DIY Rose Sunscreen (24% Zinc Oxide) + latest skincare routine

Hi everyone!

So I’ve been meaning to post this recipe for a while, and now that it’s Sunday morning and I’m sitting here with green tea in hand, I think that now is the time!

I’ve posted quite a bit in the past about DIY skincare and improving my skin, and I have posted a sunscreen tutorial in the past too. This Rose Sunscreen recipe is simply a refining of that original sunscreen recipe. Rose sunscreen is very thin, spreads very easily, doesn’t leave a white cast , and actually gives you a little bit of coverage too. I sometimes just wear it as a base on its own because it makes my skin look so healthy. I think this would have to be the best sunscreen formula I’ve ever made, and blows any commerically available product out of the water. It’s also 99% natural (as a little preservative is a necessary evil, I fear).

Other than sunscreen, at the moment I’m using a simple but potent skincare routine of:


‘Easy rinse’ oil cleansing method

10% MAP (vit c) serum

Shea butter as moisturiser

Rose sunscreen


‘Easy rinse’ oil cleansing method + tanaka massage

Kinetin serum

Shea butter as moisturiser

Exfoliation with a microfibre or muslin cloth when needed


My skin reacts very well even to this quite simple skincare routine because all the serums have potent, fresh ingredients. It also costs me a fraction of what it would cost to buy in store. I’m hoping to add an eye serum and another face serum to my routine in the coming weeks :)

Before I get to the recipe, let me share some pics of what the Rose Sunscreen looks like. These were taken a while ago in readiness for this post (better late thanĀ  never!):

In the photo above I am wearing Rose sunscreen, blush, lipgloss, mascara, and that’s it. It makes my skin look really healthy!

This sunscreen also adheres well to the skin, works with makeup, and is so much cheaper than buying a ready made product in the shops.

So here is how to make it:

  • ZnO (coated) …………………. 24%
  • Rosehip Oil …………………… 24%
  • H2O ………………………………. 20.5%
  • HA @1% ……………………….. 10%
  • Sea Emollient ……………….. 5%
  • Vit E Powder ………………….. 3%
  • Lecithin …………………………. 8%
  • Sclerotium Gum @1% …. 4%
  • Grape Seed Extract ………. 0.5%
  • CoQ10 ………………………….. 0.5%
  • Phenox. ………………………… 0.5%
  • Rose EO
  1. Warm oil in a basin of warm water, and dissolve the CoQ10, then lecithin. Blend.
  2. Add ZnO bit by bit and really work it into the formula. I blend and then use a spoon to scrape down the sides and vigorously stir so that the ZnO is evenly distributed. Do this about three or four times, then pour the ZnO mixture into a container and put to the side. Clean blender.
  3. Place water and Vitamin E Acetate into the blender. Then add Grape Seed Extract and continue to blend until there are no lumps. Pour into a container and set aside. Wipe out/ clean.
  4. Place Sea Emollient in blender. Add hyaluronic acid, and blend, then Sclerotium Gum and blend.
  5. Slowly add the water/ Vit E/ Grape Seed Extract mix from earlier and blend.
  6. Slowly add the ZnO/ Oil/ CoQ10/ Lecithin mixture and continue to blend.
  7. Blend the entire mixture, pausing every now and again to scrape down sides and mix the formula yourself. Blend until the formula becomes nice and smooth. Do this for as long as you can.
  8. Add phenoxyethanol and Rose Geranium essential oil and blend a little more.
  9. Place sunscreen into a plastic bag, cut off a corner with scissors, and pipe into an airless pump bottle.
  10. You should have a light, milk-coffee coloured sunscreen that disappears into the skin and gives a healthy glow.

I’ve kept the measurements as percentages so that you can make this recipe in whatever quantity you wish. To make the process easier, you can use SEA’s batch calculator here.

Zinc Oxide is obviously really good for sun protection, but if you have skin that is acne/ blackhead prone, or is just in need of repair or calming, zinc oxide is a great ingredient. If my skin is ever a bit wind-bitten I just wear my sunscreen to bed and my skin is fixed the next day. This recipe also functions as a serum because it contains lots of antioxdiants (partially to mop any free radicals around, partially for your skin) and skin-loving ingredients in general.

