Recent news from the FDA may have you wondering if sunscreen is worth the risk. A study published in a prestigious medical journal indicated that active ingredients (vobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule and octocrylene) found in many popular sunscreens can migrate into the bloodstream. This can happen within one day, and the ingredients stay in the bloodstream as along as a week. Therefore, the FDA is asking for further studies to determine if these ingredients show up in blood in toxic levels.
If you’re concerned enough by this news to eschew sun protection altogether, please don’t. As is well-documented, extended exposure to the sun dries out your skin and causes sunburn. That will make your skin age faster. Even more concerning is the cancer risk associated with sun exposure. Therefore, wearing hats and other coverings when in the sun, particularly during the middle of the day when its effects are strongest, remains the best defense against the negative effects of UV rays.
Perhaps you’re thinking you look terrible in a hat. Or, if you have to cover up like it’s winter, what’s the point of summer? First, read sunscreen labels for those that do not contain the worrisome ingredients. Also, consider sunblock as an alternative. You may not be so crazy about sunblock either, because it provides a physical (opaque) barrier rather than a chemical one like sunscreen. A face shellacked with a white cream may seem worse than clothing every inch of your body. But sunblock options are improving, which includes a reduction in their opacity.
There is no definitive proof that sunscreen ingredients are dangerous. The FDA only wants further study. Meanwhile, any sun protection you apply should not contain any of the four ingredients that have the FDA concerned. Here at Antheia we want every woman to take their health including their skincare seriously. To learn more about Antheia click here.