Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars

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Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars | www.homemademommy.net

Make your own non-toxic homemade sunscreen with this easy homemade sunscreen recipe. Popular sunscreen lotions and sunscreen products contain unhealthy ingredients which we can easily avoid by making our own.

Why a Non-toxic Homemade Sunscreen?

If you didn’t already know, commercial sunscreens can be toxic due to potential endocrine disruptors and other nasty chemicals. I am not entirely sure that exposing my skin to the sun is such a bad thing what with Vitamin D being so important. Maybe the sun doesn’t even cause skin cancer anyway.

However, I live in Texas and the sun can get pretty brutal during the summer. I recently got a nasty sunburn at an outdoor event but thanks to coconut oil it went away within a couple of days without peeling. This never would have happened when I wasn’t eating a real, nourishing diet. I used to get heat rash and heat exhausting from being out in the sun longer than a few hours. Now that I can actually tolerate the sun without getting completely wiped out, I plan to go without sunscreen this summer for my normal day to day activities. However, if I am going to be out in the sun for a prolonged period of time, with my fair skin, I need some kind of protection.

I was inspired by Robin Konie of Thank Your Body to make non-toxic homemade sunscreen after reading her eBook, Toxic Free. However, I love the tallow lotion bars (recipe from Mommypotamus’ DIY Beauty eBook) I have been making because I can easily travel with them. I decided to try my hand at a recipe for a non-toxic homemade sunscreen lotion bar using similar ratios as the tallow bars, but use shea butter and coconut oil to provide some natural SPF as recommended by Robin.

I would assume this homemade sunscreen to be about SPF 15-20 given the amount of zinc oxide added. What I love about this bar is that it is goes on easily and soaks right in without being overly greasy. It also doesn’t turn your skin or your clothes white from the zinc!

Pin this Homemade Sunscreen Recipe for later here!

Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars | www.homemademommy.net

Non-Toxic Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars

Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients

Homemade Sunscreen Directions

Combine the shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax in a glass bowl placed over a hot pot of water or use a double boiler. Heat on low until the ingredients are melted and full incorporated. Remove from heat and stir in the zinc oxide, the essential oil, and the vitamin E oil. Pour into silicone mold and place in the fridge to cool for about 30 minutes. Pop out and store in tins or an airtight container. Store at room temperature.

Homemade Sunscreen Notes

  • These homemade sunscreen lotion bars will melt in the hot sun. I plan to cut off a small piece to take with me to the pool or the beach and carry it in an airtight container. Once back indoors it will solidify again.
  • I have received questions about how to apply. You simply rub all over your body while holding in your hand. The texture is firm but emollient and it will feel like a lotion – not soap. You can rub it in further with your hands.

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If you want to learn my beauty essentials, you should grab a copy of my latest ebook, Homemade Mommy Beauty Essentials. Get 35 DIY Beauty recipes that you can use everyday and learn all about how to use and care for your essential oils!
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I am a very busy real food mama! When I am not taking care of my 5 year old, I take time to share my real food recipes on my blog, Homemade Mommy. I finds the time for homemade cooking because eating this way has truly changed my family’s life. Ditching processed food has helped us all to heal from a number of ailments including asthma, allergies, recurrent sinus infections and ADHD. I buy organic, from family farms, local and grass-fed. I am passionate about achieving vibrant health and am happy to share tips, techniques and recipes in my eBook, The Real Food Survival Guide for Busy Moms which is an excellent resource for any busy mom (or dad) who wants to cook real food for their family but is not sure how to take the plunge.

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164 Responses to Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars

  1. Brittany Bowdish says:

    sandalwood essential oil is a natural sunscreen and would probably be a great addition to the sunscreen lotion bars. thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • KimmyG says:

      Coconut oil is also a natural sunscreen.

    • Karen Douglass says:

      thanks for the sandalwood comment, I am allergic to lavender and was wondering what else I could use. LOVE sandalwood.
      Now to find the rest of the things.

      • KarinSDCA says:

        You can also use frankincense EO, as it also has natural sunscreen properties.

      • Spots says:

        I’ve never heard of sandalwood having sunscreen properties, so I did a little googling and only saw it recommended after sun, which makes sense because of its regenerative properties. But this isn’t the same as sunscreen. I don’t really know of any essential oil that helps block the UV rays. Essential oils are best used in after sun lotions.

  2. So, do you just rub the bar on your skin? If you are out in the sun all day, how do you keep it from melting?

  3. […] Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars | Homemade Mommy. […]

  4. Courtney R. says:

    Thanks for the recipe! I can’t wait to make some =)

  5. Melina says:

    Does the beeswax offer a waterproof effect? Could the SPF be boosted by adding more zinc? Thanks!

