Homemade Natural Sunscreen

reading time: 3 min

Sunscreens are a crucial tool for protecting against skin cancer, sunburn and pre-mature aging. The problem is, most conventional sunscreens contain toxic chemicals and are in fact harmful, not helpful.

This homemade natural sunscreen not only protects your skin against UV rays, it doesn't contain any nasty chemicals (like oxybenzone, avobenzone, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, octinoxate...), but it also nurtures your skin to become soft as a baby's bottom ;)

It contains shea butter and coconut oil which both have a natural SPF of 4-6 as well as moisturizing, skin smoothing and elasticity improving properties. This sunscreen also contains non-nano zinc oxide that acts as a physical barrier that reflects the sun's rays and increases the SPF. Please make sure you use non-nano zinc oxide, meaning that there are not nano-sized particles entering your body, as it is the case with many other sunscreens on the market.

Other ingredients like sesame oil (SPF 4-10) that provides nourishment for the skin and contains the anti-aging vitamin E, carrot seed oil (SPF 35-40) which has antiseptic, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic properties and also acts as a powerful natural sunscreen, as well as essential oils like lavender (SPF 6) or peppermint (SPF 7) - all of these wonderful natural ingredients make this DIY sunscreen a win win win for your skin, your health and the environment! Love it :)


(makes 1 1/2 cups of sunscreen)


1/2 cup + 3 tbsp (120g) organic and unrefined coconut oil, melted
1/3 cup (80 ml) organic liquid carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or almond oil or avocado oil (we used aloe vera infused canola oil)
2/3 cup + 3 tbsp (200 ml) organic sesame oil
2 tbsp organic St John's wort oil
1/3 cup (80g) organic and unrefined shea butter (or mango butter) 
8-10 tbsp non-nano zinc oxide powder
20 drops organic carrot seed oil *
40 drops organic essential oil (e.g. lavender, holy basil, peppermint, sweet orange, lemon grass)

* or substitute with red raspberry seed oil (SPF 25-50) 


Combine your carrier oil, sesame oil, St John's wort oil and coconut oil in a double boiler (I just put a metal bowl over a small saucepan with a couple inches of water), slowly heat it up, and melt down. Stir occasionally to incorporate the oils. 

Next add the shea butter, switch off the heat and allow to melt with the remaining heat. When all ingredients are completely melted, stir in the zinc oxide.

Then add the carrot seed oil and your essential oils. Stir until there are no more clumps. 

Pour into a clean jar or tin and store in a cool, dry place or in the fridge. Stored in the fridge, this sunscreen will last for at least 1 year.


- Replace part of the coconut oil with beeswax for a water-resistant sunscreen!
- Divide your sunscreen into 2 or 3 different smaller tins instead of one big one. That way you can always take a portion with you to the beach and leave the remaining sunscreen in the fridge. 
- To calculate how long you can stay in the sun without any damage, multiply your natural sun self-protection by the SPF of your sunscreen. In our case, the SPF is about 15. So: Given that we can be in the sun without sunscreen for up to 20 minutes a day, let's say our natural sun protection is at about 15 minutes. That makes it 15 x 15 = 225 minutes. Divided by 60 = 3.75 hours that makes about 3 and a half hours of safe sun exposure! 
- Remember: The best protection against the sun is not being in the sun! So cover your skin in airy clothes, wear a hat, sit in the shade, and don't spend time in the sun between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. when the sun is most intense.