The current movement toward organic and natural stuff gains more and more popularity by the day. And by now, we used to view the DIY skincare products as the most healthy and the least dangerous. To the most parts, it's the truth. However, the homemade sunscreen can cause more harm than good. Majority of popular recipes offers insufficient sun protection and can put users at risk of sunburn and long-term skin damage. If you look it up on Pinterest, you will find hundreds of all natural, herbal, simple DIY sunscreen recipes.
Although most recipes claim the sun protection factor (SPF) to be above SPF 30, the recommended dose for sunscreen, none of them can provide verifiable proof. Of, course, if you make a sunscreen in your kitchen, there is no way you can get a laboratory validation. How do you know if it works or not? Just by trying it out on yourself or your child. Do you want to risk it?
Most commonly recommended ingredients in the DIY sunscreen recipes are coconut oil, lavender oil, shea butter, and beeswax. Even though those ingredients have validated sun protection properties, all of them provide less than 15 SPF. Besides, the levels of these ingredients are low and vary from batch to batch, making these sunscreens offer little reliable sun protection. Few recipes include zinc oxide and titanium oxide (sunscreen ingredients that are used in commercial products and been proven effective). However, these two actually effective items are very difficult to mix in at home properly.
The cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson in an interview with Allure noted:
"I have to use a high-pressure machine called a homogenizer to break up zinc and titanium dioxide particles and distribute them evenly through a formula... There's no way mixing with a spoon or a blender can come even close to do doing that, so you're going to have entire areas of skin that are exposed to UV rays."
Also, she stated that such popular coconut oil is a horrible base because: "It doesn't mix well with physical blockers, and it's too thick to disperse them adequately, even with the kind of technology I have access to."
Finally, beware of essential oils. There is no scientific data that suggests those natural oils have sun protection. However, there is proof that oils can actually have an opposite effect because they can absorb light, allowing UV rays penetrate the skin. Having oils in your sunscreen could create the same effect as greasing up with baby lotion.
1. Use an FDA-approved sunscreen with broad-spectrum coverage, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB radiation.
2. Remember that the minimum recommended SPF is 30.
3. Apply sunscreen about half an hour before heading out to the sun and reapply it every two hours.
4. Always make sure your sunscreen is still good. If it passed the expiration date or looks off, throw it out and get a new one.
Chemical sunscreens are safe, but if you hate the idea of using them, try a mineral alternative. Just don't make your own out of carrot, oil, and beeswax, it won't protect your skin.
There are many excellent and potent handmade skincare products. Alas, sunscreen is not one of them. If you are looking for all natural effective skincare products, check out our Chaga Beauty Butter.