I still buy all my ingredients from Skin Essential Actives because they have the best quality ingredients for the cheapest price. If you want to talk more about DIY skincare, head here.

I hope you try out this recipe!



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72 Responses to DIY Rose Sunscreen (24% Zinc Oxide) + latest skincare routine

  1. Stacey says:

    I had no idea you could use a sunscreen like this as a serum or acne treatment! The ingredients sound absolutely lovely.

  2. Dempeaux says:

    @Stacey Oh definitely! When our sheep got sick I was washing my hands a lot and they got really chapped, so I was using sunscreen on my hands as a treatment too :) Fantastic for acne prone skin, and a great way to get more actives into your skincare :)

  3. Thanks for sharing this recipe! My skin needs all of the help it can get, so the added benefits are really appealing.

  4. Dempeaux says:

    @Aubrey No problem! Hope you like it! :)

  5. Ali says:

    Yay! So glad you posted another recipe. I’m currently using the MAP serum too, recipe from you and I love it so thank you. This may seem like a really stupid question…how do you work out the weights? If it’s 24%, does that mean 24 grams…I feel a bit silly asking!!

  6. Dempeaux says:

    @Ali Hi there! Thankyou! I’m so glad you love the MAP serum – it’s still my fav. My skin loves it!

    Your question is not stupid at all! If you were making, say, 100 grams, then yes 24% would mean 24 grams. However, if you want to fill a 30 gram pump bottle (or 35/40g to account for any that clings to the beakers etc) then you will have to convert each percentage. For example, if you need 24% of Zinc Oxide, and you’re making 40 grams, you would calculate: 24 x 40 divided by 100 = 9.6 g. 5% of Sea Emollient would be 5 x 40 divided by 100 = 2g. SEA used to have a batch calculator available to make this process quicker, but I can’t seem to find it at the moment. Will add it to the comment here if I do though!

  7. Dempeaux says:

    @Ali Found the batch calculator to make your life easier, courtesy of SEA ;)

  8. Ali says:

    Thank you so much. Am looking forward to having a go!!

  9. Anna says:

    I was just wondering whether you’ve tried making this sunscreen without preservative. I find most of my homemade products are fine without it if I make them in small batches and keep them in the fridge if I’ve had them for more than 2 or 3 weeks but I’d love to hear your opinion!
    Thanks :)

  10. Dempeaux says:

    @Anna I haven’t, but I think if you kept the sunscreen in the fridge and sterilised everything I think you could skip the preservative quite comfortably :)

  11. Juliette says:

    Hi, so glad to see another post from you! I have missed them! This looks awesome, I will try to give it a go as soon as I can afford to order the ingredients. Does it sink in well? I can’t handle feeling sunscreen on my skin during hot weather. Also wondering, how big does the batch need to be to work in a blender? Thanks! Juliette

  12. Sophie says:

    Hi! I’ve really been enjoying your blog. The gorgeous improvement in your skin has been pushing me closer and closer to undertaking DIY myself :) … I was wondering, though, do you find that a sunscreen with so much ZnO can cause problematic flashback in photos? Personally, I swore off physical sunscreen after one particularly Joker-like driver’s license photo. Is this a problem for you, or do you find that the anti-aging benefits are worth such (potential) drawbacks?


  13. Dempeaux says:

    @Juliette Thankyou! I’m glad my posts are of some use :)

    I think this sunscreen formula is easily the best formula I’ve ever used, but I am biased I suppose ;) It sinks in as much as a zinc oxide sunscreen would be expected to. As it provides a physical barrier on your skin there will always be a little sitting on top of the skin, but no more than any standard foundation. The size of the batch depends on the size of your blender. I have one of those magic bullet type blenders so it’s quite small, but I usually double the recipe anyway as I go through a lot of sunscreen :)

  14. Dempeaux says:

    @Sophie Thankyou! You ask a good question too. I find this sunscreen makes my skin looks really good, so even if I go out at night I apply it and just add a little concealer where I need more coverage. I’ve never had a problem with flashback and it seems to photograph really well. I haven’t rigorously tested it in this respect, though. To be honest, I’d wear it anyway ;)

  15. Andrew Tandingan says:

    Do you still use the idebenone serum? was contemplating buying both the idebenone & kinetin kit from skin actives & layer them on top of each other at night.

