Dr. David Brownstein, M.D
Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Tags: sunscreen | cancer | vitamin d | dr. brownstein

Sunscreen: Effective or Harmful?

David Brownstein, M.D. By Tuesday, 10 October 2023 04:30 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

We’ve been told over and over to avoid sun exposure and to use sunscreen when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. But are the chemicals in sunscreen safe for the skin?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that active ingredients in sunscreen with systemic absorption greater than 0.5 ng/L or with safety concerns should undergo toxicology assessments, including carcinogenicity and reproductive studies. Thereafter, researchers looked at whether the active ingredients — avobenzone, oxybenzone, octocrylene, and ecamsule — of four commercially available sunscreens are absorbed into the bloodstream.

All four products exceeded the FDA limits on the absorption of sunscreen ingredients, concluding that further studies are needed to determine the clinical significance of the findings. They wrote, “These results do not indicate that individuals should refrain from the use of sunscreen.”

In my opinion, the opposite should have been the conclusion: These results indicate that the FDA should ban the use of sunscreen ingredients that exceed systemic absorption levels.

Of the sunscreen ingredients that were studied, oxybenzone is the most common. It is considered a hormone disrupter. Studies have shown oxybenzone can cause adverse effects in the endocrine systems of animals. It has also been associated with altered birth weight in human studies, and has both estrogenic and anti-androgenic (male hormone) effects.

There are significant data gaps about octinoxate, another FDA-approved sunscreen ingredient. One FDA study found blood levels 13 times above the upper limit for systemic exposure, and also reported that octinoxate has been found in breast milk. Like oxybenzone, octinoxate is considered a hormone disrupter and has been shown to cause thyroid and reproductive system problems in animals, as well as behavioral alterations.

Over the last 50 years, the sun has been vilified by conventional medicine under the assumption that avoiding sun exposure would lower the rate of skin cancer. That has not happened.

Humans have evolved to be in the sun. We need it to produce vitamin D3, which has anticancer properties. Sunburns are dangerous and need to be avoided. Yet somehow, during my own childhood and for thousands of years before that, humans survived without using sunscreen. We did that by covering up during the most active sun times — from approximately 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The skin is the largest organ in the body and can absorb chemicals easily. And sunscreen is not a benign substance. The chemicals in sunscreen are not healthy for the skin, and they become more problematic when exposed to the UV rays.

I say avoid using sunscreen. Those with sensitive skin need to cover up more frequently. Following a common-sense approach to sun exposure can allow you to enjoy the sun and do what you are designed to do: Produce an adequate amount of vitamin D3.

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We’ve been told over and over to avoid sun exposure and to use sunscreen when exposed to ultraviolet radiation. But are the chemicals in sunscreen safe for the skin?
sunscreen, cancer, vitamin d, dr. brownstein
Tuesday, 10 October 2023 04:30 PM
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