DIY All-Natural Sunscreen Lotion

Body DIY DIY Skincare & Beauty Essential oils

It’s all fun and games until someone has to go ahead and ruin it all.

Yeah, we’re looking at you, nasty-filled sunscreen.

Fun in the sun suddenly ain’t so much fun when you take a closer look at your sunscreen ingredient label: we’ve got chemicals that are known endocrine disruptors (i.e. mess with your hormones), possible or probable carcinogens, and that have linked to developmental/reproductive toxicity.

Needless to say, these ingredients should not be in sunscreen.

Yet they are.

Most sunscreens, in fact. Including those specifically formulated for babies as well as face lotions and lip products with SPF.

Bring back the fun with this DIY all-natural sunscreen lotion!

There are no nasties to worry about here.

DIY All-Natural Sunscreen Lotion


Makes 4 ounces of sunscreen

*“Nano” zinc oxide powder particles are small enough to be absorbed into the bloodstream when applied to the skin. We don’t want this. Rather, we want a “micronized” zinc oxide, which has been ground or pulverized into larger particles that will form a coating on the skin’s surface without being absorbed into the skin. This is the same kind of zinc oxide used in calamine lotions and diaper rash creams. It’s also the type used in one of my favorite ready-made sunscreens, Badger sunscreen, which has an (ahem) “1” Skin Deep rating (you go, little badger!).


  1. Scoop the shea butter into the jar, and place the jar in a small pot filled with 1-2 inches of water. Put the burner on low-medium heat and occasionally stir the shea until it is completely melted (shea butter melts at around 100°F, so you don’t need to heat it too much. Also, you don’t want to overheat it since this will destroy some of the skin-loving vitamins).
  2. Turn the burner off and remove the jar from the pot.
  3. Add the grapeseed oil and essential oils.
  4. Lastly, add the zinc oxide. Please be sure to cover your nose and mouth (I just pulled my t-shirt up) as you don’t want to breathe this stuff in.
  5. Tightly screw the lid on the jar and shake it all up! You’ll have a milky, melted-ice-cream-looking concoction.
  6. Pop this in the fridge, taking it out every 5 minutes to shake it up again.
  7. After about 30 minutes, your lotion will be solidified to a thicker paste.

Apply and enjoy the sunshine nasty-free!


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  1. Great question. All I know is I could NOT find pure carrot seed “carrier oil” that wasn’t cut with other oils. This way, I know I have the pure EO and have control over what I’m diluting it in. That is how I chose to use the EO.

  2. Question about the carrot seed oil. I have been reading mixed things on other natural & DIY sites. Some say NOT to use the carrot seed essential oil but to use a carrier version instead for sun protection. Any thoughts/reasons yadda yadda?

  3. Is there any way to estimate the spf in this? I’m guessing since you’ve stated that you yourself have problematic skin that this doesn’t make you break out on your face or back. But why is that? Shea butter is pretty heavy. I only ask because I have very sensitive skin and live in an incredibly hot and humid climate where I am constantly battling clogging.

  4. I always read that you should “slather on” sunscreen – at least an ounce every time you put it on. Since this makes only 4 ounces, is there a different recommendation as to how much to use each time, and how often it should be reapplied? Thanks!!

  5. Thankyou thankyou thankyou for this recipe, im in australia atm, with my skinsafe sunscrean from Lovea running out on me, not to mention im working on a melonfarm so sunscrean is preeetty essential! I will definitely try this out, thanks again! Have a great new year!

  6. Well a person is likely allergic to an active sunscreen ingredient, not SPF (that’s just a scale of sunscreen protection). And only the person with the allergy would know which ingredient they are allergic to.

  7. You could certainly use it instead of the grapeseed oil! I just didn’t have it/use it when I wrote this post.

  8. Hi – very nice post by the way!
    I was wondering how come out chose not to use red raspdberry oil in your day sunscreen ?

  9. I’ve always wanted to try making my own sunscreen. Though it may be nearly impossible for me to pick up a couple of these ingredients here in Latin America, I will have to try this when my family flies stateside next month. Thanks!

  10. I know of a true mineral sunscreen made from ingredients found in your kitchen. Try It is as natural as it gets and I use it on all of my kids! Since it doesn’t absorb into the bloodstream I feel satisfied that my kids are not getting any harm from chemicals!!

  11. Is there any scents you can safely add to also keep the bugs away? I am a red head who loves to go walking but really not into sunburn or bugs.

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