How well is your skin protected ?
You may have heard about the recent controversy about Sunscreenin cosmetic products. The issue is whether the sunscreen chemicals in creams effectively protect the skin from UVA and UVB rays. A lawsuit has been filed against 4-5 cosmetic companies, claiming that their skin wasn’t protected by the sunblocks sold by the named companies.
The controversy is not only about the effectiveness of a list of active ingredients in skin care products marketed in the U.S. and abroad, but also about their level of protection. There is a significant increase in skin cancer in spite of the plethora of sun care products sold.
It is important that we understand terminology.
A product is called sunscreen if it contains specific active ingredients. These ingredients must be able to reduce or filter out harmful solar radiation reaching the skin.
What are these active ingredients?
When you read the labels you should see some of the following words: avobenzone, octyl methoxycinnamate, octocrylane, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide.
The FDA has approved only three products that best protect the skin from UVA rays.
These are avobenzone (most commonly known as Parsol 1789), titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.Mexoryl SX I also excellent sun protection but it has not yet been approved in the U.S.
Even if you don’t see all the ingredients I mentioned in your sunscreen, as long as you see some of them you are protected against skin cancer.
There are different opinions about the validity of “waterproof vs. water resistant” sunscreen between the FDA and the cosmetic manufacturers. However, research shows that water resistant sunscreens (SPF 30 or higher) are essential when you are on the beach or in a swimming pool.
Often, product labels forget to warn you to reapply the product at least very two-three hours after swimming or sweating.
Make sure to apply the products to the skin at least half hour before any outdoor activity.
And don’t forget the hat and sunglasses.
Here is another important point. Skin scientists noted that some wavelength in sunlight also adversely affects the skin ‘s immune system.
Sunburn is an inflammatory response to a specific cellular damage and a sign that repair is on the way. Sunscreens keep these processes in check. UVA penetrates the skin more deeply and causes free-radical formation, collagen and elastin tissue damage when we apply sun protection we lower the risk.
Many cosmetic companies add so-called “antiaging “ ingredients to sun care products they are: vitamins, tissue repair, hydroxy acids, ceramides etc. to prevent or reverse sun damage.
As the danger of skin cancer is growing make sure that you use the right protection for your skin not to mention the wrinkles.