Time Magazine shared a fascinated article that will be very helpful to all sunscreens manufacturers: In its annual report on the sunscreens with the least toxic ingredients that are also effective, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found more than 250 products that measure up.
All are free of two ingredients the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed are not generally safe and effective—PABA and trolamine salicylate—based on research showing these chemicals can contribute to immune system changes and other adverse health effects. The FDA has determined that two other active ingredients commonly found in sunscreens, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, which are minerals, are generally safe and effective in protecting the skin from the sun. All of EWG’s recommended sunscreens are mineral-based.
The EWG report also addresses another FDA proposal around how sunscreens are labeled and marketed. The FDA wants to limit SPF (sun protection factor) claims to 60. SPF refers to the amount of exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays the product can provide before sunburns occur; to a lesser extent, SPF also measures how long a sunscreen can protect against changes to DNA that can cause other damage to the skin, including premature aging and certain skin cancers. However, SPF only refers to one type of UV exposure—to UVB rays—and does not factor in exposure to UVA rays, which tend to penetrate more deeply into the skin and can contribute to more dangerous cancers like melanoma. So the FDA is proposing stricter rules requiring protection from UVA rays as well—so-called “broad spectrum” protection.
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