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Zany_in_CO

Saponifier
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I do wish I knew how to add SPF protection, though.
First of all, you can add it, but you can't say the product contains an SPF unless you go through the process of certification.

Secondly, you can do what I do... search for a product that you like, analyze the ingredients and duplicate it or make something similar.
For example, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lip Balm SPF 15 contains

Active Ingredients: Dimethicone 1.5%, Octinoxate 7.5%, Oxybenzone 4.5%.
That is your formula for adding SPF 15 to your lip balm batch. :thumbup:
Inactive ingredients:
mineral oil - OMIT
microcrystalline wax, carnauba wax, - Sub beeswax :thumbs:
cocoa butter
, - :thumbs:
fragrance - EO or Flavor Oil (optional) :thumbup:
tocopherol
, i.e., Vitamin E capsule, 1000 IU
sunflower seed oil
, - :thumbs:
isopropyl myristate, - OMIT
beta carotene, skin friendly Vitamin A capsule; optional)
zea mays (corn) oil, - OMIT
benzyl alcohol. - OMIT

For what it's worth, one of the first lip balms I made was 15% beeswax and 85% sunflower oil. Nice.

Another option is to research the SPF of various oils, such as red raspberry oil, that is said to contain SPF (28-55).

You also want a product that protects against UVB (for Burn) rays and UVA (A for Aging). Hence, the Vitamin E & beta carotene in the above formula. Using Carrot Tissue Oil is good for that too.

I hope this makes sense. I'm really tired. 😴

ETA: My apologies to the OP for the hijack. I should have recommended starting a new thread but didn't think of it until just now.
 
First of all, you can add it, but you can't say the product contains an SPF unless you go through the process of certification.

Secondly, you can do what I do... search for a product that you like, analyze the ingredients and duplicate it or make something similar.
For example, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Lip Balm SPF 15 contains

Active Ingredients: Dimethicone 1.5%, Octinoxate 7.5%, Oxybenzone 4.5%.
That is your formula for adding SPF 15 to your lip balm batch. :thumbup:
Inactive ingredients:
mineral oil - OMIT
microcrystalline wax, carnauba wax, - Sub beeswax :thumbs:
cocoa butter
, - :thumbs:
fragrance - EO or Flavor Oil (optional) :thumbup:
tocopherol
, i.e., Vitamin E capsule, 1000 IU
sunflower seed oil
, - :thumbs:
isopropyl myristate, - OMIT
beta carotene, skin friendly Vitamin A capsule; optional)
zea mays (corn) oil, - OMIT
benzyl alcohol. - OMIT

For what it's worth, one of the first lip balms I made was 15% beeswax and 85% sunflower oil. Nice.

Another option is to research the SPF of various oils, such as red raspberry oil, that is said to contain SPF (28-55).

You also want a product that protects against UVB (for Burn) rays and UVA (A for Aging). Hence, the Vitamin E & beta carotene in the above formula. Using Carrot Tissue Oil is good for that too.

I hope this makes sense. I'm really tired. 😴

ETA: My apologies to the OP for the hijack. I should have recommended starting a new thread but didn't think of it until just now.
If you duplicate a formula for a product with SPF, you must duplicate it exactly (down to the percentages of each ingredient) or you run the risk of inactivating the active ingredients with substitutions and omissions of inactive ingredients. I'm serious when I say that there are ingredients that inactivate UV blocking additives. There are other ingredients that make those additives work. The product you are duplicating has been tested with the exact ingredient list that's on the label. Once you start changing things, you have to get it tested all over again to verify that it is even blocking UV at all, and how much.

Regarding raspberry seed oil, this was recently discussed in another thread, and since I don't want to repeat myself I'll link to it:
https://www.soapmakingforum.com/threads/soco-botanicals.84209/
Do NOT use raspberry seed oil as a sunscreen. The "SPF" value that is usually ascribed to it is extremely misleading, if not outright false. I posted a link in that thread where someone tested it and the pictures don't lie. Here's the link:
https://nyponros.com/en/sunscreen/rasberryseed-oil-sunscreen
The only additives that actually block UV rays, are those that are approved by the FDA (or equivalent). There is no proven alternative additive that works as well as those the FDA already knows about. If there were, they'd be on the FDA's list of approved sunscreen ingredients.
 
