When the Journal of American Medicine revealed a study that showed that ingredients in sunscreens can seep into the blood stream, the world collectively panicked. Furthermore, the Food and Drug administration confirmed these results, making us even more uneasy lathering the cream. But if you were to ask any dermatologist, they’ll still tell you that you MUST apply sunscreen before heading out the door. But does it mean they’re being reckless or uninformed? Absolutely not.
WHAT IS UP WITH THESE TESTS ANYWAY?
Earlier, sunscreens didn’t undergo the same kind of testing that new ingredients do. And due to the popularity since forever, it was somehow…missed. Because the truth is, if you don’t have any protection from the sun, you’re at risk of some serious damage, including cancer.
On the other hand, this new study, and the whole idea of ingredients seeping into your blood stream is a pretty scary ordeal. So what do you do?
DON’T SKIP ON IT!
Before you roll your eyes, let’s get some facts straightened out. In the tests conducted by FDA, people were applying high levels of sunscreen to 75% of their bodies – something we never do in the real world. Nor do we reapply. (The tests had people reapplying the cream 4 times throughout the day) So when it comes to how practical this study really is, one can’t tell.
In fact, the American Academy of Dermatology also made a statement that these ingredients have been used for several decades without any reported internal side effects in humans. Just because something is absorbed, doesn’t mean it WILL be harmful (are you thinking of all the junk food you’re binging on?)
Long story short, the benefits of application trump the potential risks.
BUT IF YOU’RE STILL IFFY…
You can use a physical sunscreen. These contain zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, and are safe even for pregnant women and children. The only downside, however, is the fact that it can leave a white, ashy cast on people of colour.
That being said, newer formulations with micronized zinc should solve that issue.
If you’re confused about which ones to grab, here are our options –
Furthermore, more research is underway to find natural sources of sun protection.