Yes, You Should Still Wear Sunscreen

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For years you have seen the warnings about too much exposure to the ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight, and your risks of long-term damage to your skin. UV radiation damages your skin cells at the molecular level, causing premature aging, pigment changes like freckles and age spots, and ultimately a higher risk of skin cancer. 

So you have been in the habit of slathering on sunscreen when you spend time out in the sun. You assumed, as virtually everyone has assumed, that sunscreens are safe, at least as long as you don’t drink them! 

Thus you may have been understandably alarmed when you see the news of a recent study that found that the active ingredients in many sunscreens are actually absorbed through the skin and can be found in measurable levels in the bloodstream 

Should you toss out the Coppertone? No! The known risks of skin damage and skin cancer far outweigh the possible risk of the chemical sun sunscreen. 

Understanding the Sunscreen Study Results 

First, it’s important to understand that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules were different when sunscreens came onto the American market in the late 

1960s and early 1970s. As a topical over-the-counter medication, sunscreens were not closely studied or regulated. One reason for the recent study is that in the last few decades, scientists have gained a deeper understanding of the possibility of drug absorption through the skin, and it was decided to research this in relation to sunscreens. 

The study that was performed is called a maximal usage trial (MUST). As the name implies, a MUST study looks at what happens when a product is used at its maximum level. In this case, the participants applied one of the four products in the study, over 75% of their body four times per day for four days in a row. So this is looking at a more intense Sunscreen usage than most of us experience in 

real life.

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Bessie Warren

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