@Quanta Good to know! Thank you.

Of course, I can only speak from extensive research and a life-time of experience. Most of your comments get no argument from me. I agree. The problem I have as a hobbyist who works with natural ingredients is, generally speaking, the FDA is loathe to approve "natural" substances for treating whatever health or skin conditions. Examples: Vitamin C for colds; Lard soap for acne; Vitamin E for dry skin; herbal tea for symptoms of cold. or flu.

That being said, exposing the skin to direct sun for 2 hours is extreme. Intentionally "burning" the skin for any reason is just plain stupid, IMO and IME (In My Opinion/Experience). But that's just me. And while the point is well made that sunscreen/sunblock is far more effective than the oils with natural Sun Protective Factor in that scenario, does not preclude using those oils to protect the skin in a less extreme circumstance.

For example, I try to get 20 minutes of "unprotected" sun daily, to absorb a healthy dose of Vitamin D which is important for a healthy immune system, among many other benefits. Due to the current practice of never going outside without first putting on sunscreen, is causing a whole new set of health problems for the general public because they aren't reaping the beneficial qualities of getting a healthy dose of vitamin D from the sun.

Regular sun exposure can stimulate the human skin to produce quantities of vitamin D that far exceed your needs. Without a shadow of a doubt, sunlight is the largest single source of vitamin D for most people.

I could go on and on and on about this subject and how it is possible to make an all-natural product to protect the skin from UVB and UVA rays for limited exposure to the sun, I will leave it there with the hope that my experience receives at least a modicum of respect from you and any other naysayers who believe commercially produced sunscreen/sunblock is the only option.
 
The problem I have as a hobbyist who works with natural ingredients is, generally speaking, the FDA is loathe to approve "natural" substances for treating whatever health or skin conditions.
I think you're smart enough to know that isn't true. If a natural ingredient works, they include it in their monographs. If it doesn't, they don't. There is no conspiracy against "natural" ingredients. Sometimes, the simple answer is that natural alternatives just don't work.

As an example of the FDA including natural ingredients when they are shown to work, here is the official list of FDA approved skin protectant ingredients. Please note that about half of them are natural substances. I could provide many other examples but I think this will suffice.
https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=347.10
That being said, exposing the skin to direct sun for 2 hours is extreme. Intentionally "burning" the skin for any reason is just plain stupid, IMO and IME (In My Opinion/Experience). But that's just me. And while the point is well made that sunscreen/sunblock is far more effective than the oils with natural Sun Protective Factor in that scenario, does not preclude using those oils to protect the skin in a less extreme circumstance.
If the product doesn't protect in the extreme circumstances, then it is doing very little to nothing in a more ordinary manner of use. If I needed to protect my skin, I'd use the product that was proven to work even in extreme circumstances because then I'd know for sure that it worked in less extreme circumstances. What have you done to test your hypothesis that the oil is working? Isn't oil of any sort known for accelerating skin damage by UV light?

For example, I try to get 20 minutes of "unprotected" sun daily, to absorb a healthy dose of Vitamin D which is important for a healthy immune system, among many other benefits. Due to the current practice of never going outside without first putting on sunscreen, is causing a whole new set of health problems for the general public because they aren't reaping the beneficial qualities of getting a healthy dose of vitamin D from the sun.

Vitamin D: Vital Role in Your Health
I just take a vitamin supplement, and stay out of the sun. No reason to risk skin cancer when I can take a supplement. 20 minutes of sunlight every day is extreme for someone as fair-skinned as I am. I have burned enough to itch badly in as little as a half hour before, so I hate to imagine the skin damage that would accrue if I did 20 minutes every day.

