Consumer Reports: Avoid do-it-yourself sunscreen
A fast search online and you are going to be swimming in recipes and how-to videos -- not for whipping food up -- but for whipping up sunscreen. These sites may claim to possess the formula for sun protection, but dermatologist Dr. Jessica Krant says it may actually be a recipe for something a great deal worse.
"You're at risk for sunburn in the short term," she explained. "But in the long term, you are really at risk for cancer"
That's in part because there's no way for you to test the power of the mixture.
"You have no quality management," Consumer Reports wellbeing editor Trisha Cavlo explained. "You can't determine what the SPF of this product is. You do not even know if those ingredients have any kind of SPF protection"
Take zinc oxide, one of the possible ingredients in homemade sunscreen. The vitamin protects skin by deflecting the sun's UV rays as opposed to absorbing them how chemical-based sunscreens do.
"In CR evaluations of store-bought sunscreens, the ones that contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide or both as active ingredients are consistently found to be less effective than those that comprise the compound active ingredients," Calvo said.
And effectiveness is key.
"In childhood, one blistering sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer by 50 percent," Dr. Krant explained.
To reduce harmful sunlight exposure, Dr. Krant says you should not only use sunscreen -- and use it correctly -- but additionally apply a tiny strategy when going outdoors.
"The best protection is to stay away from strong midday sunlight and plan the majority of your tasks early or later in the day," she explained. "And also to wear sun protective cloth and sun protective clothing, sunglasses and hats in addition to your sunscreen"