DIY Foundation Makeup with Sunscreen - Dr. Axe

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DIY Foundation Makeup with Sunscreen


DIY foundation recipe

Foundation makeup has many benefits, specifically helping to smooth out the tone of the skin. But most store-bought foundation products are filled with a long list of ingredients that can damage your skin, cause cancer and affect your endocrine system.

It also has a long history with its appeal for stage actors created by the famous Max Factor, but even the ancient Greeks and Romans wore contaminated foundation containing high levels of white lead and mercury that caused lethal poisoning.

Some ingredients, as reported by, are found to be toxic. Parabens, synthetic scents, nanoparticles, formaldehyde, mercury and lead are just a few that can be found on most labels.

You can search products on the Cosmetic Database website at, but perhaps the easiest and healthiest thing to do is make your own right at home. DIY foundation makeup can be a fundamental part of your natural skin care routine.

Keep in mind that DIY makeup, as an all-natural foundation, is not as daunting to make as you may think to prepare. In fact, it is very easy and can be made with just a few ingredients. When choosing your ingredients, use unrefined, raw and organic where possible.


Let’s jump into your personal homemade makeup that is just right for you!

How to Make DIY Foundation

To start making your DIY foundation makeup, measure all of your ingredients and set aside. Now, using a double-boiler or a glass bowl in a pan of water, turn on low heat and place the cupuacu butter, coconut oil and the cocoa butter into the bowl. Using a whisk, stir to blend.

Cupuacu butter is an amazing ingredient because it is the key to this emollient-rich recipe. Made from pulp of the fruit of the cupuacu tree that is native to the Amazon rainforests, cupuacu butter is a great vegan alternative and is more than 150 percent richer in its ability to hydrate the skin than shea butter. Though shea butter is a great option, if soft, supple moisturized skin is what you’re after, try cupuacu butter!

Now add the vitamin E and the rose hip seed oil. Make sure to blend well. Remove from heat.

Vitamin E has long been known for its skin-healing properties. It fights free radical damage while helping reduce inflammation, plus it’s a natural anti-aging nutrient. Chock-full of nourishing vitamins and antioxidants, rosehip seed oil may help reduce fine lines, wrinkles, diminish those dark spots and help hydrate dry skin making it the perfect ingredient to this extra moisturizing foundation.

Next up, add the zinc oxide and stir. Zinc oxide offers some amazing sunscreen benefits. You need to make sure you choose the uncoated, non-nano and non-micronized versions. In addition to being a great sun-blocker and cancer-fighter, zinc oxide lowers skin inflammation, helps prevent acne and locks in moisture all the while helping form healthy collagen in the skin.

Now, let’s add some color to your DIY foundation makeup! It is important to be careful with the amount of cacao and cinnamon you add. The reason is that these ingredients offer the tone of the foundation. If you need it darker, you will want to add more. For a lighter tone, use less. The best thing to do is start with less and test it on your jawline, in sunlight, to get just the right amount.

Make sure to pay attention to how much you use so that you can note it in your personal DIY makeup recipe. To give you an idea, about a ½ tablespoon of cocoa powder will give you a light foundation, add another teaspoon for a medium foundation, and one tablespoon will result in a medium-dark foundation.

Cacao is a pretty amazing ingredient that not only is delicious in some recipes, but it’s great for the skin with its high antioxidant contents. Meanwhile, benefit-rich cinnamon is right up there with cacao in the antioxidant category and has been used medicinally for centuries.

Once you have reached your desired shade, pour the DIY foundation makeup into your container and allow it to cool. You can use a silicon makeup tube or a glass jar. If using a jar, make sure to wash your hands prior to each use to avoid contamination.

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DIY foundation recipe

DIY Foundation Makeup with Sunscreen

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  • Author: Kyra Oliver
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 20 applications 1x


Keep in mind that DIY makeup, as an all-natural foundation, is not as daunting to make as you may think to prepare. In fact, it is very easy and can be made with just a few ingredients. When choosing your ingredients, use unrefined, raw and organic where possible.