I could go on and on and on about this subject and how it is possible to make an all-natural product to protect the skin from UVB and UVA rays for limited exposure to the sun, I will leave it there with the hope that my experience receives at least a modicum of respect from you and any other naysayers who believe commercially produced sunscreen/sunblock is the only option.
I think it comes down to how you define "natural". If Titanium dioxide and Zinc oxide are natural, then sure, you can make a natural sunscreen with those ingredients. On the other hand, it is also possible to make a cream out of Titanium dioxide and Zinc oxide that does nothing to block UV rays, depending on the other ingredients and the exact forms and particle sizes of TiO2 and ZnO used. This is why lab testing is so important. You can't just take a guess at the ingredients and hope it works. A lab will determine the actual SPF, which can vary based on the percentages of each ingredient and how the product is made.

I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I can respect your right to have an opinion, even if I don't respect the opinion itself when I know it is not based on facts, and super especially when that opinion can lead to real harm if someone follows through on it. My real problem is that you seem to be saying that people can make their own sunscreen out of ingredients that do not block UV light, and that just is not true. Raspberry seed oil does not have very much UV blocking ability, if it has any at all.
 
There are other factors to consider when it comes to the effect of the sun on ones skin: elevation (thinness of the atmosphere); proximity to the equator (higher UV radiation levels); skin cell make-up of the person in question (genetic differences of skin which leads to differences in production of melanin); medications being taken (some medications interfere with normal skin interaction with UV radiation causing intense burning in the presence of the slightest exposure); prior existing DNA damage of the skin from previous exposure.

It is one thing to choose to treat ones own skin a certain way, taking full responsibility for whatever the result may be. It is quite another to advise others to 'do what I do' because it works fine for me, full well knowing that what works for one does not necessarily work for another and that variables do exist that may drastically alter another person's experience of similar circumstances.

I am not saying that anyone is actually saying 'Do what I do because if it works for me, it will work for you, too.' I am just saying that there are other factors that each of us must take into account for ourselves. But also that knowledge of those factors should educate us in our discussion, both as makers of products we may give or sell to other people, but also as advisors to other people (verbally or written). Often our words contain more weight by virtue of our perceived experience and knowledge (as makers of such products), and although this may be reasonable in some cases, IME, it is not always a sufficiently whole picture.
 
You know the mods split this derail into its own thread, right? I don't know if it was before or after you made this post, but they did.
This was requested by Zany because she hijacked the thread from the OP, so that's what I did. What is done behind the scenes is done for a reason.
 
This was requested by Zany because she hijacked the thread from the OP, so that's what I did.
Ah, ok. I thought she sounded like she wanted to continue the discussion but also didn't want to continue the hijack. I thought she had more to say.
 
In Canada, sunscreen is classified as a drug and is regulated as such. It requires testing to guarantee SPF claims. Any maker selling sunscreen in Canada must follow Health Canada guidelines. Personally, I refuse to make either sunscreen or insect repellant (which is classified as a pesticide); nor will I use a homemade sunscreen or insect repellant.

I have been asked by a few customers if I do and why I don't. That said, there is a vendor at our market who does sell both; I rather doubt that she's aware of the regulations.
 
Just an FYI, I was more interested in the SPF protection for my own personal use, vs. claiming it on the label.
Additionally, the following is my understanding regarding testing and natural ingredients in the U.S.:
1) the FDA doesn't test anything, merely approves the testing done by others as safe, does what it claims, etc.
2) as far as natural ingredients go, few companies are willing to go through the rigorous testing of natural ingredients as a cure, because they can't be patented. There are groups that do some testing, but generally don't have the financial resources to do the rigorous testing needed to get FDA approval.
So it is possible that there are incredibly effective natural cures that haven't gotten approval. On the flip side there are plenty of natural remedies that do more harm than good. I would love to be in the position to fund that kind of research, but sadly am not. Because, I do believe that, for the most part, natural remedies typically have the least long term unwanted side effects and are easier on your body; given that they work and have been tested. Hey, maybe I should contact the Gates Foundation, since they seem to be into giving medical advice and curing the world ☺. I say that tongue in cheek, but who knows they may help.

