We know you’ve seen those DIY sunscreen recipes on Pinterest and TikTok, and wondered, is this safe? We’re here to set the record straight and tell you that sunscreen should NEVER be a DIY project. In Canada, sunscreens are treated similar to over-the-counter drugs in the sense that they go through rigorous testing to make sure they are safe for consumers to use. This testing is important because it ensures the SPF factor is what the label says it is and that the product will provide effective protection from harmful UV rays.
However, with the rise of trends that incorporate more natural products and less toxins into our daily lives, we have also seen a rise in at-home sunscreen recipes -- there is even a research paper on it (it’s called Pinterest Homemade Sunscreens: A Recipe for Sunburn). According to Julie Williams Merten and her colleagues, many of these recipes fail to include important information about the sunscreen being made, such as the SPF factor and the risks of sunburns. They also use ingredients, such as coconut oil, that have no strong scientific evidence for protecting the skin against UV rays. In fact, many of these sunscreens barely have an SPF of 3, when the recommendation is an SPF of at least 30!
We're here to tell you that homemade sunscreen is not a safe way to protect your skin from the sun.