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WASHINGTON (May 24) -- Almost half of the
500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at
which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they
contain vitamin A or its derivatives, according to an evaluation of
those products released today.

AOL
News also has learned through documents and interviews that the Food
and Drug Administration has known of the potential danger for as long
as a decade without alerting the public, which the FDA denies.

The
study was released with Memorial Day weekend approaching. Store shelves
throughout the country are already crammed with tubes, jars, bottles
and spray cans of sunscreen.

The white goop, creams and
ointments might prevent sunburn. But don't count on them to keep the
ultra-violet light from destroying your skin cells and causing tumors
and lesions, according to researchers at Environmental Working Group.

In
their annual report to consumers on sunscreen, they say that only 39 of
the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective to
use.

The report cites these problems with bogus sun protection factor (SPF) numbers:

  • The use of the hormone-disrupting chemical oxybenzone, which penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream.
  • Overstated claims about performance.
  • The lack of needed regulations and oversight by the Food and Drug Administration.

But
the most alarming disclosure in this year's report is the finding that
vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate, may speed
up the cancer that sunscreen is used to prevent.
Environmental Working Group


A dangerous additive

The industry includes vitamin A in its sunscreen formulations because it is an anti-oxidant that slows skin aging.

But
the EWG researchers found the initial findings of an FDA study of
vitamin A's photocarcinogenic properties, meaning the possibility that
it results in cancerous tumors when used on skin exposed to sunlight.

"In
that year-long study, tumors and lesions developed up to 21 percent
faster in lab animals coated in a vitamin A-laced cream than animals
treated with a vitamin-free cream," the report said.

The
conclusion came from EWG's analysis of initial findings released last
fall by the FDA and the National Toxicology Program, the federal
government's principle evaluator of substances that raise public health
concerns.

EWG's conclusions were subsequently scrutinized by outside toxicologists.

Based
on the strength of the findings by FDA's own scientists, many in the
public health community say they can't believe nor understand why the
agency hasn't already notified the public of the possible danger.

"There
was enough evidence 10 years ago for FDA to caution consumers against
the use of vitamin A in sunscreens," Jane Houlihan, EWG's senior vice
president for research told AOL News.

"FDA launched this one-year study, completed their research and now 10 years later, they say nothing about it, just silence."

On Friday, the FDA said the allegations are not true.

"We
have thoroughly checked and are not aware of any studies," an FDA
spokesperson told AOLNews. She said she checked with bosses throughout
the agency and found no one who knew of the Vitamin A sunscreen
research being done by or on behalf of the agency.

But documents from the FDA and the National Toxicology Program showed that the agency had done the research.

"Retinyl
palmitate was selected by (FDA's) Center for Food Safety and Applied
Nutrition for photo-toxicity and photocarcinogenicity testing based on
the increasingly widespread use of this compound in cosmetic retail
products for use on sun-exposed skin," said an October 2000 report by
the National Toxicology Program.

FDA's own website said the
animal studies were done at its National Center for Toxicological
Research in Jefferson, Ark. And it was scientists from the FDA center
and NTP that posted the study data last fall.

In a perfect world

The
ideal sunscreen would completely block the UV rays that cause sunburn,
immune suppression and damaging free radicals. It would remain
effective on the skin for several hours and not form harmful
ingredients when degraded by UV light, the report said.
National Cancer Institute
Graph
of melanoma of the skin rates from 1975 to 2006. APC stands for annual
percent change and AAPC stands for average annual percent change.


But
in the U.S., there is currently no sunscreen that meets all of these
criteria. European countries have more chemical combinations to offer,
but in the U.S. the major choice is between the "chemical" sunscreens,
which have inferior stability, penetrate the skin and may disrupt the
body's hormone systems, and "mineral" sunscreens zinc and titanium
dioxide.

Increasingly, as AOL News reported
in March, the industry is using titanium dioxide that is made
nanosized, which a growing number of researchers believe have serious
health implications.

The sunscreen industry cringes when EWG
releases its yearly report -- this is its fourth. The industry charges
that the advocacy group wants to do away with all sunscreen products, a
claim that is not accurate.

