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Beware The Sun. Beware The Sun Protection.

May 26 2010

The Luxe Chronicles:Sun Protection

After one of the longest and harshest winters in recent history here in the U.K., the arrival of Spring and the impending bikini season makes it awfully tempting to throw caution to the wind and just soak up as many rays as possible. Before you do however, please read this post.

You may have heard by now of the disturbing new U.S. study suggesting that a great many popular sunscreen products may actually increase the spread of skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives which in turn speed up malignant cell development. To make matters worst, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration allegedly knew of the potential danger for as long as a decade without alerting the public (a claim they deny).

The study released by the Environmental Working Group also suggests that a great many of the sunscreens currently cluttering the shelves of pharmacies and drugstores are ineffective at protecting you from harmful ultraviolet light. In fact, only 39 of the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective to use. No. That is not a typo - a mere 39 of 500 products widely touted as effective protection from UVA/UVBs in fact live up to their claims.

Please note that this is a U.S. study and as it has been pointed out, European countries which are subject to a different set of regulations governing pharmaceutical products may have more effective chemical combinations to offer consumers. I would take that assumption with a grain of salt however. In my personal experience, many of the sun screen products marketed here in the U.K. are the same as those in the U.S. You can find a list of recommended sunscreens and helpful tips on staying safe in the sun here. Please stay safe this summer.


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Thank you for the additional info Dahlia. Somehow, I suspect that if I see that documentary, I won't be able to sleep.

I agree with you regarding the more stringent EU regulations. A few years ago, France enacted legislation banning the use of parabens and all its derivatives from beauty and cosmetic products in newly developed products and the phasing out of parabens in existing products over a 20 year period. Yet, it's practically impossible to find reliable information on the subject.

Also, I find many "green" or "organic" products very disappointing. I'm also not entirely certain I trust certification standards. It's very frustrating so see clearly through all the marketing hype.


I'm afraid to say that you should indeed take any US study concerning health with a grain of salt. The FDA does very little to regulate the products that we use, especially those that fall under the cosmetics or medical cosmetics label.

The EU has far greater restriction on the ingredients to be used within the cosmetics industry. I recommend seeing the documentary "America The Beautiful" that touches on the subject (and the beauty and modeling industry).

I highly suggest accessing the website to check for products that could be potentially harmful to you (and it offers alternatives that maybe lesser known but healthier). Many cosmetic ingredients include stuff that has been use from anti-freeze to maintaining dead bodies, and we're applying these things every day without knowing.


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Welcome to The Luxe Chronicles.

The Luxe Chronicles is a collection of interviews, profiles and musings on various aspects of the luxury industry and occasionally, a rant on our celebrity obsessed culture and the dumbing down of our collective sense of style and esthetic.

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