DIY Natural Sunscreen Alternative
This DIY natural sunscreen alternative is perfect for people who want to enjoy the sun without chemical sunscreen or sunblock. Keep reading to discover exactly what it is and how to make it!
I love the sun. It is the ultimate healer and life-giver! The sun truly is the source of all life on earth. Every single plant, animal, and human being on this earth needs sunlight in order to survive and thrive.
Many people rely on sunblock to prevent sunburns and skin cancer while spending time in the sun.
Unfortunately, sunblock does exactly what the name implies – blocks the sun which means it also blocks the healing benefits of the sun.
Chemicals sunscreens are also filled with highly toxic ingredients which is why I stopped using them a few years ago.
Most chemical sunscreens contain benzophenone which is a dangerous free radical generator. The EWG has a great article highlighting the dangers of sunscreen ingredients.
But just because I believe in the healing power of the sun and choose not to use sunblock or sunscreen doesn’t mean I recklessly spend all day in the sun without protecting my skin.
I practice sun safety and am very mindful of my sun exposure. I also use my DIY natural sunscreen alternative (recipe below) whenever I’m going to be in the sun for a prolonged period of time.
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But before I share the recipe for my DIY natural sunscreen alternative, I think it’s important to address the topic of nourishment and a healthy diet in regards to skin health.
Skin Health Starts On The Inside
Nourishing your body from the inside out is the most important thing you can do to protect your skin from the sun.
A healthy body is going to react differently to sun exposure than an unhealthy body. Sun exposure can actually cause harm to an unhealthy/toxic body.
Chemicals and PUFAs in and on the body in combination with sun exposure are a recipe for disaster.
It’s kind of like gasoline and a match. A match on its own isn’t dangerous. It can actually be used for good. You can use it to light a candle for light or to light a campfire for warmth.
But if you light the match near something that has been soaked with gasoline it can cause absolute devastation. But is that the match’s fault or the gasoline’s fault?
Many people believe in the power of sunscreen/sunblock and rely on it fully for sunburn protection and skin cancer prevention.
In my opinion, sunscreen/sunblock gives people a false sense of security.
My primary concern is that it is not as effective as we have been led to believe and may actually be harmful.
If you want to prevent sunburn and skin cancer while also harnessing the healing benefits of the sun you need to nourish your body from the inside out while also being mindful of your sun exposure and practicing sun safety.
I recommend reading the posts below to learn more about the healing benefits of the sun, the potential dangers of sunscreen/sunblock, the PUFA/skin cancer connection, and mindful sun exposure.
- The Power of the Sun: Healing Benefits of Sunlight
- What Are PUFAs & Why You Should Avoid Them
- How To Protect Your Skin From the Sun Without Sunscreen
Consuming a pro-metabolic diet can dramatically improve skin health. Pro-metabolic foods like beef liver, shellfish, potatoes, grass-fed butter, and orange juice are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help to nourish and protect the skin.
Since I started eating pro-metabolically my skin has never looked better. The age spots on my hands have started to diminish as well as the fine lines on my face.
I also spend hours everyday working in my garden (without sunscreen/sunblock in Southern California) and never burn. I tan easily and my skin looks bronzed and glowy.
So instead of relying on sunscreen/sunblock to protect our skin, it’s better to be mindful of our time spent in the sun and nourish our bodies from the inside out.
This is important to address because this DIY sunscreen alternative is not enough on its own. It works best when used in combination with healthy eating and mindful sun exposure.
How To Make DIY Natural Sunscreen Alternative
To make this DIY natural sunscreen alternative you’ll need the following items.
- Shea butter
- Coconut oil
- Vitamin E
- Carrot seed essential oil
- 4oz glass jar or cardboard tube
- Double boiler
Shea butter is rich in vitamin A and E, both of which enhance skin cell regeneration and promote blood circulation below the surface of the skin. It’s extremely moisturizing as well and is also easily absorbed by the skin.
Shea butter also contains cinnamic acid. This study concluded that cinnamic acid has essential characteristics to be considered a sunscreen due to its ability to absorb harmful UV rays and fight free radicals.
Shea butter has an SPF of 4-6.
Coconut oil also has a natural SPF of 4-6. Coconut oil is rich in antioxidants that can help protect the skin from the sun.
Beeswax helps to give this DIY natural sunscreen alternative a solid consistency which helps to prevent it from melting and also helps to make it waterproof.
Vitamin E softens the skin and protects the skin cells from damage.
According to WebMD, carrot seed essential oil contains a compound called umbelliferone which absorbs UVB light and is commonly used in sunscreens.