  16. Dempeaux says:

    @Andrew Hi there! Yes! I’m not using the Idebenone serum right now, but that’s only because I haven’t got around to making it (Christmas/ NY being what it is). As both serums contain the prized NAG/ B3 combination, I usually alternate them (Kinetin one night, Idebenone the next) and that seems to work well with my skin. In fact, now that NY is over I should start that routine again! :)

  17. rose says:

    thanks for the skincare update!!! i just love it… i was wondering if you still used retin a from time to time… i’ve been following your skincare journey for a while and your skin looks amazing… not only in brightness but also overall texture and firmness. the tanaka seems like it’s doing its thing!!! thanks again for taking the time to write down all the recipes, etc… happy new year!

  18. Dempeaux says:

    @Rose No problem! To be honest I haven’t been using Retin A recently because I’ve found it a bit drying on my dry skin during an Australian summer (it’s been so hot here!), so I thought I might buy some Vitamin A from SEA and make a serum instead. Any form of Vit A is fine, as long as your skin *gets* some Vitamin A. Also, I want to start dermarolling in the new year and you have to prep with Vit A for six weeks, so I’d better get on that!

    Thankyou so much for the lovely comments. I feel so much more confident now that my skin has improved. Makes the world of difference, and makes you look at aging very differently. Happy new year! :)

  19. De says:

    Hi! I just started reading ur blog and I have to say I absolutely love reading what you have to say and of course thank you so much for posting your DIY recipes!!! I just wanted to ask you what would the SPF be on this rose sunscreen?

  20. Dempeaux says:

    @De Thankyou! I’ve never formally tested this sunscreen, but let me give you an idea of the SPF rating by looking at other brands and their percentage of zinc oxide:

    Pratima = 18% ZnO
    Cancer Council of Australia Sensitive Sunscreen plus Mineral Zinc Oxide = 22% ZnO
    Devita Solar Body Block = 19% ZnO
    Badger = 18.75% ZnO

    All of these brands state that they provide SPF 30+ protection, so I think anywhere in this range should be fine. I put 24% ZnO in my rose sunscreen to just give a little bit more protection ;) If buying commercially, I would look for a minimum of 18% ZnO though, and more if possible :)

  21. De says:

    Thank you so much for your reply, that does help because I try to buy an SPF of 30 or higher whenever I can=) I think once I get the courage and supplies, I might try to make your sunscreen and give it a try. I finally did have time to read and follow most, if not ALL of your pictures of your skin from the start of your diy skincare and you have terrific skin before but now, your skin is evern better =) I hope mine will show at least a fraction of the improvements you have had. Have a great Day!!

  22. Rue says:

    Your skin looks absolutely beautiful Dempeaux! I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but I’ve been lurking your blog for awhile now without commenting haha…….I have a question for you: Reading your old posts, I noticed that you also changed your diet/exercise routine around when you started your skincare journey. Would you say that changing the way you eat/exercise had more of an impact on your skin, or was it your skincare routine? I am trying to eat healthier and cut sugar out of my diet, but it’s hard. By the way, thank you so much for your awesome skincare recipes and wise advice!

  23. Dempeaux says:

    @De That’s great! I’m sure DIY will help your skin out too. It’s crazy what companies charge for creams and serums that don’t do anything – this is a way to really do something that is anti-aging! Good luck if you decide to make the sunscreen. It’ll be great fun :)

  24. Dempeaux says:

    @Rue Haha! That’s okay, thanks for taking the time to read it!

    Yes! I’d say diet and exercise made a big difference to my skin too. I think good health is reflected in the skin (and sugar/ refined carbs break down collagen in the skin and accelerate wrinkles!) so there’s extra motivation to eat healthy and exercise. I think having good skin is down to a combination of factors: good diet, DIY skincare, minimal stress, good zinc oxide sunscreen, and no smoking. All of these factors are equally important, and far more potent than anything La Mer will try to sell you ;) Good luck with your healthy living – what a great way to start 2013!

  25. Woody says:

    Hi Dempeaux, thanks for sharing this recipe. I’m going to give DIY skin care a go quite soon, im just doing alot of research before I go ahead with though. Quick question: I notice you use shea butter for your routine and was interested to know of shea butter actually clogs pores??

