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. I saw that you’ve linked natural face sunscreens in some blogs, but I’d be interested in a DIY one for the face. I had mohs surgery on my nose this year, and I want to be more mindful and diligent about applying spf on my face too. Do you have a recipe for that?

  2. Wow! I’ve been thinking about DIY skin care – particular sun protection – so this recipe is very informative and inspiring. If you don’t mind, have several questions:

    1. Does this DIY sunscreen lotion come off effortlessly with mild makeup remover/coconut oil? When I used store-bought physical sunscreen, I ended using oil cleanser for it, which really dried up and irritated my sensitive, acne-prone skin.
    2. Have you ever tried making an under-eye sunscreen? Because the skin there is so delicate, I am even more fearful of rubbing and removing sunscreen from there.
    3. Do you know if red raspberry seed oil is safe to be applied under the eyes, neat or diluted? I thought it could become my moisturizing, nourishing, UVB + UVA blocking, non-removal-necessary magical elixir, but I haven’t found any information about under-eye application.

    I’m sorry to bombard you with questions. I’m so intrigued by the subject and I would greatly appreciate it if you could share with me your insight.
    Thank you!

  3. Hi Nadia – I went from the red raspberry oil page to this page – I thought there would be red raspberry oil in this recipe but was surprised when there wasn’t. Just FYI. Thanks!

    I’m hoping to make my own sunscreen so just look through websites to get ideas on how. Thanks!

  4. Hello,
    I’ve used shea butter before but only at night since it doesn’t seem to absorb into my skin. I was wondering if this spf lotion absorbs into the skin or stays oily?

    Thank you