Is sunscreen useless?

Applying sunscreen Credit: Mikhail Nilov, Pexels

Swedish researchers at the Umeå University argue that there´s not enough evidence proving benefits of sunscreens.

One of the most increasing forms of cancer in Sweden, skin cancer is linked to sun exposure and many believe in the use of sunscreens for guaranteed protection.

According to the Radiation Safety Authority, applying sunscreen provides protection from the sun, yet researchers at the Umeå University are doubting the results. “The scientific support that sunscreen protects against skin cancer is weak. Therefore, one should be careful in recommending it as a protection,” said Bengt Järvholm, a senior physician and professor at Umeå.

He linked his doubt to the increase in skin cancer in Sweden, despite the rising use of sunscreen. “It cannot be explained by an increased frequency of reporting to the cancer registry as the mortality rate in malignant melanoma is also increasing,” stated Järvholm.

The risks associated with using sunscreen are not known and have not been scientifically established. “Some substances pass through the skin, which can be measured by studying the presence of the substances or their breakdown products in the urine. The risks of this are not fully known,” said Järvholm.

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Written by

Anna Akopyan

Originally from Moscow, with Russian and Armenian origins, Anna has lived in Costa Blanca for over ten years. She is passionate about singing, acting and traveling.


    • Concha

      06 July 2024 • 16:49

      Maybe if there had been a rise in bladder cancer, one might be able to suggest a link with sunscreen use, but I’m sure it is down to people misunderstanding how to use sunscreens in the first place, rather than the products themselves. It’s not that long ago that SPF 15 was considered high and the use of SPF 3 in oils was very frequent indeed. Now I don’t leave the house without using at least SPF 30, a minimum of 15 minutes before leaving the house. A lot of people don’t apply any sunscreen before they’re actively sunbathing, and they’re just not using enough of it. I still regularly see people around with red sunburn; skin so damaged that it will peel off.
      I use “Altruist”, a dermatologist-designed sunscreen that looks after humans and also the oceans and reefs, and it is vegan too. Developed by Dr. Andrew Birnie, who has founded a children’s charity in Tanzania, to support those born with albinism in the whole of Africa. His message is EDUCATION and AWARENESS, because the incorrect use of sunscreen is never enough. There is a comprehensive website packed full of information if one takes just a moment to do a Google search.

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