So you want to make your own sunscreen but don’t know where to start? You don’t want to end up with a goopy mess that turns you white but at the same time you want to make sure that your homemade sunscreen recipe offers high SPF protection.
An Easy Natural Homemade Sunscreen Recipe That Rocks
I started making my own sun protection years ago. I was shocked to see that it actually worked. All those years of using toxic sunscreens in SPF 100 and I still burned. Hangs head in shame. If only I had known then…
But hindsight is 20/20 and I am thrilled to have found a combination of ingredients that works for my entire family! Everyone I know that has used this sunscreen recipe has loved it. No burns. And for those individuals who do get a little pink, it never turned into anything beyond a bit of a flushed look for a few hours. I’m not promising any specific results for you or your family members so be sure to exercise caution when you first start using this. But I suspect you will be glad you tried this recipe!
Before I get to my natural sunscreen recipe, you need to do a little light reading. An important factor in preventing skin damage of any kind from too much sun exposure is understanding your skin type and your resulting SPF needs. So head over to my post on Coconut Oil For Sun Protection. That will give you the scoop on how to safely interact with the sun based on your skin type.
Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients
You are probably wondering WHY I choose the ingredients I did for my easy sunscreen recipe. In short, it’s all about the SPF and ease of use. I personally have no desire to turn white from my sunblock nor do I want to spend an hour in the shower scrubbing it off.
This sunscreen recipe results in a very creamy sunblock that absorbs into your skin. No worrying about scrubbing it off. In fact, leaving it on offers additional skin benefits. Win-win.
So let’s look at the main sunscreen ingredients shall we?
Coconut oil has an amazing ability to heal the skin and block the damaging effects of UV radiation from the sun. One of the reasons why it is so effective in protecting the skin is its antioxidant properties, which helps prevent burning and oxidative damage that promotes skin cancer. There have been several recent studies done on the use of coconut oil as a sunscreen but there are fluxuations in the SPF rating of coconut oil. One study “proved” a rating of only 4 while another rated coconut oil at a 10. However, coconut oil alone does not offer enough sun protection. That is why I rely on two other plant oils.
To learn more about coconut oil and all of it’s benefits and uses, visit my Coconut Health Page.
Carrot Seed Oil
Carrot seed oil is an essential oil with significant antioxidant, antiseptic, antifungal and fragrant properties with high levels of vitamin A. When applied topically to the skin in the form of a diluted carrier oil, carrot seed oil also provides natural sun protection. Carrot seed oil has a natural SPF of 38 and 40.
To get the full scoop on how incredible carrot seed oil is, check out my post about The Secret World Of Carrot Seed Oil.
This is my favorite carrot seed oil.
Red Raspberry Seed Oil
Red raspberry seeds contain high levels of omega 3 and omega 6 essential fatty acids in addition to antioxidants and natural vitamin E. According to Anthony J. O’Lenick, author of “Oils of Nature,” red raspberry seed oil has a natural SPF between 28 and 50 and may also contain clinically significant anti-inflammatory properties.
This is my favorite red raspberry seed oil.
Vitamin E Oil
I mainly add Vitamin E Oil as a natural preservative but it does nourish and protect the skin.
Shea Butter / Mango Butter / Cocoa Butter
While not an oil, shea butter is derived from the fat of the shea nut. Shea butter melts at body temperature and absorbs rapidly into the skin without leaving a greasy feeling. It contains the antioxidants, vitamins A and E both of which enhances skin cell regeneration and promote blood circulation below the skin’s surface. Cinnamic acid in the oil provides vital protection against harmful UV rays. Its rich emollient quality makes it excellent for very dry skin. SPF 0-8. This is the shea butter I use.
Cocoa butter is the natural fat extracted from the cacao bean from South America and West Africa. The cocoa butter creates a shield against the environment meaning it helps keeps harmful UV rays out. Cocoa butter has excellent moisturizing benefits. The oils within the butter lock in water close to the skin, keeping it hydrated all day long. This ensures that your skin doesn’t dry out, which can do more harm than good. SPF 0-8. The is the cocoa butter I use.
Mango Butter is believed to provide natural protection from ultraviolet (UV) radiation although it’s specific SPF is unknown. Mango butter helps keep skin hydrated. Mango butter is also an effective after-sun treatment to restore moisture and heal sun-damaged skin. It has a LONG shelf life which actually makes it a natural preservative as well. This is the mango butter I use.
Ingredient Alternative – Cupuacu Seed Butter
Capuacu seed butter is not a butter I list in the recipe ingredients but it is a worthy opponent to shea butter, mango butter, and cocoa butter. It can be difficult to source and a little pricey however and because it is so light, it does change the sunscreen texture slightly. If you do want to use cupuacau seed butter in place of the other butters, please know that while the sunscreen will still absorb quickly, initially it might seem a bit more liquidy.
Due to its reputation and nutrient contents, cupuaçu has been considered ‘the king of superfruits’ due to its high antioxidant concentration. The superfruit has lots of omega fatty acids and anti-oxidizing polyphenols, in addition to essential vitamins and nutrients such as B vitamins, amino acids, flavanoids, calcium, selenium and at least nine antioxidants including Vitamins A and C. As an added bonus, cupuaçu provides a protective barrier against UV rays, helping to prevent skin damage due to the sun.
Cupuacau has a large capacity for water absorption, as well as preventing the evaporation of water loss through the skins tissue, making it a perfect ingredient for dry, dehydrated skin. It also has wonderful moisturising properties, helping to restore the skin’s own natural moisture.
This is my favorite cupuacau seed butter.
Can I Use This Natural Homemade Sunscreen On My Face?
Yes you can! It is actually awesome for your face, especially the carrot seed oil.
Is This Sunscreen Recipe Waterproof?
Not really. However, the Beeswax does add waterproof properties. I would always suggest reapply this sunblock after getting in the water.
* THIS sunscreen recipe worked for ME and for many of my friends. However, skin tone, condition of skin, altitude, time spent in the sun, time of day, whether or not you are in the water, etc… can all factor into how well this recipe will work. Please experiment with this sunscreen before spending 8 hours at the beach using only this! In addition, I cannot give you a firm SPF rating for this recipe. This is because the SPF ratings for the plant oils and butters vary.*
- In a double boiler, over low heat, melt the coconut oil, beeswax, and butters.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly prior to adding the carrot seed, red raspberry, and vitamin E oila.
- Pour into a glass jar or BPA free plastic jar.
- Allow to cool and harden on the counter overnight and then you’re good to go!
During times of heavy sun and swim exposure be sure to reapply often for the best coverage.
Prefer a Single Use DIY Sunscreen Recipe?
If you would like to make enough natural homemade sunscreen for a single use, mix the following ingredients together:
- 4 drops carrot seed oil
- 6 drops raspberry seed oil
- About 3 tablespoons of coconut oil.
Use immediately. This makes enough for one use and is great if you won’t need to reapply sunscreen or take it with you. I usually just do this before going out to work in the garden or take a walk. Works wonderfully for me!
And there you have it. An easy recipe for sun protection using coconut oil, carrot seed oil, and red raspberry seed oil. Be sure to check out my recipe for Sunburn Relief Face Mask (in case you do end up a little pink) and After Sun Body Lotion (which is simply just great to use after any time spent in the sun).