Moth and Toad Apothecary

Herbalism, self-sufficiency, and low-waste living

How to Make a Sunburn Cream

I am a huge proponent of preventative care when it comes to sun exposure. Wear your favourite SPF, protective clothing, and stay in the shade when possible. However, life has a way of punishing carelessness, including on hot summer days on the beach.

A few weeks ago, my fiancé and I went to the beach! I advised him to slather on the sunscreen thoroughly, which he neglected to do. He ended up with some pretty rough sunburns on the backs of his arms, so I whipped up this cream to help them heal and reduce the irritation associated with peeling and dryness. It worked really well, so I figured I would share my recipe with you all!

If you have other oils on hand, you can switch out the hempseed for another skin-loving carrier oil. I used what I had an abundance of at the time, which was hempseed oil! Feel free to experiment with this portion of the recipe, and the herbs you infuse into it. Below are some links to products I used for this recipe! Some are affiliate links, which have a little asterisk next to them. By purchasing through these affiliate links, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!

Whipped Aloe and Calendula Sun Balm

This is a simple emulsion designed to reduce the irritation of dry, itchy, and/or burned skin as it heals.
Prep Time1 hour 40 minutes
Active Time40 minutes
Keyword: after sun, aloe, calendula, cooling, diy, herbalism, how to, soothing, sun, sunburn


  • Double boiler I use a glass bowl set inside of a pot of water (about 2 inches worth)
  • Emulsifying blender I use a milk frother
  • 2 Spatula or spoon
  • 1 Handheld Mixer optional, you do not have to whip this cream


Oil Phase

  • 1 oz Shea Butter
  • 1 oz Beeswax Pellets Can be replaced with carnuba or candelila wax
  • 1 oz Emulsifying Wax NF
  • 6 oz Calendula-Infused Hempseed Oil You can also use other kinds of oil to infuse with calendula, such as olive oil, sweet almond oil, or argan oil

Water Phase

  • 1 oz Zinc Oxide Power
  • 1 oz Aloe Vera Liquid I use the liquid from Bulk Apothecary
  • 0.5 oz Glycerin

After Cooldown

  • Broadspectrum preservative(s) of your choice (technically optional)


  • Add your beeswax, shea butter, and emulsifying wax to your double boiler and gently heat until melted. While you wait, proceed to the next step.
    1 oz Shea Butter, 1 oz Beeswax Pellets, 1 oz Emulsifying Wax NF
  • Place your water phase ingredients (glycerin, aloe vera liquid, and zinc oxide) into a second double boiler. Mix using an emulsifying blender or milk frother to evenly disperse the zinc oxide powder. Gently begin heating this solution.
    1 oz Zinc Oxide Power, 1 oz Aloe Vera Liquid, 0.5 oz Glycerin
  • Once the beeswax pellets have melted with your shea butter and E-wax, add your calendula infused oil. By waiting to add it until you are almost ready to mix your phases, you are protecting the infusion from degrading due to prolonged heat exposure. Stir to ensure the ingredients are well mixed and melted.
    6 oz Calendula-Infused Hempseed Oil
  • Pour the heated water phase into your oil phase and stir well for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and place into a container surrounded by ice.
  • Emulsify the liquid using a stick blender for about 5-10 minutes. Add your chosen preservative at the correct temperature and pH for your product.
    Broadspectrum preservative(s) of your choice (technically optional)
  • Place into a freezer for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. When it is cool to the touch and solid, remove and whip using a hand held mixer.
  • Transfer to a container of your choice and use as needed. Place in the fridge for a prolonged shelf life and a cooling aspect to the cream! Dispose if you notice irregularities in colour, smell, or separation.


You can infuse your chosen oil and shea butter with other soothing ingredients as well as (or instead of) calendula, too. Have fun with this recipe, and let me know how you like it if you try it for yourself!

Thank you so much for checking out my sunburn cream recipe! I hope it helps you in your own journey towards being more self-sufficient and using herbs to nourish and support your body. Let me know if you have any comments or questions, and please share this post if you enjoyed it! Consider pinning it on pinterest using one of the images below! Until next time!

My Affiliate Links:

If you’d like to support me, feel free to use these affiliate links when shopping! If you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. This goes towards the upkeep of this blog and continuing to make more content for you to enjoy! Thank you!

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