When sunscreen lotion first came on the market, it was marketed as a way to prevent sunburn. Over the years, however, the marketing angle changed when manufacturers realized there is more money to be made by claiming their products protect against dreaded skin cancer.

Only problem is that while sunscreen can protect you against sunburn, there is no evidence it will protect you from skin cancer. In fact, the evidence suggests the opposite – that sunscreens have partially caused an increase in skin cancer!

One of the most common ingredients in commercial sunscreens is a chemical known as PABA or padimate-O, which is known to produce genetic mutations that can lead to cancer. Even more incredibly, PABA becomes aggressively carcinogenic only when it is illuminated by UV light. In other words, exposure to sunlight is what causes this chemical to attack your DNA.

According to a study published in the journal Mutation Research :

“Any padimate-O in contact with the cells substantially increases indirect damage [to DNA]… We estimate that applying an SPF-15 sunscreen which contains padimate-O to human skin followed by exposure to only 5 minimum erythemal doses (MED) of sunlight could… increase [DNA] strand breaks in cells under the epidermis by at least 75-fold compared to exposure to 1 MED in the absence of sunscreen.”

You should certainly think twice before slathering chemical sunscreens on your skin. Whenever possible, protect yourself from sunburn with clothing and shade. And when you do need to use sunscreen, use one with natural ingredients, with the physical barrier zinc oxide as its active ingredient.

[Ed. Note: Discover four more connections between sunscreen and skin cancer in Your Best Health Under the Sun, a book by Jon Herring and Dr. Al Sears. Plus, learn just how powerful the healing forces of sunlight are – and why this information is being kept from you. ]

Jon Herring is the former Health Editor and copywriter for Early To Rise. While his formal education is in finance, Jon has invested over 3000 hours in the study of health and nutrition. He is deeply motivated to provide people with the information and the inspiration to live a long and active life, filled with energy and free from disease. Jon has also been a student of direct sales and marketing since an early age. Before he was 10 years old, he was selling door to door, and he has been an active entrepreneur ever since. After graduating from the University of Georgia in 1993, Jon moved to Jackson Hole, Wyoming where he learned how to build houses, climb mountains, catch trout, and ski fast down hill. However, after several years of poverty with a nice view, Jon returned to his hometown of Nashville to seek his fortune. Within two years – at the age of 26 – he had started a direct marketing business that was earning six figure annual revenues. In addition to his passion for health, Jon has a strong interest in business and investing. He is also a staunch advocate for honest government and the libertarian values of privacy, freedom, and personal responsibility.

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