Can Sunscreen Cause Skin Cancer

Most people are concerned about the potentially deadly rays from the sun, and therefore they have opted to use sunscreen to protect themselves from skin cancer.

We have all been assured by doctors and the manufactures of sunscreen that it is the most basic and safe way of guarding against skin cancer.

But in recent years studies have suggested that sunscreen may not prevent some forms of skin cancer.

Research published in the journal Nature found that sunscreen can protect against sunburn, but cannot protect against skin damage from ultraviolet rays (UV).

It can be hard to avoid the effects of UV rays as they can reach you on a cloudy and hazy day, as well as bright and sunny days. UV rays also reflect off of surfaces like water, cement, sand, and snow. Indoor tanning (using a tanning bed, booth, or sunlamp to get tan) exposes users to UV radiation as well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the hours between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Daylight Saving Time (9 a.m. to 3 p.m. standard time) are the most hazardous for UV exposure outdoors in the continental United States. UV rays from sunlight are the greatest during the late spring and early summer in North America.

The CDC also says that dangerous UV radiation emitted from the sun and tanning beds are the primary reason for the skyrocketing incidence of melanoma over the last three decades.

Therefore, it has always been taunted by the medical community that UV rays make us more vulnerable to skin cancer.

We need to ask though, what is really causing skin cancer – the sun or the administration of a sunscreen lotion?

Sunscreen Linked To Cancer Risk

Sunscreen Linked To Cancer Risk

As we have been taught to fear the sun, the result is we soak our skin with sunscreen. But did you know that you are lathering on lotion that is full of toxic, hormone-disrupting chemicals?

The Journal of Chromatography. B, Analytical Technologies in the Biomedical and Life Sciences journal, published a study performed at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Manitoba, Canada, looking to develop a method for measuring typical sunscreen agents (chemicals used in the making of sunscreen).

Sunscreen Linked To Cancer RiskThe results revealed a significant penetration of all sunscreen agents into the skin, implying that the chemicals are also entering or are being absorbed by several tissues and organs within the body.

Below are a few of the chemicals found in sunscreen with studies that link these chemicals to skin cancer.

These chemicals include: oxybenzone, retinyl palmitate or vitamin-A Palmitate, parabens, and phthalates.

Oxybenzone: associated with photoallergic reactions. This chemical absorbs through the skin in significant amounts. It contaminates the bodies of 97% of Americans according to research by the CDC.

Produces excess reactive oxygen species that can interfere with cellular signaling, cause mutations, leads to cell death and may be implicated in cardiovascular disease.

Retinyl palmitate (RP) or Vitamin-A: The journal, American Academy of Dermatology states that RP according to the Environmental Working Group is a potential photocarcinogenic.

Toxicology and Industrial Health published saying that medical studies have suggested that RP and its two photodecomposition products, AR and 5,6-epoxy-RP, induce DNA damage and cytotoxicity when irradiated with UVA plus visible light. And that RP generates free radicals that initiate DNA strand cleavage.

Parabens: Scientific research has shown that the perceived influx of estrogen beyond normal levels can in some cases trigger reactions such as increasing breast cell division and the growth of tumors.

The journal Scientific American published the non-profit Campaign for Safe Cosmetics (CSC) as saying, “Of greatest concern is that parabens are known to disrupt hormone function, an effect that is linked to increased risk of breast cancer and reproductive toxicity. Parabens mimic estrogen by binding to estrogen receptors on cells.”

CSC cites a 2004 British study that detected traces of five parabens in the breast tumors of 19 out of 20 women studied. “This small study does not prove a causal relationship between parabens and breast cancer, but it is important because it detected the presence of intact parabens—unaltered by the body’s metabolism—which is an indication of the chemical’s ability to penetrate skin and remain in breast tissue.”

CSC also has reported that parabens have been linked to reproductive, immunological, neurological and skin irritation problems.

Phthalates: The National Institutes of Health says that phthalates are a group of chemicals used to soften and increase the flexibility of plastic and vinyl.

Some phthalates are used as solvents (dissolving agents) for other materials. They are used in hundreds of products, such as vinyl flooring, adhesives, detergents, lubricating oils, automotive plastics, plastic clothes (raincoats), and personal-care products (soaps, shampoos, hair sprays, sunscreen, and nail polishes).

Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is listed as an anticipated human carcinogen in the Fourteenth Report on Carcinogens published by the National Toxicology Program.

Studies have shown that sunscreen can not protect you against skin cancer, but rather possibly cause it. The question then is, are there alternatives or natural ways to protect your skin when exposed to the sun?