    • Donna says:

      Any answer to this question? I didn’t see a reply. I understand it’s not waterproof but can the SPF be increased?

      • narg says:

        Castor oil makes it waterproof

        • Spots says:

          Castor oil wouldn’t make it waterproof because it is absorbed by the skin. So is bees wax, but it abosorbs much more slowly and it seems like it might just be waterproof enough. However, huge amounts of water (that you are swimming in) will eventually wash anything off. It’s just a matter of slowing down that process.
          Zinc oxide itself isn’t soluble in water, but that doesn’t mean water cannot wash it off your skin.
          In clonclusion, I believe that it would be enough to protect you while swimming, but once you’re out of the water, reapply.

    • Rachel Mocsny says:

      beewax is an excellent waterproofer for leather equipment…would have to think it would do the same for your skin. It is also what is used to seal a toilet to the floor- so that it does not leak…just fyi

      • Jamiec says:

        I make a natural sunblock for my kids that has beeswax in it, and it does have the effect of waterproofing. It should be reapplied every hour or two, but the water does bead up and drip off them, and no sun burns yet!I look forward to making this one (with a bit more zinc), my 6 year old will enjoy making it with me and using it!

    • Jenn B says:

      The water beaded up on the back of my hands when I was cleaning up from making this. I’d say that the beeswax and shea butter both offer some waterproofing.

    • jeanne says:

      I have seen that the beeswax helps with waterproving and the shea butter has a natural spf of 12 does anyone know what the total spf is?

  6. Amanda Leins says:

    Lavender and Tea tree oil should be used in a limited way with boys. They can mimic hormones and can cause breast growth, which happened to our little boy when we used a lavender soap.

  7. Katie says:

    Why do you use non nano zinc oxide? How is that better then regular nano?

  8. This looks awesome!

    On a side note, the advertisement banner at the top of the page reads “$30 books for $39! One week only!”

  9. Where can I find Beeswax. & vitamin e oil…

  10. Dawna Austin says:

    How does this work with Kids who are swimming all day… does it wash off immediately when in water? I need something that stays on them for at least 30 minutes in water.. or they will fry fry fry before I can reapply 😉

  11. Stealthy Mom says:

    My skin reacts to shea butter… any idea for a different fat to use? Shea butter would be the most convenient since it is solid at room temperature. I cannot think of what would work in its place.

    • Valou Ge says:

      cocoa butter is a good alternative, plus it has a natural UVB 15

    • andriana says:

      Mango butter is wonderful and has natural sun protection in it.

      • Kate W says:

        Be very careful using mango butter. Mango is a cousin to poison ivy. If you get an allergic rash from poison ivy, you’ll probably be allergic to the oils in the mango skin. Had to bring my daughter to the ER because of this. We hadn’t been anywhere near poison ivy, but she had handled mango skin. She can eat the meat of the mango, but has to stay completely away from the skin.

        • Melanie says:

          That is very interesting about the poison ivy! My daughter broke out in hives all over her face after eating mango with the skin on it. She too can have the meat.

  12. Kat says:

    I have a friend who is deathly allergic to coconut and I would love to share this with her. Do you have a suggestion on a replacement for coconut oil?

    • Cocoa butter might work. Solid at room temp, melts at body temp. Plus it smells wonderful!

      • Don’t use if you have dogs, it will be toxic to them if they lick you

        • and the store bought ones would be toxic as well…not sure what your point is…

        • Eww! I have dogs, but they are NOT allowed to lick people!

          Even IF you let your dogs lick you the quantity they’d have to lick would be so great it’s doubtful any unabsorbed residue from your skin would be enough to be harmful.

        • Tae says:

          The solids of the cocoa bean contain alkaloid theobromine (totally hope I spelled that right) which is what is toxic to dogs, not the fat (cocoa butter). If you have dogs, opt for the purified or deodorized cocoa butter and there should be no problem for pets.

      • Cristina says:

        Cocoa butter is great, but I don’t recommend you use the finished product on your face. Cocoa butter clogs your pores and your face will break out in pimples.

  13. Julia says:

    Please remind your readers to use a mask when handling mineral powders like zinc. While they are safe once they are mixed in our formulae, inhaling them is not recommended.

  14. hildablue says:

    That’s such a good idea! I’ve been wondering what to use for sunscreen this year. Also read up on some other vegetable oils that supposedly offer really good sun protection, among others raspberry seed oil, carrot seed oil and wheatgerm oil.

