In response to the Environmental Working Group’s review, the American Academy of Dermatology issued a statement reminding the public that sunscreen remains an important way to protect yourself from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.
The EWG finds that two-thirds of sunscreens on the market do not meet safety or efficacy standards. The EWG and dermatologists say, however, that the findings do not mean people should stop using sunscreen.
AAD President George Hruza, MD, MBA, noted that “Recent accounts of the FDA’s proposed sunscreen rule in the news incorrectly suggest that many sunscreens currently on the market do not meet safety requirements of the FDA. In fact, only two ingredients were proposed to be unsafe — PABA and trolamine salicylate — and these are no longer available in the US.”
After decades of use, there have been no reported data of systemic internal side effects from the use of sunscreen. The FDA has asked for more data on certain ingredients to find out to what extent the skin absorbs these ingredients and if absorbing sunscreen has any effects on the skin or body. This does not mean that the FDA is expressing concern about sunscreen ingredients, nor have they concluded that any of the sunscreen ingredients sold in the US are unsafe, Dr. Hruza said.
“As dermatologists, we know that unprotected exposure to the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays is the most preventable risk factor for skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form. Sunscreen can help protect the public from harmful UV rays—making it a vital tool in the fight against skin cancer,” Dr. Hruza affirmed.