Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen!

Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen!


If you love the sun as much as I do, you’ve probably been scouring the natural foods stores for the best natural sun protection out there. I worked at a grocery co-op for a while and even though we had the best products on the market for happy healthy skin with minimal additives, I’ve still always wanted to go a little further.

I’ve spent the last couple of months perfecting a sunscreen recipe, and have finally created one that I’m happy to share with friends and family. For this recipe I combined all of my favorite skin-loving ingredients and combined it with the known protection of a small amount of zinc oxide (non-nano) for a super protective and perfectly nourishing sun screen.

Right now is also the perfect time of year to utilize the powerful sun for infusing oils. This is a great way to add the healing properties of herbs to a body care recipe. I like to keep a bottle of calendula infused olive oil and lavender infused olive oil around, because I know I use them in SO many recipes. For this one, I used half calendula infused olive oil and half lavender infused olive oil. If you want a shortcut, you can purchase calendula infused oil here and use it alone for the recipe.

Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen!

Herbs for Healthy Skin


Known for its anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties. Slightly astringent and antiseptic.


Lavender is a calming and relaxing herb. It is antispasmodic, antiseptic, and used to relieve sunburns, insect bites, cuts, blemishes, and muscular aches. A classic healing herb for skin – especially minor burns.

Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe helps to both moisturize the skin while being mildly astringent to draw out heat. It is soothing and helps relieve irritation from sunburn, minor skin burns, rashes, and insect bites.

Neem Oil

Neem oil is a rich and thick (you may need to heat it in warm water to use it) golden brown base oil with a strong and nutty aroma.  Neem oil is derived from pressed neem tree nuts and has antiseptic, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties.  Neem also has a low natural SPF which will help protect your skin!

Sesame Oil

Sesame oil comes from pressed sesame seeds. Sesame oil is an antioxidant base oil and is a source of vitamins A and E and protein. Sesame oil has a long shelf life and also has a low natural SPF.

Refined Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is a great ingredient for lip balms, lotions, deodorants, and is known as the ultimate skin softener. Makes a great after-sun treatment.

Olive Oil

Derived from the first pressing of ripe olives with beneficial vitamins and minerals. It is a great oil for infusing herbs, although in body care it is best used lightly unless you enjoy the aroma. In this recipe, you won’t be able to smell it in the end.


Beeswax is used as a thickener in recipes for creams, lotion, salves, butters and balms. It also adds a lightly protective barrier to the skin. If you desire a vegan recipe, you could replace it with carnauba wax.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter smells heavenly! Cocoa butter is hard at room temperature but easily melts at body temperature. This will help keep your final product solid until you rub it on. Great before, during, and after sun!

Shea Butter

Derived from pressed shea nuts, this butter is a cream-colored soft substance with a strong nutty fragrance.  Shea butter is a highly emollient, skin softening additive that’s great for lotions and creams, as well as body balms and nail care.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender Essential Oil contains all of the amazing healing power of lavender flowers, but concentrated into a highly aromatic and therapeutic oil.  A few drops go a long way, so I use this oil both as a soothing agent and for fragrance since it blends deliciously with the scent of the cacao and shea butter.

DIY Herbal Sunscreen Recipe

Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen!



1/8 cup organic Calendula or organic Lavender infused oil (Jojoba, Grapeseed, or Olive Oil)
1/8 cup Aloe Vera Gel
1/8 cup organic Neem Oil
1/8 cup organic Sesame Oil
1/8 cup organic Coconut Oil
1/8 cup Beeswax Pastilles
1/8 cup organic Cocoa Butter or 10 wafers
1/8 cup organic Shea Butter
40 drops organic Lavender essential oil
1 teaspoon Vitamin E oil

2 Tbsp Zinc Oxide (non-micro) – I found mine online.

If you don’t want to add Zinc Oxide, that’s totally fine. Simply omit it and you will have a lovely lotion great for the skin with a low natural protection around 5 SPF.  If you go this route, it will be important to test out how the protection works for you with short exposures. Use multiple applications!

These tins work perfectly to store your natural sun block. I used one 4 oz tin and two small 1 oz tins.


