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Thread: Most sunscreens fail to protect

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    Default Most sunscreens fail to protect

    Most Sunscreens Fail to Protect - Yahoo! News

    The simple rule of sunscreen - the higher the SPF and the thicker the slather, the better - has come under doubt.

    The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a Washington-based research group and habitual gadfly to the business world, has found that 4 out of 5 of the nearly 1,000 sunscreen lotions analyzed offer inadequate protection from the sun or contain harmful chemicals. The biggest offenders, the EWG said, are the industry leaders: Coppertone, Banana Boat and Neutrogena.

    While 3 out of 3 industry leaders are rather upset with the EWG report, and while some dermatologists criticize it for hyperbole, the report does underscore several long-standing health concerns:

    Sunscreens do not offer blanket protection from the sun and do little to prevent the most deadly form of skin cancer; reliance on them instead of, say, a hat and protective clothing, might be contributing to skin cancer; and the Food and Drug Administration has yet to issue any safety standards, mysteriously sitting on a set of recommendations drafted 30 years ago.

    Subcutaneous homesick blues

    Sunlight contains ultraviolet radiation, largely in two forms: UVA and UVB. Aside from sunburn, UVB exposure causes the most common forms of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma, which is rarely deadly and mostly only disfiguring, and squamous cell carcinoma, which can turn deadly about 1 percent of the time.

    UVA penetrates the skin more deeply and causes wrinkling. Recent research, however, has found that UVA exacerbates the carcinogenic effects of UVB and might cause skin cancer itself.

    Most sunscreens block only UVB. And the SPF system, short for Sun Protection Factor, refers only to UVB. SPF provides an estimate of a lotion's level of sunburn protection. If you start burning in about 30 minutes, then SPF 15 will allow you to stay in the sun 15 times longer before getting burned, in theory.

    SPF of 1 zillion

    Total UV protection is within reach and has been used for millennia. It's called clothing. Unfortunately this isn't so convenient when summertime fun calls for minimal clothing.

    The EWG report takes an ax to the loose SPF claims. Almost all sunscreen lotions contain chemicals that, perhaps counter-intuitively, breakdown in the presence of sunlight. But in fact this is how they block UVB from penetrating the skin, like a castle wall protecting against cannonballs until the wall crumbles.

    Notions of all-day protection, as some sunscreen products claim, or even several hours of protection are ludicrous, the EWG said, because most sunscreens start deteriorating in as quickly as 15 minutes. This doesn't even account for sweat and casual rubbing, further reducing protection.

    Also, few sun-worshipers use the recommended shot-glass-amount of lotion with each application. We merely think we are protected; few really are.

    Controversy, not just skin deep

    The EWG also trashed any lotion containing harmful chemicals that can easily penetrate the skin. Oxybenzone, which blocks UVA, is a main offender. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found oxybenzone in the urine of just about everyone tested.

    This chemical can promote DNA damage in the presence of sunlight. Oxybenzone and similar cancer-causing chemicals in sunscreens contribute to the minority view that sunscreens actually cause more and deadlier cancers than they prevent. Several small studies have found an increased risk of malignant melanoma, by far the deadliest form of skin cancer, among regular users of sunscreens.

    Many zinc-based protects appear to be safe, according to the EWG. Until the FDA breaks its silence and offers some guidance, there's the EWG list of recommendations at Skin Deep: Cosmetic Safety Database - Special Report. Or you can move to Seattle.
    You and the Sun: 10 Burning Questions Little Known Facts about Skin Cancer Bad Habits: Why We Can't Stop


    Christopher Wanjek is the author of the books "Bad Medicine" and "Food At Work." Got a question about Bad Medicine? LiveScience.

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    I read that people who use sunscreen are actually more likely to get melanoma than those who dont. Scary, huh?

    I'm very careful and wear SPF 50 every day but its consistently 110 degrees here and there is just no way I can do long sleeves.
    "Give me your love and I'll give you--the Perfect Love Song!"

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    Elite Member ariesallover's Avatar
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    Can someone give me some affordable name brands of these zinc-based blocks that are supposed to be okay?
    "I ransacked his drawers when he left me by myself at his place for the first time. That's how we did it in the good old days. Tells me all I need to know about him. He pretends he didn't notice. That's how good relationships start." - Chilly Willy

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    Elite Member qwerty's Avatar
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    Go to the EWG site and look at their list of acceptable sunscreens with zinc oxide. Most if not all of the name brand sunscreens have offensive chemicals.

