Natural Homemade Sunscreen – Bug Repellant Option
DIY sunscreen is a simple, natural, and effective way to stay safe in the sun. This homemade sunscreen just takes a few ingredients to whip up and includes an option to help keep bugs away. Follow my tips below on how to make sunscreen that is ultra moisterizing.
To make this recipe, you will need: shea butter, beeswax, coconut oil, non -nano zinc oxide, vitamin e (optional), and essential oils (optional).
This post was updated December 2018
Homemade Sunscreen Backstory
I’m so excited about this recipe! My homemade natural sunscreen recipe is thick, creamy, and super moisturizing! Plus, it has a bug repellant option so you can keep mosquitos at bay while your working in the garden. It’s filled with simple, nourishing ingredients so you don’t have to worry about what kind of crazy cancer causing chemicals you are putting on yourself or your child.
Lately I’ve been thinking a lot more about my skin health, sun protection, and healthy aging (not because I’m getting some wrinkles on my forehead from my overly expressive face or anything… cough cough). Does anyone else find it ironic that even though we are slathering on more sunscreen than ever before that skin cancer is more prevalent?
The truth is sunscreen blocks UV rays which can lead to a vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of many cancers. So we don’t want to completely shy away from the sun. We need about 10 minutes of sun exposure everyday to get the vitamin D we need (source).
I apply sunscreen when I know I will be in the sun for an extended amount of time, especially during the times when the sun in the strongest. Also, I try to wear clothing to cover up and naturally fight sunburn with a diet high in omega 3’s (wild salmon), leafy green vegetables (like kale), and healthy saturated fats (extra virgin coconut oil, butter from grassfed cows, eggs, etc.)
Homemade Sunscreen Tips
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- Mosquito Repellant Sunscreen: To make a sunscreen that repels mosquitos add in citronella, or other repellants like cedarwood, lavender, or peppermint. This works amazing. Before I would go out in the garden for 2 seconds and be eaten alive, but not anymore when I use this bug repellant sunscreen. You can also get a synergy blend like Shield Me.
- Cooling Sunscreen: Add peppermint essential oils to give the sunscreen a cooling effect. It’s kind of like a built in air conditioner!
- Placing in an old deodorant tube makes the sunscreen a roll on. Keep stored in a cool place like the refrigerator to avoid melting.
- This sunscreen has an SPF around 20.
- This sunscreen stays on well and is long lasting. It is water resistant, but not waterproof so apply frequently when in water.
- If you would like thinner sunscreen substitute a tbs or two of shea butter for a liquid oil like almond or jojoba.
- Add more zinc oxide for higher SPF
How To Make Homemade Sunscreen
Natural DIY Sunscreen Ingredients
- 1/2 cup extra virgin coconut oil – has a natural spf and is moisturizing
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 1/4 cup bees wax pellets or grated beeswax – acts to emulsify and keep the homemade sunscreen together
- 2 Tbs non-nano zinc oxide powder – Did you know that Zinc Oxide have antibacterial and anti UV properties? This is why sunscreen includes this ingredient. It prevents the sun from damaging your skin, which is why wearing protection in the sun is vital. A topic like this is quite interesting.
- few drops of Vitamin E-Oil(optional) – helps preserve and moisturize. Plus, vitamin E is great for the skin
- 10-20 drops essential oils (for bug repellant option use citronella, cedarwood, lavender, peppermint etc.) Don’t use photo sensitive essential oils like grapefruit, lemon, orange, etc.
Homemade Sunscreen Directions:
- Place first coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax into a double boiler or mason jar and lightly twist lid.
- Place jar into a pot with a few inches of simmering water and let ingredients melt stirring occasionally.
- Once melted, take mason jar out of the water, and mix in zinc oxide and vitamin E (be careful NOT TO INHALE ZINC OXIDE).
- Allow to cool for a few minutes and stir in essential oils.
- Pour sunscreen into a squeeze bottle like this one, an old deodorant tube, or a mason jar. Keep stored in a cook dry place!
Want more homemade skincare recipes? Check these out!
- Ultimate Guide To Sugar Scrubs
- Homemade Makeup Remover – is my favorite “recipe” and so ridiculously easy.
- Try this Homemade Deodorant For Sensitive Skin
- DIY “Miracle” Night Cream – is the most popular skincare recipe on the blog
- My favorite shea butter and aloe face cream.
