Nav: Home

Pinterest homemade sunscreens: A recipe for sunburn

May 20, 2019

Social media and other online tools have changed the way people seek and share health information. Recent consumer interest in natural, organic, and ethically-made personal care products has led to an increase of shared recipes for homemade products including sunscreen. A new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the Brooks College of Health at University of North Florida examined how homemade sunscreens were portrayed on Pinterest.

The study, published today in Health Communication, found that nearly all (95%) pins, or bookmarks, for homemade sunscreen positively portrayed the effectiveness of homemade sunscreens and most (68%) recommended recipes for homemade sunscreens that offered insufficient UV radiation protection. Sun Protection Factor (SPF) claims were made in a third of pins with a range of SPF 2 to SPF 50. This is concerning because the ingredients recommended in homemade sunscreen pins offer minimal scientifically proven broad-spectrum protection from UV radiation yet are widely shared and promoted as safe alternatives to commercial sunscreens on Pinterest. The average number of saves for a pin was 808, with one pin being saved more than 21,700 times.

"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," said Lara McKenzie, PhD, co-author of this study and principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's. "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." With rising skin cancer rates, the use of effective broadband sunscreen is critical to protect the skin from UV radiation and reduce incidence of skin cancer.

Just because you make it yourself or something is labeled as natural or has fewer ingredients doesn't necessarily mean it's safer. The best sunscreen is one that can be regularly applied and stay on the skin without causing irritation or other side effects, which usually depend on the child and the activity. It often takes a trial of several sunscreens before finding the one that does the job best for your family, even if that means everyone uses a different type of product. Here are some tips on how to protect your child's skin:
  • Use an FDA-approved sunscreen. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends that everyone 6 months and older wear sunscreen. Make sure the sunscreen has these characteristics:
    • Broad spectrum, which protects against UVA and UVB sunrays.
    • Water-resistant (effective for up to 40 minutes in water) or very water resistant (effective for up to 80 minutes in water).
    • Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 30 or higher.
  • Start early. Children whose parents regularly apply sunscreen at an early age are more likely to continue using sunscreen as teenagers and adults. Make a habit of using sunscreen to set kids up for a lifetime of safely enjoying outdoor activities.
  • Apply early and often. Sunscreen should be applied in a thick layer (about ¼ teaspoon for a toddler's face), 30 minutes before heading outside and reapplied every 2 hours. If children are swimming or sweating a lot, reapply sunscreen more often and use a water-resistant formula. For a week-long beach vacation, a school-aged child should go through an entire 8 oz. bottle of sunscreen, applying it twice a day.
  • Throw out expired or old sunscreen. Look for an expiration date on the bottle and throw out expired sunscreen. If there is no expiration date, throw out sunscreen three years after opening. If your sunscreen looks or feels really different - it's much thicker or thinner or the color has changed - throw it out.
-end-
The Center for Injury Research and Policy (CIRP) of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital works globally to reduce injury-related pediatric death and disabilities. With innovative research at its core, CIRP works to continually improve the scientific understanding of the epidemiology, biomechanics, prevention, acute treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries. CIRP serves as a pioneer by translating cutting edge injury research into education, policy, and advances in clinical care. For related injury prevention materials or to learn more about CIRP, visit http://www.injurycenter.org.

Nationwide Children's Hospital

Related Health Articles:

Mental health of health care workers in china in hospitals with patients with COVID-19
This survey study of almost 1,300 health care workers in China at 34 hospitals equipped with fever clinics or wards for patients with COVID-19 reports on their mental health outcomes, including symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia and distress.
Health records pin broad set of health risks on genetic premutation
Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marshfield Clinic have found that there may be a much broader health risk to carriers of the FMR1 premutation, with potentially dozens of clinical conditions that can be ascribed directly to carrying it.
Attitudes about health affect how older adults engage with negative health news
To get older adults to pay attention to important health information, preface it with the good news about their health.
Geographic and health system correlates of interprofessional oral health practice
In the current issue of Family Medicine and Community Health (Volume 6, Number 2, 2018, pp.
Bloomberg era's emphasis on 'health in all policies' improved New Yorkers' heart health
From 2002 to 2013, New York City implemented a series of policies prioritizing the public's health in areas beyond traditional healthcare policies and illustrated the potential to reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
Youth consider mobile health units a safe place for sexual health services
Mobile health units bring important medical services to communities across the country.
Toddler formulas and milks -- not recommended by health experts -- mislead with health claims
Misleading labeling on formulas and milks marketed as 'toddler drinks' may confuse parents about their healthfulness or necessity, finds a new study by researchers at the NYU College of Global Public Health and the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut.
Women's health has worsened while men's health has improved, trends since 1990 show
Swedish researchers have studied health trends among women and men aged 25-34 from 1990-2014.
Health insurance changes, access to care by patients' mental health status
A research letter published by JAMA Psychiatry examined access to care before the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and after the ACA for patients grouped by mental health status using a scale to assess mental illness in epidemiologic studies.
Community health workers lead to better health, lower costs for Medicaid patients
As politicians struggle to solve the nation's healthcare problems, a new study finds a way to improve health and lower costs among Medicaid and uninsured patients.
More Health News and Health Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Teaching For Better Humans 2.0
More than test scores or good grades–what do kids need for the future? This hour, TED speakers explore how to help children grow into better humans, both during and after this time of crisis. Guests include educators Richard Culatta and Liz Kleinrock, psychologist Thomas Curran, and writer Jacqueline Woodson.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#556 The Power of Friendship
It's 2020 and times are tough. Maybe some of us are learning about social distancing the hard way. Maybe we just are all a little anxious. No matter what, we could probably use a friend. But what is a friend, exactly? And why do we need them so much? This week host Bethany Brookshire speaks with Lydia Denworth, author of the new book "Friendship: The Evolution, Biology, and Extraordinary Power of Life's Fundamental Bond". This episode is hosted by Bethany Brookshire, science writer from Science News.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Space
One of the most consistent questions we get at the show is from parents who want to know which episodes are kid-friendly and which aren't. So today, we're releasing a separate feed, Radiolab for Kids. To kick it off, we're rerunning an all-time favorite episode: Space. In the 60's, space exploration was an American obsession. This hour, we chart the path from romance to increasing cynicism. We begin with Ann Druyan, widow of Carl Sagan, with a story about the Voyager expedition, true love, and a golden record that travels through space. And astrophysicist Neil de Grasse Tyson explains the Coepernican Principle, and just how insignificant we are. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.