17 Feb What is the True Scoop on Sunscreen?
Summer is coming to an end. But, let’s not be fooled into thinking it’s okay to stop wearing our sunscreen. The greatest thing you can do for your skin is to protect it from the damaging rays of the sun throughout all the seasons. However, many of us are misled in the effectiveness of our sunscreen. Actually, the EWG, a nonprofit research organization, found that only 8 percent of sunscreens evaluated for cancer and aging of the skin prevention were effective in 2010.
In addition, some compounds in the sunscreen may be contributing to toxin buildup, harming the ecosystem, allergic skin issues, hormonal imbalance and increasing our risk of skin cancer , like oxybenzone, ocintoxate, and Vit A, respectively.
Most confusing is the SPF number on the sunscreens. It has nothing to do with the damaging effects of UVA rays. The sun emits UVA (increase aging and cancer risk) and UVB rays (related to burning). Both can cause skin cancer; However, the UVA rays are the most damaging and cause wrinkles. This SPF number is only based on the UVB ray protection. There is only a one percent difference in protection between an SPF of 30 versus an SPF of 50. Also, regardless of what the bottle reads sunscreen needs to be reapplied every 2 hours when in the water and with excessive sweating. The labels can be misleading.
The UVA blockers you want to look for are, titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, avobenzone or parsol 1789, and ecamsule or mexoryl SX. Creams, without added insect repellent are best. Sprays and powders may release unhealthy particles.
Of special note is that certain drugs/herbs can increase our sensitivity to the sun; such as, St. Johns Wort, certain antibiotics, and over the counter (OTC) anti-inflammatories like alleve and ibuprofen. The good news is that according to a study, found in the British Journal of Dermatology, the antioxidant lycopene in cooked tomatoes, and some fruits, like watermelon, provided skin protection when ingested.
So, please continue to wear protection. But be informed of what you are putting on your skin. You may be doing more harm than good. An excellent website to review all your products is ewg.org/2010 sunscreen.