A ‘Sea Change’ Is Coming with New FDA Proposed Regulations
What if the real danger is in your sunscreen? We have been told for decades that slathering sunscreen on our bodies was protecting us from the harmful effects of the sun. In what was called a “significant action”, the FDA announced Thursday, February 21, 2019 it was proposing new regulations to make suncare protection more “safe and effective”. Here’s what you need to know to make informed decisions about the sunscreens you use.
A staggering 14 of 16 sunscreen ingredients are under scrutiny by the FDA, acknowledging that chemicals used in sunscreens absorb into the skin.
Check out our variety of mineral sunscreen products here.
Scott Gottlieb, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, shared the catalyst for this new proposal, “Since the initial evaluation of these products, we know much more about the effects of the sun and about sunscreen absorption through the skin. Sunscreen usage has changed, with more people using these products more frequently and in larger amounts.” He continued with a statement that may change the trajectory of the billion-dollar sunscreen industry, “Consumers should know that the products they’re using to protect themselves are effective at guarding them from harmful UV radiation and safe to use on themselves and their families. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.”
With mounting scientific evidence indicating that these chemicals are harmful to humans, the FDA had no choice but to re-evaluate the toxicicity potential of these chemicals. Oxybenzone and Octinoxate have already been banned in Hawaii and Key West, FL due to indications of their damaging impact on reefs and marine life. We fully expect that many other states, cities and municipalities will be joining the movement. 96% of sunscreens contain these active ingredients, based on a study by the Center for Disease and Control.
The Real Danger
Here’s how it works and why you should rethink your sunscreen – the chemical ingredients under examination work by creating a chemical reaction on the skin surface. As chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin, the penetrating UV rays can also create a similar chemical reaction. Yes, a chemical reaction inside your skin! Think about that. How could that be safe? Common sense says it can’t be. The FDA confirmed that they cannot even confirm that these chemical sunscreens are themselves safe.
For Those That Love the Science
Some chemical sunscreens can also become endocrine disruptors and may interfere with thyroid and other hormone processes in the body. Oxybenzone, specifically, can reduce sperm count in men and may contribute to endometriosis in women. Oxybenzone is dangerous to both children and pregnant/breastfeeding women - polluting breast milk. One research study even showed that Oxybenzone changed the sex of a young fish! It’s time the FDA thinks about saying NO to the O’s in sunscreen.
What Sunscreen Should I Use?
In the FDA announcement, only 2 ingredients - Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide - found in mineral sunscreens were deemed safe or “GRASE” (Generally Regarded as Safe and Effective). These ingredients create a physical barrier on the surface of the skin that reflect the sun’s harmful rays vs. chemical sunscreens that absorb the sun’s rays - and sometimes inside your skin.
When choosing a sunscreen, flip it over and read the active ingredients. If it contains any of the chemicals Oxybenzone, Avobenzone, Octisalate, Octocrylene, Homosalate and Octinoxate – it’s good to avoid until they are deemed safe. In the meantime, only choose sunscreens containing Zinc Oxide and Titanium Dioxide. Don’t be fooled by misleading language on the front saying “no Oxybenzone”; many have removed that ingredient, but still have chemical ingredients that are unproven as safe.
At the end of the day, we are stoked that the FDA validated the reason we started our company. We’ve believed from the beginning that there had to be a safer way to offer sun protection. The simple truth is that it was hard work to make a sunscreen that protects while avoiding potentially toxic chemicals, and the big sunscreen manufacturers know this too. Using high quality mineral sunscreens does cost more than chemical sunscreens, yet consumers have the choice when selecting what sunscreens to use. It took us over 5 years to develop a sunscreen with no compromise – no potentially toxic active ingredients, great sun protection - meeting the U.S. 80 and Australian 240 minute water resistance tests, easy to apply and no ghostly white residue, smells great and no eye-sting. Whether you choose TropicSport or not, we urge you to find a mineral sunscreen that works for you – it’s that important!
Once the FDA proposal is issued, the FDA will seek public comment on the proposed rule and will consider those comments as the agency works towards developing a final rule. In the mean time, you can get ahead of the change and start using sunscreens that include only GRASE ingredients, like TropicSport.
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