DIY Sunscreen – Easy To Make (and why YOU need this recipe)!


I have been sitting on this sunscreen recipe post (and not sharing it with all of you) for a loooong time.

Whew! I feel better getting that out. 

So, just exactly why have I been sitting on this post? Well, you know that I keep it real with all of you. So, here goes…

I tried my hand at multiple DIY sunscreen recipes last summer. A few were total flops, a few were okay, and a few were pretty good. …but, I wasn’t completely happy with any of them.

So, being ‘Scratch’ Mommy, off I went into my laboratory to create my own. Oh, the thrill I get out of creating new awesome DIYs in my laboratory (…okay, it’s my kitchen…) for my family and all of you.
Scratch Mommy DIY (or buy) Healthy Sunscreen

So, why was I holding onto this recipe for so long?

Well, after the first attempt I was shocked. Honestly (with all modesty out the window), it was perfect in the first attempt (which rarely happens). So, I made another batch (just to be sure). Yup, it really was THAT GOOD.

As many of you know, I have my own Scratch Mommy Skincare line, so I didn’t even think about putting it onto the blog…it went straight into my shop so I could offer it to all of you.


Perhaps. …but, it is what it is.

Please, allow me to further explain…
DIY Sunscreen - YOU Can Make This!!! Easy, Effective, Non-Toxic...perfect for you and the family! Learn how YOU can make your own sunscreen! Recipe by Scratch Mommy

It wasn’t until I published my easy and effective DIY deodorant recipe (with NO baking soda) that I realized just how many people LOVE the idea of DIYs, but simply don’t have either the…


…to make these DIYs. So, I created and published my DIY deodorant recipe and it was an immediate hit, here’s the kicker…not only was the recipe a hit, it was a smash hit as a seller in my shop. If you ask me, that is #winning. The DIYers get to make it and everyone else can simply purchase my healthy deodorant.

I recently did the same thing with my Smooth Finish Organic DIY Foundation (with sunscreen). The DIY recipe has been a hit AND it has been a hit in my shop.

So, it occurred to me that maybe I should publish this sunscreen recipe.

Scratch Mommy DIY Sunscreen - Mad Scientist In Action

The ‘Mad Scientist’ Hard At Work. ;)

***Plus, you have a recipe from my archives that uses zinc oxide (the DIY foundation recipe) and NOW you have another one! Again…#winning (if you ask me).

How Good Is This Sunscreen?

I’ve received loads of wonderful feedback from customers, including this one from Amy:

Best sun screen of all time! My son did not get sun burned one time this summer even after spending 8 weeks at day camp! My husband will even use it! Thank you Scratch Mommy for making these products for those of us who do not have the time and/or talent for making them ourselves, but still want to use products we trust without harsh chemicals and generally yucky ingredients!

Now, why should you make it (or buy it)?

First, the overwhelming majority of sunscreens on the market today are, well…….horrific. These are some of the most common ingredients found in sunscreens today…

  • Oxybenzone- Detected in mother’s milk, widespread skin allergies, mimics estrogen in the body, linked to endometriosis, etc etc etc.
  • Octinoxate (Octylmethoxycinnamate)- Again, found in mother’s milk, allergy concerns, and also acts as a hormone in the body.
  • 4-MBC and 3-BC- I’m not even going to go here…you know that these numbers and letters together can’t possibly be good. Yes, I appreciate and love chemistry (and have a minor in chemistry…which doesn’t really mean much…lol), but I steer clear of things in my skincare products I cannot pronounce or do not know what they mean. I do more research. I’m just leaving this one alone, as I don’t need to know, really. It’s not a necessary ingredient, that I know.

Mmmm hmmmmm. Not so good, eh?

One thing I hear from many Scratch Mommy customers is that they are happy to have found a sunscreen that is actually safe…not cancer causing. I have a lot of frequent customers who are cancer survivors, and treating them and their bodies is of the utmost importance to me.

Americans must choose between “chemical” sunscreens, which have inferior stability, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the body’s hormone system, and “mineral” sunscreens, made with zinc and titanium, often “micronized” or containing nano-particles.1

**This recipe is not a “chemical” sunscreen, in the way that people typically think of chemicals as being ‘bad’.

**This recipe calls for a particular type of zinc oxide, and I advise you take heed–> Please, Please, PLEASE do NOT purchase inferior zinc oxide. You want to make sure that the zinc oxide you purchase is non-nano AND is NOT coated.2 3 You can read more about zinc oxide at the end of this post (and I hope that you do).

With THIS recipe, you do not have to choose between “chemical” sunscreen and “micronized” particles sunscreen.

Once again… #WINNING!!!!!

DIY Sunscreen Recipe - Easy, Effective, Non-Toxic - By Scratch Mommy
The recipe amounts below make approximately 8 oz.



  • Double-boiler (I make my own with a glass bowl over a simmering pot of shallow H2O)
  • Kitchen Scale (this is…BY FAR…my favorite kitchen scale (very affordable and Amazon Prime); read more about it in this post that I wrote)
  • Mask (or hold your shirt over your mouth…you do not want to breathe in the zinc oxide, so make sure little ones aren’t around when you make this)
  • Container(s) (I give you a few options below)

Make It:

  • Place your glass bowl on your scale, hit tare.
  • Add all ingredients (one-by-one, hitting tare in between) EXCEPT the zinc oxide.
  • Place glass bowl over pot of shallow, simmering H2O. Melt ingredients completely (stir with a whisk to help it along).
  • Carefully remove from stove and wipe down condensation on bowl (you do not want H2O getting into your product).
  • Place bowl on scale, hit tare.
  • Add zinc oxide…slowly…until you get to 40g. Again, add this slooooowly…as the zinc settles the amount will increase on your scale.
  • Whisk, whisk, whisk (and whisk some more!) and then carefully pour into container of your choice.
  • This will take a few minutes to set up…just walk away and leave it alone to quietly set up.

