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DIY Natural Sunscreen Recipe

When it comes to sun protection, most people are shocked when I tell them I rarely use sunscreen anymore on myself or my children.  The main reason is because I learned I was not only depleting our Vitamin D levels (which help prevent 22 types of cancer), but I had no idea what I was actually lathering on our skin.

Not only does most sunscreen contain toxic chemicals linked to cancer but when your in the sun for hours, the sun is burning those toxic chemicals into your skin.  Which are then absorbed into your bloodstream and eventually filtered into your organs.  The average person thinks their applying sunscreen to block out “dangerous” UV rays.  But those UV rays may not be as dangerous as you think.   

There are different UV rays: UVA and UVB.  As Dr. Joseph Mercola states, “Appropriate sun exposure actually helps prevent skin cancer. In fact, melanoma occurrence has been found to decrease with greater sun exposure, and can be increased by using sunscreens.”  Ingredients in sunscreen can block UV rays from penetrating your skin, decreasing your sun exposure and increasing your chances for vitamin D deficiency.

Studies show that up to 85 percent of the U.S. suffers from vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is actually a hormone your body makes and is a key component in preventing cancer, depression, diabetes, and the flu. And these are only a few of Vitamin D’s benefits. So you want to make sure you are protected but get a little sun exposure everyday to maintain optimum health. 

I'm still careful about sun exposure and if I know we're going to be outdoors for a long period of time, I make sure we're covered up with a hat and protective clothing, get in the shade or go inside if we get too hot.  That's where this natural sunscreen recipe comes in handy.  If you want to stay out a few hours and optimize your Vitamin D levels like we do, this is a great one to try.  

This recipe for homemade coconut oil sunscreen uses a variety of oils and the end product is more of a luxurious, thick body butter. It is safe for the whole family, though you want to make sure children do not ingest any of it. The beeswax will help it be slightly water-repellent.  When not in use, store the mixture in the fridge to help extend the shelf-life.

You can use whatever essential oils you would like for the scent, but make sure to stay away from phototoxic essential oils, which include the citrus family and a few others. When these essential oils are exposed to the sun, they can cause the skin to burn faster.  This is a rich body butter, so a little goes a long way.  You can find all of these ingredients online in the links below or at your local health food store.

Homemade Coconut Oil Sunscreen Recipe


1/4 cup Organic, Cold Pressed, Unrefined Coconut oil

1/4 cup Organic Unrefined Shea butter

1/8 cup Organic Jojoba oil

2 tbsp. Organic Beeswax granules

1-2 tbsp.Zinc Oxide powder (optional)

1 tsp. Organic Red Raspberry seed oil

20-30 drops Organic Carrot seed essential oil

Add essential oils of your choice (lavender, rosemary, vanilla, and/or peppermint are nice)


1. Using a double boiler (or a small pan over very low heat), melt your coconut oil, sesame or jojoba oil, beeswax, and shea butter together. The beeswax will be the last to melt.

2. When the beeswax is melted, remove the mixture from the heat and let cool to room temperature. If you’re using zinc oxide, whisk it in at this point, being careful not to create a lot of dust. If there are some lumps, that’s OK. They will break up when you whip the body butter in step 4.

3. Move the mixture to the fridge for 15-30 minutes. You want it to start to set up, but still be soft enough to whip.

4. Take the mixture out of the fridge and using a stand mixer or hand mixer, start to whip it. Drizzle in the red raspberry seed oil, the carrot seed oil, and any essential oils of your choice, and continue whipping until the mixture is light and fluffy.

6. Use as you would any regular sunscreen. Application rates will depend on your activity and exposure to water. Store in a glass container in the fridge between uses.

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