What's in your sunscreen?

What's in your sunscreen?


Newfoundland & Labrador is not known for its sunny weather but for the sunny disposition of its people.  Because of the reduced exposure to natural sunlight Newfoundland & Labradoreans are at greater risk for vitamin D deficiency. So when our province gets a sunny day we all scramble to take advantage.

The earth’s ozone hole is getting increasingly larger with each passing year and the sun's powerful UVA & UVB rays, can be harmful during the summer months. Basically, UVA causes premature aging and wrinkling of the skin, especially to the sensitive areas of your face & eyes that are particularly susceptible to photo-aging.  UVB can burn our skin even on cloudy days outside.  The sun may actually increase the speed at which malignant or cancer cells develop.  Chemical based sunscreens will actually do the same as they contain hormone-disrupting synthetic chemicals that are not proven to protect against UVA rays and/or skin cancer growth.  In fact, in the years since sunscreen use began, skin cancer rates have risen, and a 2007 document from the FDA stated, “The FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer”. 


In fact, many reports show that most sunscreen actually raise skin cancer risk. When shopping for safe sunscreens ask for products that are free from synthetic chemicals.

Most of the major active ingredients in sunscreens that have been tested for their ability to enter the blood through the skin have shown unsafe results. These listed chemicals were all detected in plasma one to two hours after one application of sunscreen. Peak average plasma levels were reported to be in your blood at three to four hours after initial application of sunscreen and participants continued to excrete it many days after the last application of the chemical, which suggests it, may also accumulate in fatty tissues in the body.

A large proportion of the active ingredients in chemical sunscreens can also act as penetration enhancers that speed up the movement of other chemicals through the skin and into the blood. So beware, and always check the labels when shopping for sunscreens.

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