  • 1.5 ounces cupuacu butter
  • 2 ounces coconut oil
  • 0.5 ounce cocoa butter
  • 1 ounce rose hip seed oil
  • ⅛ teaspoon vitamin E oil
  • 0.5 ounces zinc oxide (look for uncoated, non-nano and non-micronized)
  • organic cocao powder
  • cinnamon or nutmeg (ginger or arrowroot powder can be used to lighten the shade)


  1. Using a double-boiler or a glass bowl in a pan of water, place the cupuacu butter, coconut oil, and cocoa butter and stir to blend well.
  2. Add the vitamin E oil and rose hip oil. Blend well.
  3. Remove from heat and add the zinc oxide. Note: The more you add, the higher the sunscreen levels.
  4. Then, add the cacao and cinnamon or nutmeg.
  5. Remember the amount of these ingredients that you use will determine the shade of the foundation.
  6. Start with less until you reach your desired shade.
  7. Test it on your jawline in sunlight to ensure the shade that works best for you.
  8. Store in a silicon tube or glass jar. Make sure hands are clean prior to dipping into the jar if you use that type of container, to prevent contamination.
  • Prep Time: 15 min

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  1. Tammie Clifford on

    I didn’t notice any sunscreen being put in there!? From what I learned from Dr. David Williams a good sunscreen is vitamin C powder in any lotion that you want to put it in. I tried it and it works magnificently. So where is the vitamin C powder for your foundation?

  2. Susan on

    I was getting ready to purchase ingredients to do this, but then read that trying to make sure zinc oxide distributes evenly when making your own foundation/sunscreen is actually very hard to accomplish because the particles want to draw together, making the sunscreen effect unreliable { this article also had a 2015 update}. The article was saying it’s dangerous to rely on homemade sunscreen because as the particles draw together it leaves holes or patches of unprotected skin. Is this true?

  3. Melissa Rickenbacher on

    For someone like me, who has had metastatic cancer, vitamin E oil is a big no as it’s been shown to spread cancer- even if used on the skin. What can I use in place of the vitamin E?

    • Susan on

      Synthetic vitamin e is what causes cancer not the actual e. Argan oil is actually a very good replacement and can actually reverse skin cancer.

  4. Judy on

    I am wondering if the amounts of the Foundation Makeup with sunscreen recipe are correct. I made this and it’s very runny and oily and does not provide any coverage. I followed the instructions exactly.

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      Here are the measurements in tablespoons and teaspoons:

      4 tablespoons almond oil or coconut oil
      1 tablespoon cocoa butter
      2 tablespoons shea butter
      1 tablespoon beeswax
      ⅛ teaspoon vitamin E oil
      1 tablespoon zinc oxide
      organic cocao powder
      cinnamon or nutmeg

      I hope this helps!

  5. Jeanette on

    After doing some research I learned that cinnamon doesn’t dissolve because it’s bark. My bad. Should I just boil it to get some color out of it? Not sure what else to do.

  6. Jeanette on

    the makeup was ok, however, I when I applied it the next day I had cinnamon on my face from it. I cooked it long enough to make it dissolved to some extent where you can’t see it on my face. What did I do wrong or how can I get the cinnamon to dissolve?

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      Try adding a little less cinnamon next time. Also, consider mixing a little vitamin E oil and cinnamon together first, helping to smooth out possible clumps, then add it to the mixture. You could do a little more cocoa powder and less cinnamon, but ultimately, try to make sure you smooth out all clumps to prevent caking on the skin. To remove, you can use a little coconut or olive oil.

  7. Cynthia on

    Thank you! You are amazing!! I just made a few of your recipes today I had everything on hand. Keep doing what you are doing!!!

    • Susan on

      Cold coconut oil gets hard, use fractionated instead. Add 2 to 3 drops of lemon as a natural preservative and to brighten your skin.

    • Dr. Josh Axe on

      Since there are no preservatives, refrigerating it will definitely add some shelf life; however, make sure to use a small knife or utensil to scoop out what you need instead of using your fingers. This helps avoid contamination of bacteria. It should last 3–4 weeks (or 5–6 in the fridge) as long as you avoid contamination.

  8. Ramsina Gharoon on

    Dear Dr. Axe,
    Thanks for sharing this with us, but I got a problem. That is I can’t find zinc oxide that is( uncoated, non-nano and non-micronized). Could you give us a hint where to find this product.

    appreciate it.
    Find your happy

  9. Jenny on

    I’m looking for a facial moisturizer with sunscreen. Would this work for that purpose if I don’t put the coloring in?

  10. Emmett on

    How good is the coverage for this recipe? And can I build upon the foundation if the coverage isn’t too my liking? If not buildable, is there another ingredient I can add for better coverage?


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