Homemade Sunscreen

An effective natural sunscreen recipe plus some easy instant sun burn remedies

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If you already make your own lotion, making homemade sunscreen will be no problem at all for you.

If not, it's quite a bit easier than you might think, and I'll bet that once you've tried it you'll never go back to store brands again.

Not sure? Read your sunscreen label and see how many of the ingredients you recognize.

Now try to figure out how many of them are actually good for you.

When you make your own body lotion or sunscreen, YOU control what goes into it.

That said, please be aware that this homemade sunscreen recipe has not been evaluated by any regulating bodies and is for personal use only. Use at your own risk; click here to view the full disclaimer.

If you're looking for an FDA approved natural sunscreen, click the links to buy  chemical free sunscreen from Mountain Rose Herbs or browse through Amazon for organic sunscreen.

Homemade Sunscreen Recipe


1 tablespoon (3 to 4g) Emulsifying wax

1/3 cup (75ml) Jojoba, Grapeseed oil or other carrier oil of your choice

2 tablespoons (15g) Zinc Oxide

2 tablespoons (25ml) Aloe Vera gel (NOT from the pharmacy. Pharmacy aloe has alcohol and other preservatives.)

1/2 cup (125ml) distilled water

1 teaspoon (5ml) Vitamin E

10 drops Grapefruit Seed extract

Up to 30 drops of your chosen essential oil OR one of the Essential Oil blends below


CAUTION: Zinc oxide should not be inhaled. Wear gloves and a mask.


Stir together the carrier oil, emulsifying wax and zinc oxide in the top part of a double boiler, warming slowly over a low heat until the wax is melted. Remove from heat and pour in the Vitamin E. (I use a large heat-proof Pyrex glass measuring cup in about an inch of water in a large pot.)


In a separate pot on the stove or in the microwave, gently warm the aloe vera and water just until lukewarm.


Slowly pour the water into the oil, stirring constantly with a wire whisk or electric hand mixer until the mixture is thick and smooth. Note: If you do not warm the water mixture, your homemade sunscreen will separate later on. Do not bypass this step.


Stir in the essential oils and the grapefruit seed extract. Pour the homemade sunscreen into a clean, sterilized 8oz (250ml) dark glass or PET plastic bottle and allow it to cool before putting the lid on.


Shake the bottle occasionally as the sunscreen cools to prevent the ingredients from separating. Store in a cool, dark place.

This natural sunscreen recipe makes approximately 8oz (250ml) homemade sunscreen with an SPF of about 20.

If you need a higher SPF than 20, check out these sun sticks from Mountain Rose (SPF 30) or these organic sunscreen lotions from Amazon.

Essential Oils for Your Homemade Sunscreen

Caution: Do not use any of the citrus oils for scenting your homemade sunscreen because they increase your risk of sunburn. Instead, try one of these sweet blends...

Lavender Soother

20 drops lavender essential oil, 3 drops chamomile, 3 drops marjoram

Lemon Mint Creamsicle

10 drops peppermint, 10 drops spearmint, 5 drops lemongrass OR tea tree, 1 drop ylang ylang

Sweet Vanilla Sunshine

10 drops vanilla absolute, 2 drops ylang ylang

I replaced the water in this recipe with coconut milk, and MAN is it awesome! You smell good enough to eat!

I wanted to add a teaspoon of rum extract... but I read the ingredients and just couldn't do it. I sure do like the idea of a coconut-rum homemade sunscreen scent, though!

Customizing Your Natural Sunscreen Recipe

Choosing your carrier oils: To make a non-greasy sunscreen, use Grapeseed oil. Kukui nut oil is great for protecting against sun damage as well as for alleviating any damage that does occur. It's an excellent carrier oil for this recipe.

Some sources say that carrier oils such as coconut oil, olive oil and rice bran oil have sun-blocking properties. However, there's almost no scientific evidence to support this (that I could find) so I think it's safest to use the zinc oxide and also use a blend of these as the base oil if you want some extra SPF insurance.

