The Sunscreen Filter
ingredients, with the exception of the two
inorganic particulates, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide, are smaller molecules with
molecular weights (Daltons) of less than
350. The new European filters are mostly
based on the 500 Dalton Rule of design that prevents skin absorption, offers
powerful UVA protection and are generally photostable. The insinuation that
Americans should be buying their sunscreens from Europe is plastered all over
the Internet. Read for example the article
entitled “Why you shouldn’t be buying
your sunscreen in America” by Racked’s
Chavie Lieber. 4
In a recent article5 that I wrote for New
York Chapter of the Society of Cosmetic
Chemists’ Cosmetiscope entitled “The
Road to the Sunscreen Innovation Act”, I
had speculated as to the impact of the SIA
on our industry, namely:
1. If the four UVA filters are approved
via the TEA process, the US will have far
superior UVA protection in the land. Of
course, this will impact the current formulations that contain Avobenzone with
2. Once the European ingredients that
are designed on the Dalton 500 rule are approved in the US, the need for some of the
small molecule UV filters such as the cin-namates, salicylates and benzophenones
would decline rapidly. Some of those ingredients have been recently implicated
in phototoxicity and endocrine disrupting
3. Presumably the SIA will be a catalyst
in getting the FDA to finalize the Sunscreen
Monograph which will impact all the pend-
ing issues, namely:
• The maximum SPF allowed for a cos-
• The safety and use of spray products;
• The safety and efficacy of all Category
I ingredients ;
• The combinations of avobenzone
with inorganic filters such as zinc oxide and
May was Skin Cancer Awareness Month.
Many programs and early detection centers have been set up, and numerous
articles warning about the dangers of
overexposure to the sun and skin cancer
development have been written. I would
like to share with you the recent alarming
statistics included in the Skin Cancer Facts
of the Skin Cancer Foundation (SCF).
These facts are startling and emphasize
the urgent need for better sunscreens and
protocols for protection. All the highlighted facts below are credible and represent
well-documented statistics from reliable
On skin cancer in general, SCF includes:
• Each year in the US, nearly 5 million
people are treated for skin cancer. In 2006, in
the most recent study available, 3. 5 million
cases were diagnosed in 2.2 million people.
• Each year there are more new cases
of skin cancer than the combined incidence
of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and
• One in five Americans will develop
skin cancer in the course of a lifetime.
• Between 40 and 50% of Americans
who live to age 65 will have either basal cell
carcinoma (BCC) or squamous cell carcinoma (SCC).
On melanoma, SCF points out:
• One person dies of melanoma every
hour (every 57 minutes).
• An estimated 73,870 new cases of invasive melanoma will be diagnosed in the
US in 2015.
• About 86% of melanomas can be attributed to exposure to UV radiation from
On tanning, SCF reports:
• Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) is a prov-
en human carcinogen.
• More than 419,000 cases of skin cancer in the US each year are linked to indoor
tanning, including about 245,000 BCC,
168,000 SCC, and 6,200 melanomas.
• More people develop skin cancer because of tanning than develop lung cancer
due to smoking.
• Eleven states now prohibit indoor
tanning for minors younger than the age of
18: California, Vermont, Nevada, Oregon,
Texas, Illinois, Washington, Minnesota,
Louisiana, Hawaii and Delaware.
• Brazil and New South Wales,
Australia, have passed complete bans on
indoor tanning. As of January 2014, France,
Spain, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, the UK,
Iceland, Italy, Finland and Norway prohibit
indoor tanning for youths under age 18.
Finally, on skin aging and treatment,
• More than 90% of the visible changes commonly attributed to skin aging are
caused by the sun.
• Daily sunscreen use by adults under
age 55 can reduce skin aging.
• The annual cost of treating skin cancers in the US is estimated at 8.1 billion
• Estimated annual productivity losses
attributable to melanoma total 2.85 billion
Please share all of these statistics from
the Skin Cancer Foundation with your
family and friends.
Action in the Senate on the Sunscreen
Innovation Act is taking longer than Senator
Johnny Isakson (R-GA) would like.