Using Homemade Sunscreen Might Harm Your Skin

Using Homemade Sunscreen Might Harm Your Skin

A market trend that seems to gain increasing attention is the one concerning natural, homemade, bioproducts. This trend has also extended to specific products that require scientific expertise to be produced, such as sunscreen, in this case. According to new research, using homemade sunscreen might, in reality, harm your skin and cause sunburns.

Homemade sunscreen creams are, in reality, not effective against sunburns

Specialists warn us that the 68% of the recipes we might find on platforms such as Pinterest protect us superficially from the UV rays, and choosing such DIY product instead of buying a certified one might cause us serious health issues. They also suggest that, by self-producing your own sunscreen at home, you are not able to verify how effective and protective it actually is, in comparison with the commercial sunscreen that is thoroughly tested for efficacy. 

These homemade sunscreen recipes generally include shea butter, coconut or almond oil, zinc oxide or beeswax, and, according to specialists, provide “minimal (…) protection” from the harming effects of sun exposure. Usually, they promote the benefits of using natural products in the detriment of the chemically produced commercial sunscreen, but scientists suggest that just because a product has fewer ingredients or is produced at home doesn’t make it safer.

In Canada, after a series of reports concerning skin eruptions caused by Banana Boat sunscreen, in 2017, Health Canada examined 27 sunscreen products that were available to the consumers, to see if they constitute any danger to their users. No problems were found concerning none of the 27 products, and none of them had any preservatives that might’ve been harmful to the skin among its ingredients.

How to protect yourself from the sun?

As Health Canada suggests, one should use a sunscreen with SPF above 30, roughly 15 minutes before sun exposure, and continue reapplying it once every two hours, or even more frequently if swimming.

To be fully protected, you should ensure to apply the right amount on sunscreen, which is usually about 35 ml to cover all body parts that are exposed to the sun of an adult.

Moreover, be sure not to expose your sunscreen to direct heat, and to test the sunscreen on a small portion of your skin before going sunbathing if you have sensitive skin, to ensure that no skin reaction will ruin your vacay.

Anna Daniels

Anna is an avid blogger with an educational background in medicine and mental health. She is a generalist with many other interests including nutrition, women's health, astronomy and photography. In her free time from work and writing, Anna enjoys nature walks, reading, and listening to jazz and classical music.

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