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.