The Best Sunscreens (and Toxic Ones to Avoid) - Leah Zerbe
The US body that regulates sunscreen has declared that 12 of the 16 popular active ingredients might not actually be safe. Here's what you need to know
This episode, we're talking about the ins and outs of something that's a big part of my life right now, maybe yours, sunscreen - as in the different things that are in sunscreen and, namely, where sunscreen goes - outside of your body, on your skin. To share her overwhelming knowledge on this topic, I'm joined by Barrie Hardymon, a senior editor at NPR's Weekend Edition and a sunscreen evangelist. Hi, Barrie.
Current guidelines for sun exposure are unhealthy and unscientific, controversial new research suggests—and quite possibly even racist. How did we get it so wrong?
Only two ingredients so far have been ruled safe and effective—zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. The FDA has said they will grant deferrals to companies willing to commit to undertaking the necessary studies for the remaining 12 molecules in question.
The FDA noted that only two of the 16 active ingredients commonly used in commercial sunscreens — the mineral sunblocks, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide — are "generally recognized as safe and effective." That's a designation the FDA gives a substance when qualified experts consider it generally safe for its intended use.
Well, the first thing to remember is that you need to use sunscreen. The risks of sun exposure to your skin - skin cancer, sunburn - are very well-established, so you still need to use sunscreen when you're going to be outside and on exposed skin. The FDA has said that they consider that titanium dioxide and zinc oxide as active ingredients are safe and aren't absorbed through the skin.
However, in Consumer Reports' tests of sunscreens, we found that they don't perform as well. So one thing that you might want to consider is using a sunscreen that does not have oxybenzone. Of all the chemical active ingredients, that's the one that seems to be most worrisome, although it's far from determined whether or not it is actually a problem. It's also the ingredient that can possibly harm the coral reefs.
Misinformation about sunscreen is common. Don't let myths deter you from using it to protect your skin.
So next time you lecture someone about making sure they apply lots of sunscreen before heading to the beach, or the next time you sacrifice your body to that great tanning bed in your nearest strip mall, consider this: save your own hide and you might also be aiding in saving the planet.
A recent study on absorption into the bloodstream has caused concern, but you should be more worried about skin cancer.
Even amid the misconceptions and unreliability, possibly the biggest downside to SPF is that it only refers to UV-B rays. It does not address UV-A rays, which are also carcinogenic. To make sure that you’re protected from UV-A, you have to use a sunscreen that’s labeled “broad spectrum.” For UV-A, there is no SPF system, only this binary indicator of presence or absence.
The chief executive of Cancer Council Australia, Prof Sanchia Aranda, has said people need to learn that sunscreen is a last line of defence against ultraviolet rays and that spending hours in the sun in swimwear “goes against every recommendation we would make” – even while wearing sunscreen.
They'd like it to be as easy as swallowing a pill.
You're better off without sunscreen. At least, that's what a few recent articles are telling you. But guess what you're really better off without?
THE UNITED STATES may be home to the global epicenter of technology and innovation, but when it comes to things like voting machines, air traffic control, and sunscreen, we might as well be running Windows ME.
SUMMERTIME MEANS EMERGING from your dimly lit cubicle to expose your pallid skin to some precious rays of sunshine. But that presents you with a sticky dilemma: Slather yourself in UV-fighting goop or increase your chance of skin cancer (just five sunburns doubles your risk for melanoma).
A new FDA proposal tries to address safety concerns about current sunscreens but doesn’t make it easier for new ingredients to be approved.
Julia Belluz sifts through the research and consults experts in the field to figure out how science can help us live happier and healthier lives.
Most Americans do not understand SPF ratings, or how sunscreen is supposed to work. But they do care about “anti-aging” effects.
n a bid to protect its marine environment, Hawaii has passed a bill banning sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate, chemicals that have ‘significant harmful impacts’ on ecosystems.
