4 New Sunscreen Rules

Discussion in 'Radiology' started by Egyptian Doctor, May 6, 2013.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor Moderator Verified Doctor

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    Rule #1: Know the "toxic trio." The FDA has approved 17 active ingredients in sunscreens, and a good many of them pose potential health hazards, says Leiba. The most problematic are chemical sunscreen ingredients, which are absorbed by your skin, as opposed to sitting on top of it like mineral ingredients do. Those chemicals can disrupt hormones in your body, affecting everything from your thyroid to your reproductive system. Be on the lookout for:


    Oxybenzone Considered by the EWG to be the worst of the chemical ingredients, the report recommends avoiding any sunscreen that lists that as one of its active ingredients.
    Vitamin A or retinyl palmitate Bypass this ingredient, which is used as a preservative or to enhance skin appearance. Studies show it may increase the risk of skin cancer.
    Sunscreen/insect repellant combos Insect repellants should be applied just once a day, rather than once every two hours, as sunscreens should.
    Any product that earned a 1 or 2 hazard rating in the new report is free of all three of these chemicals. Find specific product suggestions at the EWG's website.


    Rule #2: Don't rely on "broad spectrum" to protect you. Before the FDA issued their proposed—and now delayed—guidelines, any sunscreen company could slap the words "broad spectrum" on a product. When (and if) those new guidelines go into effect, companies have to prove to the FDA that sunscreens protect against both sunburn-causing UVB rays and cancer-causing UVA rays. Until then, you can save your own skin with the true broad-spectrum protection you can get with sunscreens that list zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, or Mexoryl SX as active ingredients.


    There’s been some concern lately over nanoparticle zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, but Leiba says that after reviewing the research, EWG feels comfortable recommending products with nanoparticles because there's little evidence that they penetrate your skin. If you’d still rather avoid them, the report lists plenty of non-nano sunscreens.


    Rule #3: Always opt for creams. "Chemicals in sunscreen were meant for your skin, not your lungs," Leiba says. Yet that's where your sunscreen may end up if you're using sprays or powders, and there's little information on what happens to those chemicals when they enter your airways. As for sunscreen towelettes, Leiba says that there's no data showing how much of the sunscreen actually gets transferred to your skin when you wipe it on.

    Rule #4: Your makeup isn’t protecting you. It may feel like you're protecting your face when you rub on your SPF 15 foundation, but that’s insufficient, Leiba says. Women often apply their makeup just once in the morning, assuming it will provide all-day protection, when they should be reapplying regular sunscreen on their faces every two hours. Your best bet is to reapply a lightweight sunscreen throughout the day.

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