Non-Nano, Not Micronized, Non-Coated Zinc Oxide - Scratch Mommy.jpg
Want To Know More About Zinc Oxide?

The zinc oxide I use in my sunscreen (and suggest that you use) is uncoated, non-nano, and not micronized. This all means that there are not nano-sized particles entering your body, which many other sunscreens certainly cannot claim. The FDA does not regulate this yet, but I think that they should and I take it very seriously with my sunscreen products.3

Because I use zinc oxide that is not micronized (meaning that the particles aren’t crushed into super small parts that enter our bodies), this sunscreen is like a thick, incredibly soft butter. It melts when it hits your skin and it rubs it in beautifully, but it is not thin and runny like other (‘bad’ chemical-filled) sunscreens. I actually appreciate this very much.

What About SPF?

I do not have equipment to scientifically measure levels of SPF, however, through all of the research I have done, I can tell you that my sunscreen is at least SPF 20, possibly higher. This is a broad spectrum sunscreen and will provide protection from both UVA and UVB sun rays.

The recipe as written here contains approximately 20% zinc oxide. This gives you at least a 20 SPF. (Coconut oil has a natural SPF factor, too, so that’s helpful).

Speaking of…did you know that the higher the SPF number does not really mean better coverage? Really, it’s true! Do a quick (scholarly) Google search! I have learned that SPF protection does not increase proportionally to an increase in SPF. For example, an SPF of 2 absorbs 50% of UV rays, SPF 15 absorbs 93%, and an SPF of 34 absorbs 97% of UV rays. Interesting, huh?4

Here is a good guide if you wish to change up the level of protection (but remember, adding more or less zinc oxide will change the ‘feel’ of the sunscreen, making it thicker or thinner)…

  • SPF 2-5: Use 5% zinc oxide
  • SPF 6-11: Use 10% zinc oxide
  • SPF 12-19: Use 15% zinc oxide
  • SPF 20+: Use 20% zinc oxide (which is what I use in this recipe)

How Does This Sunscreen ‘Work’ & Feel AND HOW Do I Apply It?

Just like other sunscreens, you should reapply this at least every hour. I add beeswax to this recipe, which helps it stay on in the water, but like many other sunscreens, it will come off with water play (and excessive sweating). For me, reapplying often is a small price to pay to decrease my toxic load. We are bombarded with toxins everyday. Things I can do to eliminate them, I do as often as I can. This is one thing I can do and can do successfully.

Also, this sunscreen will ‘set up’ when in cold temperatures and will ‘melt down’ (some) when really hot. None of this affects the function of the sunscreen, at all. If it gets cold and solidifies, put it somewhere warm and vice versa.

***Mineral sunscreens are different than other typical, toxic sunscreens on the market today. This recipe does not contain toxic ingredients that soak into your skin and provide ‘water proofing’. Mineral sunscreens like this do not penetrate your skin. They sit on top of your skin and reflect the sun’s rays. This means that you HAVE to reapply (generously) often.

Just to drive the point home, “…applying half the amount of sunscreen you should use provides only the square root of the SPF, so a half application of SPF 30 only gives you an SPF 5.5.”1

Scratch Mommy Sunscreen - Organic, Non-Toxic, Healthy, Effective, DIY or BUY!
More Possible Questions

Will this sunscreen make me look ‘white’?

No, it will not. At first, it will go on white, but once you rub it in and head into the sun it will melt onto your skin, feel nourishing (as it is!), and will not appear white. Please, apply a generous amount of sunscreen. You WILL look white at first. Then, keep rubbing and it will dissolve into your skin.

Will all of the zinc oxide dissolve when I’m making it?

Mostly, but not all. You will likely have a little bit of zinc oxide at the bottom of your bowl. I do not add this into my containers (as it is a bit grainy in texture and will appear more white when applied), but you certainly can, if you wish.

I have used pipettes to grab the leftover and put it into a lip balm stick for application on the face. I have also poured it into a separate container and use it on my toddler (who doesn’t care if he looks a little white) when I know that we will be out and about in the hot sun for a while.

I want mine to be thicker (or runnier)…what do I do?

Easy! Simply adjust the ratio of oils to shea butter. More shea butter will give you a thicker texture and more oil will give you a more runny texture. That said, I think that the ratios provided in this recipe are pretty spot-on (for what I like, anyway…but we all have different tastes and desires).

Adding 25g of zinc will still give you excellent coverage, but it will be thinner for an easier application. I wouldn’t add more than 40g of zinc…you will likely be pasty white and the sunscreen will be pretty thick.

Dang!!! That zinc oxide is cheap, but the shipping is expensive (and there’s a fee)! Help!??

I recommend New Directions Aromatics for zinc oxide, as they are the best I have found. No…I do not have an affiliate relationship with them…it’s just the best quality I have found and what I trust for my own family.

That said, they have a minimum order total of $100 to avoid a $20 transaction fee. If you aren’t purchasing $100 in total goods, you will be charged a $20 transaction fee (and their shipping is not cheap).

So…yes, I can help. Please head over to my blog skincare shop to place an order. I ONLY want to help those who need a small amount to make this recipe or my foundation recipe. For large amounts, please order from New Directions Aromatics!

