More Sunscreen, Please

by Neela George on  September 10, 2006 at 11:12 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
More Sunscreen, Please
Recent studies have shown that when one is out in the sun, sunscreen should be applied at least once every 2 hours, else it would be better not using any in the first place.

So says Kerry Hanson, a chemist at the University of California at Riverside. She and her colleagues exposed human skin samples grown in the lab to UV radiation while they were covered with three common UV filters found in sunscreens: benzophenone-3, octocrylene and octylmethoxycinnamate. After just 1 hour, they found each compound had sunk into the skin, meaning its protective effect was greatly reduced. Worse, Hanson's team found that the samples contained more reactive oxygen species (ROS) than skin exposed to UV with no sunscreen on it. ROS are free radicals that can damage skin cells and increase the risk of skin cancer.

The Skin Cancer Foundation in New York recommends that people go no more than 2 hours between reapplications of sunscreen. Our findings tend to support that, says Hanson.

It might actually be necessary to reapply even more often. One way of counteracting free radicals, Hanson says, might be to add antioxidants such as vitamins C and E to sunscreens. "In previous work, we've shown that antioxidants can help neutralise ROS in the skin," she says, though she has yet to perform the same experiment with sunscreen.

The notion that sunscreen can increase damage to skin caused by UV rays is startling, says a spokeswoman for the Skin Cancer Foundation. "It's a very strong statement they're making." The take-home message? Reapply regularly.

Source: Eurekalert

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

View All