full body of works available @ Suzie HQ

Credit to homesteadbound ~

All dividers used in this hub are used with permission granted on hub, Creating Dividers to Use on Your Hubs

Homemade Sunscreen Recipe Comments

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Hi suzie

      What an amazing article, thank you.

      I really want to make this now but don't quite have the exact ingredients. Will 2 tbs of shea butter, 1 tbs of coconut oil, 1 tbs of olive oil, green tea, beeswax, zinc oxide, vit e and 12 drops of eucalyptus oil work as well?

      Will the spf still be the same?

      Kind regards


    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi tastiger,

      Glad you found this interesting and hopefully you will give it a try for the desert climate it is essential to wear sunscreen! Cheers!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      7 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi susi,

      From one Suzie to another! LOL Thanks so much for your interest. Sunscreen is of utmost importance and needed all year round not just the two week vacation to the sun as many here were used to doing. Having sunscreen added into other products such as foundation, powder and lip balm is useful too. Cheers for your votes and appreciate you sharing on!

    • tastiger04 profile image


      7 years ago

      What a great idea......I live in the desert so this sounds like a wonderful alternative! :) Great hub!

    • susi10 profile image

      Susan W 

      7 years ago from The British Isles, Europe

      Suzie, Thank you for sharing this, I always wondered whether it was possible to make natural sunscreen, now in the heat of the Summer (great weather in Ireland!), I will be trying this. Skin cancer affects so many people, so its great to know that there are natural alternatives to sunscreen. I found this hub so helpful, voted up and sharing!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi phoenix,

      Thanks so much for the question glad the advice helped!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you, Suzie, for your advice. I thought that might be the case. I'll have a look at some sunscreens formulated for children. I don't know why I didn't think of that. Thanks again for your help.

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi phoenix,

      Appreciate your comment and query which is something I have tried to find the answer to for you. I think your daughter may well react to this. from what you have said about her sensitivities You could try a smaller quantity of zinc oxide to use. Always try a product by doing a small patch test on your daughter's inside arm or somewhere inconspicuous and leave for up to 24 hrs to check for a reaction. Never use citrus ingredients for her as they are sun sensitive for the most part and will cause irritations (even for adults). Checking out brands of sunscreen on the website GoodGuide com is great as they rate hundreds in different ways and you will see the best and the worst (to avoid) ones. Hope this helps, I would be more inclined to look to a brand that does facilitate children's sensitivities where sunscreen is concerned.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      This would come in very handy for my youngest daughter. She can't wear any commercial sunscreen as she is allergic to them. We've even tried PABA-free lotions and she broke out in a rash and was terribly itchy. If the sun's really strong, she wears longs sleeves, jeans and a hat for protection. But then I worry she'll get dehydrated in the heat.

      I'm wondering though, can you still get protection from the sun without using zinc oxide in the recipes? I have a feeling she may react to it.

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi theryanpride,

      Great to have you check this out and delighted you enjoyed and may try it out, i am sure you will enjoy making and reap the benefits! Appreciate your comment!

    • theryanpride profile image


      8 years ago from Indiana

      Thank you for sharing this great information i think i am going to try this.Great hub!!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Janet,

      Delighted this sparked your interest. SPF is in so many natural plants and therefore in oils, butters, essential oils, herbs and many other great things. Glad you found interesting thanks for taking time to comment!

    • janetwrites profile image

      Janet Giessl 

      8 years ago from Georgia country

      This is very interesting. I didn't know about SPF in oils. Wow, I've learned something new. Again you did a great job!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Thanks so much for your comments! Sunscreen is one product that is so vital for us all and having seen the harmful effects, it is frightening how much it affects our health. Many of us have gone down the road of stupidity in our youth with no protection on the skin or ridiculous oils like baby oil. i remember a few years back learning the power of olive oil as sun protection in Italy. A Welsh friend living there swore by it and said that was all he used on his skin and never burnt in the strong southern rays. I think combining it would be better personally with some of the ingredients listed. many thanks for your interest and great support, cheers for the massive thumbs up all around, means so much! Ciao!

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 

      8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey Suzie. This hub should get millions of views. Today everyone should be aware of protecting their skin. Like you, when I was younger I was not exactly smart about this. Okay, I was pretty stupid.

      I had no idea that a lot of natures oil had SPF protection. Who knew that raspberry and carrot oil could protect you from the sun's rays? Not me. Great job as usual Suzie. Voted up, shared, pinned, etc.....

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Stephanie,

      How lovely to receive your comments! Hope you try this out and the zinc oxide powder is available to purchase if you can't find it among your herbs and ingredients! Don't forget to cover the face (nose and mouth) to prevent ingesting the fumes. Appreciate your support :-)

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 

      8 years ago from New Jersey

      This hub is totally awesome and right up my alley. I love learning new recipes to add to my catalog of potential products. The great thing is I have all the ingredients listed here except the zinc oxide. But who knows, if I did deep in all the corners of the room with all my herbs and ingredients I just might find some.

      I can't wait to try this recipe out. Thanks so much for sharing!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Rose,

      I am sure coming into the warmer months as you are out and about snapping away you will find sunscreen useful to be able to make! Hope you get to give it a go, appreciate so much your constant support, really good to have!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi vertualit,

      many thanks for your interest and glad you found useful. Hopefully you will give it a go in the future!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Carol,

      Well, as promised the sunscreen recipe. Hope you enjoy giving it a try sometime! Thanks so much for reminding me as I read about covering the face so i must add it in i had forgotten to include that important piece of info. Appreciate your votes and pinning!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi vespa,

      Lovely to see you hope life in Peru is good these days! Hopefully you will get to try it out and make up a batch of sunscreen. i was surprised at some of the oils being so high when I looked at it in depth. Appreciate your comments, visit, votes, shares and pin, how good of you! Look forward to your next article :-)

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 

      8 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Another inspired homemade product recipe! Usually I am not outside enough that I need more than the occasional 30 spf. However, as I'm out taking pictures for extended periods of time now, I've really had to up my game and am looking for new effective options.

