Homemade Sun Lotion Recipe


This homemade sun lotion recipe is super easy to make, effective, and good for your skin!

Image shows a small jar of lotion with text that reads "DIY Sun Lotion"

If you’re like me, you have no interest whatsoever in wearing commercial, chemical sunscreen. It’s just not worth the risk of possible hormone disruption, allergies, or cancer.

But sunburn is no fun, either. Last summer, on a hot day, I decided to go out blackberry picking, wearing a tank top to keep cool. It was really thoughtless. Me, Whiter than sour cream, going out into the sun with bare shoulders. I came in looking like a lobster, and now I make sure to wear sleeves and a hat when I go picking.

That works for me, but my kids are just as white as I am and burn just as easily. Problem is, they don’t keep hats on very well, and at least one of them has a tendency to come in with fewer clothes than he went out in (what’s up with that?).

So this year, I decided to try making my own homemade natural sunscreen.

It’s amazing what you can do with a few oils and minerals. Really.

This is basically a homemade lotion with the addition of zinc oxide, which you can purchase from amazon.com. The zinc oxide protects the skin against the sun, and while the SPF numbers are a little lower, it turns out, SPF 30 isn’t twice as effective as spf 15. SPF 15 protects against 93 percent of UV rays, while 30 protects against 97%.

Homemade mineral sun lotions tend to be about 20spf, which works very well for me. 

If you’re skeptical of homemade sun lotion, try making really tiny batches using teaspoons where the recipe says tablespoons. Or if you love it, use cups (or half cups) instead of tablespoons!

Homemade Sun Lotion Recipe

  • 2 Tablespoons shea butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 Tablespoon zinc oxide
  • 4 drops tea tree oil

Melt the shea butter and coconut oil over gentle heat. Remove from heat, and stir in the zinc oxide and tea tree oil.

Pour into a container and let cool completely before using.

To use: apply liberally to exposed skin. Rub in well.

I find that it smears on much like commercial sunscreen, but once you’ve rubbed it in, you can barely tell that it’s there.

Recipes everyone can make!

Nourish your body with ingredients you already have in your kitchen!

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  1. I really wish I had remembered to look this up before going to the beach! I already had everything but the shea butter too.

    1. Well, for future reference, it would probably be fine without the shea butter. Just use extra coconut oil instead. 🙂

  2. i am allergic to Tea Tree Oil! What is the sun screening properties of adding this oil? Will it be as effective without it? Or is there another oil that can be used instead…..

    1. Hi Melanie! The zinc oxide is the real sunscreening power house, so you can easily drop the tea tree oil, or better yet, replace it with carrot seed oil. 🙂

  3. Some kids just can’t seem to keep their clothes on – especially for us that live with Nature. I had joined Young Living Essential Oils but had to cancel as I was required to buy a costly amount each month. Have they changed the requirements?

    1. You only have to buy $50 per year to retain membership – and even then, if you’re membership lapses, you just have to buy $50 worth to reactivate it.

      It’s only on Essential Rewards that you have to buy at least $50 worth per month – and that’s completely optional.

  4. Will this work if you were to get wet? What is the approximate time frame that it has when your dry or when your wet?

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