We would be lost (or at least a lot less entertained) without DIY beauty. Pinterest boards, YouTube tutorials, and Instagram posts have given us endless inspiration for soft skin and silky hair. But there is one (extremely) important beauty area that you should leave to the pros. And we're not being dramatic when we say it could be a matter of life and death.
If you take a peek at some of the holistic beauty corners of the Internet, you'll see a lot of buzz about why you need to DIY your sunscreen. At first some of these pitches seem pretty convincing: a 2016 recent study warned that Oxybenzone, the UV-blocking chemical found in most sunscreens, is "a serious and increasingly clear threat to coral." Similarly, scientists have linked mass sunscreen application to a widespread Vitamin D deficiency, which increases the risk of breast and prostate cancers. So according to these sites, by applying sunscreen, you're either killing Nemo or killing yourself.
This news has led to many tutorials on how to make SPF in your own kitchen. According to these recipes, all you need to "hack" sunscreen is Zinc Oxide, shea butter, a few essentials oils, lavender, and a cute Mason jar to mix it all up in. It's so easy — and dangerous. A recent study by Consumer Reports reported that in no uncertain terms, DIY sunscreens don't work. In the study, dermatologist Joel M. Cohen, MD, warns that, "One blistering sunburn translates into a 50 percent increased risk of skin cancer."
"Would you put on a radiation suit you found on Pinterest before going into a nuclear zone?"
If you need audiovisual proof that DIY sunscreen is perhaps the most dangerous beauty trend of Summer 2017, take it from Michelle of Lab Muffin Beauty Science. Michelle has her PhD and works as a science educator in Australia. In a new impassioned video, Michelle urges viewers not to jump on the dangerous bandwagon. "Would you put on a radiation suit you found on Pinterest before going into a nuclear zone? Would you trust a DIY seatbelt? A DIY guide to surgery? A DIY rollercoaster you found on a blog?"
Michelle then goes on to say that one person in the US dies of melanoma every 54 minutes. To combat this, the SPF industry spends over $5,000 in research, which is much more than any DIY enthusiast can handle in a home lab. Watch Michelle school proponents of this controversial trend, and learn a little bit for yourself about sunscreen production in the video above.
If this leaves you in the mood to shop SPFs, you can always hit up the two best drugstore options — both are under $15 and certified "safe" for both your skin and the environment.