Does your sunscreen contain benzophenone or oxybenzone? If so, read on…
Many sunscreens contain benzophenone or derivatives of it as their active ingredient. Benzophenone is used because it is activated by ultraviolet light, absorbing it and thus preventing it from penetrating deeper into the skin where it may cause damage.
However benzophenone is one of the most powerful free radical generators known to man. Benzophenone is used in scientific research specifically to generate free radicals in order to be able to test the effectiveness of synthetic and natural antioxidant compounds. Free radical damage to cellular DNA is the primary cause of most cancers. Benzophenone and oxybenzone generate free radicals by their chemical reaction to ultraviolet light. So whilst these ingredients may offer some protection against sunburn, it may ironically be contributing to a higher risk of skin cancer through excessive free radical production.
Consider the following abstract from a 1996 study in Germany…
|Oxybenzone oxidation following solar irradiation of skin: photoprotection versus antioxidant inactivation
Author: Schallreuter KU; Wood JM; Farwell DW; Moore J; Edwards HG
Address: Department of Dermatology, University of Hamburg, Germany.
Source: J Invest Dermatol, 106(3):583-6 1996 Mar
We followed the fate of the broadly used ultraviolet UVA sun blocker, oxybenzone, after topical application to the skin. Our results showed that oxybenzone is rapidly photo-oxidized. Although oxybenzone is an excellent broad spectrum UVA filter, its rapid oxidation followed by the inactivation of important antioxidant systems indicates that this substance may be rather harmful to the homeostasis of the epidermis.
In other words, not only does oxybenzone generate free radicals upon exposure to ultraviolet light, but it also inactivates the very antioxidant mechanisms which protect the body against free radical damage or oxidization.
Statistical research has revealed that skin cancer rates in Australia are the highest in the world. The highest per capita skin cancer rate within Australia is in Queensland where the medical community and the government have been actively promoting the use of sunscreens for many years, and yet the ozone layer has not changed significantly in this area. It is now estimated that by the age of 75, 2 out of every 3 Australians will have been treated for some form of skin cancer. The highest incidences of skin cancer have occured in countries where the use of chemical sunscreens containing benzophenone and oxybenzone have been promoted the most.
Ultraviolet rays have three distinct types; UVA, UVB and UVC. UVB rays cause sunburn (known medically as erythema). Sunscreens based on benzophenone and other ultraviolet activated ingredients, whilst they may reduce the amount of UVB rays entering the skin, do not offer as much protection against the more rigourous UVA rays. UVA rays are not absorbed by the ozone layer and yet they penetrate deeper into the skin than UVB and UVC. Chemical sunscreens only resist UVA penetration at 10% of the UVB protection factor, certainly not enough to prevent serious long term damage.
Physical sunscreens work by reflecting all ultraviolet light. Ingredients such as titanium dioxide and zinc oxide are very efficient UV reflectors. Talc has also been promoted in the same capacity, but LIFE Studio does not support the use of talc in any application involving humans as it has been linked to cancer (especially ovarian cancer).
LIFE Studio Research wishes to commend International Health News for their recent report on this vital issue.
Read their worthwhile report now