When making body care products that include oils and butters and other ingredients, I always melt my butters first.  You can do this using a double boiler over medium heat.

1. In a Pyrex bowl, melt together coconut oil, beeswax, cacao butter, and shea butter over gently simmering water.

2. Once melted, add in your oils and your aloe vera gel.

3. Once everything is adequately mixed together, remove from heat and then stir in the zinc oxide if using. Be careful while doing this step, zinc can be irritating if it comes into contact with mucous membranes, especially in this powder form. Wear cloth around your nose and mouth and goggles. It is important to agitate as much as possible at this stage. Use a whisk to mix thoroughly.

4. Lastly, add in your essential oils and Vitamin E Oil. Stir until well distributed.

5. Pour into containers and let cool until solid before closing with a lid.

And now you’ve made your own sunscreen!  Time to soak up the sun safe and luxuriously! The sunscreen will be usable in about an hour, but will harden more overnight.  Apply a thin layer when out and about in the sun, every hour for optimal nourishment. You’ll notice in the photo that the sunscreen you just made will go on silky smooth and won’t leave behind a white residue.


Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen!


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101 Responses to “Make Your Own Natural Sunscreen!”

  1. avatar Lori says:

    I really like the ingredients in this recipe….thank you so much for coming up with it!

  2. avatar Pam says:

    What is the SPF? Thanks!

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Pam~Thank you for checking in with us. The sun protection of this recipe, as Alieta mentions, is approximately SPF 5 without the zinc oxide. With the amount of zinc oxide in this recipe, it should be approximately SPF 15. Cheers! ~Kori

  3. avatar Robin says:

    I have aloe vera juice, will that work?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Robin~Thank you for your question. You could certainly use and try aloe vera juice. Since aloe vera juice is made from the outside, consumable parts of the plant and the gel is made from the central parts of the leaves, they still have the same constituencies, just different consistencies so it might influence the overall consistency of your sunscreen. Good luck! ~Kori

  4. avatar Cheri says:

    What is the approximate SPF level using the zinc?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Cheri~Thanks so much for reading the blog. The amount of zinc oxide in this recipe increases the SPF to about 15. I hope this answers your question and wishing you the best! ~Kori

  5. avatar Pam Guerrero says:

    How can you make a sunscreen that is stronger than 5%

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Pam~Thank you for your question. Adding the zinc oxide will increase the SPF to about 15. We thank you for your interest! ~Kori

  6. avatar Shirley says:

    Hello! It looks like a wonderful recipe for sunscreen! Where do you get the zinc oxide?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Shirley~Thank you for reading the blog. You may be able to find it at your local pharmacy, or, as Alieta mentions in her post, you can find it through an online search. Good luck! ~Kori

  7. avatar Vickie says:

    Love this recipe and cannot wait to make it :) Thank you for sharing it.

  8. avatar stevenc90 says:

    Would like to say thank you not just for this wonderful mix but for all the mixes you have posted… just started herbing a few months ago, live it..todate I have 79 herbs in my pantry. ..

  9. avatar Lindsey Lewis says:

    What size of container is that? 4 oz? Need to know what size to buy! :)

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Lindsey~This recipe made approximately 6 ounces so it was one 4-ounce container and one 2-ounce container (or 2 1-ounce containers, as Alieta mentions in the post). Thanks so much for reading the blog. Cheers! ~Kori

  10. avatar Brooke says:

    Any idea what the SPF is (when including the zinc)?? Thank you!!

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Brooke~About an ounce of zinc oxide should make the sunscreen approximately SPF 15 or so. Thanks so much for reading the blog and good luck! ~Kori

  11. avatar Lesli says:

    So excited to try this! Do you recommend cold or heat infusion for the calendula/lavender? I ask because I would love to start this recipe ASAP, but I have read differing opinions on which process is more effective.

    Also, is it ok to use both lavender and calendula infusions? Or is that overkill (I love them both, but don’t want to waste an ingredient if it isn’t adding a benefit)?

    Finally, do you think it would be safe enough if I use an electric hand mixer in a well-ventilated area (aka, my porch) to add the zinc? Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, and for the time you took to research and blend it.

