There is so much controversial information out there regarding whether or not to use sunscreen.  Some even believe that sunscreen causes cancer!  What we do know for sure is that over-the-counter sunscreens contain all sorts of toxic ingredients that are not good for our bodies.  Even the supposed "safe" brands of sunscreen are not what they seem.  I was surprised to find "trusted" brands, such as Banana Boat, Coppertone & Nuetrogena, on this list of the worst offenders.  Find out how your sunscreen rates on ewg.com.  It's hard to know what to believe and what not to believe, am I right?  So when in doubt, "Do It Yourself" (DIY).  

I've been making sunscreen for 3 years and it has worked wonders.  The first year I made it, I shared it with my friends & family. Everybody was so impressed with  how a homemade sunscreen could work so well.  Each spring/summer I open my home to a "Fun in the Sun" DIY workshop.  I supply all the ingredients, while the guests get to have the fun of whipping up DIY recipes for summer.  My staple DIY of this class has always been my sunscreen.

My recipe has changed over the years, but here is  my latest, and I think greatest recipe!


4 TB beeswax 
4 TB coconut oil
4 TB shea butter
4 TB avocado oil (or other liquid oils)
Optional: 1 tsp carrot seed oil*
Optional: 1 tsp raspberry seed oil*
Optional: 1 tsp wheatgerm oil*
2 TB non nano uncoated zinc oxide 
1 tsp vitamin e
1 tsp lanolin
15-30 drops essential oil**

Essential Oil Options
Repellent Blend (for fun in the sun with mosquito's) 
NO CITRUS (these are photosensitive)

*Alternatively, if you don't have these oils, use avocado oil or another oil on the right.
**Contact me here to find out what essential oils I use in all my DIY recipes!
Top 10 SPF oils
click picture for source


  • In a double boiler, combine beeswax, coconut oil and shea butter over medium heat to melt down completely.  
  • Once melted down, remove from heat.
  • Add all other oils & vitamin e & lanolin (hold off on the zinc oxide).
  • Once the oils have started to harden up a little, add the zinc oxide.  This way the zinc won't just sink to the bottom of the lotion.  I usually use an electric hand mixer to blend it and get a nice smooth consistency.


If you're ready to come up with your own recipe, here's a quick guide
  • 20-25% beeswax for water resistance
  • 20-35% liquid oil for ease of application (avocado, almond & jojoba are my favorites)
  • 40-45% solid oils or butters (coconut oil, shea butter, cocoa butter)
  • 5-20% non-nano uncoated zinc oxide
Melt down wax, oils & butters.  Remove from heat. Add in zinc oxide.  Blend


  • How much zinc oxide should I use?  Anywhere from 5-20% of the total recipe is generally considered to be effective, with 20% having  a higher level of protection.  My recipe uses about 20%.
  • Is this water proof?  This sunscreen holds up well in water, but re-application is key.  Just like with regular sunscreen, every 1-2 hours during water play is good.  For more water resistance - use more beeswax.
  • Is there a good alternative if I don't have all these ingredients?  If you don't want the hassle of making sunscreen from scratch, just add zinc oxide to your favorite lotion.
  • What about my vitamin D?  The sun is an excellent source of vitamin D and according to some studies it is critical we get 10-20 minutes of sunshine everyday.  So make sure to get your vitamin D everyday.  Here's a good article about it.
  • Where can I get pure essential oils?  Contact me here for the brand I trust most.
Didn't quite read this in time to protect yourself from the sun?  Here's some after sun relief on the blog:


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