Sunscreen and FDA! We have heard for many years that the chemicals in sunscreens are dangerous. Some more than others. What are the issues? And are these issues being addressed?
Is it time for the FDA to get busy and help us protect ourselves? And along with that, do you know what we are protecting from? Could it be they are protecting us from false claims?
What do you think about Coffee in Sunscreen?
Why The FDA?
The FDA got involved because sunscreens advertise that they help cure disease.
Sunscreens advertise that the product is used to help prevent sunburn. Protect you from the sun. And prevent aging. As well as help prevent cancer.
This pulls them from being the cosmetic section to the Federal Drug Administration department. This is why we have the FDA regulating our sunscreen.
Sunscreen is categorized as an over-the-counter medication! It is true that when there is as much money involved as there is in the sales of sunscreen regulation to make sure products live up to their claims is important.
The FDA decided that some changes needed to happen with the existing formulas used for sunscreens. Many complaints and concerns were being heard about the safety of sunscreens, especially when used over time.
This process appears to have taken several years for change to happen. When they (The FDA) submitted their proposed changes in late February 2019, several years had already passed while they gathered their information.
Then there were a couple or 3 months for any protests to be submitted. As of today, there has not been a final ruling. This is partly to allow the sunscreen manufacturers to make and test changes to their products.
It would also allow a reasonable time to sell the existing inventory. (The inventory with the cancer-causing ingredients.)
As I am not a member of the FDA, I do not have access to the schedule and progress on this ruling. However, it is only reasonable to assume that there was an expected time period for this to be done.
So, in the meantime, we have to be aware of how we are protecting ourselves.
Then We Have The COVID Pandemic.
I would think that there may have been some other things pushed ahead of the ruling on getting the improvements secured for sunscreens.
Also, it would be safe to assume that the factors controlling this project would be sidetracked. We have all learned through our lifetimes that government bodies move slowly. Even in non-pandemic times. The sunscreens and FDA regulations need updating.
We are not trying to be unreasonable here, BUT. Meanwhile, we are still applying a product to our skin that may be proven not safe for human use. Trying to protect our families with a product that can cause other kinds of cancer?
We do have to take some personal responsibility here. There really isn’t a “big brother” anyway to look out for us.
In the battle to protect our families from skin cancer, we will need to consider changing our approach. You as a sunscreen user will have to look out for yourself and your family.
What Can You Do
The product sold as sunscreen might be OK to start with but breaks down over time. The main issues come as the bottle or container is stored. With this in mind, let’s look at the FDA guidelines for using and storing sunscreen.
Products that pass the FDA screening should have a safe life of 3 years. Remember that if you bought your sunscreen in July of 2021, the expiration date could be 2018 or it could be 2024.
I will admit that expiration dates have not been my top concern with purchasing sunscreen.
We live in a small town in the hill country of central Texas. Our shopping opportunities are limited. I was more concerned with just being able to get sunscreen. Do you always look at the exportation date? No, I haven’t. From now on I will! Sunscreen and FDA have not been on my awareness screen. This will change.
Another Thing To Consider
Those chemicals are used to keep the sunscreen ingredients stable and useable. They can cause damage when they seep into your bloodstream. The testing is still being done concerning the effects of prolonged use of the products used in some sunscreens.
Some of the products may only do what we want them to do when they are added to the sunscreen formula. They may make the product go on your skin better. The product may continue to smell good. It may also do the job of protecting you from the sun and helping to prevent skin cancer.
Here is the issue:
- You should reapply it every 2 hours.
- If you are in the water and get out, reapply the product. Sunscreen is not waterproof.
- Are you playing a sport and sweating? You will need to apply more often.
One Ounce: Application According to Sunscreens And FDA
Do you know what amount you should be using? How much product you should use to cover your skin completely? Could be there is no real measure?
The FDA says you should use one ounce of product per person per application! Man, woman, child. There is no allowance for body size.
It is safe to bet that a 300-pound Dad with a 40-pound son is going to need different amounts. However, 1 ounce is still the FDA guideline!
For sure, I will need more sunscreen than my thinner and shorter buddies. When it is necessary to know how much to use to protect yourself, we need better labels and instructions. As this is considered an over-the-counter medicine, we as users will have to do better at reading the label.
Many of the formulas are very little different from what was used in 1960! The main improvement is to stabilize the formula. That is how questionable cancer-causing chemicals help keep the product useable. In all fairness to the manufacturers, the products do usually protect better than in 1960.
When sunscreen first hit the market, the strength or safety rating was with the protection ability of SPF 3! Your old worn-out favorite white tee shirt would have done as well.
Being able to make the products for a reasonable amount of investment, and give the sunscreen a workable shelf life is necessary. I do realize this is important. What I am warning about is you not knowing what your product contains, and what to watch for.
These are issues where consumers have the most at stake. Know what is going on.
Sunscreen Chemical Buildup In Your Body
Now, deep down, the manufacturers may care about how this affects our bodies, and the risk we as customers will have when it comes to developing cancer. Or maybe they may not be so concerned.
I think that my wellness may be a bit less important for them than their bottom line profits. This makes us, the users of sunscreen products need to depend on our sunscreens knowledge and FDA regulations for staying safe.
To avoid too much chemical buildup in your body, use sun blocking clothing to protect your skin.
Awareness continues to be my mission. Has this information brought to your attention the need to improve your knowledge about your skin protection program?
Then, my efforts are beginning to pay off. If it makes you be more sun conscious. Realize how much we expose our skin to the sun. Awareness is important.
Protection From The Sun’s Aging
Skin protection from the sun is important for your life going forward. You don’t want to look older because you have spent too much time in the sun. Even if you have escaped the skin cancer dangers, there are other dangers.
The sun will age you as fast as a serious illness can. So with a routine to protect you and your family’s skin, you are preparing a good base for keeping your skin younger and healthy.
That is a bonus that isn’t important until you realize it is happening. You are looking older, if you aren’t working to protect your skin.
Don’t accept this for your fate. You can slow down the aging of your skin by protecting it from the sun’s harmful rays.
Start now by wearing a hat.
Remember to keep your good sunglasses close. They are protecting your eyes. Sun damage to your eyes can’t be undone. Yes, cataract surgery is a great help, but who wants to have surgery when you can delay it longer than your Dad was able to?
Add a long-sleeved loose-fitting tightly woven shirt for yourself and each family member. Sun blocking clothing does a wonderful job of protecting your skin.
Why Does The FDA Regulate Sunscreen?
Keep in mind that our requirements for sunscreen is regulated by the FDA. This regulation is to ensure that safety and effectiveness are kept in the product. We need some help to keep the products we use on our skin safe.
Lables are also important to advise us on what we are putting on our skin. The FDA makes the manufacturers aware that there are requirements to be able to put sunscreen on the market.
Like all markets, information and knowledge are increasing. They are now able to make products that do more than just protect us from the sun.
However, without regulation, there is no one to make the manufacturers accountable. While I may feel that the regulation is slow to happen, it is surely better than no help at all.
Sami’s Take On Sunscreen and TheFDA
While the months are passing, and no real cut-off time has been declared for getting the questionable chemical in our sunscreen products, manufacturers are working to come up with a better solution.
Getting a safer product for their customers is important for people who want to stay in business. No major label wants to have their products the subject of questionable practices.
This is one place where sun blocking clothing can help you feel comfortable with skin protection. The more of your body you cover with UPF clothing, the less sunscreen you will need.
This fact alone will cut down on your need for applying so much product.
Sunscreen and sun blocking products can work hand in hand to protect our skin. Take advantage of both products and make taking care of your skin easier.