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Lesli~Thank you for reading the bog and for sharing all your questions. You can create your infused oils using cold, heat or sun and they should all work just fine in this recipe. You can also use both lavender and calendula, if that is what you’d like to do. Since they are different flowers with different constituencies, they will be adding different qualities to your sunscreen. Finally, while I would feel safer and more in control using a whisk to mix up the zinc oxide, I imagine you could try a hand mixer on low speed in a well-ventilated area. You’ll still want to protect your eyes, nose, and mouth. I hope this helps and good luck! ~Kori

  12. avatar Krista says:

    Do you happen to know of any naturally protective alternatives to zinc or aluminum? My daughter always gets a very uncomfortable rash when we use those. I HATE putting the other sunscreen chemicals on her, so usually she just goes without and we limit her exposure (which is hard because we love the sun and being outside).

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Krista~Thank you for reading the blog. You are welcome to leave out the zinc oxide and adjust the recipe to your needs. You may have noticed that Alieta mentions that without the zinc oxide, you’ll have about an SPF 5 from the nourishing butters and oils. Wishing you a wonderful summer! ~Kori

    • avatar Anny says:

      Hi Krista,
      My grandchildren wear Rash Guard shirts to limit sun exposure and sunscreen. There are also companies which make clothing with spf in the fabric. That should help your daughter too.

  13. avatar pw says:

    Thank you for the recipe! Where can you buy good quality Zinc Oxide (non nano, non micronized)?

    Is Zinc safe as it has a small amount of lead? I often find zinc with either 240nm or 300+nm. Sometimes the store don’t even specify and I don’t understand what the number represent.

    Do you have a reliable resource to get good quality & safe zinc oxide? Thank you!

  14. avatar pw says:

    I often read calendula flower has healing property…however, My daughter is highly allergic to sunflower oil. Since calendula flower is in the same botanical family as sunflower, I’m wondering if it’s safe for us to use?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi pw~Thank you for reading the blog and checking in with us. Unfortunately, we really cannot comment on your daughter’s allergies and sensitivities. My best suggestion would be to check with a licensed health care practitioner for advice. Fortunately, there are all sorts of wonderful herbs, oils, and butters that are nourishing for the skin. Wishing you the best ~Kori

  15. avatar Penny says:

    Hi, i would like to ask how many zinc oxide shall I use to make a 50 SPF protection or 30? Moreover….is it greasy for oily skins? Thanks :)

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Penny, all of the oils and butters in this recipe are extremely nourishing to skin exposed to dry/hot weather conditions. If you are particularly sensitive to the ingredients it might not work well for your skin type but I found that because the conditions are usually dry and hot when I am using this lotion it feels more hydrating than “greasy”, I would suggest making a small batch (maybe half) first to try out before deciding if it will work right for you! In order to increase the SPF you could possibly add Titanium Dioxide (another mineral) but I have never tried to do this, so I could not tell you how/when to add it or what to expect. I personally would not strive for an SPF higher than 30 with a homemade sunscreen. If I feel like I need extra protection I make sure to reapply more frequently. I hope that helps a bit, best of luck on your homemade suncream adventure. ~Alieta

  16. avatar Stacey says:

    An spf of 15 is plenty! Surprisingly, it gives us a coverage of about 92%. As the spf level increases to 30, 45, or higher, the percentage of sun-blockage only increases a few percentile. This was explained to me by a cosmetic surgeon who created skincare products with the base ingredient being pharmaceutical-grade aloe. This is a very creative recipe and I’d love to try it!

  17. avatar Janel says:

    I have read a few articles that advise against making your own sunscreen because the zinc oxide is terribly difficult to work with. The articles say that it is impossible to distribute it evenly in homemade mixtures; a commercial homogenizer is required. As a result you get patchy coverage and an spf that is much lower than theorized. One person even took her homemade sunscreen to a lab to have it tested and the spf turned out to be about 50% lower than it should have been for the amount of zinc oxide used. Any thoughts? Thank you!

