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Homemade Sunscreens Don’t Work According to New Study

by kelly / November, 4 2020 01:30

Picture of homemade sunscreen recipe in a jarImage © thedabblist

Homemade or DIY sunscreens don’t work and they can be dangerous. Ok, so we’re a little biased because we do run a sunscreen company after all but a number of studies looked into these homemade sunscreen recipes and found they are not safe to use. Why? Well, check out the latest study which recreated 15 online recipes and found all had an SPF below 6 – not very protective.

Homemade Sunscreen Fail

Recently a study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology analyzed 15 internet homemade sunscreen recipes. The study recreated these recipes in a laboratory and then measured the SPF protection level of each recipe.

The results were astounding. The study found three of the fifteen recipes did not contain any sun protection and the remaining 12 only provided a SPF protection under 6.

For reference the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA), the organization that regulates commercial sunscreens sold in the US, recommends at least an SPF 15. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends at least an SPF 30.

Also, commercial sunscreens (aka non-homemade ones) go through FDA mandated testing to prove their SPF level and are made in FDA regulated manufacturing facilities. Something the homemade sunscreens do not do but we do at Block Island Organics.

It would obviously be very dangerous to your skin if you went out in the sun with one of these 15 DIY recipes.

ALL Homemade Sunscreens Are Concerning

While the study proved these 15 recipes don’t work there a thousands of other DIY sunscreen recipes available online. In fact, there is a growing trend of DIY sunscreens promoted on Pinterest and many are even available for purchase on handmade products sites like Etsy.

You might be thinking well these 15 don’t work but another one online might. Well, another study researched hundreds of Pinterest homemade recipes and found them to be dangerous also.

We discussed this other study previously and you can check it out here in our post “New Study Shows DIY Sunscreen is a DON’T”.

Homemade Sunscreens Are NOT Tested For Accuracy

So, one basic issue is that none of these online recipes have substantiated their SPF level claims. On top of that, most DIY sunscreens make incorrect SPF claims.

You see, all commercial sunscreens must validate their SPF claims through mandated testing regulated by the FDA. Additionally commercial sunscreen go through regulated testing to prove they provide broad spectrum protection too. SPF is only a measure of protection against UVB rays while having broad spectrum protection means you are protected against UVA rays as well. Both UVB and UVA rays cause skin damage.

Also a lot goes into making commercial sunscreens and highly specialized manufacturing equipment is used to mix the ingredients properly so they work to protect you – something these homemade recipes don’t go through. Plus, commercial sunscreens – like ours – are made in FDA regulated manufacturing facilities. All of these requirements are necessary to make sure a sunscreen gives you the protection it says it does.

If you want even more details on what goes into making a sunscreen check out our post “Dangers of DIY Sunscreen”.

Benefits of Block Island Organics Sunscreen

Of course our sunscreens are commercial sunscreens and are tested against the FDA regulated standards.

I think the reason why homemade sunscreens are so popular right now is because some folks believe chemical sunscreens are toxic. You see, most of these DIY recipes are based on mineral-only UV filters. In fact, I can’t recall seeing one DIY recipe that wasn’t all mineral.

Well, you can rest assured our sunscreens are mineral ONLY, feature natural and certified organic ingredients – they are free of parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances, dyes, and gluten – and go through FDA testing and are made in an FDA regulated facility.

So the next time you think about recreating an online sunscreen recipe – don’t because it could be damaging to your skin.

For even more skin and suncare tips check out our Skin Care and Suncare Smarts blog series.

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