Friday, July 06, 2007

Sunscreen revisited

...Every summer come the sunscreen finger-wagging stories. You must apply a shot glass worth, not a tiny schmear…etc.

…But what if a lot of what is written about sunscreen is marketing malarky?

…People stand and agonize over the SPF factors…15 or 45?

…Writing in the NYT (July 5, 2007), Natasha Singer tells of coating kids with 30 and 50 and two hours later, grabbing them off the grill, their backs “as pink as watermelon.”

…UVA, UVB, waterproof, muttered their mother, unimpressed.

…More and people use the stuff, 13% more than 2005.

…Along with the revenue-making possibilities of these creams, gels, pads, etc., has come the hype: Extra Protection! All Day! Sweatproof!

…What does the FDA say? Er, well, it has not looked at this in 30 years.

...It says duh.

…The Conn Atty General is outraged! He sent aletter to the FDA. New regs may be in the offing.

…Stats do show sunscreen does cut squamous cell cancers.

…Its effectiveness against the deadlier melanoma is not as clear.

…SPF 15 cuts 94% of UVB rays. SPF 30 cuts 97%. Not a huge diff.

…Also no one slathers it on the way they should—and the way it is used in the lab.

…Also some don’t filter out UVA rays—also a danger. For UVA agents go to

…Even if the FDA ges new rules, they won’t be in effect for 2 yrs or so. “All Day protection” will probably not be allowed. It doesn’t last all day!

…Use a teaspoon on your face and a shot glass on your body.

…Make sure it has something for UVA—zinc oxide, titanium oxide, or Mexoryl SX.

…And reapply after swimming.

…Hint: A bottle should not last all summer.

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