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Janel~Thank you for reading the blog and taking the time to share your comments. It is true there is controversy surrounding the use of zinc oxide and that is why Alieta suggests it is optional. You may find the information provided on the Badger Balm website helpful as they do a wonderful job of explaining the science of zinc oxide (much better than I can do here.) Alieta does suggest taking safety precautions and mixing the zinc oxide in as much as possible and I do believe that helps to distribute it throughout the sunscreen. Of course, the very best protection from the sun is to wear appropriate clothing, head covering and avoid the sun during the brightest parts of the day! Wishing you the best! ~Kori

  18. Many thanks for this! I love the ingredients and will give it a try.

  19. avatar Mina says:

    do u have any idea of making a sunscreen oil ?I couldnt find carrot seed oil and had to make an infusion of seeds in oilive oil,is it effectivebeing used alone?

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Mina, Thank you so much for enjoying the article. I personally have not dabbled in a sunscreen oil or using carrot seed oil as sun protection. I would be hesitant to use an oil (without mineral protection) in the sun for extended period of time. You could turn this recipe into more of an oil by simply omitting the beeswax, I cannot personally recommend an infused olive oil as this could amplify the suns heat rather than protect which could be extremely hazardous to your skin health. Sorry I can’t be of more assistance, best of luck! ~Alieta

  20. avatar Wendy says:

    I have been wanting to try this for a while. No excuses now! We may even get a chance to use it this week! Thanks!

  21. avatar Jill says:

    I’m curious about the oils and aloe vera separating since aloe is water based. Have you ever had trouble with that? Would simply subbing emulsifying wax for the beeswax work to prevent that from happening?

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Jill, Thanks so much for enjoying the blog post. You should not have a problem with the Aloe Vera gel. I’ve made this recipe in different quantities on several different occasions now and I can assure you that the beeswax and the zinc will hold it all together. Sometimes I leave my little container in my car window in the heat and it will get quite soft, but I’ve never had it separate out! I’ve never used emulsifying wax with my sunscreen recipe, but you could certainly try to replace it if you feel more comfortable using it! I’ll be excited to hear how it goes! ~Alieta

  22. avatar Misty Richards says:

    Awesome recipe, can’t wait to try it! I would like an SPF of at least 30 though, do I just add more zinc oxide to achieve this or is 15 the limit for the recipe?

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hey there Misty, I would suggest trying this recipe out and seeing what sort of protection it provides you. I’ve seen zinc based recipes that claim to be SPF 30, even commercial products. That being said, since this is homemade and it’s near impossible to claim an even distribution or test your SPF, I always keep that in mind and predict 10 SPF lower than I would calculate out, just to be safe. So, I would say experiment and find a recipe that works well for you! You could add more zinc or try a combination of Titanium Dioxide in addition to the zinc. I usually use a 30 SPF, but not higher, and this recipe has provided ample protection for me this summer. The only day I got a red nose was the day I left my sunscreen inside! I hope you find a recipe that works well for you! Best of luck! ~Alieta

  23. avatar Angie says:

    Thank you for sharing your recipes and not charging or requiring an email address before you give access to them! This is the way information should be, shared freely.

  24. avatar Monica says:

    Hi! This recipe looks great and I am excited to try it. Any suggestions on how to make it a bit thinner so that it could be kept in a tube? Is there anything I should omit if I want to use it on my toddler? Do you use it on your face?
    Sorry for so many questions!

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Monica! Thank you so much for enjoying the post! You could omit the beeswax to keep it a better consistency for a tube, I would make a test batch without beeswax and see if that is liquidy enough for you, you could also add more of any one of the oils. You might get some separation if you are leaving out the beeswax, so you may need to shake it up before use! As far as using on a small child all of the ingredients should be just fine but you may want to leave out the essential oil to prevent the little person from ingesting any of it. I use this cream on my face all of the time! That is why I like to make the two small containers and one big container — that way one of my little containers can stay in my purse for regular face protection! Best of luck and can’t wait to hear how it goes! ~ Alieta

  25. avatar Margarita says:

    I am allergic to shea butter. What would you recommend as a alternative?