What type of container should I use?

Well, that is entirely up to you. I like glass, BUT if you are taking this to the beach or pool that may not be the best option for you.

This recipe creates about 8oz of sunscreen. A quick Amazon search shows me the following that might work for you…

How long with this last?

Great question. The Vitamin E gives it pretty good stability, in terms of preservative action. That said, you don’t want to put dirty fingers into your container, which will invite bacteria.

Depending on the carrier oil you use, this will last anywhere from 6 months to over a year (or more). I store mine in a dark, cool closet. Also, you can place it in your fridge for even longer keep. Yes, it will ‘set up’, but will ‘thin out’ when you remove it. Mine lasts over a year. You’ll know it has gone bad by a funky smell.

I Love This Recipe!!! …will you please make it for me?

Yes, of course. I am happy to offer this for sale in my shop. I would love to whip some up for you and ship it your way.

You can find the various sizes that I offer for sale HERE in my organic skincare shop.

Shop Scratch Mommy Organic Skincare

Who is ready to D-I-Y!??? Well, hop to it, my friends!!!!

Until next time…

Jess, aka Scratch Mommy

******This is a homemade sun protection product. I am simply providing my recipe to you. I also offer this product for sale in my organic skincare shop. That said, I have NOT had this tested in a lab, as that’s a pretty expensive endeavor. Please, be sure to contact your doctor, naturopath, researcher, ND, etc if you have any questions and or concerns with anything mentioned in this post. I am not a doctor or PhD researcher (…I only have a MSEd in Higher Education…I’m now just a crazy researching gal who wants to help my family and others in a more natural manner).

This post was shared at: Tending The Home Tuesdays, Show Me What Ya Got, Weekend Re-Treat Party, From The Farm Blog Hop, Simply Natural Saturdays, Wildcrafting Wednesday.

Founder + Publisher + Chief Scientist + Handcrafter behind Scratch Mommy and Scratch Mommy Organic Skincare. Loves her loyal customers, whipping up a batch of body butter, playing in the sandbox with her son, and tickling feet with her husband, oh and a good organic wine or beer. Favorite Scratch Mommy Post: DIY Smooth Finish Foundation With Sunscreen.

110 thoughts on “DIY Sunscreen – Easy To Make (and why YOU need this recipe)!

  1. Kim

    First of all, you have no need to apologize for not sharing the recipe earlier. You are so generous to share so many of your recipes.
    I recently made a very similar recipe and was also amazed at how easy it was and how well it turned out. I was trying to make a sunscreen that my fair-skinned redheaded son wouldn’t mind using daily. He was complaining that the sunscreens he had aggravated his acne, so he was not using them regularly. I added some tea tree oil to the recipe I made to see if it would help with that. I haven’t heard a verdict from him yet, but when I tried it on myself it felt great on my face! Anyway, thought I’d throw that out there for those looking for something more “face friendly” for teens and young adults with acne struggles. I can’t convince him to try the “oil washing method” so figured I’d try this and see what he thinks.

  2. Kathie Adair

    I am fortunate to be the neighbor of “Scratch Mommy”. Many times Jessica has asked me if I would like to be a guinea pig for one of her new creations. I don’t even have to ask what it is. I just say, “Oh, heck yes.” Never have I been disappointed. The Sunscreen is no exception. I used two different versions last summer. As most of us do, I spend a lot of time outside in the summer. Both versions not only prevented sun burn but left my skin feeling moisturized. It wasn’t slimy and I was happy about that. Even the tops of my ears were safe. This Sunscreen is a home run!!!
    Jessica is the “mad scientist” of the neighborhood and the rest of us benefit from her dedication. Thanks Jessica for another fantastic product. I’m ready to be your guinea pig any time!

    Kathie Adair

  3. Maria

    I’m allergic to beeswax (I know, so weird), so I was wondering what I could use instead to maintain the consistency of the sun screen.
    Thank you for posting this recipe!!!

    1. Leslie

      I am allergic to beeswax too…well not to the beeswax exactly, but severe allergy to propolis, which is sometimes present in beeswax. I was going to ask the same question.

  4. jillian

    Hi There- This looks incredible and I’d like to try it. I don’t have a scale, however. Is there a way to measure this with cups, tsp, Tbsp? Thanks!

    1. Kat

      Yes, please! I second this! If it’s not too much to ask, I’d LOVE to see your recipe in teaspoons if possible.

        1. diy nurse

          You don’t want this recipe in cups/ounces – those are measures of volume where grams are a measure of weight… weight and volume can’t always be interchanged. You are better off using a scale and these weight measures than attempting to convert the recipe to volume. :)

    1. Scratch Mommy

      Hello! Great question. Absolutely. Most other butters will work just fine, like a mango butter. Check the link above for Shea butter. From there you’ll see lots of other butter choices. Happy and healthy DIYing to you! :)

  5. Michelle

    Do you any samples available of the sunscreen? or Do you have a guarantee in case someone is allergic to the product? Last summer my daughter had an allergic reaction to sunscreen/sunblock (itchy, blistery rash). We have been trying to narrow down the source of the allergy and we think it is in the benzone family (Oxybenzone and Avobenzone), but we are still trying to narrow it down. She has an outdoor summer job for this summer and we are trying to find a sunscreen that will work. Thanks for your time.

  6. Karin

    I am very allergic to coconut oil, is there another base oil that can be substituted? My son has battled Luekemia and so we are very careful to always use sunblock. I would love safer options that we aren’t allergic to. Thank you for your help!

