There are so many skin products on the market today, most of which contain ingredients we can’t pronounce. In recent years, scientists have discovered that some chemicals can cause cancer. These chemicals have made people wary of the products they use on their skin. Now more than ever there has been a huge rise in a number of homemade products. The latest trend in homemade products is DIY sunscreen. Scores of bloggers have their own unique recipes for DIY sunscreen. Also, a Google or Pinterest search will direct you towards countless resources. But the question is, will DIY sunscreen protect your skin from sun damage and melanoma? Many doctors think the answer is no.
First of all, the companies that manufacture sunscreen spend a great deal of time and money perfecting their product. In fact, they do a number of tests on humans to ensure that the formula is safe and that it works. Plus, they have to make sure that each ingredient works well together and that it works when exposed to the sun. There is a certain way that each ingredient needs to be mixed together. Otherwise, the product will be ineffective. Which brings me to my next point, when making DIY sunscreen there is no way to test it. Even if you have all the right ingredients, how are you supposed to tell if your DIY sunscreen is effective against the sun’s rays?
Knowing that dermatologists highly discourage people from making DIY sunscreen, many people continue making their own. The DIY-ers claim that store bought sunscreen contains harsh chemicals that can alter your hormones. Sounds bogus, but they actually have a point. As a matter of fact, there are some sunscreens on the market known as ‘endocrine disruptors’. This means that the ingredients can mess with hormones, inhibiting them from functioning properly. Most commonly, the hormones that are affected are testosterone, estrogen, progesterone, and thyroid. This can lead to various health issues such as early puberty and young girls developing much younger than normal. In addition, endocrine disrupts can cause low sperm counts, infertility, and cancer. Store bought sunscreen is less and less appealing by the minute.
Now that you know the difference between DIY sunscreen and store-bought, what’s the best option? Well, the good news is that we know which ingredients are the most harmful. When stocking up for your next beach day look out for oxybenzone, octinoxate, homosalate, octisalate, and octocrylene. These are the chemicals that aren’t going to do you any favors. But, there are companies that make mineral sunscreens which seem to be a good middle ground. Mineral sunscreen is free of toxic chemicals and is fragrance-free. Also, mineral sunscreen’s main ingredient is either zinc oxide or titanium oxide. Plus, you can trust that the formula of a store bought mineral sunscreen is safe and effective.