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To Screen Or Not - Recent Developments On Sunscreen


I'm a screener - a person of fair skin who applies sunscreen each morning regardless of the season, a person who burns within a matter of minutes in direct sunlight. I burn so easily, that two people handed me a tube of sunscreen with an SPF of 70 written on it the first day I was in Florida this past week.

I've had enough bad burns that I tsk tsk when I see a negligent parent; care giver of child, neglect to keep sunscreen slathered on their child, outside with no hat, no shade within sight. There should be laws against such abuse. Aren't those parents aware how much more likely the child is to get cancer after just one bad sunburn?

I went to my dermatology office just a few days ago - frightened enough by a friend's recent diagnois of melanoma that I thought it time to have that slightly annoying patch of dry skin on the bridge of my nose checked. I was glad I did - it was precancerous.

Hot news the past couple of days: FDA cover-up of knowledge that sunscreens containing vitamin A, retinol and retinyl palmitate actually speed up skin cancers. A supposed half of the 500 products listed promote skin cancer and only 39 of the 500 were 'safe'.

Additionally, there is discussion that sunscreen products containing oxybenzone are obsorbed into the skin making it possible for them to enter the bloodstream. It reportedly messes with hormones. Another negative ingredient: nanosized titanium dioxide is connected to neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, and Huntington's diseases.

To screen or not to screen, to trust the FDA or not, check out your skin care products, read what you can on topic, make your own decision, but please don't let me catch your baby with a sunburn or a tan. You'll recognize me - I'm the pale redhead.


schula 7 years, 9 months ago

I always make sure to wear some sunscreen when I go out in the sun. I have also learned (the hard way) that I need to wear a hat. I have very fine, thin hair and I got my scalp sunburned pretty bad while in the Colorado mountains several years ago. I am not as fair as Ronda but usually wear a 30 - 50 SPF.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

I've just checked my product. It has oxybenzone. It's coppertone nutra shield faces.

Guess I'll be shopping for a new brand this evening - after the sun goes down!

RoeDapple 7 years, 9 months ago

Well . . . . I AM considering rejoining the ranks of the 'employed'. However, as I am much more particular about employment in my later years, I feel only certain kinds of employment will suit me. With that in mind I think I have found the perfect job.

Tanning Butler!!!


I do have big . . . HANDS!!

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

I just saw a tanning butler on tv recently. What a job! Yes, you could slather a slender girl front and back by starting at the top and slipping downwards in one swipe. Although, knowing you, you'd probably insisted you'd missed a spot or two.

Schula, check your ingredients when you get home, or look online for ingredients in your current product. Most likely, you'll have one that has a negative ingredient.

somedude20 7 years, 9 months ago

not good news at all. I rub that sunscreen on me the way that Jenna Jameson rubs......, wait, can't say that here. I get sunburns from the microwave maybe it is not to late to be a sparkly vampire

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes, forgo the sunscreen and avoid light. Go out only after dark. I would suspect any chemical rubbed on our largest body organ would/could result in damage. Yes, I'm talking skin.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Obviously too much sun for me. It took me several minutes to figure out what your picture had to do with somedude's comment. I thought it was hinting at a funeral. Lol.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Jeez, schula, it's true - all men are the same.

Check your suntan lotion ingredients and I'll double check my choice of words.

schula 7 years, 9 months ago

Yep, all men are the same. So juvenile!

Thanks for the reminder to check the ingredients on my sunscreen. Actually, I think I need to buy some new sunscreen. What I have is several years old.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

I did recently read that sunscreen needs to be replaced yearly in order for it to be effective; so by all means do replace it, without the other negative ingredients, yearly.

somedude20 7 years, 9 months ago

thanks kid "...you can be my wingman anytime"

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Now, shula, that's a desparate statement.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Autie, I'm sure you needed your tan skinned, I mean your skin tanned.

Here is a link to check further: www.ewg.org/2010sunscreenguide.

You can get a list of lotions they recommend, as well as plug the one you're currently using in to find out more about it.

I think my grandmother had it correct - she wore a hat, avoided the sun, used lard on her face every evening and had beautiful skin. They knew to stay out of the sun's rays and used umbrellas, etc. Then we became confident in the FDA and medical science and died. :(

don't encourage some dude, any dude.

somedude20 7 years, 9 months ago

"don't encourage some dude, any dude." well that is just not nice =(

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Additional thought. I asked my dermatologist about degree of SPF and he said it's made up to 100 now but didn't recommend it as people become overly confident and think they can stay out all day. What that really means is that if you normally burn in one minute - like autie, Shula and I do - that you can stay out for a around 90 minutes without looking like a worm baked on the side walk after a rainstorm washed it above ground. Remember to apply several times if you sweat profusely such as autie and Roe. Apparently a cuzin thing

schula 7 years, 9 months ago

I like Coppertone brand of suntan lotion. I will check your link and see if it has the bad stuff in it before I purchase any more.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Well, like the worm trying to escape the hook, in other words not wanting to take responsibilty for your skin care or any future skin conditions, I'm going to recommend that you ask your pharmacy and/or dermatologist, or primary health provider. Each person's skin is quite unique

I do have an additional source I'll post if I can find it!

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes, one might do well to start by excluding the suspect products and go from there. I'm going to reaffirm that any product absorbed into the skin in mass needs to have lots of testing done. Self tanning lotions contain nasty chemicals too and tanning beds are not safe

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 9 months ago

When I read what tanning beds might do to your eyesight I was cured of wanting to tan that way for good. And the skin cancer risk was just icing on the cake!

