How to Make Homemade Sunscreen

How to Make Homemade Sunscreen

How to Make Homemade Sunscreen


With the sun’s relentless rays becoming increasingly harsh, sunscreen has become an everyday necessity. But have you ever wondered about the chemicals lurking in commercial sunscreens? If you’re concerned about what you’re putting on your skin, it’s time to explore the world of homemade sunscreen.

In this guide, we’re going to delve into the art of crafting your very own sun protection. Homemade sunscreen isn’t just about avoiding synthetic ingredients; it’s a fun and customizable way to shield your skin from the sun’s harmful effects. Whether you have sensitive skin, an eco-friendly mindset, or simply enjoy a DIY project, creating your sunscreen is not only cost-effective but allows you to have complete control over what goes on your skin. Get ready to embark on a journey of sun protection that’s safe, effective, and uniquely tailored to your needs.

Understanding Sun Protection

Before we dive into the world of homemade sunscreen, it’s essential to understand the basics of sun protection. The sun emits two types of harmful UV rays: UVA and UVB.

  • UVA rays can prematurely age your skin, leading to wrinkles, age spots, and a loss of skin elasticity.
  • UVB rays, on the other hand, are responsible for causing sunburn and can contribute to the development of skin cancer.

This is where sunscreen comes into play. Sunscreens contain active ingredients that either absorb, scatter, or reflect the UV rays, reducing their penetration into the skin. This protection is measured by the Sun Protection Factor (SPF), with higher SPF values signifying increased protection.

Why Make Your Own Sunscreen?

How to Make Homemade Sunscreen

So, why should you consider making your own sunscreen? There are several compelling reasons:

  1. Control Over Ingredients: When you make your sunscreen, you have complete control over the ingredients used. You can choose natural, skin-loving components and avoid potentially harmful chemicals found in some commercial sunscreens.
  2. Avoiding Harmful Chemicals: Many commercial sunscreens contain chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which have raised concerns about their impact on our health and the environment. Homemade sunscreen allows you to eliminate these worries.
  3. Environmentally Friendly: By using natural and eco-friendly ingredients, you can reduce your ecological footprint. Homemade sunscreen is a sustainable choice that aligns with green living principles.
  4. Cost-Effective: Homemade sunscreen can be more budget-friendly in the long run. Once you have the essential ingredients, you can make multiple batches, saving you money in the process.

Gathering Supplies and Ingredients

Before you embark on your homemade sunscreen journey, it’s essential to gather all the necessary supplies and ingredients. Here’s what you’ll need:


  • Double boiler or heat-safe bowl
  • Mixing utensil (preferably a wooden or silicone spatula)
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Airtight containers for storage (preferably glass jars)


  1. Natural Oils: These form the base of your sunscreen and provide essential moisturization. Some popular options include coconut oil, almond oil, and jojoba oil.
  2. Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide: These mineral ingredients are your primary sources of UV protection. They act as a physical barrier, reflecting and scattering UV rays.
  3. Beeswax or Shea Butter: These ingredients help give your sunscreen a solid and spreadable consistency.
  4. Essential Oils: Not only do essential oils provide a pleasant fragrance, but they also offer additional skin benefits. Lavender, chamomile, and carrot seed oil are popular choices.
  5. Vitamin E Oil: This antioxidant-rich ingredient helps prolong the shelf life of your sunscreen while providing nourishment for your skin.

In the next section, we’ll delve into the process of making homemade sunscreen, guiding you through each step.

Calculating SPF

How to Make Homemade Sunscreen

Before you start mixing ingredients, it’s important to understand how to calculate the SPF of your homemade sunscreen. SPF primarily depends on the amount of zinc oxide or titanium dioxide in your formula. The higher the percentage of these minerals, the higher the SPF.

You can roughly estimate the SPF of your sunscreen by using the following formula:



For example, if you use 20 grams of zinc oxide in a 100-gram batch of sunscreen, your SPF would be approximately 20.

In the next section, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of making homemade sunscreen, ensuring you achieve the SPF you desire while maintaining safety and efficacy.

