Sunscreen increases the risk of skin cancer.
Fact or Myth?
This is a FACT.
It may seem contradictory, but it’s true! Wearing sunscreen can actually increase your risk of skin cancer.
According to the Environmental Working Group’s 2011 report on sunscreen, “Some researchers have detected an increased risk of melanoma among sunscreen users. No one knows the cause, but scientists speculate that sunscreen users stay out in the sun longer and absorb more radiation overall, or that free radicals released as sunscreen chemicals break down in sunlight may play a role.
One other hunch: Inferior sunscreens with poor UVA protection that have dominated the market for 30 years may have led to this surprising outcome.”
Leaving aside the question of sunscreen use, increased time in the sun means increased risk for skin cancer. According to a BBC News interview with Professor Jack Cuzick, head of the epidemiology unit at the Imperial Cancer Research Fund, the bottom line is this: “the best way to protect against skin cancer is to cover up and moderate your exposure to the sun.”
However, vitamin D — the sunshine vitamin — is another critical issue to consider. Most Americans are thought to be deficient in vitamin D. The best way to make sure you get enough sunshine to produce adequate levels of this important bone-building vitamin while still minimizing sun damage is to use a safe and effective mineral sunscreen designed to let you enjoy the sun while protecting you from getting too much.