The report's researchers clearly
say that an effective sunscreen prevents more damage than it causes,
but it wants consumers to have accurate information on the limitations
of what they buy and on the potentially harmful chemicals in some of
those products.

EWG does warn consumers not to depend on any
sunscreen for primary protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet
rays. Hats, clothing and shade are still the most reliable sun
protection available, they say.

Don't count on the numbers

Some
of us are old enough to remember when the idea of having a tan was
good, a sign of health, when billboards and magazine ads featured the
Coppertone girl showing off her tan when a puppy pulls down her bathing
suit bottom.

Going for that tan, we coated our kids and
ourselves with sun blockers with sun protection factors of 1 or 2. Some
overly cautious parents might have smeared on a 4 during the hottest
part of a day.

But we've learned of the dangers that come from
exposure to the sun's rays, especially ultraviolet A and B. So today,
drugstore shelves are crammed with sunscreens boasting SPFs of 30, 45,
80 or even higher.

However, the new report says those numbers
are often meaningless and dangerous because products with high SPF
ratings sell a false sense of security, encouraging people using them
to stay out in the sun longer,

"People don't get the high SPF
they pay for," the report says. "People apply about a quarter of the
recommended amount. So in everyday practice, a product labeled SPF 100
really performs like SPF 3.2, an SPF 30 rating equates to a 2.3 and an
SPF 15 translates to 2."

In 2007, the report says, the FDA
published proposed regulations that would prohibit manufacturers from
labeling sunscreens with an SPF higher than "SPF 50." The agency wrote
that higher values would be "inherently misleading," given that "there
is no assurance that the specific values themselves are in fact
truthful..."

This is being widely ignored by the sunscreen makers who are heavily advertising their 80, 90 and 100 SPF products.

"Flouting
FDA's proposed regulation," companies substantially increased their
high-SPF offerings in 2010 with one in six brands now listings of SPF
values higher than 50. "Neutrogena and Banana Boat stand out among the
offenders, with six and four products labeled as "SPF 100,"
respectively," the new report says.

The full list of the best and worst sunscreens can be found on the EWG's searchable database.

Filed under: Nation, Health, Top Stories

Golden Girl

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Oh wow Arebama, thanks for this article and very interesting. I'm going to print this so that I can carefully read all of the details. So the Food & Drug Administration knew of this all of this time without speaking of it to the general public? Makes me wonder what else are they aware of but are hiding?


_________________
My Current Skin Lightening Regimen Is:
Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub (cleanser)
Tretinoin/Retin-A 0.05% (exfoliant)
All Day Chemist Hq 4% (lightener)
RX Suncare: Sport Sunblock SPF 50 (sunblock)
-----------------------------------------------
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://theskinphilosophy.forumotion.net

allure

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OMG, Arebama thanks for posting that. A friend of mine told me yesterday and I was in shock about it! I thought that she was mistaken with her info!

MAHARANI

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Arebama,

That was very very useful info. I would recommend that anyone who is using sun protection, which I am sure is most of you, should check out the section where you can see how your sunscreen is rated.

I have always felt that I would rather not be having to put yet another product on my face, but know that this is essential in order to protect any lightening I wish to achieve. And also as I am using HQ in the mornings is definitely mandatory. I don't go anywhere without my oversize sun visor and this is generally first thing in the morning or late evening. I am a shade chaser and am generally very well covered up, so that I do not have to be too concerned about applying sun protection to my body..

It has been very hot in the UK the last few days and I have not even thought about going outside and fortunately I have not needed to leave my house, thank goodness. I know this may sound very very boring to some, but I have a goal and I don't want anything to mess it up.

Well it looks like my La Roche posay is in the good section but my neutrogena is a no no, according to that info.

Guest


Guest
I know i was very disappointed when read this review, it look like everything can cause cancer. and i own neutrogina sunblock snd when i saw is one of the worst i was so mad, i have a new bottle left of what i thought is 100spf, but acording to the study there is no such of thing .