  7. Amanda

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this!!! I’ve hated the idea of putting all those chemicals onto and into my body with store bought sunscreen! I’ve been looking for a recipe and will be putting this one to use this summer! My cousin and I are going to be working on our own lotions and chapstick this summer too.

  8. Andrea

    I’m far too lazy to make this (laundry soap is pretty much the limit of my patience), but you’ve made a good enough case for me to buy a little of your sunscreen to take for a test drive.

    I live at 5000 feet in southern Arizona. This is about as extreme as it gets for sun exposure in the US. To top it off, I burn with a mighty quickness. Scandinavian heritage, and all that. If I can make it through my Saturday farmers markets unscathed, you’ll have a customer for life.

    1. Andrea

      Ok. Took this stuff for a test drive and it worked beautifully. Only one application at 7:00 am, and I came through my entirely outdoor saturday without changing color. That’s pretty amazing for this pasty white lady. I have to use the commercial spf40+ sunscreens for these results. Bonus points for it not irritating my eyes! And no breakout.

  9. Sally

    I searched for the zinc oxide on the new directions aromatics site you recommend and that product doesn’t exist there it seems. Do you have another resource?

    Thanks for the great recipe!

  10. Amanda Gregory

    I am allergic to zinc oxide. I’ve been using sunscreens that contain titanium dioxide but they’re so expensive. Any ideas?

    1. Rachel Johnson

      Someone told me young carrot seed oil is a natural sunscreen. I havent tried as i dont know where i would find it?

  11. Sharon

    I have a friend who is allergic to sunscreens with alcohol in them. It doesn’t look like yours have any alcohol in the active ingredients or even inactive ingredients too. I would like to refer her to order from your website, but I just want to make sure first. Thanks!

  12. j

    I strongly suggest people not use this, Zinc Oxide has been determine to cause massive DNA damage and cancer. The sun radiation hitting the zinc molecule causes liberation of high energy electrons (see any physics/chem/organic chem text book) . This electron shreds DNA , which leads to formation of cancer. Because the skin is the highest division rate, it is the highest rate of cancer, adding zinc or other metals increases this rate. These findings can be found on pub med, or other science papers search. (published in january 2011-2012 i believe ) DO NOT USE ON CHILDREN!!!!!

      1. Scratch Mommy

        Hi Andrea,

        It appears as though you commented here previously after making my non-toxic sunscreen recipe and it worked for you. Great! I just saw your most recent comment come through re: toxicity. I am not sure I am following you…?

        You can learn more from EWG (a very reputable organization) re: zinc oxide. You’ll quickly see that it is not toxic like the other things I mentioned in my post, at all.



        If you have any research-based studies to pass my way I am happy to read them.

        Thanks for stopping by,

    1. Scratch Mommy

      Hi there,

      Thanks for stopping by. Please see my comments in this thread re: toxicity of zinc oxide. It’s actually one of the safest things you can use on yourself and your family! That said, I’d love to peruse any research-based articles you can send my way.


  13. marian

    Your theory is absolutely correct: I read your entire DIY page, and then went and ordered some. I think it’s great that you offer both options!

  14. Liz Lemon

    Hi, thank you for this excellent recipe. You probably already know this, but for weight measurement accuracy you should use a barrierscale after you place the warm bowl between the warm bowl and the the scale. Heat, by itself, will make the weight falsely increase. Perhaps your scale has this feature built in, but many do not. Try not adding the zinc but still watching the there.

  15. christy

    I am ordering some of your sunscreen to try and hopefully if all goes well for my sensitive skinned, allergy prone kiddos and hubby I will be making some. I was hoping to incorporate some carrot and/or raspberry seed essential oil for there SPF properties, any thoughts?

    1. Scratch Mommy

      Sure, you can do that. I would sub a small amount in for the main carrier oil. That said, this does have a very good SPF factor, BUT if you want more…absolutely. Add in the carrot oil. :)


  16. maria

    Unfortunately vitamin e doesn’t stop microbial growth, it’s an antioxidant, so it’ll help it from going rancid, but not bacterial/fungal growth. I really wish more people would actually research this thoroughly before misinformation spreads.

    For those looking for a vegan alternative for beeswax can use candelilla wax, which is plant derived.

    1. vforba

      Yes, I agree, I know that borax is commonly used in lotions and that might be something that could be researched.

      1. Scratch Mommy

        Thanks for your note. I actually do not say that it will inhibit bacterial/fungal growth. Here is what I say…..

        “Great question. The Vitamin E gives it pretty good stability, in terms of preservative action. That said, you don’t want to put dirty fingers into your container, which will invite bacteria.

        Depending on the carrier oil you use, this will last anywhere from 6 months to over a year (or more). I store mine in a dark, cool closet. Also, you can place it in your fridge for even longer keep. Yes, it will ‘set up’, but will ‘thin out’ when you remove it. Mine lasts over a year. You’ll know it has gone bad by a funky smell.”

        As for borax, I do not like using it in my skincare creations. It is not a proper PhD balance for our skin. I know that many use it with success, but I do not have success with it on my sensitive skin.

        1. Em

          Actually Maria has it right–Vitamin E oil is definitely not an “antimicrobial,” which is the word you used and which does indeed mean “destroying or inhibiting the growth of microorganisms and especially pathogenic microorganisms,” e.g. bacteria. (source: Merriam-Webster dictionary) It can help prolong the shelf life of carrier oils, but it does not guard against the proliferation of microorganisms. This piece of misinformation is rife in the natural skincare products/DIY sector–please use your influence to help combat it by using proper terminology in addition to your great warning about not putting dirty fingers in skincare containers!

