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Video: Online Sunscreen Recipes Can Cause Skin Burns
Online sunscreen recipes can cause skin burns
If you really want to keep out of the sun, then you shouldn't trust homemade sunscreens. A recent study from Ohio National Children's Hospital looked at homemade sunscreen recipes posted on the popular website Pinterest.
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If you really want to keep out of the sun, then you shouldn't trust homemade sunscreens. A recent study by researchers at the Ohio National Children's Hospital looked at homemade sunscreen recipes posted on the popular website Pinterest. In the course of the study, it turned out that these mixtures are much less protective of our skin from UV radiation than those sold in stores and pharmacies.
A team of scientists examined the recipes for homemade suncress and natural sunscreen, publishing the results in Health Communication magazine. They researched the composition of every fifth recipe using any information available about it.
In almost all cases, the authors of posts on social networks touted homemade sunscreens, offered recipes, and about a third of them claimed that such a cream provides a high protection factor (SPF) from ultraviolet rays, up to SPF 50. However, the researchers found that the vast majority of these creams simply did not pass the test for such protection.
Coconut oil, which has proven to be the most commonly used ingredient in these recipes, has been shown in laboratory tests to only provide UV protection up to SPF 7. At the same time, the minimum recommended level of protection in typical sunscreens is 30 SPF, a level that can block 97% of UV rays.
Equally important, these homemade sunscreens certainly cannot provide broad spectrum protection, meaning they cannot protect against different types of UV radiation. By creating a false sense of security, they can actually harm users.
“Some of these ingredients naturally provide some sun protection, but not to the extent that the authors of the posts on social media claim. The combination of ingredients they are proposing will not allow you to reach SPF 50. At best, you can get severe sunburn, and at worst, it could lead to skin cancer in the future,”says study author Dr. Lara McKenzie).
In some cases, the ineffectiveness of homemade creams is due to the fact that they are not made correctly at home. For example, zinc oxide and titanium oxide have been listed in many recipes. But while these are some of the best sunscreen ingredients, they probably won't work as well as regular sunscreens. Homemade sunscreens may not contain enough zinc, or zinc may be unevenly distributed throughout the mixture, which can lead to incomplete sun protection. Also, homemade sunscreens may not be waterproof or sunlight resistant.
Of course, there has long been some distrust of products like sunscreen. Although it has recently been reported that some of the ingredients in sunscreens can be absorbed into the bloodstream, it has not yet been proven to cause any significant harm to health. The study authors, however, do not recommend relying on recipes found on social media.