Well i was thinking i was gonna go and get a Shiseido 55spf which i heard and also saw on the reviews that is excellent. I also read that Japanese sunblock are the best like Kose or Shiseido.

yes___I mean no

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so, you would like to lightin your skin...CANCER
NO, sooo you want to tan....CANCER
OK OK, you would like to stay neutral and use sunscreen... CANCER

they say that the only thing guaranteed in life is death and taxes, well theirs one more to add

Golden Girl

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Really dissapointing. It seem like too much of anything isn't good, regardless of what it may be. I see quite a few baby and natural organic sunscreens listed in the safe zone. I was searching for the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] even several of their body sprays and Age Shields are red #7.

"FDA says spfs higher than 50+ are misleading. Stick to 50+"

La Roche-Posay Anthelios, Glytone Sunscreen Lotion, Thinksport, UV Natural Sunscreen Sport are a few I'm considering trying.


_________________
My Current Skin Lightening Regimen Is:
Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub (cleanser)
Tretinoin/Retin-A 0.05% (exfoliant)
All Day Chemist Hq 4% (lightener)
RX Suncare: Sport Sunblock SPF 50 (sunblock)
-----------------------------------------------
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://theskinphilosophy.forumotion.net

Golden Girl

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Oh never mind, I found it [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] all #7 [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]


_________________
My Current Skin Lightening Regimen Is:
Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub (cleanser)
Tretinoin/Retin-A 0.05% (exfoliant)
All Day Chemist Hq 4% (lightener)
RX Suncare: Sport Sunblock SPF 50 (sunblock)
-----------------------------------------------
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://theskinphilosophy.forumotion.net

yes___I mean no

avatar
Councilor
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CouncilorPrivileged
Golden Girl wrote:Really dissapointing. It seem like too much of anything isn't good, regardless of what it may be. I see quite a few baby and natural organic sunscreens listed in the safe zone. I was searching for the Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] even several of their body sprays and Age Shields are red #7.

"FDA says spfs higher than 50+ are misleading. Stick to 50+"

La Roche-Posay Anthelios, Glytone Sunscreen Lotion, Thinksport, UV Natural Sunscreen Sport are a few I'm considering trying.

wow thanks for he site, very informative study

MAHARANI

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Just wanted to mention that I have been trying out my La roche posay, which I was planning on using after my neutrogena had finished, but in light of the info above decided to try it sooner. So far, I have found that it sinks in really well and I don't get a caste, so I am pleased that I have another option for now. Am looking into others and if anything else comes along that I like, will let you know.

Golden Girl

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That's great Mhaharani. I did hear that it absorbs really well in the skin without the greyish cast. My neutrogena is just about up, but planning to try either la roche or another brand next.


_________________
My Current Skin Lightening Regimen Is:
Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub (cleanser)
Tretinoin/Retin-A 0.05% (exfoliant)
All Day Chemist Hq 4% (lightener)
RX Suncare: Sport Sunblock SPF 50 (sunblock)
-----------------------------------------------
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://theskinphilosophy.forumotion.net

MAHARANI

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It's a shame that according to the info above that the neutrogena isn't up to scratch, because I liked the smell and it did absorb nicely as well. I still have a lot left and plan to use it on cloudier days and when I know I can avoid the sun as much as possible.

Golden Girl

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Privileged
You tell me, it's really a drag. Neutrogena should have known better. I do hope they are in the process of correcting the flaws.


_________________
My Current Skin Lightening Regimen Is:
Neutrogena Acne Wash Pink Grapefruit Foaming Scrub (cleanser)
Tretinoin/Retin-A 0.05% (exfoliant)
All Day Chemist Hq 4% (lightener)
RX Suncare: Sport Sunblock SPF 50 (sunblock)
-----------------------------------------------
[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
http://theskinphilosophy.forumotion.net

yes___I mean no

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apparently there sunscreen is not the only thing that has been labeled dangerous. i would just stay clear of it

Guest


Guest
A few days ago I puechased the Shiseido sunblock, the 60spf and the 38spf,
so far i love it it absorbs really fast and i love the smell of, i used the 60spf the other day and i went jogging for an hour like around 4 pm and i didnt get a tan, so far i give this sunblock an A, because i used to hate the white cast i used to get from the neutrogena.

