All Natural SPF Sun Oil

I’m always on the hunt for natural alternatives to everyday beauty products. As the temperatures start to warm up, the only thing on my mind is long days spent in the sunshine. For me, I always feel healthier (and a little bit happier) when I have some color on my skin. Exposure to direct sunlight is a key way that your body absorbs Vitamin D. From building up the immune system to providing just the right amount of calcium and phosphorus for healthy bones, vitamin D is essential for proper growth. Spending a little time outdoors is the easiest way to take in Vitamin D, but it’s important to protect our skin while doing so.

There are hundreds of sun protectants out there, but most of them have unfamiliar chemicals and ingredients in them. When I read that there are some essential oils that naturally contain SPF, I was surprised by how powerful many of them in fact are. Oils from everyday ingredients, like carrots and avocado, can supply sun protection that is chemical free!

spf veggies

Below is a little chart that specifies some of the oils that naturally have an SPF.

spf chart

There are a ton of recipes out there for homemade sunscreen, so using those and knowledge of my skin type, I came up with a recipe for an all natural SPF sun oil that will help protect my skin while supplying ultimate moisture for my upcoming days spent at the beach.

oil in jar

What you need:

1/4 cup Shea Butter (contains a SPF of about 6)

1/4 cup Coconut Oil (contains a SPF of about 10)

1 tbsp Avocado Oil

1 tbsp Almond Oil

1 tbsp Jojoba oil

30 drops Carrot Seed Oil

5 drops Peppermint Essential Oil (this is to add in an aromatic scent – coconut, vanilla, or lavender essential oil would also work nicely!)

2 tbsp Zinc Oxide Powder – Adding in the Zinc Oxide Powder will automatically make this recipe contain an SPF of 30, along with the other amounts of SPF from the oils (most health food stores should have this in stock!)*

*Be sure to wear gloves when you are handling Zinc Oxide Powder!

oil in jar

Add all of the ingredients into a glass bowl.  Leave the zinc oxide powder out until the end. Boil some water in a pot, and place the glass bowl over it, creating a double broiler. Bring the water down to a simmer, and stir the ingredients until everything has melted together. Remove from the heat, and now add in the zinc oxide powder. Mix up your ingredients until everything has blended together. Pour the mixture into a glass jar or other container. I’d stay away from trying to use a pump bottle as the mixture is thick and may not pump out very easily. I stuck mine in the fridge to allow it to cool and set before using.

spf oil bottle

I sat out in the sun this past weekend and lathered the sun oil onto my body, avoiding my face. I sat out for about 2 hours, and when I came inside, my body retained some color without being burnt! I will definitely be taking this with me whenever I’m headed to the beach.


More homemade beauty products from the BLDG 25 Blog.
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8 years ago

Oh my goodness I have GOT to try this.

8 years ago

You say that you avoided your face with your sunscreen, why is that? :)

8 years ago

I have red hair and extremely fair skin. I’ll sunburn in 60 degree weather at 3pm if I’m not careful. I’d LOVE to try this but am apprehensive as I always thought oil was a tan accelerator. Are you SURE this works?? :) Id love to make the transition into natural products. Also do you know if it’s waterproof and/or approved for swimming?

8 years ago

Hi, I’m also worried about putting this on myself and my children. Are there any sort of studies or things that you could link me to that confirm that this is actually true and effective in preventing skin cell damage? Thank you!!

8 years ago

this looks great! A natural sun protectant sounds great, but as some other readers have expressed, I am apprehensive. SPF number is a unit based on concentration or amount applied for effectiveness. How much of the above natural products has to be worn to achieve the SPF effectiveness you have listed with them? How much are you actually getting in the constitution of your oil recipe? As others said, this looks lovely! but I wouldn’t want to put myself or my skin at unknown risk and would feel better using and sharing this if there was more information available since sun protection is a matter of health. Thanks!

8 years ago

PLEASE NOBODY USE THIS AS A SUNSCREEN! This could not possibly block the harmful UVA, UVB, & UVC rays that cause sunburn, hyperpigmentation & skin cancer! Putting oil on your skin will only increase the intensity of the rays that hit you, much like frying an egg on the pavement. I know the people at FP mean well, & are trying to encourage the use of natural products, but there is no natural substitute for sunscreen aside from staying covered or in the shade. Buy a cute wide brimmed hat or parasol instead. Don’t use this stuff!

8 years ago

I’m also apprehensive to this sunscreen, it looks nice, but I’m not sure it would work. To anybody who doesn’t want to use this style of sunscreen, Badger’s suncream is super minimalistic and all natural. It can be quite thick, but I find it to be the best organic sunscreen I’ve used so far. <3

8 years ago

I have been reading up on natural alternatives, and these are the ingrediants in much of the natural products that are on the market, I don’t blame people for wanting natural alternatives, shoot much of the chemicals in sunscreen are proven to cause cancer in lab rats, enough said! When you add zinc the mixture is no longer a clear oil

8 years ago

Many sun screens contain zinc oxide. I’m guessing that whatever acceleration the oil may cause would be easily counteracted by the zinc oxide. That is what makes sunscreens white. If its got enough zinc oxide, it should work fine.

8 years ago

What are the other reasons to add Zinc Oxide to the Natural SPF, aside from it increasing the SPF to 30?

8 years ago

WHERE do you live? what zone and what is the UV index?

I live in AZ and would never use this recipe, and SIT out in the sun. This recipe would be fine if you are using it as a secondary treatment, under clothing that shades from the sun, while active. I recommend a BLOCK like hat/long-sleeve,pants and zinc if SITTING under the sun. If actively moving under the sun, a maximum of 15mins of exposure, to allow skin to make Vit D and acquire its OWN protective base color. check with your local DAILY UV index for your minimum requirement to make Vit D. There are apps that help to determine this vit D activity.

