Southern Arizona | Investigating 4 You

4 Your Health: Be wary of homemade sunscreens

With rising temperatures comes a new trend related to sunscreen.

Blogs are popping up with make your own sunscreen recipe’s promising that they are full of healthy nutrients for skin and made without chemicals. Problem is, these products have not been tested and they may actually do more harm than good.

Dr. Karen Pollock says now that summer break is here, taking care of you and your families skin should be a top priority.

“You don’t want to play with the sun”, said Pollock, “One in five people get skin cancer in their lifetime and we want to prevent that and start good healthy habits early on.

With sites boasting “organic” solutions that claim they are equally as sun repellent, but haven’t been tested formally, Dr. Pollock said there’s an important reason the FDA approves commercial sunscreens.

“I’ve heard of patients, actually I had one yesterday, that her sister was making some homemade sunscreen and not that it’s necessarily harmful but I don’t think its as helpful as they think it is”, Pollock said, “The problem is it hasn’t been tested and you don’t know how much is in each one, so I’m very skeptical on that. And I would definitely recommend doing a commercially tested product for infants and children versus the homemade.”

Dr. Pollock said for those looking for more “natural products” you just have to do your research.

“The main thing you’re going to see in these, there’s still going to have some active ingredients, they’re NOT all natural so your going to have some kind of chemical in it”, Pollock said, “But these chemicals like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide have been tested and proven in infants and children so we know that they are safe and effective.”

When shopping for an approved sunscreen, experts say you should look for those that have zinc or titanium dioxide in them. Sunscreens that include those ingredients provide the most protection.

Sean Mooney

Sean Mooney

Sean Mooney is cohost of Tucson Today, Monday-Friday 5-7 am.
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