Researchers Caution To Not Use Homemade Sunscreen

In the current years, it has become very popular for many to use do-it-yourself care products, ranging from perfumes to soap and even shampoos. The recipe to create your own sunscreen at home has been most in trend among social media handles. Though, a new research cautions that homemade sunscreen have no guarantee of providing protection against ultraviolet rays.

When searched on Google for the word “homemade sunscreen” it will provide you with 9,750,000 outcomes. Mostly they will containing recipes for the terms “”natural,” “simple,” and “nontoxic” do-it-yourself (DIY) products.

The attraction of a DIY sunscreen is embedded in various factors, such as possibly reduced costs and the opinion that an all-natural cream created with carefully selected ingredients is more beneficial compared to a highly-produced sunscreen with an ingredient list that contains chemicals with unreadable  names. Though, a new research cautions that we shouldn’t believe the sunscreen recipes that we get to know through the web to create a product which caters to the need of protection against sunburn.

The study consists of researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus, OH, and the Brooks College of Health at the University of North Florida, in Jacksonville. Its results will be mentioned in the journal Health Communication.

“The internet is a great place for families to go to for recipe inspiration and arts and crafts projects, but not necessarily for making their own safety-related things,” cautions study co-author Lara McKenzie, Ph.D.

Homemade sunscreen is ‘dangerous’

Lately, social media is a leading root, globally, when it is about searching for DIY products. The researchers diverted their attention to a single well known website; Pinterest, a famous social platform that gives users a freehand to create their moodboard- type various collections of what they like. Some information suggests that Pinterest is known as the fourth most popular social media handle in USA, where it was calculated roughly that it was used by 77.4 million individuals in 2018.

In the current research, the researchers viewed how Pinterest users demonstrated and rated different recipes of homemade sunscreen. In the opinion of researchers, it is the first ever study to view the portrayal of DIY sunscreen on Pinterest. It was found that many – 95.2% precisely of the saved posts (known as ‘pins’) relating DIY sunscreen advised that homemade ingredients were powerful and 68.3% of the pins advertisted DIY sunscreens, which the researchers mention that did not take measures about the suitable safety against ultraviolet (UV) radiation.

Furthermore, the team mentioned that a third of the posts containing recipes for homemade sunscreen asserted particular sun protection factor – provided on commercial packaging as “SPF” – ranging from SPF 2-50.

Nevertheless, the researchers notify that such claims can deceive people, since the ingredients mentioned in the recipes provide very less protection against UV radiation.

Still, many individuals are viewed as showing keen attention to these recipes saved on Pinterest, with users saving each pin, as much as 808 times. One particular DIY sunscreen pin was saved on the account 21,700 times, as noticed by the researchers.

In the study paper, the investigators mention that “social media has become a powerful tool for sharing health information, yet it becomes dangerous when the information being shared isn’t accurate or complete.” This is also for those who take the data related to homemade sunscreens as an advantage. The researchers describe that professionals do not medically test these products, and this is why they cannot give any safety against UV rays at all.

“Homemade sunscreen products are risky because they are not regulated or tested for efficacy like commercial sunscreens. When you make it yourself, you don’t know if it’s safe or effective.” Says Lara McKenzie, Ph.D.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mention that having “a history of sunburns, especially early in life,” can higher the risk of being diagnosed to skin cancer. Thus, it is vital to use a well medicated sunscreen that is medically tested and has evidence to be beneficial, from a young age onwards, any time you are exposed to direct sunlight.

Now, the American Academy of Dermatology advise using sunscreen that provides broad-spectrum protection – that is, safe from both UVA and UVB rays. It should also contain a SPF of 30 or more and water-resistant.

The same information mentions that adults should smear about an ounce of sunscreen across their skin. They should reapply the sunscreen with a gap of some hours when outside in direct sunlight or even apply more regularly if they go swimming or become sweaty.