A hot day in the Valley of the Sun is enough to take your breath away. The golden sunlight envelops the landscape, the deep blue sky stretching for miles on end. The heat has a special glow that brings out the vivid shades of green in the trees and flowers’ colors. Annie paused at the kitchen window as she sipped a cold green tea. She and LJ were planning a day trip to Arcosanti to tour the experimental town. The tour was mainly outside, which meant a lot of sun exposure. She turned from the window as LJ walked into the kitchen.

“Babes, we’ll need sunblock and lots of it to tour Arcosanti.”

LJ nodded thoughtfully, “I’ll make a run to the pharmacy, but I don’t think we need a lot; it will be fall in a few weeks, so we won’t need it then.”

Annie shook her head. “According to the American Cancer Society, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage our skin and cause skin cancer at any time of the year. And rates of melanoma are increasing in all racial groups, regardless of skin color. Unfortunately, melanoma is often diagnosed at a later stage and has a lower survival rate for Black and Hispanic people. The CDC reports that melanoma is the fifth most common type of cancer in the US. If left unchecked, melanoma can be deadly. With global warming, we need to be even more vigilant and never go outside without sunblock.”

“Okay, but I heard some sunscreens contain chemicals that are bad for our health or the environment.”

“That’s true. Some sunscreens contain ingredients that can be harmful to hormone levels, cause allergic reactions, and, if worn in the oceans and rivers, can damage coral reefs and maritime habitats. That’s why I’d like to make our sunscreen using natural ingredients that are safe and effective.”

“So I’m making a grocery store run?”

“We actually have most of the ingredients already, like coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax. I bought some essential oils a while ago and keep zinc oxide. I just happen to have six recipes right here. They all have different SPF levels and water resistance times. We can try them out and see which one we like best.”

LJ tied his apron, “Let’s get started.”

“OK. Here are the ingredients and instructions for each recipe:

  • DIY Natural Sunscreen by Wellness Mama. This recipe uses natural ingredients like coconut oil, shea butter, beeswax, and zinc oxide to create a nourishing and effective sunscreen. It has an SPF of about 20 and is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. You can also customize it with essential oils or cocoa powder for scent and color.
  • DIY All Natural Sunscreen Recipe by Our Oily House. This recipe also uses coconut oil, beeswax, and zinc oxide but adds avocado oil and cocoa butter for extra moisture and protection. It has an SPF of about 25 and is waterproof for up to 80 minutes. You can also add carrot seed oil or raspberry seed oil for extra SPF.
  • DIY All Natural Sunscreen with Minerals by Going Zero Waste. This recipe is similar to the previous ones but uses shea butter instead of cocoa butter and adds almond oil and vitamin E oil for extra nourishment. It has an SPF of about 15 and is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes. You can also add lavender essential oil for a soothing scent.
  • DIY Organic Sunscreen Recipe by Clean Beauty Coach. This recipe is a bit different from the others, as it uses arrowroot powder instead of beeswax to create a smooth and non-greasy texture. It also uses coconut oil, zinc oxide, vitamin E oil, and essential oil of your choice. It has an SPF of about 20 and is water-resistant for up to 40 minutes.
  • How to Make Natural Homemade Sunscreen by Healthline. This recipe is more of a guide than a specific formula, as it gives tips on choosing the right ingredients and proportions for your homemade sunscreen. It also explains the benefits and drawbacks of different types of oils, butters, waxes, and zinc oxide. It suggests using an SPF calculator to estimate the SPF of your sunscreen.
  • How to Make Sunscreen by Dr. Eric Berg. This recipe is the simplest and easiest one on this list, as it only requires three ingredients: coconut oil, zinc oxide, and non-nano zinc oxide sunscreen. It has an SPF of about 10 and is water-resistant for up to 20 minutes. You can also add essential oils for fragrance if you like.

“These recipes sound like the answer. How about we make enough of one to share with our family and friends and give them a copy of the other five?

Annie smiled, “That’s why I love you, LJ; you’re so thoughtful. We will need to remind them that homemade sunscreens are not regulated, so their effectiveness and safety are really dependent on their ingredient’s quality and quantity. The best way to use homemade sunblock is to do a patch test before applying it all over.”

“That’s true, and we should also remind them wearing protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses will also help prevent skin damage.”

“Right, Let’s make sunblock!”


Annie and LJ are a fictional couple. Their storyline promotes healthy eating and earth-friendly practices.

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