The Maids of Portland, Maine

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Five Sunscreens You Should Never Use

For truly safe sun protection, avoid these six categories of sketchy, ineffective products....

#1: Sunscreens with Retinol
Retinol, or vitamin A, can increase the risk of tumors on sun-exposed skin, according to a number of government tests. Yet it's commonly added to sunscreens and lotions owing to its anti aging effects. "That's especially concerning in light of the fact that melanoma rates have risen 2 percent each year over the past decade, says Leiba. It's become such a risky ingredient that the Canadian government is considering requiring warning labels on vitamin A–containing products that say the ingredient "may increase your skin's sensitivity to the sun and particularly the possibility of sunburn. Please limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards." Exactly what you want to read on a

bottle of sunscreen, right?

#2: Sunscreens with SPFs Higher Than 50
SPF is a measure of protection against sunburn-causing UVB rays only, not of cancer-causing UVA rays, and UVA protection in these products is poor, according to EWG's analysis, says Leiba. High-SPF products also lull you into a false sense of security. "Because they protect you longer from UVB rays, you may not get burned, which you associate with time to go inside," she adds. Thus, you stay outside longer and absorb too much skin-damaging UVA. The FDA has proposed rules that would prohibit companies from advertising SPFs higher than 50, which they call "inherently misleading," but those rules have never gone into effect.

#3: Sunscreens that Contain Oxybenzone
Oxybenzone is a chemical sunscreen agent that gets absorbed by your skin. The problem with it, says Leiba, is that it penetrates the skin very easily and gets absorbed into your bloodstream. Once inside your body, it mimics the hormone estrogen, which, over the long term, can lead to reproductive issues and thyroid problems, and autism researchers suspect that the chemical is also neurotoxic. More than half the products EWG analyzed contained Oxybenzone, and government studies have detected the ingredient inside the systems of 96 percent of Americans. Read labels carefully to avoid it. It can also be listed as benzophenone or benzophenone-3.

#4: Sunscreens in Powder, Spray-on, or Towelette Form
Anything you could potentially inhale shouldn't be saturated in sunscreen chemicals that act like hormones in your body, EWG warns. Plus, "when you're spraying on sunscreen, it's hard to tell if you're getting the amount of coverage you need," Leiba says. The same goes with powders and towelettes. In fact, this is the last summer you'll see either product on store shelves. The FDA has said that it won't allow powder- or towelettes-based sunscreen products to be sold after the end of 2013.

#5: Sunscreen/Bug Repellent Combos
They're unnecessary and potentially harmful. Bug repellents can contain effective but potentially irritating chemicals that you need only apply once a day, whereas sunscreen should be reapplied every two hours. Beyond that, you don't need them, says EWG. Unless you're on a long hike in the wilderness, bugs are mostly pesky at dawn and dusk, not during the heat of the day when UV rays are strongest.


                                                                             Courtesy Of: Rodale News