Homemade Sunscreen Recipe
Natural Homemade Sunscreen
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
- 1/4 cup Shea Butter
- 1/4 cup bees wax grated and packed
- 2 Tbs Non nano Zinc Oxide Powder
- few drops Vitamin E Oil optional
- 10-20 drops essential oils for bug repellant option use Citronella, Cedar Wood, Lavender, Peppermint
- Place first 3 ingredients into a double boiler or mason jar and lightly twist lid. Place jar into a pot with a few inches of simmering water and let ingredients melt stirring occasionally. Once melted, take mason jar out of the water, and mix in Zinc oxide and vitamin E (be careful NOT TO INHALE ZINC OXIDE). Allow to cool for a few minutes and stir in essential oils. Pour sunscreen into a squeeze bottle like this one, an old deodorant tube, or a mason jar. Keep stored in a cook dry place!
Are you excited about making your own sunscreen? Have you tried making it before?
Where can I buy zinc oxide?
You can click on the link in the recipe. You want to make sure its non nano zinc oxide!
Thanks so much for this – I have vitiligo and have about 80% pigment loss so have to wear sunscreen everyday and am currently totally freaking out about the stuff I am ingesting with it and experimenting with making my own. This would be perfect for milder days when the sun isn’t too strong.
Do you happen to know if the essential oils you posted are safe to use on a baby/ younger children? I have a 6 month old boy and a 7 year old boy. I know I have heard lavender is a no go on boys because it has estrogen mimicking properties (or something to that effect). Curious about the others, cause we live in buggy, sunny florida. Thank you!
I love your dress in the picture on your homepage!
Is the recipe as posted more of a lotion or a stick? I’m confused as it is pictured it a roll up tube and a squeezed lotion dispenser.
So glad to find this, Amy! I’ll be making some! I’m becoming more and more aware what goes on and into our bodies!! Would love for you to share this at our link party on my blog please! 🙂 Look forward to making it!
I have been recently thinking about making my own and naturally sunscreen, as I’m quite sensitive to the majority to commercial sunscreen products. This recipe is even better than what I’m looking for (I’m sensitive to insect/bug bites, too!). Thank you so much for sharing this recipe 🙂
Doesn’t citrus make your skin more sensitive to the sun ?
Great post! I’m always looking for natural alternatives and the fact that it’s both a sunscreen and bug repellant is fantastic. I can’t even find a commercial product that does both. The warning you give about the zinc kinda worries me though (mostly because I know nothing about zinc). Have you considered using carrot seed oil instead? It’s supposed to have the same SPF factor. I’d never heard that until today so here’s the link to the carrot seed sunscreen I found. http://www.thehappierhomemaker.com/2014/05/diy-all-natural-sunscreen.html
If I need a protection of 70% should i used 7 tbs of zinc oxide powder?
I am not sure Silvia. I believe anything over an 50 SPF doesn’t really give you better protection. So you could probably add a little more zinc oxide but 7 seems like too much.
Where did you find the squeezable tube? I have been looking all over the internet for them.
I found it at Walmart actually! In the travel size product section
What can I substitute the bee wax with?
I love the idea of adding peppermint to the sunscreen to make a cooling sensation. My 2 and a half year old would like that. I have bought natural sunscreen before but it is very expensive. Looking forward to trying this recipe.
Natural sunscreen is pretty expensive and I feel like the tubes are so small! Hopefully this will be much more cost effective for you. Also, I believe peppermint extract should be avoided for kids under six due to a possible breathing issues it can cause. And I got your email and I’m going to try to PM you after dinner!
Yes I have heard that about peppermint but I diffuse it in my house. However you are probably right. Maybe I will do he citronelle for bugs instead 🙂 I’m glad you got my email. Look forward to hearing from you.
I am always looking for good options for sunscreen
Hi, great recipe here. I’m planning to make a bug repellent sunscreen for my GF and myself for an upcoming trip to the Yucatan. I have found this product, which seems like a great option to satisfy the bug repellent function:
It has been a while since you wrote this article. Have you found anything new to add to or change the recipe?
I’ve read that adding vanilla can improve the performance of a DIY bug spray, ans since I’ve got it on hand, I’ll throw it in too.
I am curious. You talk about a deodorant stick or a squeeze tube as good receptacles. Which is better for the recipe you posted? I was thinking of just using some old jars. Thanks!