  15. These look awesome! And SO much easier to make (and easier to buy) than the super-expensive stuff I usually buy.

  16. P R says:

    Love the idea of this but… I live I the Midwest, have fair skin that burns fairly easly and we have decided to make a last minute trip to Panama. I have non of these ingredients so can someone recommend something I could get at my local health food store? Thx

    • mslancast says:

      Are you looking for an over-the-counter natural sunscreen? Have you checked out the EWG.org sunscreen database? I like Goddess Garden; Alba Botanica, Aubrey Organics, Badger, BabyGanics, California Baby and Jason all have good options and are widely available. Even Coppertone has a natural offering that is rated as fairly safe. (Most of their others are considered to be very poor, so make sure you find the right one.)

  17. […] Protect Yourself from More than Just the Sun with This Easy DIY Sunscreen Bar […]

  18. Hello! Is there anything you can use in place of Shea Butter? I am on the allergic side, but I would like to try this recipe.

  19. Priti BLQ says:

    This sounds like a great recipe. Love the heart molds. Where did you get them? Love Miracle Butter from http://www.gardenofikeda.com (whipped Shea butter w/coconut oil. SPF 6.

  20. Garnet Cox says:

    Is there a non-coconut oil version? I’m allergic to coconut :(

  21. What a GREAT idea! Thank you!
    Is there anything I can use instead of beeswax?

    • Spots says:

      Beeswax has a much higher melting point than other ingredients – it’s basically what makes this solid. I haven’t tried, but it seems like without it, it would pretty much look like a liquid lotion, which is also good. :)

    • jan jones says:

      soy wax in place of beeswax

  22. […] Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars ~ from Homemade Mommy […]

  23. Lindsey says:

    I have to try this

  24. […] by Protecting your Largest Organ, your Skin this Summer!! Check out this super simple recipe here: http://www.homemademommy.net/2013/04/homemade-non-toxic-sunscreen-lotion-bars.html <- click here to learn how to make this This… would make a Fantastic Gift for Mothers […]

  25. Kandyce says:

    How many bars does this recipe make?

  26. […] Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars […]

  27. alicia says:

    what does the beeswax do?

  28. Keyla says:

    This may be a dumb question but…I was just wondering if the zinc oxide over the counter cream can be used? If so, how much would be recommended.

    • Spots says:

      I don’t know if I’m thinking of the same cream as you, but if I am, the answer is no. First of all, your skin would be completely white and second, it would dry out. It would protect you from sunrays, however.

  29. Keyla says:

    Can zinc oxide cream be used instead of the powder? If so, would there be any change to the amount needed?

  30. Hayley says:

    Would this still work without the Vitamin E oil? I have all the other ingredients and would like to make it for our beach weekend and this weekend and I don’t think the Vitamin E oil would arrive in time.

  31. The link for the zinc oxide goes to a site that only sells it in Canada… Where is a good place to purchase in the US?

  32. […] The great thing about mineral based sunscreens is we can make our own! There are several oils and essential oils that offer UV protection. Frugally Sustainable did a wonderful job researching which oils had a high UV rating, read all about it here. I would add St. Johns Wort oil is wonderful for protecting the skin from UV rays as well. Using these guidelines you can make your own sunscreen or sunscreen lotion bars. […]

  33. Natalie says:

    Is the beeswax grated? Also is there something I can substitute the shea butter with like more coconut oil or something?

  34. Lora says:

    We used this bar in Florida on the beach last week and I am happy to say it worked well! I wouldn’t rely on it for a week in direct sun without a base tan (Florida sun is much more direct than Ohio!), but I used it on day 4, 5, 6 with great results. I would say it is somewhere between 20-25 SPF. Wonderfully moisturizing and no white residue!

  35. […] Mommy shares her recipe for homemade sunscreen lotion bars.  I actually made these, and they […]

  36. […] Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars […]

  37. […] love this idea: Homemade sunscreen lotion […]

  38. sleiter7477@yahoo.com says:

    These are also great to use for massage, they don’t leave a mess like baby or coconut oil

  39. Roz says:

    I would imagine it would keep for a long time outdoors in an insultated stainless steel coffee mug if you kept the mug in the freezer

  40. […] making your own sunscreen, you should definitely check out the Homemade Mommy’s recipe for homemade sunscreen lotion bars. These are good for your skin and non-toxic–plus they’re easy to take on […]

  41. Jennwynn says:

    I’m allergic to coconut oil. Is there anything that will work as a substitution?

