Sunscreen serves several purposes for beauty and even health. It is not uncommon to get a little too tanned, burned or blotched by the sun on a particularly sunny, heat-filled day. Sunscreens prevent all this damage and also lower the risk of skin cancer by shielding from the UV rays of the sun.
But do the ingredients of sunscreen enter inside the body and increase cancer risk? FDA’s new pilot study on sunscreens reveals that their ingredients don’t just stay on the skin as previously believed. In fact, they travel into the bloodstream too.
What Does This New Study Reveal?
We’ve been told to apply sunscreen whenever there’s a chance our skin will be getting lengthy exposure to the sun’s harsh rays. But are sunscreens safe for use or do they cause cancer? The Food and Drug Administration carried out a research, which has been published in the JAMA journal, to study if the ingredients of sunscreen remained on the surface of the skin or they were absorbed into the bloodstream.
In the past, the FDA believed that the ingredients of sunscreen stayed on the skin’s surface and didn’t penetrate inside. However, due to the importance of saving oneself from the ultraviolet rays of the sun, companies that provide over-the-counter sunscreens have worked harder on their products to be able offer maximum sun protection.
This means composition has changed over the years. Talking about how it was initially believed that sunscreen only stayed on the outside, Dr. Theresa Michele of FDA said, “we’ve learned over the years that’s not actually the case, so we started looking at them more closely.” This is what led the FDA to conduct a pilot study on sunscreen and encourage further studies on the matter. It was found that some of sunscreen’s active ingredients went inside the body and into the bloodstream.
The study comprised of 24 people who wore sunscreen on 75% of their body’s skin. Sun protecting lotions, creams, sprays which are commercially available were used. 30 blood samples were collected per participant and it was found that all four active ingredients; avobenzone, octocrylene, oxybenzone, and ecamsule, were absorbed into the bloodstream.
The FDA is urging more studies be carried out in this regard as this is a significant finding. It is possible that these chemicals in the blood can cause cancer. Though the agency doesn’t typically conduct such studies, it saw the importance of doing so. Since the ingredients are being taken into the body, sunscreens need to be studied just like any other drug so as to determine whether their ingredients are safe or not.
A new study which has been carried out by the FDA has found that the ingredients of sunscreens go inside the body, into the blood. This shows that they may or may not have adverse effects on the health of users. Therefore, it is necessary that more studies be carried out to study whether or not sunscreens are safe for usage.