Homemade Sunscreen

Natural. Zero Waste. Residue Free

If Zero Waste, chemical free, water resistant sunscreen is important to you, then our updated a recipe is a keeper.

Our previous sunscreen recipe did require some serious rubbing in and often left us feeling like Casper the ghost — but it worked.

However, as it came time this year to make another batch we decided to tinker with the ingredients a little to see if we could produce a sunscreen that left us feeling a little less like a 1980’s lifeguard.

A few simple tweaks and we have it!

Now some people are hesitant to use homemade sunscreen, worried that it is not as effective or safe as store-bought brands.

We shared this hesitation, and prior to using our sunscreen on our children we tested our recipe, on ourselves, against other store-bought brands of varying SPFs.

On multiple occasions we spread our sunscreen on one arm/shoulder and a store-bought brand on the other, after a few hours or an afternoon in the sun we found our skin on both arms remained burn free. We now confidently only use our homemade sunscreen on ourselves and our children.



1 Cup Olive Oil

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

4 Tbsp Beeswax (Candelilla wax if vegan) Wax is what makes the sunscreen water resistant.

2 Tbsp Shea Butter

1/2 Cup (8 Tbsp) Zinc Oxide (make sure to purchase non-nano Zinc Oxide)

10 ml Carrot Seed Oil

10 ml Raspberry Seed Oil

*These ingredients can be purchased at Nezza Naturals in Victoria using home containers or you can refill the store-bought containers.

Natural SPF in in each ingredient:

Olive Oil SPF 2-8

Shea Butter SPF 3-6

Coconut Oil SPF 4-8

Zinc Oxide SPF 2-24

Carrot Seed Oil SPF 35-40

Raspberry Seed Oil SPF 30-50

The SPF of Zinc Oxide depends on its % in your recipe. For example: if your recipe consists of 20% Zinc Oxide, (and no other ingredients containing a natural SPF) then your sunscreen will yield an SPF of approximately 20.

Our recipe is 20% Zinc Oxide and then contains additional natural SPF from other ingredients. As our recipe has not been tested in a laboratory we do not feel it is appropriate to assign an SPF range to our sunscreen. However, when we tested the efficacy of our recipe we used store bought brands with SPFs of 30 -45 as our controlled variable. We applied our sunscreen to one arm and the store bought to the other, after a few hours in the sun we did not notice a difference in performance of either sunscreen.

We have received a few emails from readers expressing concern of the use of Zinc Oxide. We choose to use this ingredient as, according to www.ewg.org, it considered to be the most effective natural SPF, the particles are not absorbed into our skin and remain stable when exposed to sunlight. For more information here is ONE ARTICLE (to get you started) on the safety of Nanoparticles and Zinc Oxide in sunscreen.



Simply place wax, olive oil and coconut oil in a double boiler (I sit a glass jar in a pot filled half way with water).

Melt the wax and oil over medium heat. This takes me about 20 minutes.

Once completely melted, remove from heat and stir in your remaining ingredients.

This recipe makes approximately 2 x 250 ml mason jars ( I use wide mouth mason jars as it makes for easier application).


Prior to doing my own research on homemade sunscreens I simply lathered up and went about my day. I never read the back of the bottle nor did I adhere to guidelines on how and when to reapply.

Did you know that if you are in the sun that the active ingredients in your sunscreen are used up within two hours? And if you are being active and sweating or in and out o the water that time is even less.

For any sunscreen to be effective it needs to be reapplied every two hours, and if you being active in the sun or playing in the water reapplying every hour is best.

Lastly, one should wait 10 minutes (or until completely dry) after applying sunscreen before entering the water, otherwise it will simply wash off.


Having just moved to Toronto we have spent more time outside in public pools, at water parks and enjoying lake country than any other summer. We have truly spent our summer in the sun, and with the exception of using up old store-bought brands we have solely used our homemade sunscreen… with zero burns to report!