Monday, July 07, 2008

How effective is your sunblock?

My grandmother died of skin cancer when I was 4, so my parents have drilled into my mind from an early age that wearing sunblock during the summer months is non-negotiable. And I have always been a major nag to my friends to make sure they were wearing some too. I have been happy to see the SPF ratings available going up, to offer more and more protection. However, a recent study may suggest many sunblocks are ineffective or even harmful and so far it appears the FDA has been unwilling or unable to act.

The EWG analysis suggested that nearly half of the products contained ingredients known to become inactive in strong sunlight...Some release skin-damaging free radicals in sunlight, some could disrupt hormone systems, several are strongly linked to allergic reactions, and others may build up in the body or the environment. FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients that fully examines these effects.
It appears, from my reading, that wearing sunscreens - even the bad ones - is still preferable to wearing none. But depending on what you buy, you may find yourself far less protected than you had thought. If you are interested, there is a list of the best and worst sunscreens for your examination.


CRCHAIR said...

I find that as long as I wear sunblock, no matter the brand, I do not get burned.

I do highly prefer the spray on sunblock as it is much easier to apply.

shadowmom1 said...

I stay indoors from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM. That won't work for everyone, but does for me.
I had sun poisoning, with blistering in my childhood. I still remember it well. This is one thing that can be a predictor of future skin cancer, so I am more careful than most.
But if I do go outside during prime hours, I do wear a high SPF sunblock, long sleves and a hat.

So far, so good.

"Nick" said...

Hmm... I tend to wear none, unless I am in direct sunlight for a long period of time during peak hours (at the beach or something like that).

In many ways sun is good for you. To much can be bad, but they are finding more benefits over time. Sunblock or Sunscreen, especially in high SPF's unfortunately blocks everything, not just the bad stuff.

Everything in moderation...