Put Away the Sunscreen?

Almost half of the 500 most popular sunscreen products may actually increase the speed at which malignant cells develop and spread skin cancer because they contain vitamin A or its derivatives, according to an evaluation of those products released today.

Don't count on them to keep the ultraviolet light from destroying your skin cells and causing tumors and lesions, according to researchers at Environmental Working Group.

In their annual report to consumers on sunscreen, they say that only 39 of the 500 products they examined were considered safe and effective to use.

The report cites these problems with bogus sun protection factor (SPF) numbers:
The use of the hormone-disrupting chemical oxybenzone, which penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream.
Overstated claims about performance.
The lack of needed regulations and oversight by the Food and Drug Administration.

But the most alarming disclosure in this year's report is the finding that vitamin A and its derivatives, retinol and retinyl palmitate, may speed up the cancer that sunscreen is used to prevent.

The full list of the best and worst sunscreens can be found on the EWG's searchable database.

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