Guest post by Lexie of Lexie:Naturals
A little disclaimer for our friends at the FDA: None of the statements in this post have been approved (or denied) by the FDA. I have done extensive research, but I am not a chemist or a doctor. This is sold as a Sun Lotion and diaper cream rather than a sunscreen. Carry on! 🙂
Our family has a history of skin cancer, so we are pretty adamant about wearing sunscreen when we will be in full sun for a long period of time; however, do you know what’s in your sunscreen? I read the ingredients for the first time two summers ago, and I was not pleased because they are full of toxins, chemicals, and parabens. You can see how your sunscreen ranks using EWG’s database.
After I found out that my sunscreen could actually be worse for my skin than the sun, I finally decided to try and make my own. We all know the benefits of homemade anything, and this was just one more step I wanted to take for our family.
So, I searched the internet and finally decided on a recipe from MadeOn that had ingredients I already had on hand. I did change up the recipe a bit to make it more waterproof and not as oily. I explain at the bottom of this post how to adjust the recipe for your needs.
This particular sunscreen is smooth, goes on easily, and rubs in nicely. It has an SPF of about 30. This is due to the natural SPF of shea butter (6-10), coconut oil (4-10), and zinc oxide. If a higher SPF is desired, more zinc oxide can be added. You can see a zinc oxide chart here. Just know that adding more zinc oxide will also increase the whiteness of the sunscreen as it goes on.
This sunscreen is also waterproof because of the beeswax, but should be reapplied after swimming and toweling just as any other sunscreen. One more added bonus to this sunscreen is that it can be used as a diaper rash cream, too. It is NOT cloth diaper friendly though (unlike Lexie:BabyBum and all of our other products).
I measure my ingredients by weight, but I have added an approximate volume measurement for those of you who find it easier. You can purchase all of the ingredients for this recipe here.
What you’ll need:
1.5 oz. (3 Tbsp.) Beeswax pellets
4 oz. (1/2 cup) Shea Butter
3.5 oz. (1/2 cup) Coconut oil
2 oz. (4 Tbsp.) Zinc Oxide (non-nano)
What you’ll do:
1. Start a double boiler by placing a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water. Add your beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil. Stir with a wooden stick.
2. Remove glass bowl from double boiler and add zinc oxide. It may bubble and fizz slightly. Don’t let it frighten you as it did me the first time. 🙂 Stir with a wooden stick and then with a hand mixer or stick blender until nice and smooth. Make sure you clean all utensils right away with a paper towel or the beeswax will stick and be very difficult to clean later on. Zinc is VERY messy.
3. Pour sunscreen into a glass jar and let it sit for several hours until it cools. This can also be poured into an old deodorant or lip balm tube and used as a stick. Make sure you label and date it so that everyone knows what it is! It should keep for up to a year (or until your zinc expires).
When you are ready to use, just scoop some out with your fingers and apply as normal or rub over skin if you are using it as a stick. It may take a bit more rubbing in cooler weather, but it will otherwise go on very smoothly.
- You may find it easier to apply this sunscreen if you pour it into a tube (such as an empty deodorant tube or lip balm tube).
- If you live in colder climates you may want to add less beeswax and more coconut oil.
- If you live in hotter climates you may want to add more beeswax and less coconut oil.
- If you don’t like the consistency of this sunscreen, you can remelt it and add either more beeswax (to make it harder) or coconut oil (to make it softer).
There you have it–your very own homemade DIY natural sunscreen!
Not up for another DIY project? You can purchase this sunscreen, along with all of our other natural homemade skin products, in our online store! We only restock this SunLotion once per year, so get it while you can.
What do you do to keep from burning when you are in full sun all day?
Lexie is a follower of Jesus, the wife of the very talented Stephen McNeill, and a work-at-home mother of two. Her passions include spending time with friends and family, reading, traveling, and teaching. In an effort to live a more natural and frugal lifestyle, she began making and selling her own skin care products (including lotion, lip balm, deodorant, sunlotion, diaper cream, and soap). She loves sharing these passions with others on her blog and helping other families catch the vision of living a more natural lifestyle.
Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.
What’s the SPF of this sunscreen?
The article states that this is like a 30 SPF.
Has this been tested and if so by whom? It’s really important to protect from both UVA and UVB. I know zinc oxide is a good protector and I applaud an attempt at safer sunscreen but the sun isn’t anything to mess with. I was diagnosed w/ stage 3 melanoma at age 32. I’ve watched so many young moms die from melanoma leaving behind small children. This recipe sounds good but I would rather pick a safe sunscreen from EWG’s sunscreen list since they test each sunscreen for both the ingredients and how well it actually protects from the sun. I just can’t take the chance with my kids or myself. I’ve seen what this aggressive cancer does. If this sunscreen has been run through a lab then I would love to see the results.