    2. Lisa

      Thank you Maria! I am vegan and I was going to ask about a wax alternative to beeswax. Thanks for answering that.

  17. marjie taylor

    Can you use penatine creme or crush up zinc supplements instead of trying the find the zinc oxide you recommend? Thanks!

  18. marjie taylor

    Great recipe! I was wondering if a person could crush up some zinc supplements or use Penatine creme which is a zinc medicated creme for the zinc oxide you recommend? Thanks!

    1. Scratch Mommy

      Hi there,

      I would not use those things. I have no idea what they are and seriously doubt that they are the same thing as the raw, uncoated, non-nano, not micronized pure zinc that you need for the SPF protection.

      Apparently there is some on Amazon (I’ve been told, but have not tried it myself) that is uncoated, non-nano, and not micronized. You can also purchase it from New Directions Aromatics (the only place I buy it) or you can purchase a small amount from me here…


  19. vforba

    Check also on amazon for zinc, make sure to read the descriptions and comments. I got mine there and it was very reasonable and of course free shipping via amazon prime is great! Now I have to get mixing!

  20. Karine

    Good Morning,
    I have a quick question in your sunscreen recipe you mention:
    1/2t vitamine E,
    what is the “t” stand for?
    I can wait to try your sunscreen recipe!
    Thank you for sharing!

  21. Erin

    my babies have sensitive skin and have had nasty reactions to the zinc oxide used in diaper rash creams. have you had any bad reactions reported of your sunscreen?

    1. Scratch Mommy

      Hi there,

      No, I have not. That said, everyone has similar makeup in skin composition, but we are all different in our skin needs. This is not something that most would have a sensitivity to, but others certainly might. I can say that it is definitely much more safe that the vast majority of sunscreens on the market today.

      Happy DIYing!!!


  22. Lori

    Wouldn’t this be considered a sunblock instead of a sunscreen? I’m not trying to criticize, I only say it because, had I not seen your other recipes, and blog posts knowing you feel the same way about chemicals that I do, I wouldn’t have taken the time to see what it really was. Sunscreens are the dangerous chemical based products that absorb UV rays, where sunblocks use zinc oxide and the like to actually block UV rays. When I look for sun protection, to save time, I avoid anything with the word sunscreen, if it says sunblock I will take the time to research the product.
    I am excited to try this recipe, thanks for sharing it!

    1. Dan Wich

      Lori, I think the word “sunscreen” is slowly coming to mean physical barrier products as well. Neutrogena Banana Boat, and Blue Lizard all have zinc oxide / titanium dioxide (physical) products that they call “sunscreens”.

  23. Alyssa

    This looks awesome! Thank you so much for posting! (and you are correct about crossover- I am totally going to go browse your store). Could you just use all coconut oil? Like no other carrier oil? Thanks again!

  24. Stephani

    Are there rules about selling a sunscreen without actually having tested it for efficacy? I only ask because I generally buy a sunscreen from someone who doesn’t actually call it sunscreen because she said that she is not legally allowed to sell a sunscreen without having conducted tests…which now seems suspect considering that you sell it and you mentioned that you don’t have fancy scientific equipment! Which DIYer does?!


      1. Stephani

        When I commented last time, I was subscribed so that when others post in the comments, I am alerted via email. A DIYer posted a pretty relevant critique and you deleted it. I am wondering why you didn’t leave it up so that people can make a more informed choice as to whether or not this will be appropriate for their family. Makes me think that your for profit blog needs an ethical boost. Anyway, I’ll not be making this because I did get to read it, and she said she and her young children were scorched. Ouch, poor kids…and shameful that you are only keeping self-serving posts. I’m going to link to your page in my own blog where I post reviews of products that I’ve made…and I’ll share her info for you :)

        1. Scratch Mommy

          Hi Stephani,

          I am currently working on updating this post during my visit with my parents, but I’ll take some time out to respond to you here (I sent an email, too). You do not know the full story of what is going on in the background, so please do not jump to conclusions. All post comments (for my entire blog) are pending approval; you’ll see them all (in full disclosure, as there is absolutely nothing to hide) soon. Again, I appreciate your concern, but please know that absolutely nothing ‘shady’ is going on here and NONE of my posts are self-serving. :)


  25. Fuchia

    How are you selling this sunscreen? In Canada we can’t make medical claims and are not allowed to sell sunscreen without getting it tested in a lab and paying thousands of dollars to get it approved. This looks like a great recipe.

  26. Michele

    Interesting. This recipe is over 112% without using the Vitamin E. I formulate by % per item that make up the formula.

    With that said I have your zinc at 18%

  27. Sarena

    Hi I know this question may be odd but I would like to know if this is safe to use on dogs? Yes I said dogs! I have two Chihuahuas that are with me all the time and I currently use SPF 60 of Hawaiian tropic for myself and on the inside of my dogs ears and bridge of noise it is easy for them to get burns. I need to know if the zink oxide is toxic to them or not? I plan on asking my vet but thought to ask you first sence it will be a little before I see him, thanks

    1. Scratch Mommy

      “EWG’s favorable rating of nanoparticle sunscreens is not an endorsement of nanomaterials in commerce. EWG has urged the FDA to review carefully the safety of nanosize particles used in cosmetic products and to evaluate skin and lung penetration and the potential for greater toxicity to body organs (EWG 2007, 2011).”

