Homemade Sunscreen without Zinc Oxide

I made my own homemade sunscreen after finding out that the one I bought at the store had weird ingredients in it.

I didn’t exactly want these to be absorbed into my skin (yes, even despite it being cruelty-free). This recipe was adapted from several different recipes and was my first time making my own sunscreen.

Welcome to my homemade sunscreen recipe without zinc oxide! With just seven ingredients and seven easy steps you can be on your way to enjoying the sun without getting burned!

Homemade Sunscreen Recipe without Zinc Oxide

Ingredients

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1/4 cup shea butter

1/4 cup coconut oil

1/8 cup avocado oil

2 tbsp. beeswax granules

1 tsp. carrot seed oil

1 tsp. red raspberry seed oil

Any essential oils you want to scent it (trust me, you’re going to want to scent it) I used lavender but you can use whatever you want.

Update Note: Readers have commented that citrus essential oils are photosensitive, so you may want to avoid these!

So How Do You Make It?

Step One

In a saucepan, put the shea butter, coconut oil, avocado oil, and beeswax in over medium heat. You’re on your way to having great homemade sunscreen!

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Step Two

Let all of these ingredients melt together, stirring occasionally. The beeswax will be the last thing to melt.

Step Three

After everything is melted, pull the pan off the heat and let it sit until it cools down to room temperature. It’ll look something like this once it’s cooled:

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Step Four

Put the whole thing in the fridge for 15-45 minutes. You want it to set up a bit but not be too firm!

Step Five

Remove pan from the fridge and add the carrot seed oil, red raspberry seed oil, and your essential oils if you want to scent it (I used about 20 drops of lavender in mine). Then stir! You can use a regular spoon for this, it doesn’t matter. When you first start to whip it, it’ll look a little lumpy:

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Step Six

Keep whipping for about two minutes or until smooth. The mixture should look something like this when you are finished:

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Step Seven

Find an appropriate sized jar or container for your homemade sunscreen (whatever you’d prefer to keep your sunscreen in) and scoop the mixture in. Walaah! You are done. I used an old honey jar for mine:

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Note that this doesn’t make that much homemade sunscreen. This jar is pretty small. You may want to double the recipe if you are planning on sharing this or using it a lot. For me, I didn’t want to make a ton because I wasn’t sure how it’d turn out. Now, I’d happily make another batch!

These are the amounts of the SPF in all the ingredients used:

Coconut oil: SPF 5

Shea butter: SPF 5

Red raspberry seed oil: SPF 25-50

Carrot seed oil: SPF 35-40

Avocado oil: SPF 7

Also just FYI, I had to order the beeswax, red raspberry seed oil, and carrot seed oil online. I couldn’t find these at my local stores.

I was able to find the shea butter at the supermarket and I already had the essential oils, avocado oil, and coconut oil on hand. All of these ingredients are a little pricey but the good news is that there will be enough for you to make batches and batches of homemade sunscreen to come.

When I finished it, despite the essential oils, all I could smell was the carrot seed oil. It was an overpowering, strange smell. But, I applied the sunscreen to my arms and face today and my husband smelled my face and said all he could smell was lavender. Hm? Well, okay. If you say so. The man approves. It smells nice.

Why to Use Homemade vs. Store-Bought Sunscreen

So why shouldn’t you just go to the store and buy cruelty-free sunscreen? You can definitely do this, and I’d recommend choosing a natural sunscreen (also called a physical or mineral sunscreen) if you do purchase online or at the store.

These are sunscreens that have an active ingredient of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, which are considered to be much safer than the active ingredients in chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens, although they don’t have the whitecast that mineral ones do, use questionable ingredients such as avobenzone and oxybenzone that have been linked to health problems.

Plus, while some sunscreens have ingredients that are safe (especially if you choose mineral sunscreen instead of chemical), the many of them do not. The other thing is that if you buy a nice sunscreen (mineral, not tested on animals, and natural ingredients), it’s usually expensive, especially if you keep buying it over time. I found a natural sunscreen I really love from Earth Harbor that has an extremely minimal whitecast (not sponsored, I just love this product!), but it’s $25 for an ounce!

Protecting your skin is important, but it shouldn’t have to cost a fortune. It’s more economical to buy ingredients you can use over and over again to make your own homemade sunscreen. Plus, this sunscreen doesn’t leave a whitecast, which is awesome!

A Note on Zinc Oxide

Almost all of the recipes I found online included zinc oxide as one of the ingredients for homemade sunscreen. All of these recipes cautioned the user about not breathing in the particles of zinc oxide.

I was confused by this. If I don’t want to breathe it in, why would I want it touching my skin? Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are considered to be the safest ingredients in natural sunscreens, and I do use them whenever I use store-bought sunscreen, but I chose not to use them for this specific recipe.

I’ve also recently found that some conventional sunscreens contain nanoparticles of zinc oxide which can be absorbed into the bloodstream. You might want to consider looking for a non-nano zinc sunscreen next time you’re shopping for one!

Update to this post: I’ve been using this sunscreen for about a year now and not once been burned. It’s fabulous! I have also found that it loses its potency not long after that time, so I wouldn’t keep it for more than one year.

Happy homemade sunscreen making! 🙂