You can catch skin cancer early by following dermatologists' tips for checking your skin.
The Environmental Working Group and recent media reports have questioned the health risks of some sunscreen ingredients, specifically oxybenzone and retinyl palmitate, as well as the use of nanotechnology in sunscreen. Raised concerns with oxybenzone are that it can possibly trigger allergic reactions, is a potential hormone disruptor and penetrates the skin in relatively large amounts. Some experts caution that it should not be used on children. The Enviromental Work Group states that in a 2009 US government study Vitamin A, retinyl palmitate, when applied to the skin in the presence of sunlight can speed the development of skin tumors and lesions.
On the other hand, The American Academy of Dermatology reiterated the safety and effectiveness of sunscreens. Dr. Ronald L. Moy, MD, FAAD, President of the Academy states, "Scientific evidence supports the benefits of sunscreen usage to minimize short and long-term damage to the skin from UV radiation and outweighs any unproven claims of toxicity or human health hazard. Oxybenzone is one of the few FDA-approved ingredients that provides effective broad-spectrum protection from UV radiation, and has been approved for use since 1978. "Contrary to recent reports, available scientific literature and decades of public use does not support a link between oxybenzone in sunscreen and hormonal alterations, or other significant health issues in humans," stated Dr. Moy. "The FDA has approved oxybenzone in sunscreen for use on children older than six months, and dermatologists continue to encourage protecting children by playing in the shade, wearing protective clothing and applying broad-spectrum sunscreen." Retinyl palmitate is a form of vitamin A (retinol), but is not an active drug ingredient in sunscreen. When used in sunscreen, retinyl palmitate serves cosmetic purposes as an antioxidant to improve product performance against the aging effects of UV exposure, or to enhance product aesthetic qualities. "Topical and oral retinoids are widely prescribed to treat a number of skin diseases, such as acne and psoriasis, and there is no published evidence to suggest either increases the risk of skin cancer in these patients," said Dr. Moy.
"The broad-spectrum sunscreen ingredients titanium dioxide and zinc oxide leave a white residue on the skin following application when used in a larger particle form. However, when these active ingredients are converted into nanoparticles Ė smaller, lighter molecules Ė they appear to vanish on the skin, do not leave a residue, and retain and enhance their ability to block UVA and UVB light. One of the main benefits of nanoparticles in sunscreens is that the small molecules can provide more protection and more even coverage on the skinís surface than larger particles. Titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have a long history of safe use in sunscreens and offer good options for broad-spectrum UV protection."
There is a myriad of evidence to support the need to protect oneself from the damaging effects of UV radiation. Thus, the sunscreen controversy and debates that may concern parents is the question concerning the safety of sunscreens that contain Retinyl palmitate and Oxybenzone. Are they safe? It depends on whom you ask, and although a lot of experts already think they are safe, more studies will likely be done. Retinyl palmitate is present in such tiny concentrations this will probably becomes a non-issue. Even though these ingredients are in 40 to 60 percent of sunscreens, there are alternative sunscreens with other ingredients.
Here is a List of Sunscreen's by Ingredients:
Eye Creams with SPF
Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Eye Cream, Anti-Sun-Damage SPF 15 (avobenzone with other ingredients)
La Roche Posay Hydra phase UV Eyes Hydrating Protective Eye Cream SPF 29 (Titanium with other ingredients)
Shiseido Sun Protective Eye Cream PA, SPF 32 (Zinc Oxide with other ingredients)