MAHARANI

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Arebama,

that is good to know and nice that it does not leave a white caste. Where did you buy it from? Was it on line? I was trying to buy this brand to try a while ago and could not find a reputable site.

Guest


Guest
Thank Maharani
I bought it at Macy's, i bought the face and body lotion 60sfp for $39 and the face and body 38spf for $32.
it has this milk consistency, it look like milk. they also have for the face only but i thought i would be saving more money by getting the face and body one

MAHARANI

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Thanks for that. Well unless I plan another trip to New York, will have to keep searching on line. I find the milk consistency products always blend very well into the skin so guess that's why it sinks in so well. So thanks again for the review

MAHARANI

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I mentioned on another thread that I have bought some Marie Veronique organics sun protection SPF30. I am just waiting for it to arrive from the US, but will be giving a review, as it did get a rating of 1 on the website link above and from other reviews, seems to offer good protection. It is not cheap, but avoiding tanning is very important to me, so am willing to pay extra, if I have to.

MAHARANI

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Well have been trying out the MV, as mentioned above for just over a week. The shipping was extremely fast from the US and their cutomer service is first class.


The product itself........well, in all honesty, I think it is suitable for very light complexions. Though it said it is moisturisng, I found it very hard to blend and quite drying. I also found it illuminated the flaky areas of skin, that I had not noticed before the application. The zinc oxides definitely leaves a caste and I can see that it would give incredible protection for the right skin tone. I tried applying it different ways to see if this would help the blendability. .....rubbing in hands first and then applying......dotting it on the face and then blending. ...etc. But the only thing I could do to help it not look too ashy was to use a bronzer after, which is something I don't really do. I will continue experimenting and see if I can make this work, as I keep hearing that it really does offer great protection.




I have also ordered Purple prairie sun screen and vanicream spf 60 and will also let you know how I find them.


.

MAHARANI

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Have been trying out the Purple prairie for several days now. I had to buy from another company other than the official site, as they had temporarily stoppped stocking it.I Found the company had a first rate customer service and were really dilligent with their contact and tracking info. The shipping was very fast too.


[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


How I found the product......it was definitely more workable than Marie veronique, though it did leave the white caste. I combatted this by rubing in my hands first and then applying it and it definitley helped. The product does sink in well after a short while. As it has been given such positive ratings, would be very happy to continue using it.

beautylala101

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Quiet Type
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WOW this information is alarming! I just looked up dermalogica, their Chroma White SPF30 Pure Light Moisturiser is ok, but not everything is. Here in Australia the maximum amount of suncreen SPF goes to is SPF30. I think SPF100 - gives a false sense of protection to consumers.

I do not understand with this vitamin A. Is it only if vitamin A is included with the sunscreen, or what if I was wearing a vitamin A lotion and then applied my normal sunscreen on top. Or what about if you wear your vitamin A lotion at night time and normal sunscreen in the day, does that still increase the risk? Sorry for rambling on!

http://www.digitalbeauty.com.au

GOTHQUEEN

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If your product says that it can be used in the day then you should be ok. Make sure you are wearing a good sunblock and limit sun exposure. It is preferable to use these type of products at night due to their sensitizing nature.

beautylala101

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Quiet Type
Quiet Type
If vitamin A in sunscreenss accelerates cancer, what about the use of peptides with them, as some peptides work similar to vitamin A? Just a thought as companies are bringing out these new ingredients in there products all the time, but has anyone actually tested them?

http://www.digitalbeauty.com.au

jadamiranda


Visitor
Visitor
Thanks for the info Arebama. It's such a shame that brands that have been recognized as the "best" skin care products in the market couldn't produce products that are safe.
The list on EWG is not updated. I'm using a sunscreen for Omorovicza with spf 20. Well, I hope it won't get a score of 7 up.

http://www.omorovicza.com/us

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