Did you know skin cancer rates have increased because of the chemical additives in sunscreen today? A healthier homemade sunscreen will be safer than the coppertone 50spf you buy at the grocery store. And if you’re that concerned then wear light uv ray blocking fabric.
Actually that’s not true. Yes cancer rates are increasing as bathing suits have become skimpier, with society’s insistence on tan being beautiful (and not recognizing it as skin damage), increase in tanning rates, and on a positive note, higher rates of early detection. Correlation does not equal causation. There is a direct scientifically proven connection between the sun and skin cancer and there is not one with sunscreen ingredients and skin cancer. Would I use a regular sunscreen off the store shelf? No, but then I don’t use most “normal” skin products either because I check everything my family uses against EWG’s skindeep first to check what’s in it. My point is that a healthy homemade sunscreen that doesn’t actually protect from the sun does you no good. So unless a product is tested for its effectiveness against both UVA and UVB rays then I wouldn’t trust it. (That’s also a problem with store shelf sunscreens by the way.) And yes of course use sun protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses. (Ocular melanoma is no good either.) There are thankfully many awesome companies making sun protective clothing these days. Coolibar is a favorite in our house.
Thank you so much for your comment. This is marketed as a Sun Lotion and diaper cream and not a sunBLOCK or sunSCREEN because it has not been tested in a lab. I have done extensive research though on what percent of zinc to use to obtain a certain SPF. I can’t legally say that it’s exactly 30 SPF, but it is very close if you look at the percentage of zinc. Zinc also blocks UVA and UVB! 🙂 I understand your reluctance, and I respect that.
Thanks for your reply! I often feel like I live in two worlds (at least in regards to skin care). There is the all natural advocating side and the protect your skin side. I really feel like both sides can or should work together. We certainly need more safe and effective sunscreens! I do applaud your effort. When I first saw the post I was worried it was a just another slap coconut oil on and your good post. Eek! But I was pleasantly surprised you included zinc oxide as I do know that actually works. But I don’t know much about how it reacts to heat etc and still retains it’s effectiveness against the sun. Do you know what I mean? Thank you for your honesty. I really appreciate it. I would certainly use it as a diaper cream but still not sure about using it for sun protection as it’s particularly important for myself and my kids. I guess “in my free time” I’ll have to research more. We go through so much sunblock and the kind we buy tends to be pretty expensive for our family of six. It would be nice to make our own.
Zinc Oxide is in a lot of different sunscreens and I know doctor oz recommends it. http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/breaking-news-sunscreen-dangerous?video_id=2365716889001
Asher Frederick Jacobson
Have you heard of the Gerson therapy. It is the solution to cancer.
What are the containers shown in the picture?
You can do a quick google search and find a lot of different containers. These are a 1 oz. and 2 oz. twist up.
artemio m. latawan jr
i want to do the recipe that you share.,but its hard to find the ingredients here in our province, thanks for sharing this recipe….Godbless you more….
Is there any reason I can’t use an actual double-boiler? Does it need to be in glass, or can I use my stainless steel?
Would love links to actual containers recommended and also where to buy zinc oxide
Hi! You can purchase them at several online stores. We also hVe some DIY kits that include the zinc and the containers.
I have been looking for a good recipe with shea butter, thanks for this! Question: If I were to replace the coconut oil with another oil, would it come out too runny for making a stick? I like to have a cream and a stick, but cannot use coconut thanks to my allergy. What would you recommend replacing it with? More shea butter perhaps? Or another oil? Thanks!
Most carrier oils should work just fine! The beeswax will keep it a solid.
Wheat Germ oil is a good carrier oil and has a natural SPF of about 20. Additionally, you can add essential oils (Carrot Seed Oil has an SPF of about 38-40) for scent and extra protection.
Just a friendly FYI, no essential oil has any SPF! It is a common misconception. Carrot seed CARRIER oil provides about 40 SPF, however.
“I posted the below to let people know, ‘how’ you added the zinc, is safe! However, don’t inhale it at all and don’t try to add it in as you cook it, and don’t store it in a ‘metal’ container. = Sister n law is a chemist, she suggested this! Thanks for sharing your recipe.
As a food additive, zinc oxide is on the U.S. FDA’s list of generally recognized as safe, or GRAS, substances.
Zinc oxide itself is non-toxic; however it is hazardous to inhale zinc oxide fumes, as generated when zinc or zinc alloys are melted and oxidized at high temperature. This problem occurs while melting brass because the melting point of brass is close to the boiling point of zinc. Exposure to zinc oxide in the air, which also occurs while welding galvanized (zinc plated) steel, can result in a nervous malady called metal fume fever. For this reason, typically galvanized steel is not welded, or the zinc is removed first
Thanks so much! I should probably add not to inhale it to the post! It should also be added quite slowly!