Recognition of the risks posed by UV rays has motivated scientists to study what’s going on in our cells when they’re in the sun—and devise modern ways to ward off that damage.
Dermatologists and pediatricians alike emphasize the importance of avoiding the sun and using sunscreen. But lately we’ve seen the inevitable backlash. Some parents note that they turned out fine despite rarely wearing sunscreen in their youth, and wonder if it’s really necessary to be quite so aggressive in applying it to their own children.
When it comes to sun exposure and protection, there are a lot of questions to answer. How much sun-basking is too much? Are there benefits to not wearing sunscreen sometimes? What kind of protection does sunscreen provide? How do I choose the safest and most effective brand? And what ingredients should I avoid?
How to protect your skin when there’s so much conflicting information out there.
It's summer, and that means one thing. Time for the sunscreen wars.
Ask your kids why they hate having you put sunscreen on them and they'll spit their reasons out like seeds in a watermelon eating contest...
It's everywhere and everybody does it…uses sunscreen, that is. But could sunscreens be causing more harm than good?
Your skin is your largest organ.
It covers and protects everything on your body. How you treat it is incredibly important to your health. However, the skin is one of the most unappreciated organs, and one that I used to totally take for granted, slathering products full of toxic chemicals on it day after day. When I look back at all the different potions I’ve tried, I shake my head in disbelief and wish I would have known better. Not only would I not have developed eczema all over my body and face, but I would have looked a million times better growing up.
There is no question most skin cancers are related to sun exposure, yet even with sunscreen sales approaching $1 billion a year, skin cancer rates continue to climb. Melanoma diagnoses have risen nearly 2 percent a year since 2000 and are increasing even more among young white women.
During a recent sunny afternoon at the “Everyday is a SUNday” symposium on skincare sponsored by Neutrogena, Kidman — who is a brand spokeswoman — talked to us about balancing her love of the beach with her family’s history of skin cancer. “It’s why I’m passionate about sunscreen,” she said. “It really does give me the chance to live my life how I want to live it.”
Sunscreen is one of the most popular forms of protection from the sun's damaging rays. But how and why it works is often met with confusion. Here's what you need to know...
Dr. Brash said skin on the hands, arms, cheeks and ears is likely to be even more heavily exposed to UV radiation than eyelid skin, and thus may have even higher levels of mutations, since the eyelids are shaded in part by the eye socket and sometimes sunglasses.
Google sunscreen and toxic and see what you find. Claims that titanium dioxide is hazardous? Claims that you need vitamin D, and a little unprotected sun can give you that? Claims that chemical sunscreen can turn boy fish into girl fish? Let’s settle this for once and … for now, at least.
Sunscreen is one of the most popular forms of protection from the sun's damaging rays. But how and why it works is often met with confusion. Here's what you need to know,,,
Do you depend on sunscreen for skin protection? Millions of Americans do, but they shouldn’t. Melanoma rates are increasing. The consensus among scientists is that sunscreens alone cannot reverse this trend. Yet a good sunscreen can play role in preventing sunburns that are a major risk factor for melanoma — provided you use it correctly.
SafeMama™ Sunscreen Criteria: All sunscreens I approved needed to be free of Parabens, Phthalates, PEG’s (polyethylene glycols), Propylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, SLS/SLES, and a bevy of other chemicals I won’t bother listing but basically, they should contain a considerable amount of natural ingredients. The sunscreen ingredient I mainly recommend avoiding is the synthetic chemical oxybenzone.
Covering your body with sunscreen every day—and about three times for days at the beach—is a good habit.
But all that lotion soaking into your pores may also carry harmful ingredients. Oxybenzone, the most common UV-absorbing chemical, is approved by the Food and Drug Administration but some experts question its safety.
Now I’m not telling you never to wear sunscreen!
Sometimes, you should wear sunscreen (more on that later). But first, I want to share with you the benefits of not wearing sunscreen for a portion of the day and also let you know what brands are toxic-free and safe for you and your family, and where you can get them.