Sunscreen Safety- The Benefits Far Outweigh the Risks


Sunscreen safety is a hot topic this summer. As consumers are becoming increasingly concerned with the ingredients contained in their skincare products, sunscreen has come under fire from several angles. Reports based on junk science stating that certain sunscreen compounds are likely candidates for health problems, coupled with a handful of recent allergic reactions after using the product may leave consumers sitting on an electric fence when it comes to sunscreen use. Some may risk burns and other skin damage after reading unfounded reports of more serious health risks. Others with skin types which never burn may make people think they simply don’t need sunscreen.

The fact is, there is no hard evidence that sunscreen compounds in current use contribute significant risk to human health. But what we do know is that:

  • 90% of non-melanoma skin cancers and 86% of melanomas are associated with exposure to UV radiation
  • Daily use of an SPF 15 or higher reduces the risk of developing melanoma by 50 percent
  • The FDA’s sunscreen testing requirements are well recognized by international experts and regulatory authorities
  • the FDA regulates sunscreens as over-the-counter (OTC) drugs and requires rigorous testing for effectiveness
  • Broad spectrum sunscreens must protect against both UVB and UVA radiation
  • Oxybenzone has been approved since 1978, and is one of the few FDA-approved ingredients that provides safe and effective broad-spectrum UV protection
  • There is no link according to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), in available peer-reviewed scientific literature, or in regulatory assessments from national and international agencies between oxybenzone in sunscreen and hormonal alterations or any other significant health issues
  • Retinyl palmitate is a form of vitamin A permitted by the FDA for use in sunscreens and several other OTC products

Just because you don’t get a burn after sun exposure, doesn’t mean that your skin hasn’t been damaged by UV radiation. Using reports of risks associated with sunscreen ingredients that are based on junk science (or no science at all) is irresponsible and a risk to public health. When it comes to sunscreen use the proven benefits of reducing UV damage and the risk of skin cancer clearly outweigh the unproven hazards that are hyped up by organisations undermining the very real risks associated with unprotected sun exposure.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Focal Point Research Inc.  We are industry leading Natural Health Product, and OTC Drug Regulatory Consultants that you can trust to help guide your company in the right direction.