If you walk into any retail store, you will find all kinds of sunscreen products on the shelves. But believe it or not, store-bought sun protection isn’t your only option.
For some, making a sunscreen formula at home is the preferred alternative. Whether your motive is to save money or simply take control over what’s coming in contact with your skin, there are a few things you should know before making homemade sunscreen.
Before you start, you should find a detailed recipe. These are available online or even in home remedy books. While ingredients vary among recipes, be sure the formula you choose includes either titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. These two agents have a proven ability to provide protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. These two ingredients are common because they are natural and their effects are trusted.
Oils are a popular additive for homemade formulas, but on their own they may not provide sufficient protection from UVA/UVB exposure. By creating a sunscreen with titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, you are creating a physical sunscreen formula. These ingredients rest on top of your skin and scatter UVA and UVB rays.
You should also be aware of the risks involved in making your own sunscreen. The products you buy in the store are tested before they are made available. They are composed of trusted recipes that are well established to work. If you are creating your sunscreen at home, there is no way to know exactly how much protection you are giving your skin. Just because your skin isn’t burning when exposed to UV rays doesn’t mean that there isn’t less noticeable skin damage taking place. Certain formulas of homemade sunscreen can be effective if you do your research and take the time to mix them properly.
Whether you are using a store bought formula or one that is homemade, be sure to take all the same precautions against sun exposure. This includes applying sunscreen at least 20 minutes before heading outside, seeking shade when possible, avoiding the sun’s peak hours, which are between 10 am and 4 pm, and reapplying the product after you sweat or swim.
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