Homemade sunscreen is a recipe for burns

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The growing trend for 'clean living' has seen many turn to social media for 'organic' alternatives to everyday products. 

But research has now warned 'chemical free', homemade sunscreen can be a recipe for burns.

A study found 68 per cent of DIY sun creams found on Pinterest offer insufficient UV protection.

Researchers warn homemade sunscreens that include essential oils, shea butter or coconut oil have an SPF of just one to seven.

And just because something is touted as 'natural' or 'organic' does not make it safe or effective, they add.

Research warns 'chemical-free' homemade sunscreen is a recipe for burns (stock)

Research warns 'chemical-free' homemade sunscreen is a recipe for burns (stock)

The research was carried out by the Nationwide Children's Hospital in Ohio and led by Dr Lara McKenzie, of the Center for Injury Research and Policy.

'The internet is a great place for families to go to for recipe inspiration and arts and crafts projects, but not necessarily for making their own safety-related things,' Dr McKenzie said.

'Homemade sunscreen products are risky because they are not regulated or tested for efficacy like commercial sunscreens. 

'When you make it yourself, you don't know if it's safe or effective.'


Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer. It happens after the DNA in skin cells is damaged (typically due to harmful UV rays) and then not repaired so it triggers mutations that can form malignant tumors. 

The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 91,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma in the US in 2018 and more than 9,000 are expected to die from it.

Around 15,900 new cases occur every year in the UK, with 2,285 Britons dying from the disease in 2016, according to Cancer Research UK statistics. 


Sun exposure: UV and UVB rays from the sun and tanning beds are harmful to the skin Moles: The more moles you have, the greater the risk for getting melanoma  Skin type: Fairer skin has a higher risk for getting melanoma Hair color: Red heads are more at risk than others Personal history: If you've had melanoma once, then you are more likely to get it again Family history: If previous relatives have been diagnosed, then that increases your risk


Removal of the melanoma:

This can be done by removing the entire section of the tumor or by the surgeon removing the skin layer by layer. When a surgeon removes it layer by layer, this helps them figure out exactly where the cancer stops so they don't have to remove more skin than is necessary. 

Skin grafting: 

The patient can decide to use a skin graft if the surgery has left behind discoloration or an indent. 

Immunotherapy, radiation treatment or chemotherapy: 

This is needed if the cancer reaches stage III or IV. That means that the cancerous cells have spread to the lymph nodes or other organs

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