While we should use sunscreen throughout the year, it is in the summer months that we should be particularly cautious about our sun exposure! Just in time, EWG has published the up-to-date Guide to Sunscreens that provides information on sunscreens that offer adequate protection with ingredients that are safe.
WHY ARE INGREDIENTS IMPORTANT, BEYOND PROTECTING AGAINST UVA AND UVB?
Sunscreen ingredients can be detected in blood for up to 21 days after last application of sunscreen. This is why we recommend using sunscreens with ingredients generally recognized as safe (GRAS), as designated by the FDA.
- Commonly used sunscreen ingredients that are generally recognized as safe are titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.
- There is insufficient safety data for other common ingredients including: avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene and oxybenzone.
- PABA and trolamine salicylate, which are rarely used in sunscreens, are considered unsafe based on available scientific literature.
The good news is that the FDA is proposing further testing of some of the ingredients. I recommend cross-referencing the new sunscreen guide, EWG’s Skin Deep database or EWG’s Healthy Living app, before purchasing your sunscreen.
You can find the full article on sunscreen safety and Dr. Bojana’s tips to reduce your risk of skin cancer, sunburn and premature skin aging HERE.