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hey there Margarita, You could use Mango butter or even more coconut oil in place of the shea butter. Best of luck! ~ Alieta

  26. avatar Robert says:

    Can you use aloe from a plant or does it have to be processed? Have been using aloe for sunburns long before it was ever added to any of the lotion, in Florida you kinda learn these things

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Robert~Thank you for your question. Honestly, we have not tried this recipe with fresh aloe vera, but used our aloe vera gel which, while made from the same pulp of the inner leaves, it has also been pulverized and filtered. You could definitely give it a try and let us know how it works out for you! Good luck :) ~Kori

  27. avatar Vanessa poitevin says:

    Hello, thanks sounds great.. Can you apply on face?? & do u keep it room temperature or on the fridge??

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Vanessa~Thank you for your questions. You can use this on your face, but be sure to watch out for eyes, mouth, and any sensitive areas. You can keep this at room temperature, but if the climate is particularly humid and hot, it will last longer if stored in the fridge. I do hope this helps and good luck! ~Kori

  28. avatar Deb Snavely says:

    I make an herbal burn spray (and have for decades), that’s on the family microbusiness web page here.

    Ingredients related specifically to skin health are calendula, chamomile, and lavender. I much prefer using whole herb in making my product. The point is, however, to the various folks who’ve asked about this or that allergy, that herbs for skin care abound. Omit what you can’t use, and find something else. (Which is how I am now able to offer an entire suite of my herbals that are lavender-free…that being the commonest allergy among my prospective customers.)

    The dear online A Modern Herbal that Mountain Rose Herbs supports ( is a wonderful resource! I use it often, and go to my paper copy for deeper digging.

    And, as with the herbs, so the oils and butters—allergic to shea? use another. (I loathe coconut, so it’s not on my ingredients list.)

    I’m contemplating adding a moisturizing cream to my products, having developed one that’s solved an insomniac’s nightmare of dry skin itch combined with chemical sensitivity.

  29. avatar Shane says:

    How are you quantifying the spf rating?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Shane~Thank you for your interest and your question. An ounce of zinc oxide provides approximately SPF 15. You may find the information provided on the Badger Balm website helpful as they do a wonderful job of explaining the science of zinc oxide (much better than I can do here.) – See more at: Alieta has done the research on the butters and oils she has used in this recipe and estimated that the SPF is approximately 5 without the zinc oxide. Of course, every person is different and your actual skin type and sun sensitivities will affect how it works for you. Thanks so much! ~Kori

  30. avatar m says:

    How much would all the ingredients cost?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi m~Thank you for reading the blog! The final cost of the sunscreen is going to depend on where you get the ingredients, whether you create you own infused oils or purchase them, and other variables. I apologize, but I can’t really give you an exact cost. I do thank you for reaching out to us :) ~Kori

  31. avatar Tracy says:

    I just use virgin coconut oil. I make sure I let it soak in for at least 15-20 minutes prior to exposure. I am not saying that this recipe wouldn’t be stellar. :) I am only adding my own experience. I always used it on my kids.

  32. avatar Telma says:

    Love the recipe. Just have couple of questions. What kind of olive oil do you use on your infusion? I’m asking because I’ve used extra virgin and because that I could not smell the herb, only the olive oil.
    Thank you.

  33. avatar Victoria says:

    Does this stain clothing? If so, do you have a stain remover remedy?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Victoria~Thank you for your question. With all of the oils and butters in this sunscreen, if you spread it on you clothing, it would definitely stain. If you rub it into your skin prior to covering with any fabric or cloth, you should be fine, however. I do hope this helps! ~Kori

  34. avatar Debbie says:

    I would be wary of this. While the ingredients are good,the protection is not. Nor is it waterproof. I live in AZ, the skin cancer capitol of the US, and would not trust this. Skin ca is e most common of all e cancers. A good sunscreen blocks out both UVA & UVB; very important!

  35. avatar Shelly says:

    Fantastic article! Cant wait to try this out! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  36. avatar Janis says:

    how do you know what level of SPF it is? When you say it is 5 without the zinc, how do you know?

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Janis~Thank you for checking in with us. Alieta has done a bit of research on the butters and oils she used in this recipe and estimated as conservatively as possible what the sun protection of this is with out the addition of zinc oxide. I apologize that we cannot be absolutely exact. We appreciate your reading the blog. Cheers! ~Kori

  37. avatar Eva says:

    Hi there what is the shelf life of the sunscreen? Thanks.

