9 Things They Don’t Want You to Know About Sunscreen

Flickr - Sunglasses1 - Luz Adriana Villa A.
Waking Times

Sunscreens prevent sunburns, but beyond that simple fact surprisingly little is known about the safety and efficacy of these ubiquitous creams and sprays.  EWG’s review of the latest research unearthed troubling facts that might tempt you to give up on sunscreens altogether. That’s not the right answer. Despite the unknowns about sunscreens’ efficacy, public health agencies still recommend using them, just not as your first line of defense against the sun. At EWG we use sunscreens, but we look for shade, wear protective clothing and avoid the noontime sun before we smear on the cream. Here are the surprising facts:

1. There’s no consensus that sunscreens prevent skin cancer.

The FDA’s 2011 sunscreen rules allow sunscreen makers to advertise that using their products can decrease the risk of skin cancer and sun-related skin aging.  But a wide range of public health agencies – including the FDA – have found very little evidence that sunscreen prevents most types of skin cancer. In reviewing the evidence, the FDA said that the available clinical studies “do not demonstrate that even [broad spectrum products with SPF greater than 15] alone reduce the risk of skin cancer and early skin aging.”   The agency also said that it is “not aware of any studies examining the effect of sunscreen use on the development of melanoma.”  The International Agency for Research on Cancer recommends clothing, hats and shade as primary barriers to UV radiation. It says that “sunscreens should not be the first choice for skin cancer prevention and should not be used as the sole agent for protection against the sun” (IARC 2001a).


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  • http://wakingtimes nora

    I am under the impression that skin cancer can be caused by sun screen.
    do your homework, but try bullfrog, too.

  • John Cook

    There is a danger overlooked in this article – that is the possibility of missing a small area when applying the sun screen. This is very easy to do and results in that small area getting a huge exposure. This I believe may be one cause of increased skin cancer rates in people who use sun screens.

  • http://www.kanduivillas.com jordan

    I am an avid surfer with fair skin, and have been searching for the ultimate, non-toxic, natural sun screen my entire life. I finally found it last year. It is called ‘Surf Yogis Surf Screen’. It is made of coconut oil, organic bee’s wax, cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and non-nanoparticle zinc oxide. This stuff stays on all day even in water, and depending on how thick it is applied can protect your skin better than any other sunscreen on the market. check it out at http://www.surfyogis.com

    • Heidi

      Jordan,

      Can this be purchased in the US?

      • paul

        I can not find Surf Yogis in the US yet.

        • sean

          Probably because it works.

    • http://wakingtimes nora

      try bullfrog. best ever.

  • Ann

    WE DONT NEED SUNSCREEN FOR EVERY DAY USE AND IF YOU REALLY WANT TO BAKE YOURSELF WHILE ON HOLIDAY, YOU SHOULD KNOW THE RISKS. i CAN NEVER UNDERSTAND HOW “BROWN” PPL ARE LOOKED DOWN ON YET WHITE PPL RISK THEIR LIVES TO BE BROWN. cAN ANYONE EXPLAIN!!

    • Anonymous

      Nice….makes sense

    • Anonymous

      actually too white ppl are looked down on

  • http://www.brigittemehr.com Brigitte Mehr

    I have always been of the view that commercial chemical based sun screens actually cause or contribute to cancers. I or my family will only use the Green People organic creams.