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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