Carrot Seed Oil contains a lot of vitamin A. No one should sit in the sun with vitamin A on their skin. vitamin A causes sun sensitivity.
EcoMama, holistic RN

8 years ago

I LOVE ESSENTIAL OILS!! It’s crazy to think of all the chemicals out there hidden in the every day products we use. It seems as if there is an oil for anything! If anyone would like ESSENTIAL OILS please feel free to check out my website ( , message or e-mail me ( I’d love to help you out!

8 years ago

I wonder where can I buy zinc oxide powder in Indonesia but I will find out. However thank you for sharing your homemade SPf oil :P

8 years ago

My sister uses a very similar recipe for a sunscreen. I as well use it. I have very fair skin and burn very easily. My sister and I also have red headed fair skinned babies and use it on them and it Works wonderful. and it will also nourish your skin.

8 years ago

To people concerned that this is “unsafe” or something similar, zinc oxide is the original sun protectant. It’s the active ingredient in LOTS of the sunscreens that you will find at your health food store, whole foods, etc. This recipe is very, very likely to work as a sun screen – as in, it pretty much IS a sun screen, equivalent to the things you would buy somewhere like whole foods.

However, contrary to what you will read in the post, this sun screen will NOT allow you to absorb vitamin D. You cannot use a sun protectant if you want to absorb vitamin D. And our society is very deficient in this vitamin. Many supplement with it, but the best source of vitamin D is always going to be from the sun itself, so DEFINITELY use this sun screen to keep yourself protected when necessary, but… don’t use ALL the time or you’ll never get any vitamin D

– Catie

8 years ago

I have been using a similar recipie for over a year now and am constantly amazed and how well it works. My skin has not only improved but I haven’t been burnt once. I am in the sun every day and live in a hot tropical climate where it is impossible to avoid direct sun. Absolutely recommended and wish I had known that oils don’t necessarily burn you but protect you and feed your skin at the same time.

Telma DaSilva
7 years ago

I used a similar recipe in me and my 3boys, I just add calamine lotion, zinc cream for diaper rashes, vitamin E capsules, and aloe Vera for extra care for the skin, it also simplify the the extra work to get zinc in powder .
It works great in the Florida sun.!

7 years ago

to Anonymous:::: CHEMICAL SUNSCREENS cause skin cancer. Artificial chemicals cause damage to your dna not the sun! Also sunglasses block your pineal gland from producing melatonin which NATURALLY protects your skin, helps it tan and does not allow the harmful rays into the inner layers of the skin. Google it and stop posting shit! Why have skin cancer rates gone UP since the invention of chemical sunscreen. My grandparents were farmers, spent ALL day in the sun with absolutely no sunscreen and NONE of them had ever even a mole to show for it. Wake the fuck up!!!!!

7 years ago

Hey, just so you guys know, zinc oxide is a very finicky ingredient and more often than not de-stabilizes in recipes that are not finely tuned and scientifically tested many times. Adding zinc oxide DOES NOT automatically make something SPF 20 or over. Please know that it is very important to understand the science of sunscreen products before telling people they can go and make their own sunscreen who will probably use it on their children.

Also, there is no guarantee that these oils will protect you from harmful UV and UVB rays and you should not assume that just because you have a mixture of skin protecting oils that you can be in the sun for hours on end. The best natural protecting from harmful rays is a gradual tan and taking continuous breaks in the shade throughout the time spent outside. The ancient Greeks did use olive oil AFTER sun exposure to prevent mild burning and dry skin, so there’s that…

7 years ago

Thanks for sharing this. I tried some of these oils and had good results for off peak times of the day (mornings and late afternoons) in Maui. My family tried them afterwards and we all had success despite being fair-skinned. We also wear hats and generally avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day or use zinc oxide based block those times of the day. Many locals avoid sunblock here, many use wheat germ oil.

7 years ago

To everyone who is worried about using a natural product which you know every ingredient it has in. You should all be more worried about using sunscreen from supermarkets etc which actually contain lots of harmful cancer causing chemicals. Do some research and think about what you are using on yourself and your children.
tjis is a great recipe.

7 years ago

As with anything, including chemical based sunscreens, there are many factors that play into what is effective for one person vs another. We can’t stop living or stop going outside so if you’re going to try out a new product no matter what it is just do so with caution. Maybe use it on yourself first instead of your children and when the uv index is on the lower side…and of course re-application is key particularily when it comes to natural base sunscreens as my experience has been that they don’t quite have the staying power. So we just re-apply them often. For the most part we use natural unless we are at the beach for the day. So maybe let’s not judge someone for sharing something that works for them. We need to stick together people! Just use your own common sense when testing new products. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I can’t wait to try it out!

7 years ago

I have just made this recipe and used it for the first time I have to say so far so good. It feels super smooth and certainly has a far superior consistency from those awful full of chemicals commercial shop bought versions. All natural and not one nasty chemical.
I’m sure there are many versions and for sure this to could be tweaked or cutomised to your own requirements.
Thank you so much for a fabulous recipe.

6 years ago

Hi Jana!

Carrot seed oil hasn’t been proven to protect against the sun, but raspberry seed oil has! I researched the natural oils and their SPFs for my girlfriend and found so much misinformation!

So I made a ranked list with links to the studies that provided the data. Hope this helps you and your readers!

Natural oil SPF list:

6 years ago

Try pure hazelnut oil. It is moisturizing, quickly absorbed leaving no surface residual shine or
sticky feeling, non-staining, has a natural SPF of 15 and is mildly antimicrobial & antifungal.
Unadulterated, ours is a clear bright gold color, has a light nutty scent and does not turn solid in
the refrigerator as some do.

Beware! We have found that the Organic label may mean nothing with regard to adulteration.