Homemade Sunscreens Are Not As Effective In Protecting Your Skin From Damage

May 21, 2019

© Konstantin Egudin | Dreamstime

Last week a FDA report found that chemicals used in sunscreens are absorbed through the skin at higher levels than previously thought. That began the search to find all natural sunscreens where people could make their own from recipes found online and on social media sites. That prompted researchers at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville to take a deeper look at homemade sunscreens found on the popular social media site, Pinterest, to see if they indeed work in blocking the sun's harmful rays and are safer than store-bought sunblock on our skin. What the study found is that for the almost 1,000 pins, the most common ingredients were coconut oil, essential oils (especially lavender and raspberry), Shea butter, and zinc.  The researchers found that a third of the pins listed a specific SPF for a recipe, and 12% were claimed to be water-resistant. Although some of the of these ingredients provide very slight protection against ultraviolet rays, it is nowhere near what you get from commercial sunscreens, or even close to the minimum SPF 30 that many dermatologists recommend. Furthermore there is no way to verify the effectiveness claims. Despite the FDA’s call for more research on chemical active ingredients in commercials sunscreens, neither the agency nor any health organization is saying that you should avoid using products that contain them. If you prefer, use a sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and/or titanium dioxide as active ingredients; the FDA says that it doesn’t need more data on the safety of these.

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SOURCE: Consumer Reports

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