I personally don’t know how accurate that claim is. I chose to use carrot seed essential oil in this DIY natural sunscreen alternative simply because of its skin-loving, antioxidant properties.
Carrot seed essential oil has a very distinct scent. I personally don’t mind it but I know some people really dislike it.
If you’re bothered by it feel free to add 4-6 drops of ylang-ylang, geranium, jasmine, or lavender essential oil.
Carrot Oil Confusion
There is a lot of confusion surrounding carrot seed oil and sun protection. So I’m going to try to clear up some of that confusion below.
To my knowledge, there are several different forms of oils made from carrots or carrot seeds.
Carrot oil: Carrot oil is a carrier oil. It is made from a mixture of crushed carrot roots immersed typically in olive or coconut oil. It is often used for cooking.
Carrot seed oil: Carrot seed oil is extracted by cold-pressing the seeds of the carrot plant (daucus carota sativa).
Carrot seed essential oil: Carrot seed essential oil is extracted from the seed of the carrot plant (daucus carota sativa) using steam distillation.
Carrot seed essential oil and carrot seed oil have different properties due to the different extraction methods used.
Some say carrot seed oil has an SPF over 35 but I looked high and low and couldn’t find any reputable studies to confirm this.
The one study most people use to make this claim, in my opinion, doesn’t clearly prove the SPF of carrot seed oil and is a poorly done study.
The study tested 14 unnamed natural sunscreens. The study never discloses the full ingredients of the sunscreens. So there is no way of knowing which of the ingredients were truly providing sun protection and which were not.
Also, the study doesn’t disclose which type of carrot oil the sunscreens contained.
I’m not saying carrot oils don’t provide sun protection. I’m just not going to make claims about the SPF of carrot oils or my DIY natural sunscreen alternative.
But with that being said I do plan on making a different version of this recipe using carrot seed oil rather than carrot seed essential oil and experiment to see which one works better or if there is any difference at all.
I’ll keep you updated!
DIY Natural Sunscreen Alternative Recipe
The exact amounts for this recipe are below. This will make approximately 4 ounces.
- 2 tbsp of shea butter
- 1.5 tbsp coconut oil
- 1.5 tbsp beeswax
- 20 drops vitamin E
- 10 drops carrot seed essential oil
Simply use a double boiler to melt the shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil. Once fully melted turn off the heat and add the carrot seed essential oil and vitamin E. Quickly mix together. Once fully blended carefully pour the mixture into the jar or tube.
Allow to fully cool before using. You can stick it in the fridge to speed up the cooling process.
I personally prefer to use a cardboard tube when making this DIY natural sunscreen alternative but when I put together this post I didn’t have one on hand so I used the jar. The tube makes application so easy.
DIY Natural Sunscreen Alternative
This DIY natural sunscreen alternative is perfect for people who want to enjoy the sun without chemical sunscreen or sunblock.
- Use a double boiler to melt 2 tablespoons of shea butter, 1.5 tablespoons of coconut oil, and 1.5 tablespoons of beeswax.
- Once fully melted, remove from heat.
- Add 10 drops of carrot seed essential oil.
- Add 20 drops of vitamin E.
- Mix well.
- Pour into a jar or another container.
- Allow to fully cool and become solid before use.
Carrot seed essential oil has a very distinct scent. If you’re bothered by it feel free to add 4-6 drops of ylang-ylang, geranium, jasmine, or lavender essential oil.
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If you don’t have a double boiler you can warm up some water in a saucepan and place a mason jar inside the saucepan. Add the shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil to the mason jar to melt it fully and continue the recipe as directed above.
Before I purchased a double boiler I used to use the microwave to meltdown my oils and butters but I don’t recommend that at all anymore.
Microwaves destroy vital nutrients in the oils and butters (and also in food for the matter). We definitely want the nutrients to stay intact because that’s what makes this DIY natural sunscreen alternative so protective and nourishing.
How To Use DIY Natural Sunscreen Alternative
To use this DIY natural sunscreen alternative simply apply wherever your skin is exposed to the sun – before, during, and after sun exposure. I usually reapply every hour.
But please remember this is not sunscreen – I repeat this is not sunscreen. Please don’t ignore all the other advice I’ve given about nutrition and mindful sun exposure and spend all day at the beach in hopes that this DIY natural sunscreen alternative alone will protect you.
As I mentioned earlier, I use this in combination with healthy eating and mindful sun exposure. I spend hours every day in the sun without sunscreen and I don’t remember the last time I had a sunburn.
I can’t express enough how important nutrition is to skin health and sun protection.
This DIY natural sunscreen alternative just adds an extra measure of protection while also moisturizing and nourishing the skin.