Are Sunscreens Safe? Sunscreen Chemicals Enter Bloodstream After One Day of Use, Says StudyMay 10, 2019 12:59
Summer is here and it is the time to protect your body against the sun. As many people opt for sunscreen lotions, skin doctors and beauty experts have been preaching about the benefits of applying sunscreen when you step out.
The SPF lotions are said to protect the wearer against the harmful UV rays of the sun skin aging, dark spots, and even cancer. The United States Food and Drug Administration has recently said that certain chemicals in sunscreens could be entering your blood via skin within a day. In addition, the level of chemicals that leeched into the skin could be harmful to health.
Published in Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the study enrolled 23 people and asked to apply sunscreen four times a day for four consecutive days on 75 percent of their body.
The researchers found chemicals avobenzone, oxybenzone, ecamsule, and octocrylene in the subjects’ bloodstream. In just a span of three days, the levels of these chemicals increased.
The concentration of the chemicals in the blood was over 0.5 nanograms per milliliter, which crossed the Food and Drug Administration-prescribed levels. But the study categorically mentions that the results don’t indicate that sunscreen should never be used.
Is Applying Sunscreen Lotions Safe?
There are two types of sunscreens - physical blockers and chemical blockers. Physical blockers work by forming a physical barrier between the skin and the sun. Natural ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide provide physical protection against sun rays.
Chemical blockers work by absorbing the sun rays. These include oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate and octocrylene. Oxybenzone has received a lot of bad press due to its role as a hormone disrupter.
Dr. Jennifer Lin, assistant professor of dermatology at Harvard told Harvard Health Publishing, there is no conclusive evidence that oxybenzone is harmful to humans. Avoiding sunscreen won’t keep you safe from the chemical because of other cosmetic products such as hairsprays and nail polishes.
Dr. Krithi Ullal a dermatologist from Kochi told The Week: “In this study, people were asked to apply sunscreen to 75 percent of the body surface area, which is much more than what people usually need for daily application, so whether sunscreen causes any side effects cannot be entirely proven. Very few sunscreens contain the chemical avobenzone and more people here tend to use physical sunscreen.”
Going through the ingredients on sunscreen packs can be of help to avoid harmful chemicals enter the body. It is advisable to opt for zinc-based sunscreens or cover yourself thoroughly before stepping out into the sun since sun rays can be quite harmful to skin.
By Sowmya Sangam