Homemade Sunscreen

A few years ago I started hearing statements from random places that perhaps sunscreen caused more cancer than it prevented, so of course I started choosing to put a hat on my children (when they would wear it) instead of smearing sunscreen on them.  When I found this recipe last year in Mother Earth News, I knew it was my answer.  It took me until this month to actually gather the ingredients, but making it is super easy.  I ordered all the ingredients from Amazon (except I used beeswax from my bees).  I just grated it up with a cheese grater.

I used apricot seed oil instead of almond oil.  I prefer apricot as  it has a longer shelf life because of the high vitamin E content.  

Here is the recipe I used (I tweaked the Mother Earth News version) :


½ C coconut oil

½ C shea butter

¼ C apricot seed oil

3 ½ T zinc oxide powder

4 T beeswax (grated)

30 drops lavender essential oil


Instead of warming the oils up to incorporate them, I put them all into the blender for 15-30 seconds and….all done!  Even the beeswax blends quickly.

So easy, not expensive and LOOK AT THE INGREDIENTS!  Does that look healthy or what?  I’ve started using it as my daily moisturizer.  It feels so light on the skin.  Shea butter will not clog pores like cocoa butter can.  And it works!

It isn’t even an exact science.  Want it thicker, add more beeswax.  Want more sun protection, add more zinc oxide powder.  Not convinced that it is worth the time to mix up your own?  There are many sources on the web that may change your mind.

  •  In an article entitled  “Does Sunscreen Lotion Actually Cause Cancer”, some serious and valid concerns are raised about both the chemicals in sunscreen as well as the efficacy of the sunscreen claims.  “Both UV radiation and many common sunscreen ingredients generate free radicals that damage DNA and skin cells, accelerate skin aging and cause skin cancer. An effective sunscreen prevents more damage than it causes, but sunscreens are far better at preventing sunburn than at limiting free radical damage.”


  Sometimes I am surprised at what marketing convinces us to do.  Like consume food not even worthy of the name “food”, and smear chemicals we don’t even know are safe all over ourselves and our children every day in the name of “saftey”.  Sometimes, we need to step back and say, “I can do better than that”.  And luckily, this one isn’t even hard to do.

-Ivie Dotson