    • vertualit profile image

      Abdus Salam 

      8 years ago from Bangladesh

      This is great idea about making sunscreen!! thanks for sharing..

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      8 years ago from Arizona

      GOt some extra ideas for making this great sunscreen,,,Love the ingredients....Great job as always...wanted to add something here..unless I missed it. When using zinc oxide cover your face and the fumes and powder can be toxic when ingested (nosewise)..Voting up as always and pinning in my ever growing section of your wonderful recipes...

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      8 years ago from Peru, South America

      The thought of making sunscreen at home had never even crossed my mind. This is another great DYI beauty recipe, Suzanne! I'm shocked that carrot seed oil and olive oil are so high in SPF. I didn't even realize we can buy zinc oxide powder, although I use a commercial sunscreen made with it. I don't have all these ingredients but will look into getting them at the next opportunity. Voted up, shared, pinned, etc. etc. Thanks!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Vacation Trip,

      Delighted you took time to comment and great to hear you enjoyed enough to bookmark. Appreciate your votes :-)

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Maria,

      Many thanks for taking a wander in this direction. The thing with the rays of the sun you certainly do not need to venture past your own gate, garden to be open to sun damage. As i said here in Ireland we do not get great sunshine but even in mildly sunny days, it is enough to do untold damage to our skin. 90-100 degrees is something I have only experienced abroad and boy is it serious heat! Take care and many thanks for comments and votes!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Jeff,

      Good to see you here! Glad you enjoyed and I definitely knew that example of your live and learn and learn again, oops, learn again!! LOL Surfing is something I have never tried but would love to give it a try! If you find you are sensitive to many brands it is very possibly the chemicals, deet or any number of ingredients so a homemade one is ideal for you. Even leave out fragrance and definitely no citrus if it is sunny in NH or if taking to the waves again! Appreciate your stopping by, catch ya on G+ no doubt!

    • Vacation Trip profile image


      8 years ago from India

      Interesting and informative hub. Will bookmark it. Thank you for sharing. Voted up.

    • Marla Neogra profile image

      Marla J Neogra 

      8 years ago from Parkersburg, West Virginia

      I grew up in southern California and found your hub very informative and useful and voted up as well. [I agree with "billybuc" here and for lack of money have never left the continental US except for a tour of Hawaii while in the US Navy, greatest 21 month vacation of my life!] I now live in West Virginia, in the Mid-Ohio Valley so we definitely get our 90-100 degree summers here.

    • howlermunkey profile image

      Jeff Boettner 

      8 years ago from Tampa, FL

      Hey Suzie :), growing up in FL, long days surfing and fair skin, I too paid the price. Live and learn.. (in my case live, learn, learn again, ooops, learn again hahaha). Such a cool read, I had no idea that some of these ingredients already had such high spf levels. Good article for me, most sunscreens seem to irritate my skin after a few hours, might be time to try something all natural.

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Kathryn,

      Where there's a will there's a way! LOL I am convinced that every beauty or cosmetic item should be doable at home when you look at the ingredients in them, many will use these basics along with the chemicals and nasty things we really do not need. Bill is out there on this one, don't you just love him??!! This is definitely worth saving for later as it will save you so much money and be free of so many unnecessary toxic ingredients. Thanks Kathryn as always for your energy and support!

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi ologsinquito,

      Appreciate your comment and for pinning, hope you get to give it a try! Thanks so much for stopping by!

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image


      8 years ago from Windsor, Connecticut

      I did not have any idea it was possible to make homemade sunscreen! Wow! I am an avid sunscreen user, so this is interesting.

      Hahaha, I'm laughing over Bill's comment! He does get sun, he talks about his garden here and there. It's hard to tend a garden without being outdoors :) You don't have to be on a beach or on vacation to be in the sun!

      I'm going to read this closer after the holidays. Thanks for another great one!

    • ologsinquito profile image


      8 years ago from USA

      This is great information that I'm going to pin. Thank you for writing it.

    • Suzie HQ profile imageAUTHOR

      Suzanne Ridgeway 

      8 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi Bill,

      Oh Bill, you had me reaching for the Kleenex again, boy (polite version) do you make me laugh!! lol

      I have come to the conclusion it doesn't matter WHAT I write on, you will use your writer's wit with words and have me in stitches! That's okay with me buddy!

      God loves a trier "they say" well you can't say Mickster and I have not tried to convert you to a two wheeled beauty conscious petrol head!! lol

      With that thought I say Adieu, and bid you farewell for another few hours while i recharge my batteries for another Bill-i-licious moment or two tomorrow (if I am lucky!) Have a lovely evening (I think you may still be up??) and talk to you soon! :-)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA


      This falls under the category of Rubbing Salt In the Wounds.

      I haven't had a vacation in three years. I am a writer, so I work inside ten hours per day. Exactly when do you think I'm going to be sunbathing??? Are you just trying to test my patience with our friendship? First the Mickster tells me how to repair a motorcycle, which I do not own, and now you tell me how to protect myself from the sun, which I never see. I am beside myself right now over the behavior of you two. :)

      All nonsense of course, but Bev left me here alone and I have to get into some mischief while she is visiting friends....luck you, right?

      Have a great weekend my friend. Hop on that Harley and ride off in the sunset with the Mickster while I slave away over the computer dreaming of sun-kissed lands afar.




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