Making Homemade Sunscreen

How to Make Homemade Sunscreen

Step 1: Preparing a Double Boiler

To begin, set up a double boiler or a heat-safe bowl placed over a pot of simmering water. This gentle heat source will melt your ingredients without direct exposure to high temperatures, preserving their properties.

Step 2: Combining Ingredients

Measure and combine your natural oils (around 80% of your recipe), beeswax or shea butter (10-15%), and the essential oils (a few drops for fragrance and added benefits) in the double boiler or heat-safe bowl. Stir these ingredients together until they melt and blend.

Step 3: Melting and Mixing

Once your base ingredients are well combined, it’s time to add the zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Gradually incorporate this UV-blocking mineral into the mixture, stirring continuously to ensure even distribution.

Step 4: Testing for Consistency

Before transferring your homemade sunscreen to storage containers, test its consistency. Allow a small amount to cool slightly and apply it to your skin. Adjust the thickness by adding more natural oils or mineral ingredients, depending on your preference.

Step 5: Cooling and Storing

Once you achieve the desired consistency, remove the mixture from heat and let it cool slightly. Pour it into clean, airtight containers, such as glass jars, and allow it to cool completely. Label your containers with the SPF value and the date of preparation.

Step 6: Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you encounter any issues during the process, such as clumping or an uneven mixture, you can troubleshoot them with simple adjustments. We’ve included a troubleshooting section in this guide to help you overcome common challenges.

Testing Your Homemade Sunscreen

How to Make Homemade Sunscreen

Before you start using your homemade sunscreen regularly, it’s essential to conduct a few tests:

  1. Skin Patch Test: Apply a small amount of your homemade sunscreen to a small area of your skin and monitor it for any adverse reactions for 24 hours.
  2. UV Testing: If you have access to a UV testing device, you can measure the effectiveness of your sunscreen. Remember that achieving the exact SPF as labeled on commercial products may be challenging with homemade sunscreen.
  3. Shelf Life and Storage Recommendations: Homemade sunscreen doesn’t contain the preservatives found in commercial products, so it has a limited shelf life. Be sure to store it in a cool, dark place and use it within a reasonable time frame.

Customizing Your Sunscreen

One of the joys of making homemade sunscreen is the ability to customize it according to your preferences and skin’s unique needs. Here are a few ways you can personalize your homemade sunscreen:

  1. Scent and Fragrance Options: Experiment with various essential oils to create a sunscreen with your favorite scent. Lavender, eucalyptus, and citrus oils are popular choices.
  2. Tinted Sunscreen Variations: Add natural pigments like cocoa powder or non-nano zinc oxide to create a tinted sunscreen that also acts as a light foundation.
  3. Specialized Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin: If you have sensitive or easily irritated skin, choose hypoallergenic ingredients and essential oils that soothe rather than irritate.

Safety Precautions

As you embark on your journey of creating homemade sunscreen, it’s crucial to prioritize safety:

  1. Handling Ingredients Safely: Be cautious when handling zinc oxide or titanium dioxide powder. Wear a mask to avoid inhaling the particles, and ensure that the area is well-ventilated.
  2. Allergen Awareness: If you have known allergies to any of the ingredients, avoid using them in your sunscreen. Perform a patch test before applying it to larger areas of your skin.
  3. Sunscreen Application Tips: Apply your homemade sunscreen generously and evenly to all exposed skin areas before heading outdoors. Reapply every two hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating.


Creating homemade sunscreen is not just a skincare project; it’s a statement of conscious living and a commitment to your health. By making your sunscreen, you gain control over the ingredients you apply to your skin, avoid harmful chemicals, contribute to environmental sustainability, and save money in the process. So, why not embark on this DIY adventure? With the knowledge and guidelines provided in this guide, you’re well on your way to crafting your unique, natural, and effective homemade sunscreen. Enjoy the sun safely!

Additional Resources

  • Further Reading: Explore more about the benefits of homemade skincare and sunscreen through recommended books and online resources.
  • References to Scientific Studies: Access relevant scientific studies and articles that discuss the impact of commercial sunscreen ingredients on health and the environment.
  • Recommended Suppliers for Ingredients: Discover trusted suppliers for the key ingredients needed to make homemade sunscreen, ensuring product quality and safety.

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