Did you know that melanoma rates have increased threefold over the past 35 years, despite improved knowledge of the causes of skin cancer? Using broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 is one of the most effective ways to protect your skin from this terrible type of cancer, along with implementing other skin-protection measures (see Parts 1, 2 & 3). You’re probably going to use a lot of sunscreen this summer as a pool owner! Check the label carefully to ensure that it contains the proper ingredients and excludes any undesirable ones. Here is a checklist that will help you understand what to look for while reading sunscreen labels.
Look Out for Vitamin A
There is one ingredient in sunscreen which you want to make certain to carefully avoid: Vitamin A. The purpose behind sunscreens it to help you be more protected from getting skin cancer, and no sunscreen presently on the market is known to directly give you melanoma; however, sunscreens which contain Vitamin A have the potential for doing to your skin more harm than good. The challenging thing is that Vitamin A can appear on ingredient labels under a variety of names, like those of different retinol related compounds. In suncreens, look out for retinol, retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate, and retinyl palmitate.
Utilizing items with additional vitamins may appear like a healthy choice, but that isn’t always a sound assumption. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that can absolutely help prevent premature aging of the skin, but when applied to skin that will be exposed to sunlight – you know, the same area you’re trying to protect – it can also contribute toward skin tumors or lesions. More than 10% of sunscreens with the designations “sport” or “beach,” and a startling 15% of moisturizers with SPF ratings may contain Vitamin A. Watch out for Vitamin A in lip cosmetics listing an SPF rating as well; it may be present in up to 5% of these products.
Even though the SPF rating is vital, it does not guarantee that your skin will be shielded from all types of harm. In reality, many US sunscreens don’t contain certain chemicals that are frequently found in European sunscreens. European sunscreens must adhere to stricter regulations than their American competitors, who often don’t include certain ingredients that have the potential to lessen damage to skin cells. While practically all sunscreens will lessen the likelihood of being sunburned, those without these extra components are unable to prevent more serious issues including early aging and skin cancer. Hopefully, four essential chemicals already found in European sunscreens will eventually receive FDA approval and become more commonplace.
Like any topically applied substance that covers a substantial amount of skin, sunscreen will eventually permeate the epidermis and be detectable in a variety of your body’s physiological fluids. Some people may be less tolerant to specific sunscreens than others, because some components in sunscreens might imitate or inhibit hormones, create allergic reactions, or mimic allergic reactions. However, this does not mean that you should stop using these products altogether; rather, it is advisable to use them sparingly and in conjunction with other UVA and UVB protection measures.
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