New Trial for Suncreen Absorption Shows Need for More Testing
Do you apply sunscreen in hopes to avoid skin cancer as so many of us do? A recent study released in the Journal of American Medical Association shared data from a recent trial of 24 participants. Broken into 4 groups of 6, the participants applied 4 different types of commercial sunscreens 4 times a day. The study outcome showed that the sunscreen chemicals levels in the bloodstream exceeded the FDA established threshold.
The FDA is requesting that additional testing be done and they also stated that just because it is absorbed at higher levels doesn’t mean it is unsafe. Last year the FDA issued a proposed rule to update the testing and regulations for sunscreen and this trial only magnifies the need for additional testing.
4 Ingredients were tested in the trial (note: the FDA is requesting testing on more ingredients)
And even with all of this sunscreen conversation, cases of melanoma have doubled in the last 3 decades according to the CDC. So what do you do? Still apply sunscreen?
- Understand the ingredients in your sunscreen even before additional testing is done. The ewg.org has great resources to rate and even explain what you are putting on your body. https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/
- Higher SPF doesn’t mean better protection. Sometimes a SPF gives us a sense of false protection. According to the EWG.org, stick to SPF ranging from 30 to 50.
- Find the shade-enjoy the outdoors in a shaded area.
- Avoid the sun at peak hours. If you do try to avoid the sun, make sure you get your vitamin D levels tested. (you should do this even if you go out in the sun)
- To go along with number 4, you can check the UV index for your area and plan accordingly. https://www.epa.gov/enviro/uv-index-search
- Wear appropriate clothing—including hats, sunglasses, shirts, shorts/pants. It is important to note that according to the American Cancer Society, if you can see light through the fabric, the UV rays can get in but the exposure can still be reduced.
- Know the ingredients in your lotions and cosmetics. According the EWG.org, avoid products with these ingredients because they add vitamin A to the skin which can increase the production of cancerous tumors when exposed to sunlight according to a 2012
- vitmain A
- retinyl palmitate
- -retinyl acetate
- -retinyl linoleate
- -retinoic acid
While the hope is that additional testing is coming, it is our responsibilities to be informed consumers and take precautions to protect our bodies.
What steps do you take to protect yourself from the sun while enjoying all of its benefits?