PABA and oxybenzone
The controversy around sunscreens arose around 2 ingredients in particular over the past decade.
PABA, an ingredient protecting against UVB radiation, became contentious with allegations that it may induce skin cancer. Ultraviolet Burning radiation (UVB) interacting with PABA when the sunscreen was applied to skin was thought to induce DNA damage in the skin cells.
Further review of both old and new data do not support this theory. PABA has consistently shown protection from sunburn; skin damage and aging.
Oxybenzone is the second ingredient to be scrutinized. Oxybenzone is a common ingredient in both sunscreens, face creams and lip products.
Oxybenzone allegedly can cause hormonal disruptions, cellular damage, and allergies.
Despite many sensational articles around oxybenzone, most experts agree that the evidence is still weak and unconvincing.
Vitamin D deficiency due to sunscreens
Recent evidence suggests that use of sunscreens may be contributing to vitamin D deficiencies, and resurgence of bone pathologies related to low vitamin D levels.
Some experts say that despite the use of sunblock, people still get enough sunlight to allow the body to produce vitamin D.
Others recommend the use of vitamin D3 supplementation weekly, especially in darker skinned individuals.
5 – 20 minutes of sunlight several days a week is thought to be sufficient to produce adequate vitamin D levels in the body.
There is still much debate around the topic.
Irritation and sensitivity with sunscreens
True allergies to sunscreens are very rare, and allergies should not form part of the reason not to apply sunscreens.
Irritation and sensitivity, especially on thin skinned areas such as around the eye, are possible.
Most “allergies” related to sunscreens are likely due to fragrances and preservatives than to the sunscreen agents themselves.
Eczema suffers are especially prone to reactions with sunscreen agents. Sensitive skins should opt for zinc oxide or titanium dioxide for sun protection.
Find out more about our treatments