How to Make Organic Sunscreen

Protection against the sun's UV rays is essential to maintaining the health of your skin, but many commercial sunscreens contain potentially harmful chemicals that could promote the production of cancer-causing free radicals. You can still protect your skin even without the use of commercial sunscreen, however. Many natural ingredients have SPF properties, and when combined, the right ingredients can form a powerful sunblock.


  • 1/4 cup (56.7 g) beeswax
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) organic coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) organic almond oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) organic sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) organic avocado oil
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) shea butter
  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) organic aloe vera gel
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vitamin E oil
  • 20-30 drop essential oils (carrot seed oil or rose oil)
  • 2 Tbsp (28.3 g) Zinc Oxide (optional)


  1. Image titled Make Organic Sunscreen Step 1
    Fill the bottom portion of a double boiler with a few inches (10 to 20 centimeters) of water. Place the double boiler on the stove and heat over medium-low heat, enough to make the water hot but not boiling. Do not attempt to mix your organic sunscreen over direct heat using a standard sauce pot.
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    Place the beeswax and coconut oil into the upper portion of the double boiler. Slowly heat and stir the two ingredients together with a heat resistant spoon until both have melted into a liquid state and have combined.
    • Beeswax makes your sunscreen water resistant, and coconut oil has a natural SPF between 4 and 6.
  3. Image titled Make Organic Sunscreen Step 3
    Pour the almond, sesame, and avocado oils to the beeswax mixture. Use the same spoon to stir them into the mixture over medium-low heat until thoroughly combined.
    • Almond, sesame, and avocado oils all have a natural SPF of 4 and all have moisturizing properties that help prevent sun-exposed skin from drying out.
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    Remove the beeswax mixture from the heat. Lift the top portion of the double boiler out of the bottom portion and set it down on a heat resistant surface.
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    Add the shea butter to the beeswax mixture. Stir rigorously, with a spoon, to combine. Do not add the shea butter to the mixture before removing it from the heat because shea butter that gets too hot develops a grainy texture.
    • Shea butter has a natural SPF that ranges between 6 and 10.
  6. Image titled Make Organic Sunscreen Step 6
    Put on a face mask that covers your nose and mouth.
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    Add the Zinc Oxide to the beeswax mixture. Stir the mixture vigorously until the powder has completely dissolved. Zinc Oxide has no harmful effects when used topically, but inhaling the substance as a powder can be hazardous to your throat and lungs, which is why you must wear a mask when using it. Sunscreens that use Zinc Oxide are the most effective, but if you are strictly against the use of any chemical additives, this step may be omitted.
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    In a separate small pot, heat the aloe vera gel and vitamin E oil. Use a low heat to prevent the ingredients from burning, and stir them constantly with a heat resistant spoon. Continue heating and stirring until the aloe gel turns into a liquid and combines with the oil.
    • Vitamin E oil nourishes and moisturizes the skin, and aloe vera is a cooling agent that can relieve your skin when it feels hot.
  9. Image titled Make Organic Sunscreen Step 9
    Remove the aloe mixture from the heat and allow it to cool slightly. Do not allow the gel to re-solidify, however. This second mixture should still remain in a liquid state.
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    Place the pot with the aloe mixture into a bowl of ice.
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    Gradually pour the beeswax mixture into the aloe mixture, mixing vigorously. For best results, mix the two liquids together using an electric mixer. Otherwise, use a whisk to beat the liquids together.
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    Once the liquids have combined, add your essential oils. Whisk or beat the oils in.
    • You can use just about any essential oil you want, but carrot seed oil and rose oil are both valued for their aromatic properties, and both have a natural SPF of about 30. You can also mix and match essential oils as long as the resulting smell suits your personal preferences.
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    Pour the liquid sunscreen into a dark glass jar with a lid. Plant oils tend to be sensitive to light, so the jar must be dark. Glass works best because it is the least reactive material.
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    Store the jar of sunscreen in the refrigerator. It should solidify within a few hours and be ready for use the following day. When properly stored, this sunscreen should last up to six months.


  • The above sunscreen has a thick, creamy texture, similar to that of a body butter, but you can use more beeswax if you want a thicker sunscreen or less if you want it to be more like a lotion.
  • You can also use vanilla extract instead of or alongside the essential oils. Vanilla extract has a strong smell that goes well with the fragrance of coconut oil.


  • If you plan on swimming, reapply this sunscreen after getting out of the water. While the sunscreen is water resistant, it will wash away if immersed for a prolonged period of time.
  • The above recipe is not FDA approved.

Things You'll Need

  • Double boiler
  • Heat resistant spoon
  • Face mask
  • Small saucepan
  • Bowl of ice
  • Whisk
  • Electric mixer
  • Dark glass jar with a lid

Article Info

Categories: Sun and Sunless Tanning | Handmade Cosmetics