Homemade chemical free sunscreen recipe – a more user friendly formula

Summer is in full swing, and as a pasty-pale girl, I am always on the lookout for ways to protect my skin from sun burns.  This chemical free sunscreen recipe is my current favorite.  It provides me great sun protection and is much easier to apply than my previous recipe

homemade natural chemical free sunscreen recipe

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A commercially available option

Last month I told you all about a fantastic new chemical free sunscreen that I found on the market – from Goddess Garden Organics.  If you want the benefits of a natural, chemical free sunscreen without the hassle of making your own, I highly recommend you try out this easy to use product!

My chemical free sunscreen recipe

But if you’re feeling adventurous (or just want to make your own), try out my recipe!  If you’ve previously made my Homemade Natural Sunscreen Recipe, this “user friendly” sunscreen is super easy to make – all you need is that sunscreen and aloe vera gel.  I’ll give you the full recipe, too, in case you haven’t tried my other sunscreen.  

A note about aloe vera gel: many products that I have seen are loaded with chemicals and dyes.  When purchasing aloe vera gel, look for one that is over 99% aloe vera, and check the other ingredients (the Environmental Working Group website or app is really helpful).  This is a “do as I say, not as I do” moment – I checked the EWG for the aloe that I had on hand and used in my recipe, and found that it is NOT 100% aloe vera!  I am highly disappointed.  Next time I need to purchase aloe, I’ll go with an organic product like Nature Sense aloe vera gel.  While this Nature Sense product is not in the EWG database yet, I checked the ingredients against other aloe vera gel products and expect it to receive a “1” rating (best rating possible).  

From my original recipe:


Diana’s Homemade Natural Sunscreen

Aloe vera gel


  1. For each tablespoon (15 grams) of sunscreen, add 5 teaspoons (25 grams) aloe vera gel.  Heat slowly (I microwaved in a mason jar for 10 seconds at a time) and stir well.  
  2. Allow to cool before using.
  3. When I use this product, I apply liberally any time I need protection from the sun!

supplies to thin homemade natural sunscreen

From scratch:

Makes about 2.75 cups


70 grams coconut oil
109 grams shea butter
13.6 grams cocoa butter
82.5 grams non-nano zinc oxide powder
460 grams aloe vera gel (30.5 tablespoons, or 1 cup + 3/4 cup + 4 teaspoons)
homemade natural sunscreen ingredients
  1. Melt the coconut oil and, very carefully, using care not to inhale any power, add the zinc oxide powder.  (A particle respirator can be worn if you’re concerned.)
  2. Still using care not to inhale any power, stir the zinc oxide powder into the coconut oil. 
  3. Add the shea butter and cocoa butter,  warm a little more if needed, and stir until evenly blended.
  4. Next, add the red raspberry seed oil and stir again until evenly distributed.
  5. Add the aloe vera gel and stir until completely blended.  

Store in an airtight container. I store in a mason jar and scoop out as needed.  Due to the thinner consistency of this sunscreen, you could reuse an old sunscreen or lotion squeeze tube.  Once this sunscreen cools, it does separate into the aloe gel (water based) and zinc oxide/oil blend (oil based).  It ends up having a cottage cheese-like consistency, as shown in the photo below.  This separation does not negatively affect the function of this sunscreen.  I have been using it for months and as long as I blend the sunscreen into my skin well, it is very effective at protecting my skin from burns.

sunscreen blended with aloe vera gel separates but still functions well

Why I love this chemical free sunscreen recipe

I like this sunscreen for many reasons.  #1, for me, it works: it protects my skin from burns and doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin.  Please use caution when trying any homemade recipe, as your body may react differently. #2, it is MUCH easier to apply than most of the oil-laden chemical free sunscreen creams that I have used (homemade and commercially available).  #3, it is cheaper than the buying sunscreen.  #4 Aloe is great – hydrating for your skin, cooling when applied, and smells nice and summery fresh!

This chemical free sunscreen recipe makes a product that easily blends into skin
This chemical free sunscreen recipe makes a product that easily blends into skin

Organic coconut oil – $14.99 for 54 oz (1458.99 g) at BJ’s Wholesale Club; (70g/1458.99g)x$14.99=$0.719 (or on Amazon for $16.99)

Organic shea butter – $11.70 for 1 lb (453.59 g) on Amazon; (109g/453.59g)x$11.70=$2.812

Organic cocoa butter – $15.15 for 1 lb (453.59 g) on Amazon; (13.6g/453.59g)x$15.15=$0.454

Organic red raspberry seed oil – $8.37 for 1.1 oz (650 drops) on Amazon; (30 drops/650 drops)x$8.37=$0.386

Zinc oxide powder – $8.95 for 1 lb (453.59 g) on Amazon; (82.5g/453.59g)x$8.95=$1.628

Aloe vera gel – $13.89 for 12 oz (about 354 grams) on Amazon; (460g/354g)x$13.89=$18.05

Total: $24.50 for 2.75 cups (735 grams = 25.6 oz), equating to $0.96 per ounce weight.  For comparison, Goddess Garden is $12.95 for 6 ounces, or $2.16 per ounce.  My recipe is less than half the cost!

