Highsnobiety

Nara Smith may be a chef extraordinaire, but a cosmetic chemist she is not.

On Tuesday, the model — known for her elaborate, "from scratch" recipes, which she documents on TikTok — tried her hand at making sunscreen with her husband, Lucky Blue Smith.

Spoiler alert: Their DIY concoction probably isn't doing much in the way of sun protection.

"I realized we ran out of sunscreen, so I asked Lucky to make me some," Nara narrates in her smooth-as-silk voice. Lucky proceeds to mix coconut oil, beeswax, shea butter, jojoba oil, and cocoa butter together in a bowl. Lastly, he adds in some powdered zinc oxide.

Zinc oxide, a popular sunscreen ingredient, reflects, scatters, and absorbs UV rays. The Smiths are correct in their identification of zinc oxide as an component used in many SPFs on the market — but simply adding it to some oils does not an effective sunscreen make.

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Charlotte Palermino, founder of skincare brand Dieux, breaks it down in a video reacting to the Smiths' recent post. "You absolutely can make a moisturizer with zinc added to it," she says. "What you cannot do is call it a sunscreen."

"You have to do so many things to ensure that that zinc is actually providing sun protection," Palermino adds, "You can mix 20 percent zinc oxide into a moisturizer base and it will still fail sunscreen testing."

Zinc oxide alone won't effectively shield your skin from harmful UV rays — it must be mixed into a formula that takes things like stability and water resistance into consideration. Plus, certain ingredients can destabilize zinc and prevent it from actually absorbing UV radiation.

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Not to mention that sunscreens are nonprescription drugs regulated by the FDA. That means manufacturers must conduct certain tests to prove that their product provides the sun protection it claims to offer.

Long story short: Unless a product has been tested, it's not a sunscreen. So please, don't try this at home.

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