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. Hey Nadia

    I simply loved your DIY natural sunscreen.

    I have facial sweating problem and you can understand most of the time my sunscreen washes away.

    I have heard sunscreen with bee wax sticks to skin, is it?

    Kindly confirm.


  2. HI Nadia,

    In your another post reg bars you suggested Shea butter from Perfect Body Harmony. I am a little confused. I wanted to order shea butter for my monthly face massage. I have normal-dry skin and face allergic problems. Which one do you think would be good for my skin.


  3. Hi, I have been using a sunscreen similar to this but with added titanium dioxide. How do you feel about sunscreens that have titanium dioxide… I know it is a controversial ingredient. Just wondering your thoughts/if you would use it.

  4. I tried this and didn’t really like the smell. Not sure if it was the Shea butter or something else. Do you have any suggestions?

  5. Hey Nadia
    Curious to what you would recommend to replace zinc oxide if you’re allergic/ react to it?
    Thank you so much!

  6. I wouldn’t advocate geranium oil as a great choice for exposing your skin to the sun. As far as I’m aware, most essential oils cause photo-sensitivity. I believe the only exception is grapefruit.

  7. Hey There!
    Can you tell me the comdogenic rating of raspberry seed oil? I have started adhering to those ratings since seeing it in your site. Thanks to essential oils I actually am moving toward having “normal” skin and don’t want to mess up now!
    Also, do you have a DIY body lotion recipe? I haven’t seen one on your site. Did I miss it?

  8. Thank you for passing along the info, Permeil!

    And I’m so happy to hear you’ve had great success with the DIYs! Well it took me almost a year before I started to see the discoloration from my acne scars really fading, and everybody is different. Best of luck!

  9. I think it is great that you aren’t perpetuating the myth of carrot seed essential oil as a great SPF factor or raspberry oil like so many other natural DIY sites. It’s also great to understand the difference between essential oils and fatty oils. If uses for natural products can’t be supported by studies in scientific journals than we shouldn’t be promoting them. Please encourage your readers to read and

    Thanks and keep up the great work. I’ve made most of your skin products and am happy to report I’m happy so far. How long until I see age spots diminish?

  10. I personally wouldn’t reply on it for a full day of sun exposure (at the beach, for example) but if you’re seeking shade and cautious, you could give it a go. I don’t think we need sun protection ALL THE TIME like some people advise — because sun is how we get vitamin D and vitamin D is very important! — but again, I do rely on it for a full day in the sun.

  11. I’m curious if there are any reasons other than UVA that you wouldn’t use red raspberry seed oil as your sunscrren? My daughter and I are allergic to zinc so I was planning to make a sunscreen using red raspberry seed oil, coconut oil etc. but then I saw your comment and it has made me curious.

  12. Hello, I was just wondering if this recipe is safe to use on babies? I know under 6 months they shouldn’t wear sunscreen, but what about after that? Do you know of anyone who has used this or a similar recipe on such sensitive skin? Thanks!

  13. Hi There!

    I just wanted to mention that carrot seed essential oil has no SPF-like properties, as mentioned by esteemed Aromatherapist Robert Tisserand, if you so much as Google “Carrot Seed SPF study”.

    I’m an Aromatherapist from Canada dedicated to halting the boundless amounts of misinformation spread around the internet regarding essential oils.

    I would suggest not including the carrot seed “SPF content” in your recipe, seeing as it has incredible skin benefits but does not offer ANY SPF sun protection.

    Fatty Carrot Seed, Carrot Seed CO2 and Helio Carrot DO in fact have some benefits though if you’re interested in checking them out.

    Please contact me if you have any questions about EO contraindications, safety, or if you want fact-checking done. Thank you for your time.

    Yours in Health,


  14. Well zinc oxide is the source of SPF in the recipe so if you omit it, you’re basically just making a body lotion. I’m not sure about the red raspberry seed, I’ve never done it myself. If you make a good recipe with the oil, please come back and share it with us!

  15. Hi.can I substitute zinc oxide for something else.or do i leave itout completely. Also how much red rasberry oil can i add.thank you

  16. I was wondering if there is a way to cause the recipie to be water resistant? We are enourmous beach bums and could see us going through this every week if it is not rather than reapplying every few hours.

    Another question is could this be used as a pre-makeup daily facial sun-screen?

  17. Enjoying your site! You mentioned Badger sunscreen. I already use this for my face. I mix it in my hand with a drop or two of olive oil to make it spread easier. I have developed an allergy to coconut oil and/or its derivatives. It’s hard to tell exactly what the culprit is.
    Badger and Green D sunscreens are all I’ve found so far that I can use. But they are so hard to spread and so greasy that I really don’t want to use them all over my body. I need something that’s more lotion-y.
    Does this spread better? Does the shea butter make it more like a lotion?Why bother to do this instead of just using the Badger? Is it just a money-saving thing, or is it better in your opinion?


  18. i like to use about 10-15 SPF, so i guess if i use about .5 tbsp of the zinc and leave out the carrot oil it will go down to that amount? any ideas on how to lower it?