The sunscreen protection lotion that you apply in abundance before stepping out under the relentless sun could be doing more harm than good for you. A new report by the Environmental Working Group says that most dangerous of chemicals are being used in the lotions that could accelerate the growth of skin tumors or also disrupt the intricate workings of your hormonal systems. They also suggest that these modern day products in fact doesn’t seem to even work all that well, and people are relying on them falsely. How true is this suggestion?

The American Academy of Dermatology says something else. According to them, scientific evidence suggests that there are beneficial effects of the sunscreen and that is an important toll to fight off skin cancer.

They Do Work

The varieties of products found in the market that say, ‘broad spectrum’, ‘wide spectrum’ or UVA/UVB protection’ are good for blocking the UVB rays that causes sunburns and skin cancer. Also they protect the skin from tanning, and wrinkling. Products that contain titanium dioxide, ecamsule (Mexoryl SX), avobenzone, or zinc oxide generally provide this broader protection.

You can apply a Lot

While the Food and Drug Administration of the United States suggests that we could apply a shot-glassful of sunscreen to protect our body from head to toe, we hardly seem to abide by this rule. What happens is when you use an SPF of 30 in a small quantity you will only get SPF of barely 3, and so to get the full benefits you will have to spray a few times over each area of the body. A good option is to reapply sunscreen every two hours because sweating, rubbing or swimming could wear off the lotion. This is true for even those that are labeled ‘water resistant’.

Forget Chemical Worries

There is a concern about retinyl palmitatae which is a Vitamin A compound found in almost 40 per cent of the sunscreens. It is believed that this chemical could accelerate skin damage and also increase the risk of skin cancer when applied to the skin that gets exposed to sunlight. Whereas other say that this experiment was done on in mice and they are far more susceptible to skin cancer than the human skin. There is another concern about the lotions that contain oxybenzone and an experiment was done on human volunteers to look for changes in blood hormone levels for two weeks. The hormonal change that was found seems to be too low but even then if you really want to avoid chemicals that cause hormonal changes like bisphenol-A which are found in hard plastic bottles then you could simply avoid them by checking the list of active ingredients.

Lastly, you should never forget your hat, sunglasses and cover ups for those parts that are exposed to the sunlight. These accessories are a must when you are waltzing under the sun and protect you from cataracts and from those areas where you cannot apply sunscreen, like under the eyes.

Courtesy: OnlyMyHealth