Just a brief follow up: The Environmental Working Group rates my sunscreen, that which I liberally slather, as a product to avoid, because it is filled with retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone. Here’s what they say about those chemicals:
This year, new concerns have arisen about a form of vitamin A called retinyl palmitate, found in 41 percent of sunscreens. The FDA is investigating whether this compound may accelerate skin damage and elevate skin cancer risk when applied to skin exposed to sunlight. FDA data suggest that vitamin A may be photocarcinogenic, meaning that in the presence of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, the compound and skin undergo complex biochemical changes resulting in cancer. The evidence against vitamin A is far from conclusive, but as long as it is suspect, EWG recommends that consumers choose vitamin A-free sunscreens.
EWG has again flagged products with oxybenzone, a hormone-disrupting compound found in about 60 percent of the 500 beach and sport sunscreens analyzed. The chemical penetrates the skin and enters the bloodstream: biomonitoring surveys conducted by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have detected oxybenzone in the bodies of 97 percent of Americans tested.
Great. That’s just terrific. Perhaps it’s time to rethink the burka. Find your sunscreen and more information at: http://www.ewg.org/2010sunscreen/