  42. […] Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars […]

  43. […] Home-made sunscreen lotion bars […]

  44. […] Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars […]

  45. Avery says:

    Question how long will these bars keep for!?

  46. Winona "Noni" Boalt says:

    Eyes Protection:
    The use of safety glasses is recommended. If a material is to be handled in a manner where splashing may occur, the use of splash goggles or face Shield is recommended.
    Respiratory Protection:
    In well-ventilated areas, respiratory protection is not normally required.
    Protective Gloves:
    Using chemical resistant gloves is recommended.
    Protective Clothing:
    Using chemical resistant clothing is recommended.
    Protective Equipment:
    An eyewash fountain and / or safety shower should be available in the work area. Acceptable industrial hygiene practices should be maintained.

  47. Jenn B says:

    I’ve got 4 of these cooling in the fridge right now. I’m hoping to solve the messy melted lotion bar problem by setting it up in empty deodorant containers. I’ll be sending it to daycamp with my 4 year old; they require that we provide sunblock.

  48. […] Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars> by Homemade […]

  49. Stephanie says:

    Is this safe to use during pregnancy? The essential oil primarily is what I’m asking about but all ingredients as well.

    • Laurie says:

      I’d like to know if it’s safe for pregnant and/or nursing mothers. But mostly because of the zinc oxide. I make a skin cream with zinc oxide in it and I’ve heard that they haven’t tested it fully and can’t say whether it’s safe for pregnant or nursing mothers.

      • Spots says:

        Zinc oxide and other ingredients are safe. As for essential oils, I wouldn’t use them here even without pregnancy. Generally, there is not a lot of data about the safety of essential oils in pregnancy, simply because it’s impossible to conduct safe experiments. The data gathered from the experience of users shows that there are some oils to avoid (non of which you’ve heard of, probably – Balsamite, Camphor, Ho leaf, Hyssop, Indian dill seed, Parsley leaf, Parsley seed, Sage, Savin) and some oils are considered safe (Cardamom, Roman and German Chamomile, Clary sage, Coriander seed, Geranium, Ginger, Lavender, Neroli, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Petitgrain, Rose, Rosewood, Sandalwood).
        Source: Tisserand, Balacs: Essential oil safety;

  50. […] Homemade Non-Toxic Sunscreen Lotion Bars […]

  51. This is a wonderful recipe. I shared on my website. Thank you. Liz

  52. JJMallory says:

    I always use all natural sunscreen when I go outdoors. I don’t like the idea of putting anything on my skin to absorb that I wouldn’t ingest. This sounds like a really great recipe! I’ve only ever used the lotions, but I think I might try one of the sun screen bars.

  53. Kisha Martin says:

    Hello, I was just complaining in my head about a spray sunscreen (oily) alternative to the lotion (white/ashy) one. I was diagnosed with Lupus 7 yrs. ago and spray sunscreen and use use parasols all summer long. The sun causes it to flare. I appreciate you for posting healthier natural options that aren’t always prescribed or offered by doctors :( I will speak to my dermatologist about it. But do you have any knowledge about these bars and Lupus.

  54. Allison says:

    Can you tell me how to use Beeswax? I’ve never used it before. How do you measure it? I bought a couple 1oz bars of beeswax at the farmers market but now I see that is probably not enough. How does 1oz compare to 1 Tbsp? I have also seen it sold online in the pastilles. How do you measure these?
    Thank you.

  55. karie says:

    I cant get the beeswax to melt, what could I be doing wrong?

  56. krista planko says:

    I have thevsame question on how to measure the beeswax in its solid form. Ibtoo have one ounce solid bars. Thank you!

  57. Lindsey G. says:

    If you bought the solid beeswax, use a grater to grate it so that it will melt.

  58. Wow this recipe is really good; I think everyone should try it.

  59. Carole says:

    This looks like a great recipe, but want to know if it’ll work without the Vitamin E? I have Celiac’s disease & have problems with Vitamin E.

  60. […] you want to make your own sunscreen you can try this recipe from Homemade Mommy for DIY Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars that are non-toxic and easy to […]

  61. Patti says:

    I get the best Shea Butter and other products from
    Sheaterraorganics.com They are made by women and it is so cool to read the sight learn how they pick the nuts, make theutter and other products. its like Lucy and Ethel making wine or chocolates!

  62. […] 2. Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars from Homemade Mommy. […]

  63. Erinn says:

    I made this and its a lovely consistence and goes on so nice. Although it does not come off my glass cookware. Any tips on removing it. Soap or scrub or boiling water soaked have not worked and I cannot use them now.

