It’s fairly safe to say that most of us know we should wear sunscreen, and people are starting to do a better job with regular application, whether on the beach or going about your regular day. What is still currently a confusing point for many is the question of what really differentiates one sunscreen from another? Why are some bottles significantly less expensive than others? What are the true differences beyond pretty marketing and trends? The answer is all on the back of the bottle. Not the front, but the BACK! This is where the ingredients list is, and where you can tell the true quality of the product.
The FDA has notated that only two of sixteen active ingredients used in most sunscreens are “generally recognized as safe and effective.” These two safest options are the mineral blockers, Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, because they sit on top of the skin and act as a reflective barrier to the sun’s harmful rays, HEV light, and more. The other ingredients? Well they are all chemical based, which may not seem like a big deal at first, but research is coming to light that these chemicals are being absorbed into our skin and have been found in breastmilk, blood plasma, and urine for starters. Studies are still analyzing the long-term results and potential toxicity levels caused by chemical blockers in sunscreens further.
So how can you stay safe in the sun and prevent chemicals from getting absorbed into your skin? The answer is to check out those ingredients! The last thing you want to do is stop wearing any sun protectant at all. We know for certain that sun exposure can lead to skin cancers, so keep using your sunscreen, but just make sure it’s a high-quality sunscreen with zinc or titanium dioxide. There are plenty of high-quality zinc sunscreens that go on sheer now or even come in tinted formulas (available here *Insert Link to Sunscreens on SSD Website*). Additional steps you can take to protect your skin is to wear protective clothing when outdoors or in sunny environments.
We like to keep our patients in the loop on skincare news and empower them to take exceptional care of their health! So stay tuned on more research on this topic, new data should be out this fall, however the FDA may extend the deadline. Have a health concern regarding your skin? Come see us at any of our 8 Skin Solutions Dermatology locations across middle Tennessee! We have offices in Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Columbia, Pulaski, Hendersonville, Mt. Juliet, and Smyrna!