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Study shows sunscreen may increase chance of skin cancer

Is the sun or sunscreen more harmful?
Is the sun or sunscreen more harmful?
AP Photo/Tina Fineberg

The Environmental Working Group released a new study showing that ingredients in sunscreen may actually cause more damage than sun exposure.  Vitamin A has been added to sunscreens for it's antioxidant and anti-aging properties, but once exposed to sun, this form of Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate) becomes carcinogenic. 

Oxybenzone is another very common sunscreen ingredient to avoid.  It has been shown to disrupt the body's hormone balance.  This chemical crosses into the bloodstream where the toxins spread throughout the body. 

Research also shows that the higher the SPF of a sunscreen does not mean more protection, just a better selling point.  Once the numbers get above 50, there is little proof that they are any more effective. 

In this hot Alabama sun, be sure to protect yourself.  Avoid being outside in the midday sun. Wear a hat and light-weight long-sleeves.  Choose from this list of approved sunscreens when you are outside for more than 30 minutes. 

The Environmental Working Group has a comprehensive list of sunscreens and their safety ratings, so you can see how your sunscreen sizes up.  They also have a list of those few brands that made it to their safe list.