The FDA does not require that sunscreens offer UVA protection at this time. Unlike UVB rays, which are best known for causing sunburns, UVA rays penetrate deeper into the skin. A lack of studies showing a decrease in the risk of melanoma with sunscreen use, may be in part due to traditional sunscreens lacking UVA protection. Both UVB and UVA rays can cause skin damage and skin cancer. Several products that protect against both UVA and UVB rays are now available.
In addition to ingredients that may be irritating or cause allergic reactions, some chemicals in common sunscreen products raise greater concern. Some of these can be absorbed through the skin and mimic estrogen in the body. Some can actually have a skin-damaging effect by forming free radicals when exposed to sunlight.
As we are bombarded by advertising that touts everything from "healthy fast food" to miracle pills that can ease every malady known to man, how does your sunscreen measure up?
The Environmental Working Group's "Skin Deep" cosmetic safety base lists 20 sunscreen products that are considered both low hazard and effective here.
The FDA plans on Upgrading Sunscreen Labeling, to include information on UVA protection.
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We can't change many of the circumstances in our lives, but we do have control of how they make us feel!
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"Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them."
-Eeyore, from A.A.Milne's "Winnie the Pooh"
For further information on cancer prevention, visit www.avoidcancernow.com.