Homemade Sunscreens Are Not An Effective Way To Protect Your Skin

July 3, 2019

© Konstantin Egudin | Dreamstime

The self-satisfaction of creating goods yourself is fueling the Do It Yourself craze.  It’s a healthy way to escape the stresses of the world and when it comes to what you put in and on your body, it comes down to knowing exactly what ingredients ae included.  It's why Pinterest and other websites are full of sunscreen recipes. Blending natural oils with zinc oxide to make something to protect yourself from the sun sounds safe, effective and good for you. Zinc oxide is an active ingredient in many mass produced sunscreens, because it does work to absorb and reflect the sun’s rays. It's also an ingredient in diaper cream. But sun protection of a sunscreen only has a little bit to do with its active ingredient. To make an effective zinc oxide sunscreen, your formula needs to ensure that the zinc is evenly distributed, that it doesn’t interact with the lotion’s other ingredients and that the formula overall has the right chemical properties to last in the bottle and to still be effective when applied on the skin. Chemists point out that even if you were to smear diaper cream all over your face, you probably wouldn’t be getting very good sun protection even though diaper cream has more zinc oxide than regular sunscreens. The manufacturing and the inactive ingredients matter a lot, which is why making your own sunscreen is more difficult that you'd think. For example, a SPF 50 sunscreen is made up with just 15% zinc oxide, while another gets SPF 15 from its 19% zinc oxide formula. Meanwhile, an improperly formulated sunscreen can actually increase the amount of damage your skin gets from the sun, making a DIY sunscreen potentially worse than none at all. So it's safe to say when it comes to something as important as protecting you and your family's skin from harmful UV rays, it's best to stick with buying a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher that is applied 30 minutes before going outside and reapply it every two hours or immediately after swimming or sweating, according to the Skin Care Foundation.

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SOURCE: Lifehacker

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