An Uncomplicated Life Blog: DIY Nontoxic Sunscreen

Thursday, May 19, 2016

DIY Nontoxic Sunscreen

Traditional sunscreen is full of chemicals proven to disrupt hormone balances and have been linked to cancer. But you can make this DIY nontoxic sunscreen in about 15 minutes!

Blah blah blah, I love my essential oils. Duh. But what I'm really loving about them most is learning how to use them to make super easy, super affordable and super health-friendly beauty DIY's! Last summer the news was filled with the link between spray sunscreen and cancer, as you breathe in all those chemicals as a fine mist. I don't know why they're still sold, honestly. If you're pregnant, breastfeeding or planning on becoming pregnant, you definitely don't want to use traditional sunscreen because the chemicals raise estrogen levels. Yuck! So let's talk about how to make this super easy DIY nontoxic sunscreen and how effective it is.

Super easy DIY to make your own safe, nontoxic sunscreen using essential oils and natural products!

Coconut oil has a naturally occurring SPF factor around SPF 5 (I've read anywhere from SPF 3-10). Carrot seed oil has about a SPF factor of 30-40! And zinc oxide puts a physical barrier between the sun's rays and your skin. So this DIY nontoxic sunscreen is estimated to be about SPF 35 (actually, it's much higher but I like to err on the safe/low side.)

I've tested it myself and have zero sunburn, even after being out in the brightest sun of the day. Yes, it's already been 80-90 degrees down here in Texas for the past month, so I feel confident in passing along this DIY to you as an effective sunscreen. I will say this though! You have to apply it every hour. The coconut oil will stay on your skin but if you're sweating excessively (anyone else a big sweater? I am. Maybe it's the heat here but dang... I wish that was a problem I didn't have!) or if you're swimming you'll want to make sure you're reapplying it to protect your skin. There's no chemicals to preserve its effect like conventional sunscreen, so. You know. Apply it often!

- 3oz coconut oil
- 2T zinc oxide

Melt the coconut oil over a double boiler. I like to put it in the freezer for about 5 mins to thicken it up a bit. Then add the zinc oxide slowly, mixing with a whisk the whole time. Make sure to cover your mouth/nose with a mask of some sort so that you don't breathe in the zinc oxide, and don't have your children or pets around when you mix this! After incorporating the zinc oxide, add your essential oils. Carrot seed provides the SPF coverage while lavender provides calming properties for your skin - and makes the DIY nontoxic sunscreen smell nice!

How to make your own safe, nontoxic sunscreen with essential oils and natural products with a SPF of over 30!

Like I said, I tried this on me and it worked great! If you like more of a "lotion" you can add Shea butter - use equal amounts of coconut oil and Shea butter and whip them together with a mixer, then follow the rest of the directions as stated. This creates a more traditional, lotion-y texture. I can't wait to toss out my children's sunscreen and use this DIY nontoxic sunscreen on them this summer season. It's so easy to make and a really effective way to omit the chemical-laden junk out of your life!


  1. I bet the sunscreen made with shea butter is exquisite... especially for adult skin! Thanks for sharing this just in time for summer.

  2. This is such a great DIY! Nontoxic sunscreen can be so expensive and I love that with this you can adjust the thickness to your liking! How do you come up with all of this? Amazing!

  3. I almost want to get into essential oils just for this DIY recipe in itself. I'm going to Barbados in July and was just thinking this morning that I need to stock up on sunscreen. I'm a ginger and burn like a mofo and acquire 45,709 more freckles every time I'm in the sun.

  4. Haha I totally had this post in draft. Great minds! I love this sunscreen but loathe the smell of the carrot seed. The lavender helps balance out the smell. Shea butter is where it's at too. Goes on so nice.

  5. this basically just blew my mind. i had no idea you could make your own sunscreen.

  6. I showed my mom this, so we'll be making it this weekend. Picked up the ingredients this afternoon when we were running errands too! Might even snap it!

  7. I don't know, guys...

    I don't meant to cause any drama; I just want to make sure we all stay safe from the sun!

    1. Hey Laura, I'd respond to you via email but you're a no reply blogger so I can't!

      Two thoughts: 1) you do know that you cited a blog post, a conversation forum and two facebook statuses from various fan pages as "scientific evidence" right? And therefore, those opinions are as valid as my own in regards to sunscreen? If you cited a peer reviewed scientific journal entry, then we could talk. But cite blog posts, conversation and the lowest of all, Facebook statuses, and you've got me chuckling over here! More importantly, 2) even your "sources" say that one of these ingredients alone is not sunscreen. That's correct! It's not. It's the mixture of all of them that creates the SPF effect. Most notably, zinc oxide. Do you know how zinc oxide works? It provides a physical barrier between your skin and the suns UVA/UVB rays. So oils aside, this will provide an SPF for you. THAT'S scientific fact. Which even your "sources" concede to, if you read them in full. In fact, they even take it a notch above what I say and promise an SPF of 40!

      If you're not into natural beauty products and essential oils, that's cool! Not everyone is. But before you start citing non-scientific evidence to discredit my post all in the name of "staying safe in the sun" I suggest you really look into what's in conventional sunscreens. Look into what they do to you, your hormones, and the links they have to terminal diseases. Look at American standards vs. European standards. You might not feel so safe with your conventional products after all... And if you do come around to my way of thinking, I post DIYs here monthly and would love to have you give them a try!

    2. I made my sunscreen with grapeseed oil, fractionated coconut oil and carrotseed oil. It works great! So you can debunk all you want. It does work.

  8. I LOVE your DIYs! Can you please bring this on girl's weekend? I need to test this out. You know my porcelain skin will put it to the ultimate test! You and I are like two sides from the same coin - you with your natural beauty DIYs and me with my hear-no-evil-see-no-evil mentality. ;)