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Eva~With the Vitamin E oil and essential oils acting as some natural preservatives, the shelf life of this sunscreen should be several months, if it is kept out of direct sunlight and temperature fluctuations. You can also keep it in the refrigerator for further stabilization and storage. Cheers! ~Kori

  38. avatar Monette says:

    I lovel the Base ingredients for your sunscreen, I use a similar mix for a few diff aplications but to be honest, Lavender Oil is the very LAST oil I would put in a sunscreen ! Its PHOTOSENSITIVE/PHOTOTOXIC …So it. Has the opposite effect with regards to the sun and can cause spots ! ….Lavender would be my first choice to treat AFTER sun applications for burns ect.

  39. avatar Carrie Boreham says:

    Im allergic to lavender oil, can I just omit that oil or can I use somethinga different oil in place of the lavender?

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hello Carrie! You can leave out the Lavender Essential Oil or you could replace it with one you prefer, just make sure to avoid citrus essential oils as they can amplify the effects of the sun. Carrot Seed Oil would be a lovely addition. Thank you for enjoying the post! ~Alieta

  40. avatar Lina says:

    I have read in a few different websites that raspberry seed oil gives an SPF 30-50, can I add it to this recipe? I like to use a higher SPF ony face .

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Lina, Thank you so much for enjoying the post. I do not have any personal experience using raspberry seed oil for SPF qualities and have not researched this item for these purposes, I’m sorry I can’t be of more specific assistance. However, you could certainly replace the oils in this recipe with any oil you prefer and it should turn out just fine. I use this recipe on my face often and it has treated me very well! I hope you are able to make the adjustments you desire for a nourishing product! :) ~Alieta

  41. avatar Angie says:


    Love this recipe!!!

    A question, the finish product it is creamy or smooth enough to pour into a tube packaging instead a tin or a jar?

    Also, I would like to receive some tips regarding the best essential oils and butters effective to remove skin spots.

    Thank you so much!!!!!!

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Angie, Thank you so much for enjoying the post! I love it too! :) You could definitely put this into tube like package, when cool it might take a little squeeze to get out but when it’s warmed up it is very lotiony. As far as sun spots go, you might find some useful information in some herbal books on body care, we have a few favorite selections you can peak at right here: Thank you again so much for enjoying! Have a good day. ~ Alieta

  42. avatar Ashley says:

    Hello Kori,

    I really loved this post and further, love the recipe. It must be so incredibly fragrant. I love Lavender dearly. I can’t wait to give it a go and enjoy! I love all of you folks at Mountain Rose Herbs. Thanks so much for sharing. :)

    Ashley P.

  43. avatar tami says:

    hi – I am making my own sunscreen. I have been looking for a quality red raspberry seed oil – actually a recipe that I saw online suggested that I get it from you, which I would – if you carried it? any chance of that?
    Same with carrot seed oil. These both seem to have a high natural SPF – and the benefit of raspberry seed oil is that it offers UVA and UVB protection. See the link here (see the comments section for the papers that provide the SPFs for each oil as well as a suggestion to go to mountain rose for the oils!)

    I’d absolutely LOVE to get all of the ingredients to make my own sunscreen from you!

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Tami, Unfortunately we do not carry Red Raspberry Seed Oil at this time, I will make sure to pass on your search to our product manager, we love hearing what our customers are looking for! I wish you the best of luck in finding a quality source in the interim. We only carry a carrot seed essential oil, which you are more than welcome to add to your sunscreen recipe for added benefits — I tried it with one of my recipes, but I decided to go with the soothing lavender instead. Carrot Seed Essential oil is great for skin, and could be diluted with a carrier oil if you are looking for a more basic recipe. I have heard that carrot seed oil has SPF value, because it is not something we test for and sun exposure can be very hazardous to ones health, I would not feel comfortable recommending it as protection all by itself, I hope you understand. Thank you again so much for enjoying the post and the kind words. ~ Alieta

  44. avatar Beverly says:

    Are you able to video the Free Herbal Event Friday August 29th for those of us far away? I really want to take the class so please video it if you can and share. What a great way to promote the business too, right? Thanks