Naturally Protect Yourself Against Skin Cancer

Naturally Protect Yourself Against Skin Cancer

the sun - vitamin d and skin cancerWhile we do need protection to prevent sunburns, blocking out the sun is far from ideal.

The sun offers a variety of health benefits.

There are natural alternatives other than sun screen to protect yourself from skin cancer.

Vitamin D

Exposing your skin to the sun helps your body make vitamin-D, which is technically a hormone.

And unusually vitamin-D production is enough to prevent skin cancer.

The Linus Pauling Institute at Organ State University says that covering exposed skin or using sunscreen whenever outside are risk factors for vitamin-D deficiency.

Science has also known and revealed that what we put on our skin soaks through and winds up in our bodies tissues and organs.

Medical studies of cancer cells and tumors have found that vitamin-D has several activities that may slow or prevent the development of cancer, including promoting cellular differentiation, decreasing cancer cell growth, stimulating cell death (apoptosis), and reducing tumor blood vessel formation (angiogenesis).

The journal Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers & Prevention published that cell proliferation (cells becoming cancerous) decreases with increasing levels of vitamin-D.

Epidemiological studies indicate that vitamin-D insufficiency could have an aetiological role in various human cancers as published in the journal Nature Reviews Cancer.

The journal also states that preclinical and clinical studies support the development of 1alpha,25(OH)2D3 as an analog of vitamin-D for therapeutic and preventative anticancer agent.

The More You Know

In chemistry analog is defined as a compound with a molecular structure closely similar to that of another


Nicotinamide a form of vitamin B-3 has protective effects against ultraviolet damage caused by sun exposure. And the vitamin has shown to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

In a randomized controlled trial study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the risks of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma were significantly reduced by 23% when using nicotinamide.

The vitamin is safe and can be purchased over-the-counter.

skin eternal - dna skin supportHarvard recommends taking B-3 at 500 mg twice a day. They say it is especially helpful for patients with a history of a basal cell carcinoma or squamous cell carcinoma, or with extensive skin damage due to sun exposure.

The admonition is, that the vitamin must be taken continuously, as the benefits are lost once stopped.

Is niacinamide the same as niacin (vitamin B-3)?
Niacinamide is derived from niacin. And the body is able to convert niacin into niacinamide. These two are components often used as supplements interchangeably.
Niacin is used for a variety of skin problems, including inflammation, acne, rosacea, dull skin tone and sagging skin. Regular use can help reduce these problems.
Vitamin B-3 also helps the skin with moisture retention and aids skin’s elasticity and tone.
You can use supplements but to increase the benefits of niacin for your skin, eat fish, meats, grains and green vegetables and other foods high in vitamin B-3.


Scientific studies have shown that carotenoids, the antioxidants responsible for the vivid colors of many fruits and vegetables, may provide added protection from the sun.

Lycopene and lutein are two of those carotenoids.

The British Journal of Dermatology published a study with results from a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study. The wrote saying, that oral supplementation with lycopene or lutein protects human skin against ultraviolet radiation.

Another study published in the Journal of Nutrition saying that study data demonstrate that it is feasible to achieve protection against UV light-induced erythema by ingestion of a commonly consumed dietary source of lycopene (such as with tomato paste).

The More You Know

Erythema  is redness of the skin or mucous membranes, caused by hyperemia (increased blood flow) in superficial capillaries. It occurs with any skin injury, infection, or inflammation.

The British Journal of Dermatology also concluded that tomato paste containing lycopene provides protection against acute and potentially longer-term aspects of photo damage.

Trace Minerals Research Ionic Zinc - 2 fl ozSupplementing with  lycopene and eating tomatoes, watermelons, bell peppers, kale and other carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables is definitely a good idea if you spend a lot of time in the sun.


Zinc is an effective anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent, helping fight oxidative stress and decrease the chance for disease development, including as a natural cancer treatment.

Zinc supports healthy cell division, preventing cancerous cell mutation and stunting tumor growth.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a studying saying that zinc supplementation, lowered the incidence of infections, and that zinc-supplemented study subjects had significantly higher plasma zinc, and generation of tumor necrosis factor alpha and oxidative stress markers was significantly lower in the zinc-supplemented than in the placebo group.

In Conclusion

In Conclusion

As studies have shown, sunscreen can cause cancer. But including the dietary vitamins, minerals and antioxidants noted in this article in your diet, can help to protect your skin when exposed to the sun from skin cancer.

Keep in mind though, for these nutrients to do their job, you need to be consuming them daily.

A Safer More Natural Alternative To Commercial Sunscreens

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


You Need To Read This
What is food synergy? Researcher David Jacobs, PhD, at the University of Minnesota, defines food…
HTML Snippets Powered By :