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DIY Sunscreen Exists

By Sarah Kinonen. Photo by: Getty Images.

The Internet is obsessed with DIY beauty. A quick Google search using the generic keywords “DIY beauty” pulls up more than 61 million hits. (Yes, millions.) There’s literally a treatment for everything (imagine: creamy avocado face masks honey hair treatments, and coffee grind scrubs).

And while we’ve already mentioned that we’re not entirely fans of the do-it-yourself route (we prefer products with tried-and-true ingredients backed by science), every once and awhile we’ll come across a really great food-based recipe that actually works. But for the majority of the time, well, that’s another story. Take, for instance, homemade sunscreen, which, yes, is a thing that actually exists, apparently.

The DIY version of SPF 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 — or any other made-at-home formulation — ever add up to the everyday SPF 30, says Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.

“I never recommend opting for a DIY option,” says Zeichner. “Attempting to make your own sunscreen can potentially lead to disastrous results, including severe burns andskin cancer later in life. While certain natural ingredients [Ed note: zinc oxide] may offer protection from the sun, there is no way to ensure the quality of protection, the stability of the ingredients, or a lasting effect on the skin.”

In non-science speak? Please, please for the love of all things holy, do not attempt to make your sunscreen. Just…just trust us on this one. Forking over a few bucks for one of these Allure editor-approved UV-shielding formulations will always be your best bet. Always.

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