    • avatar Kori says:

      Hi Beverly~ Thank you so much for your interest in the Free Herbalism Project! We are thrilled to be hosting this series of events to spread herbal knowledge at no cost to the community. As it is a regional event, we realize that other folks would like to have access to this information as well; this is why we record every Free Herbalism Project that we host. We want to capture these moments of herb wisdom for people around the world to be able to access for free. To watch these videos, please check out our Youtube page where we upload all of the events, as well as bonus material:
      You can also access the videos (and pictures) from the Free Herbalism Project website’s photo gallery page:
      To have the most up-to-date FHP information, please “like” the Facebook page:

      Thanks again for your interest!~Kori

  45. avatar Beverly says:

    Can you make this without the beeswax for us vegan friends of the creatures? Please let us know. Thanks!

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi Beverly, You could absolutely make the recipe without beeswax. However, you will need a wax to hold the recipe together and to get it to solidify. I would suggest Carnauba wax which you can find here: I have not used it in this recipe, but I know a lot of vegans use it to replace beeswax in other body care recipes so it should work just fine here! Best of luck Beverly! ~ Alieta

  46. avatar Sapphy says:


    My skin is *very* prone to congestion and I’m wondering if you know if zinc oxide is non-comedogenic//non-pore clogging? I’ve used SO many natural sunscreens and they break me out…. Thanks so much in advance for your reply.

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Sapphy, Thank you so much for reading. It is very difficult for me to know weather or not this recipe will irritate you. However, I would check into the ingredient list on some of the products you have tried and research into some of the ingredients that are common between them. There is several oils in this recipe, if you know of an oil or two that does not irritate your skin I would use those in place of the oils I selected. You could absolutely make this recipe with just one oil, so long as the ratios of oils to butter and waxes remains the same! :) I don’t think it would be the zinc you would need to worry about, but all of the oils and butters. I encourage you to do some research into the products that work well for you and reformulate a recipe that just includes oils and butters which do not irritate your delicate skin — it might be a little tedious but it will be such a delight in the end! Best of luck to you Sapphy! ~ Alieta

  47. avatar Alison Turner says:

    Could the lavender be left out of this recipe? I am allergic to it.

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi Allison, You could definitely leave the Lavender out of this recipe. No essential oils need to be in this recipe, I added it for extra sweetness. Carrot seed oil is very good for your skin and would be a great addition if you have it around! I hope that helps! ~Alieta

  48. avatar diana says:

    I’ve been making Comfrey salve for years, & use it for just about any skin ailment, but especially sunburns. I have been to the beach twice this summer for a total of three weeks, & the only product I used, before & after, was my comfrey salve. Was very pleased that not only did I not burn, but I tanned well. I will definitely make & try your recipe. Thanks!

  49. avatar sarrow says:

    Hello! What is the shelf life? And when will the calendula flowers be back in stock?
    thank you!

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Sarrow, This recipe will last a summer, roughly three months. You could extend the shelf life a little bit by excluding the aloe vera juice. Unfortunately I do not have an ETA on Calendula flowers at this time, please check back in a few weeks. Thanks so much for enjoying the post! ~ Alieta

  50. avatar pat bortolin says:

    Thanks, I luv the recipe and I luv herbs.

    Cheers from Canada.

  51. avatar Doris says:

    I made this wonderful sunscreen without the zinc oxide and it came out wonderful. However, the neem oil is a bit TOO strong to bear. Any suggestion on how to fix it so I can use my homemade sunscreen? Thanks for your help

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Doris, Glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe and found a way for it to work for you! I did not mind the nutty scent of the neem oil combined with the lavender oil and coconut butter — but if it is still bothering you, you could add more lavender oil or the next time you make the recipe you could replace it with a different oil such as jojoba, grapeseed, or almond. I hope that helps! Thanks again. ~ Alieta

  52. avatar Ann says:

    Hi there,
    Have to say I use your site often for info, & appreciate this excellent resource. Thank you!
    I have made my own sunblock with similar ingredients,
    as I don’t like the carcinogens in ‘regular’ sunblocks. Seems to be effective enough, & I’ve added carrot seed oil to mine, but I also avoid the midday sun whenever possible, & re-apply sunscreen.
    I’m wondering tho, if there’s an alternative for aloe gel, as I am allergic to it?
    Would magnesium gel be a worthwhile additive?
    Or do I even need a replacement for the aloe gel?
    Thanks so much for your time & answers.