And, to top it all off, the people I know that tan every year, well, they certainly age before their time, they have skin that looks like leather.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm guessing it causes cateracts? I'm sure it's very bright. I luckily was avoiding the sun long before they became the in thing.

Another example of everyone accepting who they are and how we look. I can't be a lovely dark skinned person and they shouldn't try to be me. Makes us all appreciate our differences even more.

Ron Holzwarth 7 years, 8 months ago

A clip: Overexposure can cause other eye problems such as pterygium, which is tissue growth on the white part of the eye, and macula degeneration, which is damage to the retina.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 8 months ago

Thanks, Ron. Nasty conditions to be sure. It's also good to wear proper shades and that hat too.

RoeDapple 7 years, 9 months ago

Well, at the risk of revealing TMI, if'n I wuz to get the aforementioneded job I figure i'd be doin' a lot of sweatin'

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

u bozs cud bot til it an cel ta yur mama

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Are you and Roe son's of the same woman? The one who fathered cousin jack's son?

I knew your mama used your sweat on her cereal but never knew why.

RoeDapple 7 years, 9 months ago

whew! that'un flew rite past me . . ..

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

The sweat flew past you? Too bad. Salty yet sweet

LadyJ 7 years, 9 months ago

Just saw a commercial for Channel 9 news, they are doing a segment tomorrow on this subject, which are the worst and where you can buy safe sunscreen. Personally I have always hated being in the sun. Never laid out in the sun like the other teenage girls. Guess it worked out to be a good thing.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Thanks, Lady. We'll be hearing lots on this topic with varied results I'm sure. And even though I was stupid and forced myself to sunbath many years ago - like this freckled zebra could change her spots, I always felt sick afterwards and would get tiny little sun allergy bumps all over.

Please give us an update if you catch the report and I don't.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

You better check with Roe. I believe he's got a corner on that market. Or was that that he's on the corner with his marketing. Are you two cuzins related?

riverdrifter 7 years, 9 months ago

I use the stuff like crazy upon the advice of my Dr. I tan easy but years & years ago I worked for a couple years as a rig hand for Boots & Coots -oil well fire blowout specialists. Got too much of those intense rays from the fires, so I slather the stuff on -particularly my face, quite liberally. So far, so good. I'm glad I quit when I did. People in that profession get skin cancers at like 20X the general population and this threat is now taken much more seriously than it was in the 1970's.

verity 7 years, 9 months ago

Last summer Lands' End had pants and shirts that block the sun. I've also heard that there are hats that do that. Don't know how it works.

Now they're telling us that we shouldn't wear sun screen all the time because we're not getting nearly enough Vitamin D---need 1000s of units of that a day to be healthy and not depressed. Seems to be the disease of the week.

I give up. "They" keep changing their minds. I'm just going to eat lots of eggs and bacon and the hell with "them."

Ronda Miller 7 years, 9 months ago

Yes, the atkins diet has gone through its ups and downs too

I appreciate what you said about Vitamin D - I'm not sure if the suggestion is that people be out during the worst hours, ten to two, in order to get enough sunshine, but I suspect it's enough if you walk your half hour to hour a day during daylight hours. Avoid peak sun hours - I'd be so burned otherwise no amount of vitamin d would help.

That was the only vitamin my docter advised I take and I think that's the wisest way for me to obtain it - that and a heathy diet. We'll learn next that special sunblock clothing put us at risk. Likely wearing a hat is a smart move in protecting faces, ears, necks.

River, have you checked your sunscreen to see if it contains one of the 'negative' ingredients? What SPF are you using? You've worked some dangerous and unusual jobs.

Bring on the bacon and eggs!

verity 7 years, 8 months ago

"We" have decided that bacon is a vegetable.

riverdrifter 7 years, 8 months ago

Ronda, I don't know what SPF it is but I use the perscription gunk that my Dr. prescribes. BTW, so far, nobody'd ever notice it from looking at me. Whenever I google SPF, it sure does bring up interesting pictures... Know-what-ah-mean....

Ronda Miller 7 years, 8 months ago

Lol, I just googled it myself and now do know what you mean. It's amazing to me how brown some bods can become.

So you actually have a prescription sunscreen? I'm jealous. Did you check the ingredients against those listed above. Are you out of doors, horse races I know, much these days?

Ronda Miller 7 years, 8 months ago

And here I've been jealous of your great coloring all this time. Maybe I'll turn green with envy - only a darker shade than you!

schula 7 years, 8 months ago

Hey everyone -- I wanted to stop in and give everyone the WHOLE day off tomorrow! Have a great weekend!

melott 7 years, 8 months ago

There is no documentation of the research. "Reportedly...". This could be like the mercury in vaccine thing, which has resulted in deaths from a resurgence of communicable diseases. I have learned not to trust anything I read in newspapers about medicine. The writers have no training or knowledge and no interest in getting any.

Ronda Miller 7 years, 8 months ago

Melott, research things yourself. You likely trust a news source somewhere. There are many people who are still convinced mercury is there and causing problems in reference to your vaccine statement. I learned a long time ago not to believe what I read, heard, or even witnessed personally - we've discovered we all view incidents differently. We live different realities based on influencing factors in our personal worlds. Go ask Alice when she's ten feet tall.

Stephanie Harris 7 years, 8 months ago

I am also a fair-skinned Irish girl and my 3 year old daughter unfortunately is cursed with my complexion. We slather up always since we end up looking like lobsters! :) A good resource that I've found regarding chemicals in sunscreens etc. is: http://safemama.com/2010/04/09/safemamas-2010-safer-sunscreen-cheat-sheet/

Ronda Miller 7 years, 8 months ago

Thanks, Murphy, I'll check this out. In the long run, you and your daughter will be healthier and look younger longer. :)

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