    Try Kabana Green Screen or Aubrey Organics sunscreen. Beware though, the more natural products tend to be highly opaque and can easily stain clothes and objects (like paint on car doors).

    For my face and the top of my hands, I use products with Mexoryl SX. For my body, I use the more natural opaque products.

    Also, vitamin C is a natural sunscreen. You might want to consider using a good Vitamin C serum (Skinceuticals C+E Ferulic is a good one but is pricey for some) on your face every morning. It will enhance the benefits of your sunscreen.
    Last edited by qwerty; July 9th, 2008 at 09:09 AM.

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    SVZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatguyinalittlecoat View Post
    I read that people who use sunscreen are actually more likely to get melanoma than those who dont. Scary, huh?

    I'm very careful and wear SPF 50 every day but its consistently 110 degrees here and there is just no way I can do long sleeves.
    No that's not true, because the study that showed that didn't account for latitude.

    The new Neutrogena sunscreens are VERY VERY good, the ones with Ecamsule or Mexoryl SX
    Ecamsule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Also if you can find one, use an antioxidant spray with ECGC, Vitamin A+C+E under your sunscreen it will reduce erythema, and the destruction of collagen, elastin and fibronectin among other things.

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    Elite Member ariesallover's Avatar
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    qwerty and SVZ: great advice, as usual. Thanks!
    "I ransacked his drawers when he left me by myself at his place for the first time. That's how we did it in the good old days. Tells me all I need to know about him. He pretends he didn't notice. That's how good relationships start." - Chilly Willy

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    Quote Originally Posted by SVZ View Post
    No that's not true, because the study that showed that didn't account for latitude.

    The new Neutrogena sunscreens are VERY VERY good, the ones with Ecamsule or Mexoryl SX
    Ecamsule - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Also if you can find one, use an antioxidant spray with ECGC, Vitamin A+C+E under your sunscreen it will reduce erythema, and the destruction of collagen, elastin and fibronectin among other things.
    Oh, well sweet then I read it on wikipedia and it scared the shit outta me!
    "Give me your love and I'll give you--the Perfect Love Song!"

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    Well ain't this the shits. I've been using sunscreen for years & it's been a waste of effort & money? Right now I'm using Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Block dry touch sunblock 45. I even took an article from the paper with me to buy it & it had the ingredients needed so I thought. wth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by B.C. View Post
    Well ain't this the shits. I've been using sunscreen for years & it's been a waste of effort & money? Right now I'm using Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Block dry touch sunblock 45. I even took an article from the paper with me to buy it & it had the ingredients needed so I thought. wth.
    No it's not for nothing, it's just that technology has improved and we can protect much more effectively, but in comparison the old stuff wasn't as good. That's all.

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    Thanks SVZ, guess I'm off to the store with a new list.

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    It's not yet sold in the US (although I think it's been given final US approval) but Anthelios XL (made by Loreal) has been very wonderful for me and you can buy it online in Canada (just Google the name or email me privately at the risk of spamming this list). This is one of the products made with Mexoryl that "fatguyinalittlecoat" mentions.

    BTW, love the name, fatguyinalittlecoat--thanks, Tommy Callahan!

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    Elite Member qwerty's Avatar
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    ^^Yes it is. I bought Anthelios sunscreen at Walgreen's or CVS in the past year. Lancome has a Mexoryl SX sunscreen that I use and buy at Sephora as well.

    Edit: Anthelios with lower SPF (20 and/or 30) is available in the states. Anthelios XL may be a different story. I have not personally seen it but it appears to be available online on American sites.
    Last edited by qwerty; July 16th, 2008 at 12:53 AM.

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    The thing about clothing is a falacy - I've been burnt through my clothing before now!!! I wear long loose sleeves, long pants and a hat when in S Cal.... yeah, I look like a freak but at least I don't burn!
    Free Charmed.

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    I think the biggest problem is the people that normally wear sunscreen are the same people that are more likely to get skin cancers. Fair people. Plus, a lot of people damaged their sun years ago and are starting to wear sunscreen now.

    I'm close to the color of paper!! I didn't wear sunscreen when I was a teenager in the 80's, but I didn't go out in the sun either. Now, I'm pretty careful.

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    Wow - I lived in So Cal in the late 80s/ early 90s and if I went out in the sun for 5 mins (like walking down the street) complete strangers would come up to me & ask if I had remembered to put my sun block on!

    I've had more sun damage from walking up the street in the UK (I'll burn in 15/20 mins) than I ever have abroad.
    Both my dad and my grad (his mum) has melonomas. I'm hoping that my early prevention is better than cure but only time will tell...
    Free Charmed.

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