  26. Dempeaux says:

    @Woody No worries! I have no problem using shea butter and it doesn’t clog my pores, but remember that I have very dry skin. I also like using the MuLondon moisturisers, which contain shea butter but are a bit lighter in consistency. Good luck on your DIY journey!

  27. rose says:

    hay dempeaux… thanx for the reply on the retin a… i’m currently using a retinol and hope to eventually transition to retin a. i’m also thinking of trying some sort of facial exercise for my NL folds (the line that runs from nose to mouth). I’m 26, losing a ton of weight and i’m noticing the line, especially on my left side (the side i’m sleeping on). I know you had issues with NL lines and you were doing a combo of tanaka and a youtube video… can you please share what that video was? what facial workout would you recommend that worked for you for the NL lines? thanks again…

  28. Firn says:

    I really want to try making this, but I think my skin reacts badly to zinc oxide.

    I have tried Skinceuticals sheer mineral screen and Hada Labo’s UV emulsion, both of which contain zinc oxide and it made my skin dry and itchy even though both products are alcohol-free.

    Would love to hear your thoughts as I really want to love zinc oxide based sunblocks.

    I am currently using chemical sunscreens with no problems.

    Hada Labo’s ingredient list:

  29. Cindy says:

    I saw your recipe on skincaretalk and had to give it a shot! I’m new to all this and it was kind of a fail:(

    It Goes on nicely but when I rub after applying there’s like a brown residue/film that comes out. It looks like dead pealing skin or something. IDK if that’s normal but it might have to do with:

    1) I don’t have Phenox or Rose EO so I just used Polysorbate 80 instead (I do have rosehip oil)

    2) the fact that my mini blender was too big to blend my batch, the stuff just sat under the blade while the blade spun:( and then i kinda just gave up and piled all the ingredients in the blender at once and tilted it while the blade kinda mixed it….

    What can I use to blend something like a sunscreen? Mini blender? Milk frother?

    Mine is the Hamilton Beach Single serve one…

    Then I put my SS in the airless pump I got from Skin Essential Actives but it’s not working! :( Not sure if it has to do with the fact that the SS only fills up the pump halfway. I tried popping the bottom off or poking the hole to get the bottom to move up, I even tried pumping and pumping until the bottom moved up but I swear nothing is working.

  30. DIY obssessed says:

    Hi Dempeaux! I am new to this blog. I have read both the sunscreen recipes that you have posted. They look amazing! I have a few questions though. Can you please answer them for me?
    1). I use a lot of sunscreen on my face…you can say one teaspoon on my face…so, do you think it would still disappear and not leave a white cast? I am of Asian origin and have medium complexion with neutral undertones. Just to give you an idea….my color is like Kim Kardashian or Salma Hayak.
    2). I have acne prone and very senstive skin…so should I replace oil and glycerin with aloe vera….or do you have any better idea….I am afraid of using oils on my face….its scorching hot summer where I live.
    3). I already have HA 1% solution but it contains benzyl alcohol. Should/could I use it?
    4). How can I make it very non-acnegenic?
    5). Keeping in mind that I have acne prone skin, if you had to recommend one, which recipe would you recommend? 20% with few things or 22% with more ingredients? Is there any particular ingredient that I should be wary of?

    I have been using chemical sunscreens till now but they sting and I recently found out that the ingredients can be toxic. After reading your recipies, I am so excited and happy that I have a way out. Now I can use mineral sunscreen without looking like a ghost.

    Waiting to hear from you. Thank you so so very much for being so creative and for being there for us.

  31. Mel says:

    this looks like a lovely sunscreen! I am new at DIY lotions and have been trying to make a basic sunscreen with zinc oxide, oils, glycerin, lecithin and emulsifiers (polawax and an ewax of Cetyl-Stearyl Alcohol) to no avail. The zinc oxide becomes stiff and chunky as I add the water phase. Do you have a basic sunscreen recipe you would recommend? Any suggestions would be very helpful. Many thanks!

