Did you know that despite a greater understanding today of what causes skin cancer, Melanoma rates have actually tripled over the past 35 years? Among other forms of skin protection, using broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 is an important factor in protecting your skin from this deadly form of cancer (see Parts 1, 2 & 3). As a swimming pool owner, you’re likely to go through a lot of sunscreen this summer! So be certain to check the label to make sure it includes the right ingredients — and lacks some not-so-great ones, too.
Here’s a guide to help you know what to look for as you read sunscreen labels.
No Vitamin A
Even though no sunscreen on the market has the capability of causing the kind of deadly skin cancer that you’re at risk for without it, there is one ingredient you do want to avoid: Vitamin A. The hard part is that, like many troublesome ingredients, it can be listed on labels under many names. Vitamin A is an ingredient in many sunscreens and also goes by the following names:
• Retinyl acetate
• Retinyl linoleate
• Retinyl palmitate.
While it seems like a healthy choice to use products that contain extra vitamins, that’s not always a valid assumption. Vitamin A is an antioxidant and can definitely help prevent premature aging of skin; however, it can also produce skin tumors or lesions when used on skin that will be exposed to sunlight — you know, the same skin you’re trying to protect! Up to 10% of sunscreens labeled as “sport” or “beach” sunscreens contain Vitamin A, and a shocking up to 15% of moisturizers with SPFs contain Vitamin A. Look out for Vitamin A on lip products with SPF, as well: up to 5% of those products have been found to contain it.
As important as the SPF may be, it doesn’t indicate that your skin will be protected from all forms of damage. In fact, many sunscreens made in the US lack some ingredients that European sunscreens often include. European sunscreens are required to meet higher standards than their US counterparts, which often leave out potentially vital ingredients that reduce damage to the skin cells. While almost any sunscreen will reduce incidents of sunburn, those lacking these ingredients also lack the ability to combat more significant problems, including premature aging and skin cancer. Hopefully, at some point, the FDA will approve 4 key ingredients already used in European sunscreens.
Sunscreen, like any topically applied product covering large portions of skin, will eventually soak into the skin and be able to be detected in various bodily fluids. Since some ingredients in sunscreens can cause allergic reactions or mimic or block hormones, some people might have lower tolerances to certain sunscreens than others. But that’s still not a reason to abandon these products entirely; instead, it’s best to use them sparingly and in coordination with other forms of protection from the sun’s UVA and UVB rays.
Since 1979 Lyon Financial has made the backyard resort dream come true for over 400,000 families across the U.S. Through our solid relationships with more than 3,000 pool contractors and our continued commitment to putting our clients first, we have built a reputation as the first choice in providing pool financing solutions. For more information, visit lyonfinancial.net or call (877) 754-5966 today.