Doctors warn about dangers of homemade sunscreen recipes

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Monday, May 20, 2019
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DIY sunscreen dangers: Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on May 20, 2019.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- One thing showing up on Pinterest recently are recipes to make your own sunscreen, but doctors say they shouldn't be trusted.

A team at Nationwide Children's Hospital evaluated dozens of online recipes, some saved by thousands of people.

Nearly all of the Do-It-Yourself products offered sun protection, and some claimed SPF levels up to 50. But none had been scientifically tested, and doctors discovered many ingredients that are known not to offer any sun protection.

"We're taking a risk with our children, with ourselves, and that risk is a really bad sunburn or skin cancer in the future," said Lara McKenzie.

"I think parents get tripped-up on the words all-natural or homemade, and they automatically think - well, it's homemade, it's got to be the best product. But that's not always the case," said Niki Chave.

Doctors say to stick with store-bought sunscreens, which are regulated by the government and have to meet standards of being safe and effective.