How to Make Your Own Reef-Safe Sunscreen

In a world where environmental consciousness is on the rise, creating your own reef-safe sunscreen is a rewarding and eco-friendly way to protect your skin while minimizing your impact on marine ecosystems. By using natural and safe ingredients, you can whip up a customized sunscreen that not only shields you from the sun’s rays but also contributes to the well-being of our oceans. This article provides step-by-step instructions on how to make your own reef-safe sunscreen at home.

Creating your own reef-safe sunscreen empowers you to take control of the ingredients you apply to your skin and contribute to the preservation of coral reefs. With a few simple steps, you can craft a natural and effective sunscreen tailored to your preferences.

2. Understanding Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Reef-safe sunscreens use mineral-based ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide to provide sun protection without harming marine life sunscreen for Hawaii (any combination of these is OK). They create a physical barrier on the skin that reflects and scatters UV rays.

3. Gathering Ingredients and Supplies

Before you begin, gather the following ingredients and supplies:

  • Zinc oxide (non-nano)
  • Coconut oil
  • Shea butter
  • Jojoba oil
  • Beeswax (for solid consistency)
  • Essential oils (optional, for fragrance)
  • Double boiler or microwave-safe bowl
  • Measuring spoons
  • Mixing utensil
  • Empty sunscreen container

4. DIY Reef-Safe Sunscreen Recipe


  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup shea butter
  • 1/8 cup jojoba oil
  • 2 tablespoons non-nano zinc oxide
  • 1 tablespoon beeswax (optional, for solid consistency)
  • 10-15 drops of essential oils (optional, for fragrance and added benefits)


  1. In a double boiler or microwave-safe bowl, melt the coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax (if using) until fully liquid.
  2. Remove from heat and add the jojoba oil. Mix well.
  3. Allow the mixture to cool slightly, then carefully add the zinc oxide. Use a mask or cover your nose and mouth to avoid inhaling the fine powder.
  4. Stir the ingredients thoroughly to ensure even distribution of zinc oxide.
  5. If desired, add 10-15 drops of your chosen essential oils for fragrance and added benefits. Popular options include lavender, chamomile, or carrot seed oil.
  6. Pour the mixture into an empty sunscreen container.

5. Customizing Your Sunscreen

You can customize your sunscreen by adjusting the amount of zinc oxide for different levels of sun protection. A higher percentage of zinc oxide provides greater protection, but it may also leave a white cast on the skin.

6. Storing and Using Your Homemade Sunscreen

Store your homemade sunscreen in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Before use, give the container a good shake to ensure the ingredients are well mixed. Apply the sunscreen liberally to all exposed skin before sun exposure and reapply every two hours or more frequently if swimming or sweating.

7. Testing and Safety

Perform a patch test on a small area of your skin before applying the sunscreen to larger areas. This helps ensure you do not have any adverse reactions to the ingredients.

8. Eco-Friendly Packaging Options

Consider using eco-friendly packaging, such as glass or metal containers, to further reduce your environmental impact.

9. Conclusion

Making your own reef-safe sunscreen is a creative and sustainable way to prioritize both your skin’s health and the health of our oceans. By using natural ingredients, you’re taking a proactive step toward a more eco-friendly and skin-conscious lifestyle.