      Personally, I’d like to see more research, as the EWG would, too.

  28. Morgan

    I was thrilled to see this recipe. I did my research- and a LOT of it before choosing your recipe. The claims and personal story sold me. I purchased all the products you recommended- down to the scale, squeeze bottles, and zinc oxide you suggested. This was quite an investment, but I knew it was wise because these supplies and the scale would be used every time I made a batch of this sunscreen. I ordered all the supplies from amazon- exactly the ones recommended and received them all 2 days later. I was so excited that I got straight to work! My husband finishes a degree in chemistry next semester so I had him help to make sure everything was mixed and weighed properly, as I have never used a recipe measuring in grams. When we finished the recipe it filled all 3 of the small squeeze bottles that you recommended and I was thrilled with the smell, texture, and overall product!!
    Well, today (2 days later) we all used it for the first time. It went on smooth and was white just long enough to see that it was being applied everywhere. Then quickly “melted” onto our skin and felt great. We lathered it on thickly (especially on our 3 kids)as I wasn’t sure what to expect as far as protection. One of my children has fair skin that burns fairly easily and the other 2 never burn with even a light spraying of store bought sunscreen. We swam for 4 hours today. We re-applied twice, making the kids stay out of the water for 5 minutes each time to allow the sunscreen a chance to dry.

    Up until this point of the story, I could NOT have been more pleased with this recipe/product.

    My children, all 3- even the 2 that don’t have fair skin, and my husband and I are ROASTED. We are all severely burned. I am applying aloe to my kids and finally decided to break from that long enough to write this review.

    I will attempt to make this recipe again and add more zinc oxide, only because I have already invested so much in all of the ingredients and materials. But I will only be trying it on me next time until I see if it actually works. I am horrified that I followed this recipe exactly (with help from my chemist husband to ensure that the error wasn’t with me), re-applied as indicated, and have allowed my children to be so severely burned. We live in arkansas so the sun is intense this time of year. I invested in these products to try to do something healthy for my children, and instead have allowed them to receive a horrible, blistering burn. My children are 2, 4, and 8. I took pictures of their backs and tried to post in this comment section but was not able to. I will gladly send you the picture if you would like to email me at the address I provided. I don’t write this to complain, because the responsibility lies with me in trying this product, but rather to inform people that this is not comparable to even a very low spf store-bought sunscreen- even re-applying will not prevent severe scalding burns.

    I have fair skin and am extremely burned as well. My husband has very tanned skin that doesn’t burn easily. He is the least burned of us all but still got the worst burn he’s had this year.

    1. Scratch Mommy

      I know that many of you saw this comment, as I have received multiple emails re: this comment.

      ***First, I did not delete it (as has been suggested many times). All of my comments are now approved before being posted (I have been hit with a TON of spam over the past couple of months, which happens often to bloggers). This comment has simply been awaiting approval by me. Second, I have been chatting with Morgan re: her comments. Please know that this has been a learning experience for both of us. I will be updating my post with greater information to help you succeed with your natural organic, as it needs to be treated differently than regular, toxin-filled over-the-counter sunscreens.

      Below is our email communication, verbatim. I will be updating this post with new information soon. I am out of town visiting with my parents today.
      June 23, 2014
      Hi Morgan,

      Thank you for your comment on my DIY sunscreen post. First, please know that I do take your comment very seriously. It is currently pending approval so that you and I can work through some of your concerns, which are incredibly important to me. Of course, I feel terrible that your family was burned. That said, I think that we can work through this together. I stand behind my sunscreen recipe, as I have been using it on my family for over a year and many DIYers and customers have also had great things to say about it. But…I do have a few suggestions AND you have given me some much needed feedback for me to add into my post, in terms of education for natural sunscreens.

      First, it does sound as though you purchased the correct ingredients, since you purchased the same ones as me. That’s an important start. It also sounds as though you had some help in measuring and creating, which is great! I have a minor in chemistry, but went away from that path in my graduate studies. What will your husband do with his new chemistry degree?

      Second, from your complimentary description of my sunscreen recipe’s feel, it sounds as though you got it right. That said, I have to ask that you are absolutely certain that you did a LOT of whisking. It is important to ensure that the zinc gets dissolved as much as possible. I am thinking that you did, so that is also an important step you likely followed correctly.

      Now, let’s move into the brainstorming process.

      One thing to note with natural sunscreens is that they do not contain the ‘bad’ chemicals found in most over-the-counter sunscreens, which really is a good thing! I know that you must be like me and try to avoid contact with as many unnecessary toxins as possible each day. This is important for our health and for the health of our families. Most over-the-counter sunscreens actually sink in and penetrate our skin. I don’t want that, and I’m guessing that most naturally-minded individuals don’t want that, either. Sunscreens like my recipe (and other organic and natural sunscreens you find at stores) will actually sit on top of your skin and reflect the sun away…that’s the zinc hard at work. They do NOT sink in.

      This means that reapplying the sunscreen often is imperative. BUT…before we get to reapplying, I want to talk about how much you applied.

      *As with any sunscreen, it is important to apply the correct amount…and apply enough. Mineral sunscreens like mine are thicker than chemical-laden sunscreens and can be somewhat harder to apply. People typically apply far too little of mineral sunscreen (and too little of over-the-counter sunscreens, too). Just to drive the point home, “…applying half the amount of sunscreen you should use provides only the square root of the SPF, so a half application of SPF 30 only gives you an SPF 5.5” (Badger sunscreen website).

