It's that time of the year again! Which means it's time to soak up the sun and although we all want to obtain that bronzed goddess look, protecting your skin is the main priority.
Many sunscreens are known for providing limited protection, but there is one kind that provides slim to no kind at all- and that is the ones you make yourself.
DIY sunscreens may seem easily accessible and most affordable, but they are actually the ones that are the most harmful to your body. Although DIY recipes for sunscreen can be found on YouTube and Pinterest, the one disclaimer that isn't mentioned is that it can lead to a life or death situation.
If you were to search "DIY sunscreen recipes" on Google, you would find over 70,000 hits. However, most of them don't provide SPF coverage or broad spectrum coverage, which defeats the purpose of sunscreen.
A recent study made in 2016 warned that Oxybenzone, a UV-blocking chemical found in most sunscreens, is "a serious and increasingly clear threat to coral."
Scientists have associated mass sunscreen application to a widespread Vitamin D deficiency, which increases the risk of breast and prostate cancers. In that case, according to these sources, by applying sunscreen, you're either killing fish or killing yourself.
"Some people worry about the safety of chemical ingredients in commercial sunscreens, but the active ingredients used in this country have been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration," said Joel L. Cohen, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the University of Colorado. "What's unsafe is making homemade sunscreen using ingredients without proven SPF or broad spectrum coverage in formulations that aren't standardized or verified for their efficacy. That can leave you unprotected from the sun-a known carcinogen."
Realize Beauty, a blogger and professional cosmetic chemist, mentioned how she made sunscreen with zinc oxide, shea butter and other ingredients. After having them tested in the lab, she thought that it would come out to at least SPF 30, however, it ended up at a low SPF 12. Another mixture she made herself came out to be SPF 8.
"Epic failures all," she said. "What makes this worse is that it's my own work."
If DIY sunscreen sounds risky and not worth paying the price of potential cancer, there is always your local drug store where you can find some of the most reputable sunscreens for a better price. Brands such as Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic and Coppertone are known to provide the best protection.