5 Dangers of Conventional Sunscreens

| 6/9/2011 1:42:00 PM

As the weather heats up in the next month, most of us are likely to spend more time outdoors. Whether you’re hitting the beach or just out working in the garden, summer is the season for sunscreen. But before you slather your body in sun block, take a moment to examine your sunscreen. The market is saturated with sunscreens, but most of the conventional options cause more harm than good.

boy in sun hat 
How safe is your family's sunscreen? Many conventional sunscreens only provide partial protection against damaging rays, and some even include ingredients that can speed up the development of cancer-related skin problems. Photo By the half-blood prince/Courtesy Flickr. 

1. No federal regulations for sunscreen 

Like other beauty products, the FDA has no regulations for sunscreens, meaning manufacturers are under no legal obligation to disclose their ingredients or prove any claims made on product labels. So while that “waterproof” sunscreen you plucked off the shelf says it offers “all-day protection,” it’s unlikely that the manufacturer can back those claims up with solid evidence.

2. Misleading SPF claims 

When buying sunscreen, you’re more likely to reach for a product offering SPF 75 than SPF 30, right? Because the higher the number, the more protection it offers, right? Not exactly. Many conventional sunscreens offer SPFs up to 100, but studies have shown that SPFs higher than 50 don’t offer any more protection—and could even lure consumers into a false sense of security and cause them to apply sunscreen less often. Don’t fall for the numbers game. SPF 30 sunscreen is adequate for most people. Just remember to apply it every two hours!    

5/30/2013 5:08:48 PM

Really liked this article!  I read somewhere that Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon Oil supplements actually has a natural sunscreen barrier. Has something to do with the Astaxanthin (the food that the salmon eats which gives it their pigment). Couldn't find that particular article, but found this one instead: http://www.nutrilysdelmar.com/blog/wild-salmon-oil-supplements-are-perfect-for-summer/