  64. […] of my favorite sunscreen recipes from Keeper of the Home, Mommypotamos, Frugally Sustainable, and Homemade Mommy to fit my family’s lifestyle and added TerraShield from doTERRA essential oils as the bug […]

  65. […] zinc oxide to make homemade, all-natural sunscreen bars. Homemade Mommy has a great tutorial for this with an almost identical lotion bar […]

  66. Mickee says:

    Hi! Tnx for the recipe! Is it safe to use on our faces?; specifically, around our eyes and on our eyelids? Thanks so much!

  67. […] and so I usually buy a lot at once. Even though I have been making my own beauty products including non-toxic sunscreen and bug repellent bars for some time now, I was not sure about making my own DIY lip balm. First of […]

  68. […] these? Check out my sunscreen lotion bars […]

  69. Lisa says:

    VitaMix??? Healthy food – FAST and YUMMY! I want to be able to quickly process and consume all the vitamins and fiber of fresh, REAL FOOD, hot or cold. PRONTO!! And there’s no better way than VITA-MIX!!! GO VITA-MIX! GO ME! GO REAL FOOD!!!!

  70. Oooh, I’m pinning this to my 2014 Projects to do! Thank you for posting this recipe, I love them in the heart mold. Adds a nice touch. :)

  71. […] The great thing about mineral based sunscreens is we can make our own! There are several oils and essential oils that offer UV protection. Frugally Sustainable did a wonderful job researching which oils had a high UV rating, read all about it here. I would add St. Johns Wort oil is wonderful for protecting the skin from UV rays as well. Using these guidelines you can make your own sunscreen or sunscreen lotion bars. […]

  72. gayle collier says:

    What can be added to create a higher SPF?

  73. […] Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bar Recipe from Homemade Mommy […]

  74. […] Homemade Sunscreen Bars Did you know you can make your own natural sunscreen. This post will show you […]

  75. […] Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars from Homemade Mommy […]

  76. […] DIY Homemade Sunscreen Lotion Bars […]

  77. […] Recipe and photo credit to homemademommy.net […]

  78. lynne says:

    I’ve been using Badger Sunscreen which is zinc based, but hated how thick it was and hard to rub in all the “whiteness”. I found that mixing it in hand with 100% pure shea butter made it much easier to apply and rub in. Might be a simple remedy for those of us looking for a quick alternative to chemical sunscreens, but who are not quite ready to make our own from scratch.

  79. […] provides moisture but in a bar form. It’s convenient for travel or those on the go. Try this lotion bar recipe with sunscreen with  a few drops of Citrus Fresh, Peppermint or even Idaho Blue […]

  80. […] of my favorite sunscreen recipes from Keeper of the Home, Mommypotamos, Frugally Sustainable, and Homemade Mommy to fit my family’s lifestyle and added TerraShield from doTERRA essential oils as the bug […]

  81. Nina says:

    Hello, how many ounces of sunscreen does this recipe make? Thanks.

  82. Martha says:

    How often is re-application needed when swimming in a pool or ocean?

  83. […] Sunscreen Lotion Bars These sunscreen lotion bars are easy to grab and great to pack up. They also make a great DIY project for little ones over the summer. Check out this version by Homemade Mommy. […]

  84. […] Sunscreen Lotion Bars These sunscreen lotion bars are easy to grab and great to pack up. They also make a great DIY project for little ones over the summer. Check out this version by Homemade Mommy. […]

  85. BellaDonnaBloodCrave says:

    My sister doesn’t make bars she puts it all in a jar. Less messy that way and if it melts it wont be wasted

  86. Songbird says:

    Carrot Seed Essential oil and Myrrh have sunscreen properties.

  87. […] have absolutely enjoyed making and using my own homemade sunscreen lotion bars without all the toxic ingredients. But this year I wanted to try my hand at some squeezable […]

  88. Which is what the natural products that protect against the UVA UVB rays is for. No need for harsh chemical.

  89. That’s outdated information. The vast majority of kids today are low in vitamin D due to sun avoidance and use of sunscreen.


  90. It is healthy to have some exposure to the sun. She states in the article that if one is out for a prolonged period of time that protection is needed. To say that ‘no sunlight exposure’ is healthy is not true. http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/26/maximizing-vitamin-d-exposure.aspx

  91. Tina InVirginia says:

    the fairer you are, the less melanin you have to protect yourself. regular, low dose sun exposure does help increase melanin production, but light-skinners got to be careful! they naturally produce less melanin.

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