HOUSTON – According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the essential requirements for over-the-counter sunscreen products have not been updated in decades. The organization has now proposed a new set of regulations to ensure that what we're putting on our skin is doing its job.
While a new study said the chemicals in sunscreen can get into your bloodstream, doctors still insist two main ingredients are safe and effective.
"The physical sun-blockers, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide, are the only two physical blockers we have. They tend to be deemed as safer; they don't absorb into the skin, they just sit on top, and those are the ones that they said were generally considered safe in this report," Dr. Melissa Piliang, of Cleveland Clinic, said.
There are so many different types of blocks, that the FDA is trying to determine which are effective and which are not.
Sprays, oils, lotions, creams, gels and sticks are generally considered effective.
But the FDA said newer products, such as, wipes, body washes, and the new SPF powders, which are like a powder that can be used over your makeup and act as a sunscreen all still need more research.
So your doctor might not recommend these products as your sole protection but they do encourage you to use it as an extra precaution in addition to sunscreen, just like UV sunglasses, hats and clothing should be used as an added layer. Keep in mind, that they expire.
"SPF clothing, some brands last a lifetime … you want to look at those shirts. If they stretch out, it's time to replace them. Every few years, replace sun protective clothing, wear a hat. Best protections start at home before you leave the house," said Dr. Sherry Ingraham, with Advanced Dermatology.
The most important thing to keep your family safe is finding a sunscreen that is broad-spectrum and applying it generously. Most people don't apply enough.
We should use the amount that would fit into a shot glass and almost looks like it's overflowing in your hand.
Products containing both sunscreen and insect repellent are not yet considered to be safe and effective. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, if combined, the sunscreen's ability to screen out UV rays can be decreased by the repellent, while the toxicity of the repellent is increased by the sunscreen. They recommend using the products separately -- generously applying and reapplying sunscreen -- and using the bug spray less frequently.