Oh, and by the way, one of my lip balms does have raspberry oil in it, but only at 5%. I, too, had read it had SPF 28 protection. But of course when it's only 5% of your product, then at most you have 1.4 SPF. Anyway, I don't claim any SPF on my product, but figured, what the heck, maybe it'll help a tad. But I will definitely do some more research about it, check out the reference @Quanta refers to, and see if I can find others. Since I only use raspberry oil for this one product, I can stop stocking it and go back to sweet almond oil for this item. We will see. I will also look at some of the ingredients @Zany_in_CO has mentioned and see what I can find. Again, it is hard to find reliable testing on natural ingredients, but I will look and we will see. So for now - On to soaping!!!
 
Warning: long post. Scroll down for TL;DR version.

Just an FYI, I was more interested in the SPF protection for my own personal use, vs. claiming it on the label.
Here's what I was trying to say: Even for personal use, you need to have it tested to see if it's even working, and if it is, what the SPF is and whether it protects against UVA and UVB. Without lab tests, you don't know if it's working unless you slather it on and sit in direct sunlight long enough to burn/age/get cancer. Testing it yourself, you can only test for whether it prevents sunburn. You can't test whether it prevents aging and cancer because you don't have the lab equipment to test whether it's effective against that particular wavelength of UV light. There are ways of inactivating the UV absorbing/blocking ingredients that you may not be aware of. Just throwing UV blocking additives into your formula isn't guaranteed to prevent cancer or premature aging. Then there is the fact that some UV blocking additives will deactivate certain preservatives. There is a lot more to it than simply dumping into your formula whatever a commercial manufacturer uses as their actives in a completely different formula.

Additionally, the following is my understanding regarding testing and natural ingredients in the U.S.:
1) the FDA doesn't test anything, merely approves the testing done by others as safe, does what it claims, etc.
True. The testing process must meet strict requirements, though.

2) as far as natural ingredients go, few companies are willing to go through the rigorous testing of natural ingredients as a cure, because they can't be patented. There are groups that do some testing, but generally don't have the financial resources to do the rigorous testing needed to get FDA approval.
I don't really buy the "can't be patented" thing. It isn't necessarily the patent holder who proves the ingredient's usefulness to the FDA, it's whoever has the resources and the desire to market a product with that ingredient sold as a drug. If patents really mattered so much, why are there already so many natural ingredients on the monographs in categories besides sunscreen?

The fact that there are no "natural sunscreen" (as in plant matter) ingredients included on the monograph for sunscreens should tell most people that "natural sunscreen" isn't a thing (unless you consider TiO2 and ZnO to be "natural"). There is enough of a market demand for "all natural" that someone surely would have found a plant-derived sunscreen by now if such a thing were possible.

So it is possible that there are incredibly effective natural cures that haven't gotten approval. On the flip side there are plenty of natural remedies that do more harm than good.
I agree with both of these statements, speaking generally. But I suspect only the second statement applies to sunscreen.

I would love to be in the position to fund that kind of research, but sadly am not. Because, I do believe that, for the most part, natural remedies typically have the least long term unwanted side effects and are easier on your body; given that they work and have been tested.
Although some natural remedies have been adequately tested, most funding and effort goes into testing synthetic drugs. As for side effects, there are some pretty bad side effects from natural remedies, too. The long term effects of some of those haven't been nearly as well studied as any new drug the FDA has approved.

As for natural substances being easier on the body, there are some forms of eczema where the skin reacts badly to anything biologically derived, and only synthetics (petrolatum, cetyl alcohol, mineral oil, etc) can be used because they are very inert when compared to naturals.

Oh, and by the way, one of my lip balms does have raspberry oil in it, but only at 5%. I, too, had read it had SPF 28 protection. But of course when it's only 5% of your product, then at most you have 1.4 SPF.
That is not quite how calculating SPF works.

