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Choose Your Sunscreen

Updated on May 10, 2013

People would be hitting the beach this summer. We lose weight to flaunt our bikini ready bodies and we buy gadgets that are fit for beach activities. Because of these, sunscreens will be flying off the shelves. But did you know that sunscreens can do more harm than good for your skin? Studies have proven that sunscreens protect the skin from the harsh UV rays of the sun and skin cancer. But this article will sound the alarm on the hidden dangers of sunscreen. Before you soak under the sun and bask your semi- naked body in all its glory, choose the right kind of sunscreen for your protection.

Dr. Arthur Perry, a dermatologist warned the harmful effects of applying the wrong sunscreen which is chemical sunscreen. According to Perry, chemical sunscreens interfere with hormones and can cause cancer particularly breast cancer. Pregnant women should be more cautious when applying sunscreen because when the fetus is exposed to endocrine disruptors, it might result to low birth weight. For young children, if they apply chemical sunscreen on their skin, they might result in early puberty in girls and small testicles and low sperm count in boys.

This is how sunscreen works. We apply sunscreen on the top layer of our skin. It penetrates into the skin tissue and gets into the blood vessels and into the organs. When the organs are damaged, it can cause skin cancer. Dr. Perry said that we should not stop wearing sunscreen altogether. We have to choose the right sunscreen to prevent our skin from further damage. The chemical sunscreens have the ingredient benzophinone which is a carcinogen and causes cancer in animals. Although there are no studies that claim that it can cause cancer in humans, we have to avoid using this ingredient on our skin.

Elizabeth Tanzi from the American Academy of Dermatology refuted Dr. Perry's statements by saying that we shouldn't stop wearing sunscreens because most studies from the United States and Europe have shown that sunscreens can prevent skin cancer. If you are pregnant, Tanzi recommended that you should still use sunscreen and have regular breast exams.

Dr. Oz explained that there are two types of sunscreens. These are the physical and the chemical. The chemical sunscreen penetrates into the skin easily. We need to put them 20 minutes before we go outside. It is usually degraded by the UV light of the sun. Whereas the physical sunscreen sits on the skin's surface, reflects the sun, and block the UV light. We should buy the physical sunscreens that have the ingredients zinc and titanium. They are more effective and they lie on the surface of the skin. They reflect UV light A and B and are good for sensitive skin. The physical sunscreens have micronized zinc oxide. They don't get absorbed by the skin and they block UV light. It is more expensive than the chemical sunscreen, but they don't need to be reapplied unlike the chemical sunscreen. When we use the chemical sunscreen, it needs to be reapplied after 1 to 2 hrs.

This is how the physical sunscreen works. When we apply them on our skin, they are crushed into paste. The skin cannot absorb them and they scatter UV rays. Nothing gets into the dermis and it doesn't destroy the other organs. Therefore we should start using physical sunscreen that has zinc and titanium to prevent skin diseases.

A lot of people are blindsided by the regular use of sunscreens. Only a few people know that there are two types of sunscreens. One is beneficial, the other one is not. We should check the labels before we purchase and apply sunscreens. They act as a shield to our skin from the sun's harmful rays. Now that we know that we should start using physical sunscreens instead of the chemical sunscreens, we are now informed of its benefits and its causes.

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