Last updated on August 22nd, 2019
Natural Sunscreen Recipe
I’m pretty sure I was born to live in a sunny state and constantly be warm. Instead, I’m over here kicking it in Canada. And while my country is seriously awesome, winter gets a little long. So by the time the warmth comes around, we spend literally all day outside (mainly playing in the dirt haha). With so much outdoors time, it means we need a really awesome natural sunscreen recipe!
So, when it comes to a natural sunscreen recipe, there’s actually a lot I have to say!
First off, let’s get the obvious out of the way: I am not a doctor (of any sorts, or a chemist). Gasp! Aside from what I read oh so long ago when I was researching, I don’t have any straight references to give you when it comes to the complete potency or effectiveness of this natural sunscreen recipe. There’s a lot of back and forth regarding homemade sunscreen so do your own research and make the choices best for you 🙂 This blog post lists a few yucky things in traditional sunscreens, so if you’re shopping, avoid these ingredients!
All I have to offer in this post is my experience in the last four years of using it and what I have learned along the way.
So as long as you’re cool with that … read on!
I first began using a natural sunscreen recipe a few years ago when I was starting to switch over a lot of my household and beauty products. Truthfully, I just thought I would be fun to make my own and it sounded easy.
I was definitely a bit worried though as I have somewhat fair skin and had always used spf 50 up until that point. In fact, I lathered it on in hopes of preventing burns!
So I started reading. And the more I read and learned about regular sunscreen the more I didn’t really want to rub it onto mine, and now my daughters skin. I mean really, if I go through all the trouble to make every single lotion, buy only quality soaps and bubbles and whip up everything else in the house, why would I ruin all my work with regular sunscreen?!
Of course, I could buy a sunscreen (and I do- more on that below but you can purchase off my favorite company!), but they’re pricey as hell and I’m classically Dutch. This is another brand that I’m loving this year for beach days when my hubby doesn’t want to bring a jar haha Both have low EWG ratings and work well!
So, when I had my girls, it was only natural that they would use homemade sunscreen. Each ingredient in the butter has its own spf content and the bit of zinc gives it an extra boost (tip- you can also add carrot seed oil if you have it as that particular oil has its own higher spf)
A quick note on zinc. I believe that there are various kinds of zinc and you’re looking for Non-Nano Pharmaceutical Grade Zinc. I wish I would remember why… but I can’t! I just know it has to be that one (sorry!)
I can’t give you an exact idea on the spf content of this natural sunscreen recipe but my thinking is it’s around 15-20. Personally, this works for us.
Random: I actually read along time ago that anything over an spf of 25/30 isn’t “more effective” anyways! It’s just additional chemicals. I have no idea if this is true, but it definitely got me thinking ß if you know the answer to this please comment below and inform me!
The thing is, even with traditional sunscreen lotions you sometimes get burned. Nothing is fool proof. This is my biggest pet peeve when it comes to making my own, if I get a little bit red everyone freaks out. I got plenty burnt as a kid with crazy chemical filled spf 50 so let’s all settle down a tad.
Now that said, yes both of my daughters wear sunscreen. But they also:
- Wear hats
- Alternate between sun and shade
- Wear UV protected clothes
- Drink lots of water
I haven’t tested this sunscreen out in direct sunlight for eight hours because that’s insane. The sun here in Canada gets intense so yes, they are forced into shade sometimes to cool off their systems.
One thing I do love about this natural sunscreen recipe though is that because it is oil based it doesn’t come off easily in the water!
Oil repels water, so you stay protected a bit longer.
This particular recipe seems a bit hard once it sets and you have to much it a bit with your fingers. Buuuttt I actually prefer this as when the jar sits in your beach bag or car all day and gets warm, it’s not insanely goopy- just soft. If this drives you bananas though, just add some extra oil.
Honestly, I love this natural sunscreen recipe. It’s beyond easy to whip up, stored well and has worked beautifully for me (along with common sense sun practices) for a few years.
Homemade sunscreen may not be for you- and that’s ok! Remember, I can’t give you a zillion reasons as to why this recipe might work, only that it has for me in the past couple of years. It’s our go-to and it leaves my skin soft, so I love it.
That said, there’s been a few burns on my end in the last few years (none on the kids) and it’s mainly from falling asleep on the beach (oops). If this is you, check out these natural sunburn remedies! My favorite is pure aloe and lavender 😉
Ingredients in the Natural Sunscreen Recipe
- ¼ cup Coconut Oil
- ¼ cup beeswax
- 2 tablespoons non-nano zinc
- 2 tablespoons shae butter
- 1 tablespoon Cacao butter
- 3 tablespoons almond oil
Note: all of these health boosting ingredients can be purchased through my favorite retailer Well.ca– and the best part is that they offer free shipping!
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Tip: don’t add essential oils to your sunscreen. Some oils (like citrus ones) actually cause burns when exposed to direct sunlight! Keep it natural.
How To Make Homemade Sunscreen
In a jar combine all ingredients except for zinc.
Place into a pot with only an inch of boiling water. Making sure that no water bubbles into the jar. Stir frequently.
Leave in the pot until everything is melted.
Once melted, remove from heat and whisk in the zinc.
Really whisk it in (for about one full minute). If it’s not dissolved it sinks to the bottom.
Pour into jars and let sit on the counter for twenty-four hours until firm.
Note: this sunscreen comes out a bit hard. I personally like this as it melts a bit when in the car/at the beach and makes it easy to go on.
If you don’t like this, either cut the beeswax back ever so slightly or add in a bit more almond oil.
Don’t forget to pin this natural sunscreen recipe!
As I mentioned, I do also have a container of store bought sunscreen. Because my daughter is in pre-school, they are unwilling to use a homemade variation (yes, this made my eye twitch). After a lot of painful research, I opted for this one (below)
It has an EWG rating of ONE which is so freaking amazing and so I don’t feel like the worst person ever for slathering it on my toddler.
While it is pricey, we don’t use it as much as my own and thus it works for us.
Grab your printable
Having a natural sunscreen recipe on hand is awesome for both yourself and your kids! Personally, I make a big batch up at the start of summer and am good to go. And while sunscreen is awesome, keep in mind that safe sun practices need to be combined with the lotion- enjoy your Vitamin D… but safely!