homemade sunblock recipe

Some ladies and I recently got to together to do a Natural Cleaning Party where we each made one cleaning item and then swapped so everyone got one of each item. We had liquid laundry detergent, powder laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, glass cleaner, sunscreen and bug spray. I picked sunscreen, mainly because I was interested about learning more about what items have SPF and how to put them together for an effective sunblock. Here’s what I came up with:

Sunblock Recipe ~20-30 SPF – makes approximately five 8oz bottles
Purpose Cost for recipe Cost for entire item
1 ½ c olive oil Carry/thin lotion $8.00 $10 16.9 fl oz
1 ½  coconut oil SPF ~15 $8.95 $17.89 (32 oz)
60 drops lavender EO Fragrance/Soothe Skin $5.25 $21
60 drops helichrysum EO SPF ~10 $11.25 $45
120 drops myrrh EO SPF ~20 $22.50 $22.50 (5 ml)
120 drops carrot seed EO SPF ~38-40 $8.75 $17.50 (5 ml)
¾ c zinc oxide SPF ~20 $5 $20 (1 lb)
¾ c shea butter Carry/moisturize $4.00 $9 (16 oz)
5 oz bees wax waterproof $5.65 $5.65
12 vitamin E capsules Moisturize $0.96 $8 (100 count)
5 – 8oz plastic bottles contain $9.38 $11.25
Total $89.69
Per Bottle $17.94

Melt bees wax, shea butter, coconut oil over a double boiler. Let cool, stirring occasionally. Add the remaining ingredients (use a mask when incorporating the zinc – you don’t want that stuff in your lungs) and let cool even more. When it seems like the mixture is hardening, whip to incorporate thoroughly . Once completely cool, I’ve found the best way to get the lotion into the bottles is to put it all in a gallon sized freezer bag and snip the corner.

To increase the SPF, you can add more zinc oxide (although it will make the lotion mixture much thicker). SPF is calculated based on percentage of total mixture with zinc oxide.

At first glance the cost of this is pretty high, but I used almost exclusively organic ingredients. Commercial organic sunscreens seem to run in the $30-40 range, so it’s not too bad in that comparison. Simply removing the myrrh EO, would take cost down to $13.44, which is a significant difference. The bees wax does make the sunscreen pretty thick and I wonder if using fractionated coconut oil instead of the coconut oil would help thin the sunblock out a little further since FCO is always in liquid state.

Next time, I would like to use jojoba oil (SPF 4) to replace the of olive oil or even better, non-GMO organic soybean oil (SPF 10), maybe add Red Raspberry Seed Oil (SPF between 28-50) and remove the myrrh.

Have any of you ever tried to make your own sunblock? Other homemade cleaning items? What has worked for you?


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1 Comment homemade sunblock recipe

  1. Amanda May 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Orange EO and castile liquid soap mixed is a great kitchen cleaner.

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