Sunscreen and FDA! We have heard for many years that the chemicals in sunscreens are dangerous. Some more than others. Is it time for the FDA to get busy and help us protect ourselves?
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 from you from the sun. And prevent aging. As well as help prevent cancer. This pulls them from the cosmetic section to the Federal Drug Administration department. This is why we have sunscreen and FDA.
The FDA decided that some changes needed to happen. Many complaints and concerns about the safety of sunscreens, especially when used over time. This process appears to have taken several years to complete. When they submitted their proposed changes late February 2019 several years had already passed as they gathered their information.
Then there was 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 manufactures 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 life times that the 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 been proven not safe for human use. Trying to protect our families with a product that can cause 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 lookout 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, lets look at the FDA guidelines for using and storing sunscreen.
Products that pass the FDA screening should have a safe life time of 3 years. Remember that if you bought your sunscreen July of 2020, the expiration date could be 2017 or it could be 2023. 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 that 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 about the effects of prolonged use of the products used in some sunscreens.
Some of the products may do nothing but what they were designed to do when mixed with 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 water proof.
- 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 1 once 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 are going to need different amounts. However, 1 ounce is 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 that has been done is to stabilize the formula. That makes it cheaper to make their products and give them a longer shelf life. I do realize this is important.
Now, deep down, the manufactures may care about how this affects our bodies, and chances to develop 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 need to depend on our sunscreens and FDA regulations being safe.
Awareness continues to be my mission. If this information has brought to your attention the need to improve your skin protection program. The job is beginning to pay off. If it makes you be more sun conscious. Realize more how much we expose our skin to. Awareness is important.
Protection From The Sun’s Ageing
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 families skin, you are preparing a good base for keeping you skin younger and healthy. That is a bonus that isn’t important until you realize it is happening. You are looking older.
Don’t accept this for your fate. You can slow down your skins ageing by protecting it from the sun’s harmful rays. Start now with wearing a hat. With good sun glasses. Add a long sleeved shirt for yourself and your family. Sun blocking clothing does a wonderful job of protecting your skin.