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There are many doctors and scientists who believe sunscreen is helpful. They have recorded studies on how sunscreen prevents sunburn. In addition, the corporations selling this product market sunscreen as the best form of protection. Why wouldn’t anyone use it? These can mislead anyone into believing that sunscreen must be used and is the only thing to prevent sunburn. The belief that being completely blocked from the sun is somehow the healthiest form of sun protection is absolutely absurd. They are looking at it all wrong. The sun’s rays, harmful and beneficial, should be absorbed in order to reap the benefits and build strong, healthy skin.
According to Forbes Business Insight, the sunscreen market is worth over $13 billion. These big businesses will continue to market their products to make it seem like the only option to prevent sunburn. They will go through lots of time and money to advertise the effects of their product just like any other company would. In addition, doctors are not prohibited from giving paid endorsements, via the American Medical Association. The doctor often execute this right, getting paid tons of money to endorse a product. It’s very difficult to trust something anyone says if you know that they are getting paid to do so.
The common view on why sunscreen is good for you, is that sunscreen lays on the surface of the skin blocking all the sun’s harmful rays. This is illustrated in an article by Yale Scientific, “Sunscreen works by blocking and absorbing UV rays through a combination of physical and chemical particles. Physical particles, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are used to reflect UV radiation from the skin.” The chemical absorbers and physical blockers are used in compounds to create a shield to ensure that sun rays do not contact your skin. However, this is just not the way to look at it. You should want to naturally fight the harmful rays of the sun whilst absorbing the beneficial rays constructing stronger, healthier skin. Not wearing sunscreen or any type of cosmetic skin protection will invoke your skin to adapt to the sun’s rays. This will force your skin to use the immune system’s process of battling foreign entities. As we know, the end of the immune system process always ends in a beneficial, long lasting solution.
There seems to be a discrepancy to the belief that sunscreen prevents skin cancer. Many people, including scientist and doctors, suggest that it does prevent cancer. An article by the Skin Cancer Foundation states, “When used as directed, sunscreen is proven to: Decrease your risk of skin cancers and skin precancers.” To express the discrepancy, you must understand some data in the history of sunscreen and sun cancer. The history of sunscreen is illustrated in an article by the New York Times called, “Sunscreen: A History,” containing a timeline of all the major events that lead to the sunscreen being used today. In the mid 1940s, the first form of sunscreen was introduced. It was being developed and refined till 1988, when the Food and Drug Administration had elected to approve the product for use. At this time, the use of sunscreen became popular. Only two years later, in 1992, according to the National Cancer Institute, the skin cancer rates were at about 14 out of 100,00 people. Since then, the cancer rates have been on a steady upward slope, now in 2019, 23 out of 100,000 persons are diagnosed with skin cancer. This is a devastating 64% increase. How is sunscreen preventing skin cancer when, since it started to be widely used, the rates have only increased? If sunscreen was effective in preventing skin cancer then we would see a decline in skin cancer diagnosis since its beginning of use. Obviously that is not the case.
Some may argue that the cancer rates have increased due to misuse of sunscreen. Which is a fair argument. The Skin Cancer Foundation proves the misuse, “To get the full broad-spectrum protection out of your sunscreen, apply one ounce — about a shot glass full — to your entire body. Most people apply less than half of that amount, translating into reduced protection.” Whilst another post on the same website by, Elizabeth K. Hale, an expert in the field resures, “Most people don’t apply enough sunscreen, which is why undesirable sunburns and tanning can occur despite sunscreen application.” The failure to apply sunscreen correctly is obviously common. Considering that if a majority of people don’t use the amount of sunscreen for the product to be properly effective, that renders the product ineffective. In the British Journal of Dermatology, a reviewed article states, “if the majority of consumers do not use the product in accordance with the recommendation, then this is a technical inadequacy in itself. Low cosmetic acceptance and the high costs of sunscreen products may result in insufficient use.”
The arguments in favor of sunscreen products effectiveness and protection have multiple underlying problems. Companies, with recruitment of doctors and scientists, will continue to assure that those problems stay underlying. The multi-billion dollar sunscreen industry markets their products through paid doctor endorsements and misleading advertising, which should be marked untrustworthy and suspicious. They will to refuse to acknowledge the immune system’s process to counteract foreign entities because, of course, the sales of their product would drop. Allowing your skin to adapt to the sun’s rays will in turn create stronger, healthier skin that will carry on consuming the beneficial sun rays. In addition, the belief that sunscreen prevents cancer is odd, knowing that ever since it became widely used skin cancer rates have steadily increased.
Sun Care Products Market Size, share & covid-19 impact analysis, by product type (sun-protection, after-sun, and tanning), form (lotion, Spray, Stick, and others), SPF (0-29, 30-50, and >50), distribution channel, and Regional Forecast, 2020-2027. Sun Care Products Market Size, Share | Industry Report, 2020-2027. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://www.fortunebusinessinsights.com/sun-care-products-market-103821
Isguven, S. (2012, May 9). How does sunscreen protect you? cropped-YSM-Wordmark-Only-Black-High-Res.png. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from shorturl.at/bctGR
Sunscreen. The Skin Cancer Foundation. (2021, May 28). Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-prevention/sun-protection/sunscreen/
The New York Times. (2010, June 23). Sunscreen: A history. The New York Times. Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/24/fashion/24skinside.html
Melanoma of the skin – cancer stat facts. SEER. (n.d.). Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html
Ask the expert: How much sunscreen should I be using on my face and body? The Skin Cancer Foundation. (2020, December 2). Retrieved November 16, 2021, from https://www.skincancer.org/blog/ask-the-expert-how-much-sunscreen-should-i-be-using-on-my-face-and-body/