I was wondering if you had any ideas for a replacement for the beeswax as I am allergic.
You can use soy wax or candelilla wax. 🙂
Can you add in essential oils for a scent?
Yes. Just research first and don’t add any that are photosensitive (like citrus). Some have natural sun protection like lavender and myrrh. You can also add cocoa powder for a darker color and scent.
Awesome, that was going to be my question. I’m glad I read replies first.
I’m so doing this.
I’m in Australia. I’ll give this a try next summer and see how she goes!
Hope you like it!
Is this recipe waterproof?
She says it is in the article. But as with traditional sunscreens should be reapplied after swimming, toweling off, etc.
It is water resistant but should be reapplied after swimming and toweling as Heather mentioned. 🙂
Taylor @ Mama Java
Interesting! I have very fair red-haired children and I burn very easily, so if this actually does work, I would love to give this a shot. I noticed you put the glass bowl you used as a double boiler with your KitchenAid. My KitchenAid bowl is stainless steel…would it work to transfer the oil/beeswax mixture from a glass bowl to my stainless steel one? Thanks!
I’m really not sure if the zinc oxide would react to the stainless steel or not. I’ve never tried it. I would research a little more before I did it, but I assume it would be ok.
Can I use just the coconut oil and not any shea butter in this recipe? Shea butter products never muscle test well for me.
Sure! It just won’t be as solid and smooth.
Awesome….will be whipping up a batch….people are already getting sunburned thanks for sharing 🙂
Hope you like it!
Would like to know where you purchased the shea butter. Is it the 100% pure and raw or can I get the shea butter at walmart in their beauty isle? Thanks for your help!
I prefer unrefined raw shea butter. You could certainly use something else though.
How many of those tall tubes does this recipe fill?
This recipe is about 10 fl. oz. The tall tubes are 2 oz., so it will fill about 5 of them.
How long do you think this recipe stays good? I made some last summer and was wondering if it would be safe to use this summer.
It depends on when your zinc oxide expires. Most of the time it will last for 2-3 years. The zinc I bought this summer is good until 2016.
My GP doctor has told me in the past that zinc oxide diaper cream can be used safely as a sunscreen if you don’t mind the “whiteness”…
Hi, I’d like yo try this. In the clean up measure, is rinsing down sink ok, will it cause any blockage, IE when oil pull with coconut oil, apparently u don’t spit it into sink, cause it may/will block. This has coconut oil and bees wax.
I would clean everything with a paper napkin or paper towel before rinsing.
Is there any way to put a natural bronzer in it like in some sun lotions? Would the cocoa powder mentioned work for that?
Yes, you can add cocoa powder to make it darker. It does take a lot. You can add a little at a time to test it until you reach the desired color.
For a long time I’ve meant to try making my own sunscreen. Thanks so much for the recipe! I’d love to see a photo or two of how it looks on the skin.
I’ll have to take a picture and add it to the post! Thanks for the suggestion.
Would more beeswax make it more waterproof or waterproof at all? Thanks I love this recipe will definitely make!
The beeswax does make it water resistant. We wore it at the beach two years ago and it stayed on! More beeswax will make it thicker.
Could you come read a post about diy homemade make up and see if it’s something you could do Lexie? http://jesusdiedandlives.wordpress.com
I’m not seeing a DIY makeup from that link.
How is this sunscreen on children with eczema?
I know my lotion bars are great for eczema. The only difference in this is that it has zinc oxide.
I’m no doctor but am a mom with eczema and have a (now grown) child with eczema … I think this recipe would be very good for eczema.
but I imagine you could also add some vit E and A for added healing. I make an ointment with these ingredients minus zinc oxide but add vit E oil & Cod Liver Oil. It’s very healing for eczema… zinc oxide would protect and sooth (I used that with some olive oil on my daughter when she was little -before I started making the ointment).
Thanks so much for that insight!
Has anyone tried this? How did you like it and was it effective?? I have a 9 month old abc really need something ASAP! TIA 😉
I found that the zinc would just sink to the bottom as it was cooling. Did you find this to be true?
You need to mix it with a stand or hand mixer for at least 5 minutes (even longer if you feel that it’s all clumping at the bottom). Some of it will settle but not much because it actually hardens pretty quickly!
Thanks! I will give that a try.
Feather To Follow
How thick does this get? I have a lotion bottle with a pump, will the sunscreen be too thick?
Yes, this is too thick for a pump bottle. You could leave out some of the beeswax but that would change the ratio and alter the spf.
Great innovative. Very good effort with collecting and collating the information. check how to book an ambulance @ https://www.meddcoambulance.com