Homemade Natural Sunscreen (and Diaper Cream)

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Note: We currently sell this SunLotion in our online store. It is a seasonal item so we do not restock once summer is over. Visit our store to see what's available and purchase.

Our family has a history of skin cancer, so we are pretty adamant about wearing sunscreen when we will be in full sun for a long period of time (for more information about sun screen vs. sun exposure check out this post).  But have you read the ingredients list on your sunscreen lately?  I did for the first time this summer, and I was not pleased.  They are full of toxins, chemicals, and parabens.  To see how your sunscreen ranks type the name of it into EWG's database.  

I've been wanting to make my own sunscreen all summer long.  I finally did it, and it was surprisingly easy!  We all know the benefits of homemade anything, and this was just one more step I wanted to take (especially for the sake of my two young girls).  So, I searched the internet and finally decided on a recipe from MadeOn that had ingredients I already had on hand.  I did change up the recipe a bit to make it more waterproof and not as oily.  I have only listed measurements for my recipe but you may want to check out the original as well.

This particular sunscreen is smooth, goes on easily, and rubs in nicely.  It has an SPF of about 30.  This is due to the natural SPF of shea butter (6-10), coconut oil (4-10), and zinc oxide.  If a higher SPF is desired, more zinc oxide can be added.  You can see a zinc oxide chart here.  Just know that adding more zinc oxide may also increase the whiteness of the sunscreen as it goes on.  This sunscreen is also waterproof because of the beeswax but should be reapplied after swimming just as any other sunscreen.  One more added bonus to this sunscreen is that it can be used as a diaper rash cream too (it is NOT cloth diaper friendly though).

The ingredients are linked to online stores where they can be purchased.  I measure my ingredients by weight, but I have added an approximate volume measurement for those of you who find it easier.

What you'll need:

1.5 oz. (3 Tbsp.) Beeswax pellets 
4 oz. (1/2 cup) Shea Butter
3.5 oz. (1/2 cup) Coconut oil 
2 oz. (4 Tbsp.) Zinc Oxide

What you'll do:

1. Start a double broiler by placing a glass bowl over a boiling pot of water.  Add your beeswax, shea butter, and coconut oil.  I usually add the coconut oil after the other oils melt because I don't want to burn the coconut oil.  You can stir with a wooden stick to speed up the melting process.

2. Remove glass bowl from double broiler and add zinc oxide.  It may bubble and fizz slightly.  Don't let it frighten you as it did me.  :)  Stir with a wooden stick and then with a hand mixer or stick blender until nice and smooth.  Make sure you clean all utensils right away with a paper towel or the beeswax will stick and be very difficult to clean later on.

3. Pour sunscreen into a glass or plastic jar and let it sit for several hours until it cools.  This can also be poured into an old deodorant tube and used as a stick.  Make sure you label and date it so that everyone knows what it is!  It should keep for up to a year.  

4. When you are ready to use just scoop some out with your fingers and apply as normal or rub over skin if you are using it as a stick.  It may take a bit more rubbing in cooler weather, but it will otherwise go on very smoothly.  


  • You may find it easier to apply this sunscreen if you pour it into a tube (such as an empty deodorant tube or lip balm tube).
  • If you live in colder climates you may want to add less beeswax and more coconut oil.
  • If you live in hotter climates you may want to add more beeswax and less coconut oil.
  • If you don't like the consistency of this sunscreen, you can remelt it and add either more beeswax (to make it harder) or coconut oil (to make it softer).
There you have it - your very own homemade natural sunscreen! I have included affiliate links in this post.
Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com

Note:We now sell this in our online store!  Visit my store to purchase.


  1. found this from the frugally sustainable link. Sounds great but in your research did you find a suitable substitute for shea butter? Most I have recipes I have found called for shea and I'm allergic!

    1. Nicki, I thought I responded yesterday but it's not showing now. Yes, you can substitute with mango, cocoa, or some others I'm sure. I've never experimented with these in this recipe but I think they would work fine.

    2. Oh, and avocado butter may also work!

  2. found this from the frugally sustainable link. Sounds great but in your research did you find a suitable substitute for shea butter? Most I have recipes I have found called for shea and I'm allergic!

    1. You can buy raw organic Shea butter online so it doesn't have any additives. Seems strange to have an allergy to Shea, are you sure the allergy is not to a manmade chemical often used in conjunction with Shea? I use a similar recipe . Shea butter, coconut & grapeseed oils, zinc, lavender oil. Sometimes I add some lotion for consistency but I'll probably omit that in my final product b/c I don't want to have to list all those ingredients. Aloe gel and glycerin can be good too. I'm trying to refine a set recipe as id like to start selling mine and also my homemade deodorant!

  3. in other recipes other butters are substituted. Hemp butter, mango... i made a batch for a friend and put it into an cleaned out deodorant tube. worked very well!

  4. So does this turn out hard i couldnt put in an old squeeze shampoo bottle?

  5. I made this today and i was wondering if the zinc oxide will still have benefits if it's rough. I know when i buy commercial bum cream that some were rough but others weren't. Thanks!

    1. I'm not sure what you mean by rough. It will be larger pieces if you buy non-nano. But it will still work.

  6. Does this product melt while it is being shipped?

  7. Do you need to use safety precautions when working with the powder form of zinc oxide?

    1. Yes, you should wear a mask to avoid inhaling. You should also note that ZO is a positively charged molecule and likes to clump together. It is very unlikely that home mixing will create even dispersion. I'd be curious to know if this product has been sent to a lab to have the SPF verified.

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