Anyway, I don't claim any SPF on my product, but figured, what the heck, maybe it'll help a tad. But I will definitely do some more research about it, check out the reference @Quanta refers to, and see if I can find others. Since I only use raspberry oil for this one product, I can stop stocking it and go back to sweet almond oil for this item. We will see. I will also look at some of the ingredients @Zany_in_CO has mentioned and see what I can find. Again, it is hard to find reliable testing on natural ingredients, but I will look and we will see. So for now - On to soaping!!!
Yes, do lots of research. Don't read blogs though unless they are written by professional formulators instead of just some random guy trying to generate content to get page clicks for advertisers. In fact, start here (the FDA's guidance for small businesses wanting to make sunscreen):
https://www.fda.gov/regulatory-info...-products-over-counter-human-use-small-entity
After you've read that, then you are ready to research ingredients. Whatever ingredients you use, you have to know that ingredient thoroughly before you even try to make a sunscreen with it. Even with seemingly straightforward TiO2 and ZnO, you have to consider particle size, possible coatings that have been applied to those particles, how it will affect other ingredients, how it will be affected by other ingredients, and other things before you can even choose the form you want to use. You can't just grab any old zinc oxide off the shelf and expect it to block UV. And the form used is not required to be on the label of commercial products, so reverse engineering someone else's formula based on a list of ingredients will only get you so far.

TL;DR: Making sunscreen is way more complicated than most people think, and you'll only know if you got it wrong after it's too late... unless you have it lab tested.
 
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First of all, you can add it, but you can't say the product contains an SPF unless you go through the process of certification.

Secondly, you can do what I do... search for a product that you like, analyze the ingredients and duplicate it or make something similar.
You also want a product that protects against UVB (for Burn) rays and UVA (A for Aging).
This is a really helpful topic, and these quotes helped me understand what uvb & uva actually stands for! All i knew before that was things like beeswax, shea butter, illipe butter, and palm kernel oil, etc have a natural SPF, but natural oils in DIY projects don't work the same as tested sunscreens, and only have an SPF-7 at best, and SPF-1 at its worst.

SPF-7/SPF-1 Source: Why you should not use Coconut Oil as a Sunscreen - Formula Botanica
 
the FDA is loathe to approve "natural" substances for treating whatever health or skin conditions. Examples: Vitamin C for colds; Lard soap for acne; Vitamin E for dry skin; herbal tea for symptoms of cold. or flu.
Sometimes, the simple answer is that natural alternatives just don't work.
I don't really buy the "can't be patented" thing. It isn't necessarily the patent holder who proves the ingredient's usefulness to the FDA, it's whoever has the resources and the desire to market a product with that ingredient sold as a drug.
My opinion for natural alternatives... the FDA hasn't approved them because there isn't enough of a majority that they work for. Meaning that in order for the FDA to approve the natural ingredient it has to work for 99%-99.9%? I don't know the actual statistic, but I can't imagine they would approve if it only worked for 50% of the population. One of the examples above suggests lard soap for acne - which doesn't work for everyone. It works for me, but not for my daughter or a friend of mine (in fact it made their acne worse), so in just a small test group it has failed 66% of the time. So I fully agree with both of Quanta's statements - sometimes they don't work... and the truth behind the patenting. It isn't because the FDA doesn't want you NOT buying from big pharma so they're "loathe" to approve it. It's really because they don't work well enough for everyone.

That said... my opinion for DIY sunscreen is don't. Just don't. The risk is too great. There are many tested safe sunscreens out there, use them. Skin cancer is not to messed with.
 
My opinion for natural alternatives... the FDA hasn't approved them because there isn't enough of a majority that they work for.
Not being argumentative, not at all, but you could say the same is true about some FDA approved pharmaceuticals. I've been on SO many soap forums and groups and it brings me to tears when Moms (and others) complain about not only the lack of success, but the expense as well of FDA approved pharmaceuticals prescribed by dermatologists for acne and other skin problems. 😢

From my own experience, I never had acne but I do have sensitive skin. It's partially due to my dermatologist from years ago that I decided to learn to make soap. He recommended Aleppo Soap as a last resort. Made all the difference in the world. Lard soap may not work for everyone but just getting away from syndets seems to be one of the main reasons many members started soaping.
 
I believe it's more about reliable and reproducible studies to prove a product is beneficial and with few or rare-ish adverse effects, than the number being in a majority of those for whom a product is efficacious.
 
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