Sunscreen – The New Talc

a screenshot of beautiful photos and ingredients lists for homemade sunscreens from Pinterest

When I was a teenager, I dated a guy who was overly concerned about my health and well-being. One day, I casually mentioned using baby powder and he lost his mind! He practically begged me to stop using it. It turns out that he had a point, albeit a small one.

Talcum powder worries date back to the early 70s when powder with asbestos in it was linked to lung cancer if inhaled. In 1976, the FDA made companies remove asbestos from the product. Another study claimed the powder could cause ovarian cancer under specific circumstances. Like many people, my then-boyfriend heard “talc” and “cancer” and became anxious.

People worry about certain chemicals, sometimes with good reason, but sometimes not. In many cases, a chemical found to be potentially hazardous would have to be used by the bucket every day to cause any harm. So, after learning about the chemical mix in sunscreen, some enterprising Pinterest fans decide to go natural. It’s better, right? Mix up your own sunscreens in your kitchen and keep them chemical-free.

One problem: they don’t work. A new study of sunscreen recipe pins shared on Pinterest finds they won’t protect skin from the rays of the sun. They smell good, feel good, they’re made without chemicals – but they’ll let you and your children burn to a crisp.

The jury is out on the harmfulness of sunscreen ingredients such as avobenzone, octocrylene, ecamsule, and oxybenzone. They have been found in the bloodstreams of test subjects who used loads of sunscreen several times a day on most of their bodies. Further studies are being done. But I’ll tell you what’s for sure: It’s harmful to risk a severe sunburn because the oatmeal and shea butter DIY mix you’re applying does nothing to filter out the harmful rays.

I recently wrote a baby sunscreen article for Walmart. Baby sunscreens are made from special formulas for a tiny tot’s tender skin. The article also includes a guide to applying sunscreen to an infant (six months and older). There’s more to it than squeezing out a tube and rolling them in it if that’s what you thought! Read it HERE.

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