Many suncreens may accelarate cancer: study - Macleans.ca
 

Many suncreens may accelarate cancer: study

Vitamin A may increase spread of malignant cells


 

You may feel protected after slathering on your SPF 45 at the beach this weekend, but a recent report cautions against trusting just any sunscreen. A new study looking at popular sunscreen products discovered that while most prevent sunburns, not all creams sufficiently protect us from the ultraviolet light that destroys skin cells, and causes tumours and lesions. The questionable ingredient is vitamin A—an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging. In their annual consumer report, researchers at the Environmental Working Group say that due to its photocarcinogenic properties, vitamin A and its derivatives may actually accelerate the cancer that sunscreen is used to prevent. The group also stated that only 39 of the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective to use.

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Many suncreens may accelarate cancer: study

  1. I find that hard to believe. I have had several cancers removed, I hate sunscreen.I should say hated it, now I use it every day, and I have been fine for years

    • As glad as I'm sure everyone is that you haven't had your caner return, your experience doesn't really counter the story. The research shows that all sunscreens have bad chemicals in them, and that a lot of them don't provide anywhere near the protection that they claim to. However, the sunscreens that are mineral based and that do provide decent broad-spectrum protection are better to have on than not if you're going to be in the sun for a long time.

      Like they say on the site: the best protection is wearing a shirt and a hat. I'd add that staying in the shade is a good bet too!

  2. It really is worth checking out the EWF's website – they have lots of info on which sunscreens are worth putting on, and on lots of other products too. I really wish I hadn't just bought a new pot of Blistex lip balm – it's pretty toxic, so it going in the garbage. Guess I'm switching brands…

    Here's the link to their sunscreen guide:
    http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/best-beach-sport

    • One of the better ones you can get are 2 products from L'Oreal. One is called Ombrelle, which I have, and the other one's name escapes me and is slightly more expensive.

      Both can be bought at Shoppers Drug Mart. Without getting into too technical details, The key to them being better then a lot of suntan lotions – particularly ones made in the US – is that they contain the ingredient Mexoryl and don't contain the ingredient Oxybenzone (not to be confused with Avobenzone, which it does contain).

      That site you listed talks about Mexoryl (and how it's available in Europe but not the US… I'm just adding that its also available in Canada – in these 2 L'oreal sunscreen products anyhow. There may be others).

      • Agree, My wife is a sun worshipper, and is also fair skinned and burns easily, she has been using Ombrelle and never has had any problems. Also likes the fact it does not leave a residue…

  3. I too am fair skinned (2nd generation Scandinavian heritage) and really burn if in the sun for any length of time. I'll look for Ombrelle. I'm a gardener and have spent many hours in the sun. I find that I can no longer tolerate really hot, sunny days nor gardening when its really chilly. I attribute it to my age and other health issues.

  4. Should we really be surprised if this is true?

  5. We lived in the Caribbean for a year and quickly discovered that when one of us did not wear sunscreen, they actually burned less than the one who did. We didn't believe it at first, we alternated days to make sure it was not our different skin types, but lo and behold, the sun screen wearer always burned.