  32. Jez says:

    Hi Dempeux,

    Thanks for all the great info you put out on DIY. You have really wonderful skin with no lines. I have a question on your sunscreen recipe. Can I substitute green tea extract for grape seed extract? Also, I think I have seen Lecithin tablets at the pharmacy, can I use this instead of the powder?


  33. Evelyn W says:

    I’m so glad I found this blog! Your skin makeover is exactly what I’m planning for myself with the same products, so very helpful that you posted the photos and your progress.

    Did you consider the platelet rich plasma rolling? It’s like dermarolling combined with some extra collagen boost?

  34. Dramaquin says:

    Hi Dempeux,

    Thanks for posting all your great recipes. I do have a question. I made this rose sunscreen today and it seems to be runny. Is it supposed to be like this? I used grapeseed oil and macadamia nut oil instead of rose hip oil since I don’t have this. Need you advice.


  35. Dempeaux says:

    @Dramaquin I think the oils are fine, but the sclerotium gum might need looking at. Make sure you make your s gum 24 hours ahead of time so it can really set. Even when the sunscreen is runny it will work well. It just won’t be beautiful ;)

  36. Dramaquin says:

    Hi Dempeaux,

    Thanks for responding. I suspected it’s the SG. I emailed to SEA and indeed I should have waited a few hours before using it. I didn’t want to throw it away. So, I ended up adding a little aloe vera and some body lotion mainly of plant extracts and no paraben. It was still a little runny but I used it on my face and arms and it felt so soft even though I screwed up. I hope it still maintain the SPF with all the add-ons! This is still a nice moisture serum even if there is no SPF protection. It is not greasy and does not have a white cast. This formula is really a keeper. I can’t stop myself from touching my face because it has a really soft feeling after application.

    Thank you!

  37. Dempeaux says:

    @Dramaquin Oh that’s great! Glad you got to the bottom of it. Natasha at SEA is a GENIUS with DIY skincare. There’s nothing she doesn’t know, and she’s very generous with her time (and her prices and quality products are the best that I’ve found). I think you’re right to use it somehow. At 24% ZnO you have a bit of wiggle room in terms of diluting the formula, so I think it should be fine. It feels amazing on the skin, even when you wash it off. Glad you like it :)

  38. Dramaquin says:

    Yes, I agree with you on SEA. Their prices are reasonable and shipping is not ridiculously expensive. Next I am going to try the hair tonic you make with SKB and SE. I have very little and thinning hair. Do you have success with the hair tonic? I need more hair.

  39. Dempeaux says:

    @Dramaquin That hair tonic is stunning. Really and truly. I would never have been able to grow it to the length it is now without it, and I still marvel at how thick it is. Definitely give it a try. Easy to put together too.

  40. Dramaquin says:

    Yes, I will definitely try this. SEA’s stock just came in and I will be ordering the SKB soon.

  41. Dramaquin says:

    Hi Dempeux,

    Who do you buy the grape seed extract and vitamin E powder? Does grape seed extract comes in powder form? I used green tea extract in this sunscreen but it is liquid form.

  42. Dempeaux says:

    @Dramaquin All from SEA :)

  43. dramaquin says:

    Thanks. I didn’t see these two items on SEA website.

  44. Dempeaux says:

    @Evelyn I want to try some dermarolling soon!

  45. Dempeaux says:

    @Jez You need some kind of anti-oxidant in there, and my preference is for grape seed extract because it’s gentle and works well with the skin. Green tea extract might be a bit…harsh?

  46. Dempeaux says:

    @Mel Try this one – it’s the best!

  47. Dempeaux says:

    @DIY 1) If you have a deeper skin tone, dial back the ZnO concentration to 18% – 20% for absolutely no white cast on your skin
    2) Oil is good for acne-prone skin. I would leave it.
    3) I wouldn’t, but why waste it?
    4) This formula should be fine. ZnO is excellent for the treatment of acne and can be used in other formulas too.
    5) Go for this version.

  48. Dempeaux says:

    @Cindy I use a magic bullet. Works well. You must fill the airless pump all the way up for it to work :)

  49. Dempeaux says:

    @Firn I would try ZnO in this formula. ZnO is very calming for skin, and I think it’s probably the other things in the products you’ve been using that have been giving you an adverse effect.

  50. Dempeaux says:

    @rose Just do a search in Youtube :)

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