The Sunny Irony – Sunscreen Causing Cancer
Now the snow has melted, spring is truly here. The warmer sunny days mean summer is just around the corner. Sunnier weather also means that everyone is spending more time outdoors enjoying their gardening, biking, hiking, and climbing adventures.
Today, people are more conscious about their skin health. Thus, before going outdoors and getting exposed to the sun, they make sure to wear sunscreen lotion. Manufacturers spend millions on advertising to convince consumers that their products can guarantee protection from the harmful rays of the sun. Some even claim that their products can help avoid the risk of skin cancer.
However, this claim is being challenged by current studies in the fields of toxicology and dermatology. Tests suggest findings to the contrary — that commercial products are causing cancer, and sunlight, in fact, helps to fight it. It may sound ironic, but as it turns out, sunscreens produce results that are the exact opposite of the protective results they claim to provide.
Sunlight may not be that unhealthy, after all.
According to the annual report published by Environmental Working Group, a good number of the more popular sunscreen brands on the market today contain Retinol and Retinyl Palminate. These are derivatives of vitamin A that catalyze the growth of cancer cells. It is important to note that the latter, noted for its phototoxicity and photocarcinogenicity, is a photochemical that is responsible for gene mutations that occur when ultraviolet rays type B (UV-B) penetrate the epidermis and damage our DNA.
Another common chemical used in sunscreen production is Oxybenzone. It is said to act similar to an estrogen that encourages the growth of cancer cells and makes it easier for ultraviolet rays (A and B) to penetrate the skin.
Parabens, another essential ingredient, is known to cause breast cancer and derail the development of hormones.
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When looking for a type of sunscreen to use, it is important to make sure that it blocks both ultraviolet rays A and B. However, with the cancerous side-effects present in most products’ component chemicals, there is a tendency to compound complications. This is what makes some people apprehensive about using these products.
So what could be a viable alternative to avoid skin illnesses?
Sunlight, which skin-conscious people try to avoid, is believed to be a suitable substitute as an anticancer agent. It has vitamin D that helps improve cardiovascular health and muscular strength, regulates blood pressure, and maintains a healthy immune system. It has also been documented in the European Journal of Cancer in 2008 that skin cancer patients had less exposure to sunlight, compared to those who had more exposure.
Cotton clothing, for all its simplicity, maybe also be a good alternative. Based on research, it has SPF-15. This means that it will give you 15 times greater normal protection from solar heat than sunscreen.
Conventional thinking would prompt us to use sunscreen to keep our skin healthy in the midst of the piercing heat of the sun, but recent developments tell us that its side effects may outweigh its good effects. And, the skin protection we try to get from it may be enjoyed through simple, yet unexpected means.
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