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Ann, How wonderful to hear you have your own recipes for sunscreen alternatives! Carrot seed oil is a great addition! You could certainly omit the aloe vera juice without much difficulty. Your final product would last longer actually, if you left it out, since it is a water based material. I have not used a magnesium gel, but would consider replacing the aloe with a vegetable glycerine or something of similar substance. Don’t be shy to simply omit it though! Can’t wait to hear how it goes! Thanks so much for sharing! ~Alieta

  53. avatar Angie says:

    I love this recipe!!!!
    Just a question, the final product it is enough creamy and smooth to pour into a tube packaging instead a tin or a jar?
    Also, I want some tips to use essential oils in creams, lotions or Aloe gel, to treat the skin spots, some of them produced by sun exposure.
    Thank you!!!!

  54. avatar Gloria says:

    So, would I be able to add enough zinc oxide to make it a higher spf than 15? I go from white to sunburn in 60 seconds. Seriously. Also, can you link to the zinc oxide you purchased online?


    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Gloria, Unfortunately because hand mixing cannot perfectly distribute the zinc, and I do not have proper equipment for testing SPF levels, I cannot suggest the SPF would go higher. I have seen natural products on the market that only use zinc as an active ingredient and they claim to have an spf of 30, to veer on the safe side I made sure to expect a lower SPF just in case distribution turns out to not be even in one portion of my mixture. All of the oils in this recipe are extremely beneficial to skin and will help it stay nourished while being exposed, so it’s possible you wont need as much SPF as normal! I wear this out often and never get burnt, the one day this summer I didn’t wear it for only a short period in the yard, and I was burnt — fun tan lines and all! I would suggest trying out a small batch and seeing how it works on you and adjusting from there. There are many options for purchasing zinc online, via a google search, or you could check in with your local pharmacy! Best of luck Gloria! ~ Alieta

  55. avatar Janice says:

    Do you have a preservative in this? If not, how long before it spoils bactetia grow in, it?

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Janice, Thank you so much for enjoying the post! I use the vitamin E oil as a natural preservative, this recipe does have water in it (aloe vera) and because of this it should not be expected to last longer than a couple of months. I planned on it lasting roughly a summer season. You could leave the aloe out to extend the life a little longer. As always, keeping it in a cool dark environment will also help extend the life. If you know of a preservative you are comfortable using you could also add that. I hope that helps, thank you again for enjoying! ~ Alieta

  56. avatar James says:

    Hello and thanks for the information! I’ve been looking for a natural sun screen to make! As you mentioned, you can add the zinc (if you want). Why would someone not want to add zinc to the mix? Is it a known irritant when applied topically?

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there James, Great question! The zinc is not a known irritant that I have heard of, it is often found in diaper rash creams — so I think quite the opposite! It did occur to me that some people prefer to have a completely herbal body care product, lacking the mineral, and also this isn’t a product we carry and is often not found around the house :) I use zinc in all of my sunscreens right now. ~Alieta

  57. avatar sadaf says:

    If I have not Shea butter then what should be its replacement

    • avatar Alieta says:

      Hi there Sadaf, You are welcome to use more cocoa butter or coconut oil in place of the shea butter. If you use more cocoa butter it will turn out a little more solid than my recipe, and if you use more coconut oil it will melt more when exposed to the warm rays of the summer. Maybe you could replace with 1/2 cocoa butter and 1/2 coconut oil for a similar consistency. Mango butter would also be a very similar and safe replacement also. Let us know how it goes! ~Alieta

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  • ErinErin (362)
    Erin is the Marketing Director at Mountain Rose and studied herbalism, botany, and ethical wildcrafting at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. She spends her days making botanical illustrations, playing in the garden, creating culinary gems, and formulating medicine in the magnificent Oregon Cascades.
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