      *When applying a mineral sunscreen you need to make sure that it goes on quite white to start (visibly quite white) and then becomes much less white the more you rub it in. You mentioned applying it to where it was white, but it needs to be quite white so you know it is there. I do this before I arrive at the pool, lake, or beach AND then apply again once I am there.

      *As I state in my recipe, it is important to note that while this does have some water resistant properties (due to the beeswax), it WILL come off in the water or with excessive sweating. Remember, this mineral sunscreen (and all other mineral sunscreens) sit on top of your skin and do not penetrate the skin with chemicals. They are meant to reflect the sun’s rays. So, with water play and excessive sweating, you’ll want to make sure you reapply often (at least every hour or so). Oh…it’s worth noting, too, that this type of sunscreen can also come off with towel drying, clothes rubbing, etc, since it simply sits on top of our skin and does not sink it.

      So, take home points so far (and points I’ll be making much more clear in my recipe)…

      ***Apply more mineral sunscreen than you think you need, especially since most people do not apply nearly enough sunscreen (even the chemical-laden ones).
      Reapply often, as natural, organic, mineral sunscreens do not penetrate the skin; they sit on top of the skin and reflect the sun’s rays.
      Reapply even more often if you are in the water &/or doing a lot of sweating. For a four hour day involving water play, I would have applied at least 4 times.

      ***I do stand behind my sunscreen recipe and the products I sell in my shop. BUT…I think that your unfortunate situation brings some critical points to light that might not be as understood by all as I might have originally thought (and I might not have been as clear in my post as I meant to be). I will be updating my recipe and product listings with the information I have provided to you here.

      ***Meanwhile, I do hope that you will try the sunscreen again. You bought everything you needed for the recipe and I know that it works. I am here to support you with your endeavors in decreasing the toxic load on you and your family. I understand not wanting to try it again on your children right now. I think I would be afraid to do so, too. I encourage you to try it on yourself. I’d like you to apply more and apply more often. I believe you will be pleasantly surprised.

      Finally, after receiving your second blog post comment today, please know that I do not censor my comments (unless they are spam, of course, which happens a lot). Both of your comments are simply pending approval right now. I would love for you to think about the information I have provided, give it another go, and note that I am updating my recipe (and the product descriptions in my shops) with this more developed information. It is important for people to have and know, and I do not think I was as clear as I could have been regarding how to apply and use natural sunscreens. I do thank you for helping me to see that I need to be more clear in my directions and explanations of how all-natural, organic, mineral sunscreens work on our skin.

      I look forward to hearing back from you soon. OH…I also wanted to pass these recipes your way as a way to help with your uncomfortable skin. My good friend and blogging buddy has a couple of recipes that will help you feel some immediate relief.

      A sunburn cooling face mist-
      Natural sunburn relief tonic-

      If you are interested, please send me your address so you can compare your creation to mine and again…thank you for your comments. Let’s get your burns feeling better and then give this another go.

      Morgan’s Response…
      June 23, 2014


      I am so pleased with your thoughtful response to my concerns. I believe that after re-reading your post and now these follow up directions on applying these home made sunscreens, that I made the critical mistake of assuming that this product would be more similar in application and need for re-application to a typical store-bought sunscreen. That fault lies also with me. I think a good point for new users might be to try this product (with your multiple re-applications instructions) for a short time in the sun on the first use to see how it works on their individual skin. In hindsight, a 4-hour swimming afternoon in the heat of the day was not a wise way to try this product for the first time!

      I will absolutely be trying this product again and re-applying much, much more frequently. It certainly isn’t fair to expect it to do the same thing in the same way as a product with all the chemicals that we are trying to get away from. I will need to train myself and my family to use this product as what it is, and not simply in the same way we used previous sunscreens. I still see the health value in this natural product and hope to try it again on myself and eventually my family- treating it as a product that is different than those typical harsh sunscreens, and as such as different needs in application.

      I very much appreciate your time and concern and will give you some feedback as we try again. Thank you for your clarification and suggestions that can help our family learn to use this product successfully.

      As you asked, my husband is finishing his degree next semester and will immediately start a 1-year accelerated masters program in chemistry that our university offers. I work as a school psychology specialist (with a specialist degree in psychology and counseling) so most of his expertise is quite foreign to me.

      Finally, please use any of this email as a follow up comment post to our conversation, or let me know if I can provide a follow-up response indicating my satisfaction with your thoughtful response and assistance.

      Your additions and specifics in the difference of re-applications needs from typical products addresses my concerns and is the most important information to be seen by others. Our conversations may be an important dialogue for your readers to see, but if they can gather the overall message in a better way than reading my original post (or definitely 2nd response) then the posting of it after review is certainly not necessary. I do not want negative attention drawn to your product based on error in some way on my part.

      Thank you again,

  29. Heather @ My Overflowing Cup

    Thank you so much for posting this! I have wanted to make my own sunscreen for years, but honestly, I’ve been afraid to commit in case it flopped. I have been using Badger brand, but I am pinning this, and will definitely be giving it a try. Thanks!

  30. Selah

    Hi! I have made this sunscreen, and would really like for it to work. The thing is, I am on acne medication (accutane) and so far all I have done is burn. Would you recommend re-melting this down and adding more zinc, or should I not use natural products while on the meds? Thanks!

  31. Samantha

    was so excited to try your sunscreen recipe. i was diagnosed with skin cancer last year and i’m quite certain it is all the chemical-laden products i was using that did it and not the sun at all. i have since begun making all of my own health and beauty products (many from your site).

    my question – the sunscreen looks white in the container, but when i dug my fingers into it for the first time it had a yellowish color to it. is that normal? has it gone bad? can i use it?

