Make Your Own Sunblock

"Americans know that when they head to the beach they need to protect their skin, which usually means putting on sunscreen. But consumers need to know more than just the SPF rating on the bottle ..." (Photo credit: Sienna Wildfield)

Victoria Worth of Ashfield, MA writes:

There is a good article in the New York Times about sunscreens.  Below is the beginning of the piece and HERE is the link to the whole article.

“Americans dutifully slather on sunscreens every summer, hoping to stave off aging, wrinkles and cancer. But with each passing season, more questions are raised about whether the labeling and safety guidelines for sunscreens, created in 1978, are adequate or misleading. The Food and Drug Administration, meanwhile, has been criticized for failing to approve new ingredients that are available in Europe.

“Research is also questioning the safety of certain ingredients that have been widely used for years. Just recently, Senator Charles Schumer of New York called on the Food and Drug Administration to investigate reports suggesting a possible link between skin cancer and retinyl palmitate, now found in many sunscreen products.

“What should the F.D.A. do about sunscreens? And what do consumers need to keep in mind even if they cover themselves with a SPF 70 sunblock?”


Want to try making your own sun block? Local herbalist Tony(a) Lemos of Blazing Star Herbal School shares the following recipe.:

Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA

Sun Block Recipe

  • 1/2 c. St Johns Wort Infused oil
  • 1/2 cup unrefined sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp Aloe Vera Gel
  • 2 Tbsp Orange  or rose or lavender water
  • 50,0000 IU’s Vitamin E Oil


  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp. borax powder
  • 1 tbsp. unrefined avocado oil
  • 1 tbsp. unrefined jojoba oil

All ingredients can be ordered from, or you can order the finished product from Blazing Star Herbal School in Ashfield, MA by emailing

8 Comments on “Make Your Own Sunblock

  1. hi there,

    In response to all the comments

    St Johns Wort is only photo-toxic on the skin when taken internally in tincture or capsule form, there is no record of this action in the infused oil used externally. My personal experience of 15 years of using the oil on all skin types has had no negative effect on the skin. I am not recommend you “sunbathe” after smothering with the oil, just use it as a protectant while knowing your sun limit. Even if you smother yourself with 72 SPF sunblock I still do not recommend spending too much time in direct sunlight!

    Citrus essential oils also create a phototoxic effect, however I am suggestion 2 TBS of Orange Blossom Water….safe safe safe! There are no essential oils in this recipe. I sometimes add WIld Carrot essential oil though.

  2. You are correct Dale, St John’s does make your skin photo sensitive…as does orange. I am not sure why either would be included in a sunblock. Optional oils aren’t right either. It is like frying yourself in the sun!
    I would not use this recipe.

  3. all the sites that I researched say that st.johnswart makes your skin photo sensitive! it’s for sunburn relief…can you give me a link that supports your view..thank-you

  4. I have heard that all you really need to use is your favorite moisturizer pus vitamin C mixed into it, do you know if this is true?

  5. Hi! Is the Vitamin E Oil supposed to be 50,000 or 500,000?

    50,0000 IU’s Vitamin E Oil

  6. what level of protection does this provide?

  7. What if oil makes me break out? Is there any alternative? Thanks!

  8. Has anyone tried the homemade sun block?

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