a d Ingredients to Look for in Sunscreen | Oncolink - Cancer Resources

Ingredients to Look for in Sunscreen

Ultima Vez Modificado: 17 de junio del 2010

Share article


Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Is there a specific ingredient to look for in sunscreen that makes it better?


Christopher J. Miller, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

There are currently 17 FDA approved ingredients for sunscreen in the United States. Some ingredients block more ultraviolet rays than others. As a rule, you should look for sunscreens with a bottle that says "UVA and UVB protection." The SPF on the bottle refers to your protection from UVB rays, the ones that cause skin cancer. Currently, there is no standard to tell you how well the sunscreen protects you from UVA rays, which are known to cause skin cancer and accelerate the aging of your skin. Since there is no standard for you to judge UVA protection, you should look for ingredients that specifically protect you. Since only a few of the 17 FDA approved sunscreen ingredients provide good UVA protection, there aren't too many to remember. Look for sunscreens with zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, or mexoryl. Avobenzone also provides UVA protection, but sun exposure destabilizes avobenzone, so its protective effects don't last long after exposure to the sun.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series: Sun Safety and Skin Cancer Prevention Webchat. View the entire transcript here.

I Wish You Knew

How an oncology social worker can improve your cancer experience

View More

Blogs and Web Chats

OncoLink Blogs give our readers a chance to react to and comment on key cancer news topics and provides a forum for OncoLink Experts and readers to share opinions and learn from each other.

OncoLink OncoPilot

Frente a un nuevo diagnóstico de cáncer o de cambiar el curso de su tratamiento actual? Deje que nuestro personal de enfermería cáncer que ayudan a pasar!

Más información