All Natural Homemade Sunscreen





Introduction: All Natural Homemade Sunscreen

This is a recipe for all natural homemade sunscreen, without zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.  A few years ago, I created this Instructable that shows you how to make your own sunscreen using these ingredients.  In response to many comments I'd been getting on it, I decided to offer a TD/ZO alternative, with all natural elements.  You can actually eat most of the ingredients!  

Carrot seed oil's high carotol content gives it its skin-rejuvenative properties, and can directly reduce the damaging effects of UV rays.  Avocado oil, sesame oil and shea butter contain a low SPF sunscreen. However, they have limited VA/UVB-filtering ability and you should not use them as your only skin protection. For a natural sunscreen with a higher SPF, use a sunscreen with titanium dioxide. Find out how to make your own here! 

NOTE: avoid using citrus oils, such as bergamont, orange, lemon or lime. They may cause unpleasant skin reactions when exposed to the sun. They also reduce a sunscreen's effectiveness.

*Even though Borax is used as a food ingredient in some countries, it is banned for such use in the US, and can be harmful if ingested in large doses.  Use gloves and a safety mask when working with borax.  

  1. Combine the sesame, avocado, jojoba, and almonds oils, shea and cocoa butters, and beeswax in a microwave-safe container and heat until just melted. Add the soy-lecithin, and stir to blend.
  2. In a small saucepan, gently warm the aloe vera gel and rose (or lavender water), and stir in borax powder. Heat to a temperature of above 75F, and stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat.
  3. When the oil and water mixtures are still warm to the touch and about the same temperature, set the small saucepan into a bowl of ice. Drizzle in the oil mixture while mixing rapidly with a small whisk until a cream forms.
  4. Add carrot-seed essential oil and coconut fragrance oil, if desired; blend thoroughly.
  5. Use a silicone spatula to transfer your mixture into a pastry bag or plastic baggie with the corner snipped off.
  6. Squeeze the lotion into your new containers and label.

  7. Apply liberally and frequently!!

Storage and Proper Application of Sunscreen

To keep homemade sunscreen from spoiling, use only clean utensils for preparation and storage. Store lotions in the refrigerator, where they will keep for about 3-4 weeks.

To achieve maximum protection, apply sunscreen to dry skin 30 minutes before exposure. Limit your sun time to under an hour.


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    Is there any scientific evidence these oils can block some UVB/UVB rays?

    There is much information out there if you understand the way a doctor would communicate in a research paper. Below is one example that covers DNA/UVB/UVA protections with a myriad of natural compounds. I personally use comfrey extract, combined with carrot seed oil in a base of coconut oil and I'm a happy camper. During the summer months I add some essential oils to help keep the mosquitoes away. Here is the NIH's take on the "Potential of herbs in skin protection from ultraviolet radiation":

    This is a great share. Thank you for posting it. I would like to add that you can add Vitamin C powder to it as well and get even more protection.

    I have been mixing my own sunscreen for a long time now using natural cream ingredients such as this one. The major difference is I mix up the main batch of cream and then I use 4 tbsp of the base cream and add 1/2 tsp of Vitamin C powder.

    I mix up only the 4 tbsp at a time because I use this amount up in about a week. Any longer and the Vitamin C will yellow and will not be as effective. But it really works to add the Vitamin C.

    I used to burn easily and with the Vitamin C in the cream it takes a lot longer for me to be affected by sun exposure.

    Thanks for sharing this scooch! I do not know anything about sunscreen as I never use it. My sister has Lupus and must use it. She has to use the highest SP protection. Do you know of any natural ones that can be purchased? She is getting where she can't do a lot. She does not like chemicals but will use things if necessary. Thanks

    Sunshiine, search the 'Net for "Australia natural sunscreen." They are expensive, but may be what you are seeking.

    I grew up going outside every summer to play and later to do farmwork. We simply got a tan and assumed that was sufficient protection. In more recent years I did a fair amount of bicycling without any special protection. Almost three years ago my doctor found an early stage melanoma on my chest. In retrospect, I would have used more protection from the sun, had I known.

    I do not like sunscreen. I wear a hat with a very broad brim, sunglasses, and long sleeve shirts with a SPF value of 50.

    An easy way to know the SPF value of ordinary clothing is to hold it up to light. If the fabric is SPF 50 and above, you will not be able to see light through it. If it is around SPF 30, you will see light, but not be able to make out the details. At SPF 15 you can not only see light, but make out quite a few details in a scene you might view through your window.

    Thanks so much Phil! I will copy this information and send to my sister! I am sorry to hear of your melanoma. Both of us prefer to wear natural fabrics. So this should not be too difficult to achieve. I will search for the sunscreen as soon as I get a chance! Thanks again for the valuable information! Have a splendorous week!

    Thank you. The melanoma is gone as best I and my doctor know. But, those can always come back. I have had a number of friends who never were able to live as long as I have lived; but, died of mostly heart attacks and auto accidents at quite young ages. Learning you have something that could be fatal reinforces that we have no enduring place here, and gives a focus on the life with Christ to come. Tongue in cheek, I say, "Everyone wants to go to heaven, just not today."

    Perhaps there is more work for you to do! My daughter had cancer, a very rare form of cancer at the age of 18, it was a very scary time for us but she is happy and well after all these years! By the way that was well said! Hope you enjoyed your vacation! Sunshiine

    When I mention my experience with melanoma to someone, it is very common for them to tell me about their similar experience with that or another type of cancer. Many who talk about a similar experience with some form of cancer had those experiences quite a number of years ago. I had some e-mail correspondence with the author of a book on bicycle routes in East Tennessee. She had a skin cancer experience twenty years ago. I have allowed precautions about sun exposure to reduce greatly my bicycling experiences, but she puts on the sunscreen and rides just as she always did. I am probably overly cautious, which may or may not make any difference in the end. At the risk of wandering into other topics, I also discovered a couple of years ago that the vitamin D level in my bloodstream was borderline too low. Since, I regularly take a capsule of 2000 mg each day. Vitamin D is important for our immune system and may be linked inversely to occurrences of cancer. Some say it is linked, others are not so sure or feel more study is needed.

    Thanks for sharing this information Phil! I have not read about vitamin D deficiency linked to cancer. That is interesting. I believe there are many causes to cancer. Dirty colon, exposure to chemicals, lack of nutrition, and diet. I have known people who beat it naturally. I have a friend loosing her life now because of cancer. I also believe she should not have chosen chemo because of her age and the presence of cancer through out her body. I hope some day the insurance companies will give our sick people an opportunity to decide to use natural medicine instead of man made medicine. A conversation about this subject could go on for a long time. I will do some search on vitamin D. Thanks Phil Have a great day! Sunshiine