Is Your Sunscreen Poisoning You?

There is an interesting article (and accompanying television segment) from plastic surgeon and fellow ASAPS member, Dr. Arthur Perry, on the possible long-term side effects of chemical sunscreens.  From his article on www.doctoroz.com:

There are 17 individual sunscreen ingredients that are FDA approved: 15 of these are clear chemicals that absorb UV light and two are made of minerals that reflect UV light. Of these 15, nine are known endocrine disruptors. To be effective, chemical sunscreens need to be rubbed into their skin 20 minutes before sun exposure. They do a pretty good job at blocking UV light, but they actually get used up as the sun shines on them. In fact, some sunscreens lose as much as 90% of their effectiveness in just an hour, so they need to be reapplied often. This is not the case with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, the two mineral, or physical, sunscreens. These two work very differently – they sit on the surface of the skin and physically block UV light.

Chemical sunscreens don’t sit on the surface of the skin – they soak into it and quickly find their way into the bloodstream. They scatter all over the body without being detoxified by the liver and can be detected in blood, urine, and breast milk for up to two days after a single application. That would be just fine if they were uniformly safe – but they’re not.

As I mentioned, nine of the 15 chemical sunscreens are considered endocrine disruptors. Those are chemicals that interfere with the normal function of hormones. The hormones most commonly disturbed are estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and thyroid. Endocrine disruptors, like some ingredients in chemical sunscreens, can cause abnormal development of fetuses and growing children. They cause early puberty and premature breast development in girls, and small and undescended testicles in boys. They cause low sperm counts and infertility. Endocrine disruptors that act like estrogen can contribute to the development of breast and ovarian cancers in women, and other endocrine disruptors may increase the chance of prostate cancer in men.

Pretty scary stuff, isn’t it?  To be completely transparent, Dr. Perry does have his own line of skin care products, which include the sunscreen Zinc Oxide.  However, I’ve met Dr. Perry, read some of his books, and am in a committee with him for the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).  He’s a solid guy and a very well-respected, board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City.  To learn about his line of skin care products, go to www.drperrys.com.

To read the rest of his article, click HERE.

 

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Posted in: Plastic Surgery News


Responses:

  1. In a word, micronized zinc oxide. Goes on clear but works like the thick white pasty stuff. I carry a product called “Total Block” which works great. There are many others on the market, most can be purchased through a plastic surgeon or dermatologist.

    Comment by Dr Hainer on May 10, 2013 at 1:17 pm

  2. Thanks for this post. My skin looks good for my age, b/c I use sunscreen daily. But now I realize that my favorite sunscreens are all the chemical kind and may not be appropriate for my days in the sun on a horse. At one time I bought Burt’s Bees 8% titanium dioxide and hated how it applied, but now I will be more tolerate of the drawbacks of a physical sunblock that will last longer for sunny days at 7000 ft.

    Comment by TetonCowgirl on May 10, 2013 at 11:01 pm

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