Rosehip oil and sea buckthorn oil are great for relieving sun damage, so you could replace a tablespoon or two of your main carrier oil with these oils to create a strong base oil blend.

Health: Some people like to use titanium oxide instead of zinc oxide, but reports show that titanium oxide may be hazardous to our health. Recent studies have shown that Titanium can damage DNA, and it has been named as a potential carcinogen (cancer-causing agent).

Scent: You can also reduce the strength of the scent by decreasing the number of drops of essential oils. Do not increase the essential oils, however, since they should only be a certain percentage of the total recipe.

Consistency: For a thicker consistency, add a little more emulsifying wax (up to a tablespoon more for a thick cream.) For a thinner homemade sunscreen, add a bit less.

Sun Burn Remedies

Here's a couple of quick, easy sun burn remedies you can use if you forget your sunscreen.

Mix 1 or 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel (the good stuff, not the drugstore kind) with 3 to 5 drops of lavender essential oil. Apply to hot skin.

Apply a cool vinegar compress to the  area. If you want, add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the vinegar. Lavender really is the best oil for burns.

Pour up to 4 cups of milk plus 10 drops lavender essential oil into a lukewarm or slightly cool bath and relax for 10 to 15 minutes. You can use milk powder - just dissolve it in some hot water first, then adjust the temperature so you don't burn overheated skin.

This bath remedy also works with tea. Make a ton of really strong tea, then dilute it into cool bathwater until the temperature is lukewarm or slightly cool. This works because the tannins in the tea soothe the sunburn.

Here's a link for an easy recipe for a lavender salve - it's a great home remedy for sun burn.

Where to Get Essential Oils

I started using essential oils from doTerra after comparing them to the other brands in my stash.

I found myself using fewer drops per recipe and actually getting better results. Plus, I've never had a bad reaction, which sometimes happens with other brands.

doTerra's oils cost more than other brands, and that's as it should be. It's like buying a BMW vs. a Kia - the more expensive car is the better quality vehicle.

If you can afford them, I recommend giving doTerra's oils a try and comparing them for yourself.

You can buy doTerra's oils at retail prices by clicking the Shop button at the top. Or click Join & Save to become a wholesale customer and get a store-wide 25% discount. Message me if you want more details on the wholesale thing - why spend more than you have to, right?

I recommend Mountain Rose Herbs if you're on a tight budget. Their oils are more affordable and the quality is good. Click the links for...

Or... If you love having tons of options to choose from, browse through Amazon and see what looks good to you. Just remember that inexpensive oils are likely to be lower in quality - how else do they get the cost so low?

30 More Recipes in  One Handy Guidebook



30 awesome blends for your next adventures in making lotions, salves and lip balms. Get your base recipe for each item, then play with the blends that go with.

I especially love some of the lip balm flavors I created, like Zing Tingle. So yummy!

All my best lotion, salve and lip balm blends for under $3.00 :)

Now you can play AND help your family with recipes for...

   ...  Smooth, Clear Skin

   ...  Massage & Romance

   ...  Babies, Men & Athletes

   ...  Snoring, Weight Loss, Energy

   ...  Mood Blends: Calm, Comfort, Happiness

What Next?

Lavender Salve for Sunburn

This recipe uses shea butter and other restoring oils, herbs and essential oils to make a gentle yet powerful aid for damaged skin.

Homemade Lotion Recipes

Learn how to customize your lotion recipes for all skin types. Use natural skin moisturizers to nourish, support and rejuvenate your skin.

Aromatherapy Remedies

Take care of your family's health using natural ingredients - without harmful chemicals and fillers.

Carrier Oil Primer

A quick guide to choosing the best carrier oils for your aromatherapy recipes. Each carrier oil has its own distinct qualities. Don't be afraid to experiment.

Aromatherapy Recipes Homepage from Homemade Sunscreen