Sunscreen Science Class

October 23, 2018

Sunscreen Science Class

As a homeschool mom who also runs her own home-based business, I often include my kids in the day to day runnings of Simple Beauty Minerals operations. So, when I decided to host a week-long camp for ten-year-old girls this summer (my daughter and her friends), naturally the camp centered on kitchen science and DIY skincare. 

We made soap and  lip balm, but by far the most interesting project was on the day we made sunscreen. So, gather a group of kids (or adults, solo is good too) and let's give them the life lesson that they don't have to rely on manufacturers to make things for them, they have the resources to create on their own, if they so choose. Not only that, but we can feel secure in the ingredients that are in the end product as well, because we have mixed it up ourselves.

Simple Sunscreen Recipe

(From The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Garbriel)

  • 3 oz. sesame oil
  • 2 oz. sweet almond oil
  • 1/2 oz. pure beeswax
  • 4 oz. distilled water
  • 2 T zinc oxide
  • 5 drops rose hip oil
  • 5 drops chamomile
  • smallish enamel simmer pot
  • double boiler
  • stick blender
  • glass jar


  1. Heat your water first, then begin adding your ingredients.
  2. Melt sesame,  sweet almond oil and beeswax in a double boiler over medium heat.
  3. Remove from the heat, add water & blend until smooth. You can also use a wire whisk; we did. Allow to cool.
  4. Now here is the truly cool what happens when you add the zinc (I won't ruin the surprise)....add the zinc oxide and the essential oils, if using, and blend more. (The essential oils are optional, btw.)
  5. Transfer to a glass jar.

Your sunscreen will last for up to six months. You can begin using it right away!

Now, clean up can be a bit tricky. Minerals don't mix with water, and even soap and hot water don't easily take off the residue from your tools. Don't put them in the dishwasher either, the minerals will only spread to all your dishes, and they will come out looking like they have hard water spots (which they do!). You will then have to rewash all the dishes...ahem...I speak from experience.

The best method that I found, is to use something such as newspaper, or paper towels and remove as much of the residue that you can. Then, wash with hot soapy water to remove the rest. Compost the paper towels/newspaper as well. It is all organic materials (or inorganic as the case may be with the minerals). I bought my supplies from Mountain Rose Herbs, which I highly recommend.

I got my simmer pot from a thrift store. The zinc oxide is a bit trickier to come by. However, I may be persuaded to put together kits, each one enough for one batch of sunscreen. This way you don't have to purchase bulk supplies in huge quantities in order to try your hand at this. If you are interested, let me know. Go ahead, make your own sunscreen. It's so easy!

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