Using Homemade Sunscreens Can Cause Skin Cancers

What the American Academy of Dermatology says about the efficiency and consequences of using homemade sunscreens.
Using homemade sunscreens has the risk of causing skin cancer.
Using homemade sunscreens has the risk of causing skin cancer. (Representational image: Unsplash)

While the American Academy of Dermatology is aware of reports of people using homemade sunscreens, research shows that most homemade sunscreens lack effective sun protection, leaving users vulnerable to sunburn, premature skin aging and skin cancer, the most common cancer in the U.S.  

As dermatologists, we know that unprotected exposure to the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

The American Academy of Dermatologist

While sunscreen is a vital tool in the fight against skin cancer, homemade sunscreens do not go through the rigorous testing required of commercial sunscreens by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that their Sun Protection Factor (SPF), water resistance, and shelf-life cannot be guaranteed. In addition, due to inconsistencies in consumer preparation, the efficacy of homemade sunscreens may also vary between batches, putting users at risk for skin cancer. 

For the most effective sun protection, the AAD recommends that when outdoors, everyone seek shade, wear protective clothing — including a lightweight and long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses with UV protection — and apply a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to all skin not covered by clothing. 

While commercial sunscreen may be more expensive than homemade sunscreen, it’s a small price to pay compared to skin cancer.  
While commercial sunscreen may be more expensive than homemade sunscreen, it’s a small price to pay compared to skin cancer.  (Representational image: Unsplash)

It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime, and nearly 20 Americans die each day from melanoma. While commercial sunscreen may be more expensive than homemade sunscreen, it’s a small price to pay compared to skin cancer.  

To learn more about a personalized sun protection plan that works best for you, schedule an appointment with a board-certified dermatologist in your area.

Editor’s note: The AAD does not promote or endorse any products or services. This content is intended as editorial content and should not be embedded with any paid, sponsored or advertorial content as it could be perceived as an AAD endorsement.

(Newswise/SJH)

Using homemade sunscreens has the risk of causing skin cancer.
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