A sunbather on a Gran Canaria beach.

A sunbather on a Gran Canaria beach.

In this second instalment of “Nature Knows Best”, I’m going to share with you a completely hassle-free, simple, easy recipe to make your own sun screen that is free from the harmful ingredients contained in shop-bought SPF products.

I always hated the way sun screen felt on my skin, but being fair and freckly and prone to burning I felt I had no choice but to grease myself up every summer. Then back in the late 00’s I started to really pay attention to what I was putting on my skin. To say I was shocked by the chemicals, and ingredients in SPF is an understatement.

Some of the ingredients that are cause for concern are:

  • Oxybenzone – linked to skin allergies and hormone disruption, hazardous to sea life.
  • Octinoxate – another hormone disrupter and associated with reproductive toxicity.
  • Homosalate – disrupts hormones (noticing a pattern here?!).
  • Octocrylene – produces free radicals which can cause cell damage.
  • Fragrances – contain god knows what as companies aren’t required to list the chemicals that go into creating “fragrance”.

Commercial sunscreen bottles.

Commercial sunscreen bottles.

If you look at the companies who are manufacturing sunscreen products, you’ll see some interesting ones with some not so great track records when it comes to honesty, integrity and safety.

Johnson & Johnson for example are guilty of numbers offences relating to the safety and efficacy of their products, paying a whopping $24,325,224,699 in fines since the year 2000. One of the most famous cases was the one finding that talcum powder was causing cancer because it contained asbestos and they knowingly kept this from their customers.

I’ve used J&J as an example, but many other companies owning SPF brands have similar stories.

Are these the kind of companies you trust to sell you a product that is safe? I decided not. It can all get very confusing so I have a simple rule I follow: If I can’t pronounce it, it has no place in or on the human body. If I wouldn’t eat it, it’s not going on my skin.

All this also got me thinking – could it be that SPF is causing or contributing to skin cancer? Back in the day, before SPF’s were a thing, skin cancer rates were much lower. Food for thought.

50 SPF sun lotion.

50 SPF sun lotion.

So, after years of trying all the natural products (turns out they contain as many harmful ingredients as the others – they just put more effort into making you think otherwise aka marketing), I found this recipe. It’s so simple and super effective. All you need are 3 ingredients.

  • Organic Jojoba Oil – has skin conditioning properties.
  • Red Raspberry Seed Oil – thought to be up to SPF 35 naturally.
  • Vitamin E Oil – to help the skin repair.

The recipe below will make 100ml sunscreen. You can adjust the ratios if you want to make more or less.

Practical things you will need:

  • Small liquid measuring jug.
  • A clean 100ml bottle.
  • A funnel if you are clumsy like me.


  • Organic Jojoba Oil – 45ml.
  • Red Raspberry Seed Oil – 45ml.
  • Vitamin E Oil – 10ml.

Simply pour the required quantities into your clean bottle through the funnel and give it a shake to mix them all up. It’s that easy. Then apply directly onto your skin before you go out into the sun. Don’t forget to re-apply during the day.

I buy all the products from Aromantic.co.uk. I’m not paid by them to write this, nor do I receive any benefits from them. I genuinely just buy their stuff and think that it’s decent. No product placement or affiliation here.

I’ve used this recipe for the last 5 years or so for both face and body. I rarely burn. The odd time I have burned has been because I’ve forgotten to put it on or re-apply it. I’ve used this stuff in the tropics and desert – Barbados, Palau and Egypt as well as all over Europe. When it comes to the sun I practice common sense – I don’t lay out in it for hours and I cover up during the hottest part of the day.

A beach paradise in the Maldives.

A beach paradise in the Maldives.