Make your own bug repellants and sunscreens

August 27, 2009

Make your own sunscreen and bug repellentIt’s almost Labor Day!  With this wonderful time of year comes plenty of time outdoors enjoying the sunshine, and with that comes the need for bug repellants and sunscreen.  Commonly used bug repellants and sunscreens are not only expensive – they may contain chemicals that are harmful to your health!  We thought this would be a great time to provide you with recipes to make your own bug repellants and sunscreens.  These recipes work as well as – or sometimes even better than – what you would find at the store and can be made for just a few pennies!  Annie, our own “make-it-yourself” expert here at Marilyn Farms created these recipes for her family.  We hope they work for you and yours!

Basic Bug Repellant recipe:

In a small bottle, mix 4 drops each of the following essential oils (for maximum effectiveness, use all of them but any combination will do):

  • Eucalyptus
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Tea tree
  • Cedarwood
  • Lemongrass
  • Pine oil

Add 1 teaspoon of witch hazel (this can be purchased at most health food stores in the personal care section) and 4 teaspoons of water. Shake the mixture to combine and apply directly to skin.

Bug spray variation:
In a spray bottle, add the same mixture of oils found in the Basic Bug Repellant recipe to 2 teaspoons of witch hazel and 8 ounces of water.  Shake to combine and spray directly on skin.

Bug repellant oil variation:
Add the same mixture of oils found in the Basic Bug Repellant recipe to 5 teaspoons of olive oil. Rub the mixture into your skin.

Homemade Sunscreen/Block

  • 3 TBS Shea Butter
  • 1 TBS Sunflower Oil
  • 1 TBS Vitamin E Oil
  • 5 Drops of Eucalyptus
  • ½ tsp zinc oxide
  • ½ tsp Titanium Dioxide

Mix oils and Zinc & Titanium over double boiler. Mix well and remove from heat


  • 1 Tbsp Avocado oil
  • 3 Tbsp Sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp Jojoba oil
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp Shea butter
  • 2 Tbsp Bees wax

Mix all ingredients in a double boiler over medium-low heat until well combined.  Remove from heat and pour into a storage container.  Refrigerate unused portion.  Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Following is a list of other ingredients you might want to include in your sunscreen:
Almond Oil
Avocado Oil
Walnut Oil
Grape Seed Oil
Soy Lecithin Liquid (Binder)
Aloe Vera Gel
Essential Oils
½ tsp Borax

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  1. They really do not recommend putting borax on your skin.


    Comment by Shawn Burkett — July 12, 2010 @ 7:44 am

  2. What is the difference between these two recipes (other than the ingredients)?
    —- Homemade Sunscreen/ Block vs. Sunscreen

    Do they both have to be refrigerated?


    Comment by Ashley — June 21, 2012 @ 12:22 am

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