Friday, June 22, 2007

Buyer beware of sunscreen

Got sunscreen? Good, then give some to this guy because he needs it. HA! (image credit)

If you're going to the beach this weekend, or if you're just going to be out and about in the sun, you'd better take a second look at your sunscreen. According to a recent report by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), only 16 percent of products are "safe and effective." For a list of the best and the worst, check out this article at FoxNews.Com.
Dr. Linda Franks, director of Gramercy Park Dermatology and clinical assistant professor at New York University School of Medicine, recommends everyone wear a moisturizer with SPF for daily protection, but people should not depend on that protection for extended periods of time in the sun. "Either you need to reapply it or use something stronger in the morning," she said.

Neutrogena and Coppertone, both of which had products that landed in the 'avoid' category, stood by the lab results of all their products. Neutrogena would not comment specifically on the report but stated, "all Neutrogena products undergo extensive testing to ensure safety and efficacy."

The report faulted many sunscreens for having active ingredients that actually breakdown in sunlight and do not actually protect against ultraviolet-A. Coppertone issued this statement defending their broad spectrum products: "Coppertone has formulated 100 percent of their products to be photostable to resist breaking down under exposure to the sun."
Now, an article like this could not be complete without the EWG taking a shot at the Food and Drug Administration. The article states that the FDA has been debating sunscreen safety standards for 29 years, but has yet to finalize mandatory standards. What I don't get is this: Sunscreen is neither a food nor a drug, so why is the FDA the regulatory agency managing this?

Finally, the American Cancer Society estimates that in 2007 there will be about 60,000 new cases of skin cancer and about 8000 deaths. So, be careful out there this summer and wear the right sunscreen.


Nikki Neurotic said...

Crap, looks like I'm going to have to buy some WAY overpriced sunblock once I get to the shore today...all I have is Coppertone. :(

Just Suzanne said...

I know this doesn't belong here, but I can't read what appears to be Chinese on Cathy's blog. Is there some setting I need to change, or has Cathy suddenly taken up blogging in foreign languages? lol

Peace to everyone out there in the blog o' sphere!

Fat Doctor said...

I think about all those wasted months "laying out" during my teenage years, only to look like this dude. My grandmother had half of her thigh muscles removed when she had malignant melanoma. She kept warning me, and I ignored her in my 16-year-old stupidity. Now I'm super-duper careful with my own skin and Son's.

I can't post comments from home on any blogger account, but I do read yours faithfully. Blogger seems to have blocked my ISP. Argh!

Shannon Long said...

I just got back from the beach. Scary article!

Symbiosis said...

As if life isnt complicated, now I have to actually think before buying suncreen!!!!!....why cudnt life be simpler....
(you can tell I had a long day, cant you!)

Anonymous said...

Sunscreen is a drug -- it's classified as an over-the-counter drug. And if it's got all that nasty stuff in it, it would be nice if someone would regulate it.

SeaSpray said...

I am confused about all of this! Now they also say that we need the sun because it is the best way to get vitamin D into our bodies. Also, that there are higher incidences of colon CA and breast CA, etc up north vs in the sunnier southern population. Skin cancers often show up on the unexposed parts.

A rep from my local health food store was telling me this. Then I did a little research that seemed to support this.

Also on Med nauseum blog author Alix has a post on June 15th "Sunscreen and Cancer" and in that post she has a good article linked on the merits of going without sunscreen and also to her post on vitamin D.

One of the things in article that sunscreens have cancer causing ingredients and are easily absorbed through our skin.

I have also hear that the sunscreens block out the good rays and let the bad ones in.

I have been really tanning the last couple of years except that I do put sinscreen on my face and throat.

I need to have a head to toe exam done at a dermatologist but when I hear about how much they cut away it scares me and I hate the thought of going back all the time because if necessary. I also hate the thought of a head to toe, Could they knock me out fist?

Dr A I do want to join B.A. and even buying a mug from Mood. :)

If you can't find Med Nauseam I do have her in my blogroll.

SeaSpray said...

P,S. and the vitamin D prevents the cancers or helps to.

Cathy said...

Anyone who wants to read the real story of the damage of what the sun can do only needs to read Sarah's story.

Suzanne, Honey, I closed that blog a while agao after fighing with hi-jackers for a while. you can now find me at

or, just click my link from Dr. A.s sidebar....:) Im coming to your blog right now.