Sunscreen: Does It Cause Cancer?
Talk to anyone knowledgeable about skincare and they will tell you that the most important element in your skin care routine should be sunscreen. Sunscreen has been coined as the number one anti-aging product. It has also been said that sunscreen helps prevent skin cancer. So what about all those toxic ingredients that are in sunscreens that can cause cancer? Is sunscreen really that good for you? Or are we just trading one form of cancer for another?
According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) there is no consensus that sunscreens prevent cancer. In the FDA’s 2011 sunscreen rules, sunscreen makers were allowed to advertise that sunscreen prevents skin cancer and premature aging despite the fact that public health agencies, including the FDA, have found very little evidence to support those claims.
Sunscreen makers have come up with different ways to categorize sunscreens and the main two categories are physical protectors and chemical protectors. Most people agree that the physical sun protectors are a healthier option because they supposedly sit on top of the skin and reflect the UV rays, as oppose to chemical protectors which absorb the UV rays. However even these minerals, such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, have been found to be potentially hazardous to your health and have a low to moderate cancer rating on Truthinaging.com.
It’s no secret that the skincare and beauty industry are using fear of aging and getting cancer as a sales tactic. Recently an article came out about a 69-year-old truck driver who had half of his face exposed to the sun for 30 years and the picture was shocking. The right side of his face looked completely different from the left. At the end of the story the news anchors were agreeing on the importance of using an SPF daily.
Should we keep using sunscreen?
If we keep hearing conflicting messages about sunscreen, how should we protect ourselves from getting skin cancer and preventing premature aging? The key is to stay out of the sun during the day when the suns rays are the strongest. Wear protective clothing if you are going to be outside, especially during those times.
If you know you are going to be outside for a long time or consistently then do wear sunscreen, but keep away from specific ingredients such as any kind of parabens, oxybenzone, and retinyl palmitate. Make sure it is a UVA, UBV protection, is SPF 30, and is a mineral sunscreen. Use a product with as small amount of ingredients as possible. Reapply continually while you are out in the sun. When you get out of the sun, make sure to wash it off.
Remember that every ingredient has some cause for concern; however we cannot be overly worried as well because pretty much everything these days seems to be toxic in one way or another. Learning how and what to use will help you make the best decisions for you and your family. Make sure to incorporate antioxidants into your skincare regimen as well, morning and night.
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