    1. Jessica Healey Post author

      So sorry to hear about your skin cancer. I’m hoping it is gone.

      Yup, it does have a slight yellow-ish tint…totally normal. It’s the oils in the recipe.

      Good for you ditching the chemical stuff. Happy DIYing!

      1. Samantha

        The cancer is gone, thanks. Just hoping it doesn’t pop up somewhere else.

        Glad to hear the yellow tint is normal.

        By the way, we spent last weekend at the beach and my entire family returned home as fair-skinned as when we left. This will definitely be our go to sunscreen from now on. :)

  32. Laura

    Wondering if I could sub deodorised coconut oil in place of natural, unrefined and what effects this might have? To give you an idea this is a decsription of the oil I have at home laready:

    “This organic purified and deodorised coconut oil is made using a new process technology and is unlike many other refined bleached and deodorised (RBT) coconut oils on the market in Australia. This unique process does NOT use excessive heat or chemical solvents and creates a much better quality oil that is smooth and healthy. Whilst the coconut flavour and aroma is much less than Organic Virgin Raw Coconut Oil, it still may impart some coconut flavour and aroma as the refinement is kept to a minimum to keep the goodness intact! It is in a BPA free container.”

  33. Lisa

    Can you use cocoa butter instead of shea butter? Would this change affect the texture or effectiveness of the sunscreen?

    1. Jessica Healey Post author

      Yes, you sure can. Cocoa butter is generally a bit more hard than shea butter, but for this recipe they should be pretty interchangeable. If anything, I’d add just a small bit less cocoa butter and see how it sets up. If you don’t like the texture (if it isn’t hard enough with adding less cocoa butter), you can always melt back down over your double boiler and add more cocoa butter (but you can’t take it out…if that makes sense). Happy DIYing!

  34. tiffany vo

    Hello, I love all your Diy stuff. But I have a questions, since there are no preservatives in any of the ingredients of lotion u make like the whipped cream recipe, is there any problem of it molding?

    1. Jessica Healey Post author

      Thank you. :) So long as you do not let water enter your DIY creations, you keep them sealed tightly, all utensils are clean and sterilized, and you do not contaminate them with dirty fingers, your goodies will last longer than you might think.

  35. Samantha

    Hello! This is exactly what I was looking for and it sounds absolutely WONDERFUL. However, I tried to click on the link to buy the zinc from you and the link didn’t work! Is that no longer an option anymore?

  36. Demi

    Just made this and the texture and creaminess is perfect for use on my body. I’m new to DIY projects and have had a lot of disasters in the process but this one was so easy! I would not use this for my face though as I am pretty tan and this leaves a thin white film on my face and I don’t like the feel of thick creams on my face. However, I do think making another batch with less zinc would take care of that problem and making it a little runnier with more oil in order to be used on the face.

  37. Leslie

    sounds like a great recipe…I wish I could use it but I can’t do anything with beeswax. :( I’ll have to keep looking for a DIY sunscreen without it, or keep paying through the nose. I enjoy reading through your recipes and they get me interested to do more of my own research. Thank you.

  38. Pooja Gupta

    you mentioned you can help with the small quantity of zinc oxide by using your link but that link seems to be broken. can you please tell me how do i get this small quantity of zinc oxide?
    i will really appreciate your inputs

    1. Jessica Healey Post author

      Oh no! I didn’t realize that I had a broken link. I’ll have to look for it. Yes, I do sell a small amount here for people who don’t want to place a minimum $100 order with the supplier I use.

  39. Meg

    Thank you for such a great recipe! I recently made this and used it in Mexico for 8 days. We came home from spending long (4+ hours daily) days at the beach without any burning! I was very rigid in reapplying often on my kids as they were always in the ocean or the pool. It wasn’t till about the last full day we were there that I noticed the perfect warm summer glow on their skin :) Thank you!!! I do think I would like to make a few changes next time to reduce some of the white left on the skin from the zinc. I was thinking I could use red raspberry oil as the carrier oil since it has a high SPF and knocking down the zinc oxide to about 25g? Maybe even adding some carrot seed EO to it?Do you think these changes would make it less pasty but still just as effective? Would love to know your thoughts on that.

    1. Jessica Healey Post author

      Hooray! Thanks for sharing your success story. <3

      Yup, those are all great ideas. Using a higher SPF carrier oil to replace some of the zinc is a great idea. Just make sure the ratios don’t leave you orange &/or reddish in hue from too much of a colored carrier oil. I have added carrot seed oil to my personal container before and have enjoyed it. Happy DIYing!

  40. Meg

    Have you tried this recipe on children? I have a 2 1/2 year old and a newborn and I want to make sunscreen for them. Just wondering if you would do anything different if using on kids? THANK YOU!!

    1. Jessica Healey Post author

      Yup, I have used this on my toddler for a couple of years now (he’s now 3.5 yrs old). Just makes sure that you reapply often…at least every hour.

    1. Jessica Healey Post author

      Great question. Yes, I believe so. That said, I would not leave it in the hot sun, esp turned on its side, as it *might* melt down and spill out. But…yes, I think it’s solid enough for a deo container.

    1. Jessica Healey Post author

      I have been known to use this on my son’s bottom before, so yes…you most certainly can. Overall, though, this was a great option for us when he was in diapers. The DIY Soothing Tooshie Salve is perfect for baby’s bottom, as well as any other rough spots, sensitive spots, boo boos, etc. Pretty versatile!


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