Blog | Friday, May 27, 2011

QD: News Every Day--Cheapest sunscreens ranked most effective

Just in time for Memorial Day, Consumer Reports ranked sunscreens, finding out which ones are best. The good news is that it's the less expensive brands.

Foot by Aine D via Flickr and a Creative Commons licenseConsumer Reports ranked them on usability, not medical criteria such as potential side effects of active and inactive ingredients. The American Academy of Dermatology delves into that more in-depth,

Oxybenzone has been an ingredient in sunscreen since 1978, and contrary to recent reports, it's not been linked to hormonal alterations or other significant health issues, the AAD stated in a press release. Retinyl palmitate is a form of vitamin A that used in sunscreens as an antioxidant to improve product performance against the aging effects of UV exposure. Despite test tube studies and one unpublished report using mice, topical and oral retinoids are widely prescribed to treat a number of skin diseases, such as acne and psoriasis, and there is no published evidence to suggest either increase the risk of skin cancer in these patients.

Vitamin D synthesis is also not an issue, the AAD stated. The AAD recommends consuming vitamin D from foods naturally rich in it, such as dairy and fish, fortified foods and beverages, or vitamin D supplements. The organization recently updated its position statement on vitamin D based on the published review of the increasing body of scientific literature conducted by the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. A summary of that report and more on vitamin D and calcium supplements is available here.

Conveniently, Consumer Reports provided the warning signs that moles are actually skin cancer, the ABCDE mnemonic of Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter and Evolving.