One in five Americans will be affected by skin cancer this year and it is up to everyone to make sure that the unlucky person is not them. For a long time, the advertised holy-grail against skin cancer was the use of sunscreen, but studies show that melanoma, the most aggressive type of skin cancer, still affects people who use sunscreen during summer.
There are many factors that can be blamed for this fact and those factors can further be categorized into factors that depend on us, the user of sunscreen, and factors that can be attributed to sunscreen makers.
Factors that depend on the user
- Not applying enough sunscreen while going out into the sun can be a key factor that leaves you unprotected from skin cancer.
- Not reapplying sunscreen often enough or after we have taken a dip in water.
- Thinking that by using a high SPF sunscreen we are allowed to abuse the sun and spend hours on the beach.
These are some of the factors that leave you unprotected in front of the sun`s harmful rays.
Factors that depend on the sunscreen maker
- Often, the SPF level of the lotion in the bottle is half the SPF that is advertized on the label. Multiple studies have been made, which concluded that many companies, like Equate, No-add Sport, Copertone, CVS, Banana Boat and Neutrogena offer a low degree of protection against skin cancer.
- Some of the sunscreens contain harmful substances for the skin, like oxybenzone- a substance found in nearly 80% of sunscreens which penetrates the skin and causes hormonal imbalance; retinyl palmitate – a substance known to help tumor growth and which sensitizes skin to sun rays; methylisothiazolinone – a substance found in baby sunscreen which is a highly unsafe preservative prohibited in Europe in leave-on products.
- The sunscreen only provides SPF protection. There are two types of UV radiation: UVA and UVB. UVA radiation causes skin aging, meaning it has a degenerative effect on the collagen in the skin and can cause skin cancer. UVB radiation is responsible for the irritation and redness of the skin that happens after sun exposure. The SPF in sunscreens only address UVB radiation, so it is up to the user to find a sunscreen that also offers UVA protection.
As you can see, not everything is so simple when it comes to proper use of sunscreen and most of the time it`s up to the buyer to recognize and purchase an efficient sunscreen. It is also equally important to use the sunscreen according to the guidelines recommended by dermatologists and to avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.
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