Lather on Safe Sunscreens

The sun’s blazing hot rays do untold damages to the skin. With summer at its peak, it is not recommended to go out without applying a sunscreen of at least 50 SPF on the exposed areas of face and body to ward off the dangers of the UV rays.

A new study, reported in Down To Earth (–64404) now claims that active ingredients in sunscreen can end up in your bloodstream, posing serious questions whether the cosmetic product needs to be regulated like medicines before use.

The report quotes a four-group pilot study, led by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The study involved 24 healthy volunteers, to determine whether the active ingredients — avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule — of four commercially available sunscreens (not named in the study) are absorbed into the body during maximum sunscreen use (four times per day for four days).

All the four ingredients tested resulted in plasma concentrations exceeding 0.5 nanograms per millilitre (ng/mL) — the threshold established by the FDA for potentially waiving some non-clinical toxicology studies for sunscreens — the clinical effect of which remains unknown so far, the report mentions.While it is advisable to consult a dermatologist on the best sunscreens to use, one can also dig out grandma’s recipes for skincare in summer. A mix of tomato and carrot juice, for instance, can be applied twice a week to ward off sun’s damages. Even a mix of strawberries and raw milk helps in detanning.