8 Surprising Facts About Sunscreen

8 Surprising Facts About Sunscreen

by Posted on: May 25, 2017Categories: LiveWell 24/7   
  1. There is no proof that sunscreens prevent most skin cancer. Most scientists and public health agencies (including the FDA) have found very little evidence that sunscreen prevents most types of skin cancer.
  2. Don’t Be Fooled By High SPF. Most of us think that applying sunscreen of SPF 100 would be better than applying SPF 50. Theoretically, SPF 100 sunscreen would allow you to stay in the sun 100 times longer without getting a sunburn than if you wore no sunscreen. However, studies have shown that the extra protection from SPF 50 to SPF 100 is negligible, so people tend to misuse the higher SPF products by thinking they are twice as good as the lower SPF sunscreens. In reality, SPF 50 and SPF 100 sunscreens block almost the exact same percentage of UVB rays.
  3. The common sunscreen additive Vitamin A may speed development of skin cancer. Sunscreen industries add a form of Vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, to many types of sunscreens. Studies have shown that it may speed the development of skin tumors when in the presence of sunlight.
  4. European sunscreens provide better UVA protection. While the US sunscreens do protect against UVB rays (the rays that give you immediate sunburn), they do not protect nearly as well against the more subtle and more harmful UVA rays that suppress the immune system and contribute to melanoma. Most American sunscreens are not sold in Europe because their UVA protection is so weak.
  5. Sunscreen does not protect skin from all types of sun damage.  In addition to sunburns, the sun’s UV rays damage DNA and skin cells. This subtle, long term damage accelerates aging and may cause skin cancer. American sunscreens prevent against sunburn more than they prevent against these other harmful damages.
  6. Some sunscreen ingredients disrupt hormones and cause skin allergies. Several commonly used sunscreen ingredients block or mimic hormones, while others cause allergic reactions to sensitive skin.
  7. Mineral sunscreens contain nano-particles. Nano-particles in American sunscreens are used to prevent the chalky white tint that larger particles leave on the skin. These nano-particles are either titanium oxide or zinc oxide. Both score well on the EWG’s ratings because they don’t break down in the sun and provide strong UVA protection with few health concerns.
  8. If you avoid sun, you may have very low vitamin D levels. Sunshine causes the body to produce Vitamin D, a hormone that strengthens bones and the immune system.Vitamin D deficiency is most common in people with darker skin, breast-fed infants, older people, and those living farther from the equator. Check with your doctor to see if you should be tested for Vitamin D deficiency, and if you should take seasonal/year round supplements.

Read the full article, and check out the Environmental Working Group‘s 11th Annual Guide to Sunscreens Report, as well as their complete list of the best & worst sunscreens of 2017.

Source: EWG



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