Spin Doctoring Sunscreens

According to this New York Times article, the FDA has announced that it will start improving the legislation regarding labels on sunscreens in the US. The major concern seems to be the hype about SPF (Sun Protection Factor) ratings on various products. People are now asking "is SPF 80 really better than SPF 30?"

The article, to its credit, covers many angles - many of which are still controversial in this day and age - mentioning the toxic ingredients that are often found in some sunscreens, most in my opinion, are likely responsible for the sudden increase in skin cancers recently.

It’s also likely that these ingredients are not just the usual suspects when it comes to skin cancers... excessive exposure to the UV radiation overtime may also have an influence, especially since some sunscreens tend to give users a false sense of security. The common perception is “it’s okay guys, I’ve slapped on some sunscreen so I can lie in the sun all day.”

I’m a regular reader of Seth Godin’s blog and his latest entry touches on the ethics surrounding sunscreen marketing. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Xtend-Life Chairman Warren Matthews has mentioned SPFs and sunscreens many times. Regular readers of his blog should be able to recall entries like:


Common sense must override the hype generated by sunscreen marketers. People need to know the facts about sunscreen and the risks of prolonged overexposure to UV radiation. Although, they also need to be aware of the health benefits associated with controlled and sensible exposure to sunlight such as a natural healthy dose of vitamin D.

NOTE from Warren:  "I also think that part of the increase in the incidence of skin cancer is due partially to the lack of sun exposure on the skin and a consequence of Vitamin D deficiency."

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