Between Pinterest and Instagram and crafting competitions, everyone seems to be looking to DIY these days. Unfortunately, if you’re considering whipping up some homemade sunscreen while you’re prepping potato salad for your cookout or picnic, you should think again.
Bloggers are providing how-tos, offer their opinions on why you’d be better off skipping store-bought sunscreen. These gurus also raise concern about the chemicals in commercial sunscreens being toxic and prices being too high, in which they claim that homemade “all-natural” alternatives are better and safer.
The DIY version of suncreen seems simple enough. It requires few ingredients — nourishing oils (almond and/or coconut) mixed with a rich base, like shea butter, and then topped with mineral-based sun shield, zinc oxide — all heated together over the stove and then thoroughly blended.
Again, sounds easy in theory to concoct, but in no way will the finished product ever add up to the everyday SPF 30. You’re at risk for sunburn in the short term, but in the long term you’re really at risk for skin cancer.
That’s in part because there’s no way for you to test the effectiveness of the mixture. You have no quality control, you can’t determine what the SPF of the product is and you don’t even know if the ingredients have any kind of SPF protection.