Scientist reveals why the sunscreen ‘toast test’ is a complete LIE and doesn’t prove anything about how UV affects your skin
- Medicinal chemist, Michelle Wong, has slammed the sunscreen toast videos
- The viral videos show a piece of toast half-covered in a brand’s sunscreen
- The toast is brown on the uncoated side and white on the sunscreen side
- Michelle says this has nothing to do with how well it works on your skin
An Australian scientist has slammed the viral ‘sunscreen toast test’ as a complete lie and questioned why someone would want to apply skincare to bread anyway.
The test claims to show how well a particular brand of sunscreen works by slathering it on half a piece of bread before placing it in the toaster.
When it comes out the side with the sunscreen is still white and doughy, while the side without is golden brown.
But the video is based around a clever lie, Michelle Wong, a qualified cosmetic scientist and organic medicinal chemistry PhD graduate, explained in a video on her Lab Muffin Beauty Science Instagram.
Michelle Wong, a qualified cosmetic scientist and organic medicinal chemistry PhD graduate, slammed the viral sunscreen on toast test
The 34-year-old claims the video simply proves ‘beauty standards have gotten out of control’.
‘This just shows that water absorbs heat. Browning bread is the Maillard reaction. It uses heat, water is great at absorbing heat.
‘This would work with a moisturiser.’
Michelle posted the short clip on Tuesday with a cheeky question about why we are ‘texture shaming bread’.
And others agreed the toast video, and food videos in skincare generally, are ‘ridiculous’.
‘This is worse than the vitamin C serum on apple slices,’ one woman said.
‘Skincare on food, food as skincare… not sure where it’s all leading,’ said another.
Michelle claims the test’s outcome is due to a chemical reaction – and a moisturiser would have the some effect
‘This is the stupidest test. Obviously, this is a marketing tactic, but still very stupid. Sunscreen is not meant to work on bread and even if it did would not tell us anything about how it works on skin,’ added a third.
But there were also a concerning amount of people who believed the initial demonstration.
This isn’t the first time the popular beauty science social media star has taken aim at sunscreen.
She recently revealed why you should never buy aerosol sunscreen – and even the TGA is having another look at them.
She said each can of aerosol sunscreen only has enough actual SPF inside for two or three full-body applications.
Michelle Wong, a scientist who is obsessed with beauty products, posted a video on her Lab Muffin Beauty Science Instagram explaining the issue
‘This study found that a standard aerosol sunscreen has about one third propellant,’ she said referring to a study by the University of Technology in Queensland.
‘But it can be as much as 60 per cent,’ she added.
She explained the propellants are pressurised gasses which help push the sunscreen out of the can.
‘SPF tests are done on the sunscreen without the propellant, so you are actually getting about one third less product than it says,’ she said.
‘Some of the propellant also lands as liquid on your skin so it’s hard to tell how much actual sunscreen you have applied.’
The aerosols typically use butane, propane, isobutane and hydrocarbon – which are included on the label of the can.
‘The Australian TGA is currently re-evaluating aerosol sunscreens because of this study… stay tuned,’ she wrote in the caption.
And her video struck a chord with many of her followers.
‘This is so wild! No wonder I have always thought these were not effective,’ a makeup artist wrote.
Some revealed they had been burned after using the sunscreen, not knowing it was out.
‘Can confirm from personal experience. Which also involved explaining to a burns surgeon colleague why my back was bright red,’ one doctor said.
She also explained the common gasses used in the aerosol sunscreens
‘My poor husband literally just arrived home from a nice day out on the golf course… SUNBURNED. When asked if he applied sunscreen, he replied yes… and yep, it was spray. I just showed him this video, and he’s sold. No more spray can for us. Lotion only… gobs of it,’ one woman wrote.
Others were stunned by the results of the study.
‘I have never thought of this before. I used to love using those because they’re faster, but luckily they were sold out of the propellant anthelios so I didn’t get it this year,’ one woman wrote.
Michelle said while they are convenient she can’t move past the volume issue.
‘They are definitely convenient! I think they’re OK if you spray a ton on, but the 2/3 value is just upsetting for me.’
She added that pump sunscreen has its own set of problems – but are not impacted by the aerosol issue.