Summer and sun! Most of us prefer sunny regions for summer vacation.
To avoid sunburns, early ageing of the skin and skin cancer we protect ourselves from ultraviolet light (UV radiation), which is responsible for this damage.
Apart from hats and clothing (dark better than white!) most of us rely on sun cream. There are two types of effective ingredients, organic and anorganic (mineral) filters.
Some might remember the whitening of the skin after the use of anorganic substances. However, most suntan lotions today are a mixture of both and the whitening effect is less by using nano particles.
During the last years there has been an ongoing discussion whether the organic substances can influence the hormonal system (estrogenic effect) in humans. There is less doubt that these substances are trespassing from skin to blood in humans and are traceable there by laboratory testing.
In rats, there has been an effect on the growth of the uterus after feeding the animals with these substances. To date, it remains uncertain if this observation is transferable to human beings and if concentrations in human blood after using them as skin protection are sufficient to cause similar effects.
To be on the safe side, pure anorganic sun creams are available and might be an option especially for children. To decide how long we can stay in the sun we must be aware of our skin type. Skin types are linked with certain times that one can stay in the sun without any protection (e.g. blond hair, blue eyes around 10- 20 min.)
The sun protecting factor (SPF) which can be found on every product multiplies this time by its factor (e.g. 10 min x 10 (factor) = 50 min.). This should be used as a rough guidance. Although marked as waterproofed, suntan lotions might lose a high percentage of protection after a swim.
So, better moisturize more often.
Finally, please see your dermatologist regularly especially if any sun related skin lesions have been diagnosed before!