Natural Sunscreen with Zinc Oxide

There are only two things about summer I really can’t stand – sunburns and the smell of sunscreen. But as a fair-skinned maven, both are pretty much always on the menu. Nevertheless, I always deal with the smell because at least I’ll get used to it after a while; now a burn on the other hand never feels good! Coconut oil has been used a sunscreen for generations in the South Pacific, and there’s some belief it holds anywhere from an SPF 4 to SPF 10. While this may be enough for some lucky people possessing way more melanin than myself, I created a sunblock with a little more power behind it.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Ready for a day in the sun!

Kelapo Coconut Oil
Shea Butter
Essential Oil (optional)
Zinc Oxide Powder

  1. Mix coconut oil and shea butter, in a two-to-one ratio, in a pot over low heat until melted together
  2. Remove from heat and whisk in essential oil
  3. Add two parts zinc oxide powder
  4. Put into wide-mouth jar and let sit overnight

The percentage of zinc oxide in the mixture (in this case 40%) determines your SPF. If your mixture is 15% zinc oxide, it’s between a SPF 12 – 19. If you make this recipe exactly, it ends up being around SPF 68.  The American Melanoma Association recommends using at least an SPF 15 on a daily basis to help protect against skin cancer, so you can use a little less zinc oxide and still get plenty of sun barrier.

I did read you can add two teaspoons beeswax to help make your homemade sunscreen waterproof. How great is that! Now, because accidents happen, if you miss a spot or forget the sunscreen altogether, you can also use Kelapo Coconut Oil as a relief for your burn.

Stay safe and enjoy the weekend!


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2 Comments Post a comment

  1. Deb
    June 18, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Hi, how much coconut oil do I use to make the sunscreen? What kind and how many drops of essential oil do I use in this recipe?
    What do you mean by two parts zinc oxide powder because I’m thinking that could be a lot, especially if I were using cup measurements – like 2 cups coconut oil, 1 cup sheath butter and 2 cups zinc oxide powder??? Is this correct???
    Thank you.

    • June 24, 2015 at 1:42 pm


      Yes, you have the measurement ratio completely correct. Now you can make these smaller if you would like to make a smaller batch, the choice would be yours. You can use any scent of essential oil that is to your liking and I would start off with 5-10 drops and increase if needed for a stronger scent. Hope this helps!

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