Is sunscreen safe?


Yes, sunscreen is safe to use. No published studies show that sunscreen is toxic to humans or hazardous to human health. Scientific studies actually support using sunscreen.

Research shows that wearing sunscreen can:

  • Prevent sunburn
  • Reduce your risk of skin cancer and premature aging

What about the reported health risks associated with some ingredients found in sunscreens?

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This infographic gives important information on how to protect against skin cancer, including detailing the difference between physical sunscreen and chemical sunscreen.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates sunscreens. Before an ingredient can be used in sunscreen, the ingredient must be approved by the FDA for this use.  Here is the real science behind some of the ingredients now in the news.

Oxybenzone: This is one of the few ingredients in sunscreen that effectively protects our skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays. Here are the facts about oxybenzone:

  • Approved by the FDA in 1978
  • No data shows that oxybenzone causes hormonal problems in humans
  • No data shows that oxybenzone causes any significant health problems
  • FDA approved for use by people 6 months of age and older

Retinyl palmitate: This ingredient helps protect our skin from premature aging. Here are the facts:

  • No study shows that it increases the risk of skin cancer in humans.
  • Retinyl palmitate is a form of vitamin A that is found naturally in the skin.
  • One form of vitamin A, retinoids, has been used for decades to prevent skin cancer in people who have a high risk of developing skin cancers.

If you are concerned about certain sunscreen ingredients, look for a sunscreen that contains different active ingredients. You’ll find the active ingredients listed on the container under the heading “active ingredients.”

As long as the sunscreen offers all of the following, it can effectively protect you from the sun:

  • SPF 30 or greater
  • Broad-spectrum protection
  • Water resistance

Is nanotechnology safe?

Before nanotechnology could be used in sunscreens, considerable research was conducted. Sunscreens containing nanoparticle-size ingredients cannot get into the body when applied to healthy or sunburned skin. Our outermost layer of skin prevents nanoparticles from entering in to the deeper layers of the skin.

Nanoparticles are used in sunscreens to prevent active ingredients from leaving a white residue on the skin. By doing this, we get better UV protection and more even coverage.

Studies prove that using sunscreen reduces the risk of developing skin cancer. Other things you can do to reduce your risk are to seek shade and wear clothing that protects your skin from the sun.