Note:  The expensive ingredient in this sunscreen is the aloe vera gel.  My experience has shown me that aloe vera gel is one product that is often less expensive in brick and mortar stores than online, so you may be able to save even more by checking your local drug stores and grocery stores!

Have you ever made your own sunscreen?  Share your experiences in the comments below!

A less expensive and natural shaving cream alternative

My previous post about shaving with a double edge safety razor and bar soap may have been a bit too big of a change for some of my readers.  Don’t despair, today I have a less expensive shaving cream alternative for you!Inexpensive & Natural Shaving Cream Alternative - castile soap and disposable cartridge razor

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  See my Disclosure Policy for more information.

A less expensive shaving cream alternative

The (no longer) secret to a great, smooth shave for a fraction of the cost of shaving cream is: liquid castile soap!  

This less expensive shaving cream alternative works great for women’s legs and underarms, using a traditional disposable or disposable cartridge razor.  I have no experience with this product for men shavings faces, so if you try that, please proceed with caution.  I used my homemade liquid castile soap, undiluted Note:  since I bottled this for travel I decided to keep the full concentration of the soap, and dilute in my hands when I use it.  Recall that my normal dilution ratio for hand, face, and body soap is 3 parts water to 1 part castile soap.  Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap should work the same as my homemade liquid castile soap, based on my experience with both Dr. Bronner’s and my castile soap.

liquid castile soap finished product
homemade liquid castile soap
My Discovery

Normally when I travel by car I bring my double edge safety razor and a small piece of bar soap (which I carry in an Altoids tin), and I shave my normal way.  When I travel by air and do not want to check a bag (which is any time I fly – I am tired of damaged suitcases!), my options are bringing bar soap and my double edge safety razor WITHOUT a blade, or using a traditional disposable cartridge razor and shaving cream.  I have never been in the mood to search drug stores at my destination for double edge safety razor blades, so I usually go with the disposable cartridge razor (I use Venus) and a travel size can of shaving cream.  

On my last plane trip, I had my Venus razor, but forgot to pack the can of shaving cream.  When I got to my hotel room, I looked at my options for a shaving cream alternative.  I had my liquid castile soap, my favorite Trader Joe’s shampoo, hotel bar soap, hotel shampoo, and hotel conditioner.  I knew the hotel/commercial bar soaps were too sticky (I had tried that years ago and it was not good).  I’ve heard that conditioner is a shaving cream alternative.  But I had 2 reasons not to try to the hotel shampoo or conditioner.  1: there is no ingredient list on those tiny bottles, so I couldn’t check for fragrances to which I am allergic.  2: Most shampoos include chemicals that I avoid, including sodium laurel sulfate and sodium laureth sulfate.  

Diluted castile soap with disposable cartridge razor
Castile soap with disposable cartridge razor

So, my shaving cream alternative options were castile soap or my shampoo.  My first try was the castile soap, because that bottle was more full, and I thought the shampoo might be too thick.  I was quite happy to discover that the castile soap worked well!

I am thrilled to have found this hack for a shaving cream alternative – I hated having to use chemical-laden shaving cream, but used to choose that convenience over having to search for razor blades at every travel destination.

How I use liquid castile soap as a shaving cream alternative

I poured 3-5 drops of my liquid castile soap into my hand, rubbed my hands together, and applied the soap to one leg at a time.  I then shaved using  my Venus razor, rinsing the razor after every few strokes.  The razor glided along my skin smoothly, without sticking or cutting.  My legs felt as smooth as they usually do after shaving with a disposable razor.  

Castile soap before dilution
Castile soap 

Note:  I still love my double edge safety razor and use that exclusively when there is no air travel involved.  I feel I get a longer lasting smooth shave, and prefer the cost and environmental benefits.


Shaving Cream: $2.50 (assuming I purchased on sale), lasts approximately 2 months.

Homemade Liquid Castile Soap: $12/gallon = $0.09375/oz

Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Soap: $16/32 oz = $0.50/oz

My travel bottle holds 3 ounces of liquid, which is about 1,800 drops (this estimate is based on 600 drops/ounce of essential oils, and the drops seen about the same size).  I used about 10 drops per shave.  Therefore I estimate this bottle will last about 180 shaves.  I estimate that, if used regularly (shaving every other day), the bottle of soap would last me 12 months.  Cost per month of shaving cream is $1.25 ($2.50/2=$1.25/month).   My soap is just over $0.02 per month (3oz x$0.09375/12 months=$0.023…).  The cost of using Dr. Bronner’s is just under $0.13 per month (3oz x $0.50/12months=$0.125).  

One year of shaving cream use is approximately $15, versus $1.50 using Dr. Bronner’s castile soap as a shaving cream alternative.  The savings might only be $13.50/year, but it’s 10 times less expensive than using the traditional product.  Every penny saved adds up!  Plus, no chemicals in this shaving cream alternative!

Disposable cartridge razor with cartridge packaging to cover blades
Disposable cartridge razor with cartridge packaging to cover blades

Do you have any travel or shaving tips?