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Sunscreen Could Be Damaging Your Skin?

Being health-conscious individuals, to prevent lung cancer, we don't smoke. To prevent a heart attack we don't eat a diet of sausages and donuts. Likewise, to prevent skin cancer, we wear sunscreen. Applying it daily has become as habitual as brushing our teeth. Now recent research is saying the unthinkable — that using sunscreen may actually be harmful for your skin. Sounds like a bad April Fool's joke, but unfortunately, there may be truth behind it.

When you spend time in the sun, UVA and UVB rays get absorbed by your skin. It causes instability in the molecules in your tissue, and harmful compounds known as free radicals are released. According to the study from the University of California, Riverside, certain sunscreen ingredients may cause more free radicals to form than if you were wearing no sunscreen at all.

To find out if you should stop using sunscreen,


This study was performed in 2006, but now it's surfacing in the medical world. Some dermatologists think the study was too small to be significant, and that since they only tested the three UV-blocking ingredients in sunscreen, not actual sunscreen, the study is inconclusive. The study also used epidermal model tissue (genetically engineered skin) rather than a real human sample. Still, there are other dermatologists who won't discount this study. Since fake skin is often used in skin research, they believe there is truth to the results that say sunscreen may increase a person's risk for skin cancer.

Definitely continue using sunscreen since we know that it's our best defense at preventing sun damage. It's recommended to use sunscreens such as Coppertone’s NutraShield Sunscreen Lotion with Dual Defense, Murad Oil-Free Sunblock, Priori Radical Defense Sunscreen, and Topix’s Citrix Antioxidant Sunscreen. These all contain high-quality antioxidants, which can help counteract free-radical activity.


Join The Conversation
KabanaSkinCare KabanaSkinCare 8 years
Unfortunately petrochemical (or in other words non-mineral zinc oxide) sunscreens not only create free radicals when they absorb UV energy, but they are also inherently toxic hydrocarbon chemicals, all of which are based on benzene. Most medical literature has found that these sunscreens do not reduce the risk of melanoma, though they do reduce the incidence of basal and squamous carcinomas. There are several possible reasons for this disparity, one of which is that the mechanism of melanoma is different than for the others, and that sunscreen users may be trading UV induced damage for chemical induced damage instead.

There are other sunscreen options that don't demand you to put high levels of petrochemicals on your skin - the mineral sunscreens are much safer because compounds like non-nano zinc oxide cannot penetrate into your skin and do not have undesirable side effects such as estrogenic activity.

In fact, the only sunscreen approved for use by the FDA on children and babies is zinc oxide, which is one of the reasons we exclusively use this highly effective broad spectrum ingredient in our Green Screen Organic sunscreen formula.

Compared to our competition, we are doing the right thing, both in terms of education and the ingredients we use - which speak for themselves. If you'd like to see what a sunscreen should do and be made of - search Green Screen Sunscreen on google and come visit us.

Erik Kreider MS MBA

Allytta Allytta 8 years
i wear sunscreen also to stay young... i don't think about cancer. no need to get obsessive.
divinedebris divinedebris 8 years
I read an article about this years ago in a health magazine my grandfather had. He was very interested in the topic because he lost his nose to skin cancer a couple years before and he didn't want anyone else in his family to suffer like he did. Now, like then, I'm not sure what to make of the findings because I'm so fair and I can't be in the sun for very long before I get red and burnt, sunscreen is my friend until there is more evidence to the contrary.
staticnoise staticnoise 8 years
well, i've written about this in comments last summer a lot... :(
lindssaurussss lindssaurussss 8 years
just wear in the summer. or just stay out of the sun, you will look so much healthier and youthful looking without skin damage all over you. gross.. no way am i going out in the sun without sunscreen and a hat. boo!
bethinabox bethinabox 8 years
lol honeycreepshow, that's pretty much how I feel.
Anne26 Anne26 8 years
That sucks....
reallysparkle reallysparkle 8 years
I read this in the new issue of Allure, and was not impressed. I guess like the other commenters say, everything is bad for you these days. I'm pale so i don't really stay in the sun for long, and i would NEVER try a tanning bed, but the fact that sunscreen may cause more harm than good worries me. I hope they do more studies and tell us one way or another...
honeycreepshow honeycreepshow 8 years
yeah, ok, whatever. everything is bad for you. i don't care.
lemuse20 lemuse20 8 years
Right as I have finally gotten into the habit of using sunscreen for my face... sheesh.
Alimode Alimode 8 years
I wish we could see some more details about what types of sunscreen may be damaging - perhaps those that contain oxybenzone or similar ingredients? Are mineral sunscreens safer?
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
i hate when we hear things like this and it's the complete opposite from what we know. it's like you don't know what to do in order to take the most precautions - knowing that you're not going to be able to always stay out of the sun. i hope that we get to hear more about this to better understand what's going on with the studies.
bleached bleached 8 years
I can't even think of sunscreen right now... the snowbanks outside my house are 8 feet high!
Jewels2080 Jewels2080 8 years
The study also showed that if you use an antioxidant in conjunction with your sunscreen the antioxidant protects your skin so you won't do damage. They also pressed the point that you need to reapply your sunscreen every hour you are in the sun to prevent the free radicals from the sunscreen damaging your skin. This study did not use titanium dioxide or zinc oxide.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
Ditto, aimeeb. It's really discouraging.
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Everything these days is bad for you...
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 8 years
I think I rather take my chances and use some sunscreen. I wouldn't be surprised if later we hear about a study that proves that to be complete baloney. It's probably a good thing I stay out of the sun more often than not though. I think I might want to buy myself a parasol after all...
sundaygreen sundaygreen 8 years
so in other words, stay out of the sun.
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