The Latest Poison Causing Skin Cancer Is … Sunscreen?

summer sunscreen boy
Image via iStock

Our ever-so-knowledgeable experts are at it again! New reports claim that sunscreen: increases your chances of getting skin cancer, causes developmental issues in animals, irritates your lungs, and triggers asthma attacks.

“Lack of sun exposure may lead to cognitive decline over time.” – The Vitamin D Council

So if you've spent the majority of your summer days outdoors and are religiously plastering your children’s skin with appropriate amounts of sunscreen – STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING and absorb each of these claims, one by one.

(I wouldn't want you to unacceptably soak up the sun.) 

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Sunscreen Increases Your Chances of Getting Skin Cancer.

According to this article, “women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day … slathering on sunscreen to minimize sun exposure, is doing more harm than actual good.”

This information comes from Swedish researchers, who conducted a study that followed 30,000 women for more than 20 years.  Their analysis is that wearing sunscreen, or avoiding sun exposure altogether, “blocks the body’s ability to produce vitamin D3 from the sun’s UVB rays, which is by far the best form of vitamin D.” And having a vitamin D deficiency “can lead to aggressive forms of skin cancer,” whereas having optimal levels of vitamin D in your blood can protect against sunburns and skin cancer.

Dr. Bernard Ackerman, “one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of skin cancer and the sun, sunscreens and melanoma skin cancer risks,” once said, “The link between melanoma and sun exposure (dermatology’s dogma) is unproven. There’s no conclusive evidence that sunburns lead to cancer. There is no real proof that sunscreens protect against melanoma.”

So, should we avoid sunscreen and enjoy the burn?

No … we can’t believe everything we read online, right? Another article appeared soon after the first, stating the claims from this study are FALSE, and were “summarized by some online medical-related web sites of dubious validity that ran misleading headlines.”

Basically, we need to remember that there should be moderation in all things.

“The reasons behind higher death rates in women with lower sun exposure are still unexplained, as unhealthy lifestyle choices could have played a part. Overexposure to UV radiation from the sun or sunbeds is the main cause of skin cancer.” – Yinka Ebo, Senior Health Information Officer at Cancer Research UK

Sunscreen Causes Developmental Issues In Animals.


According to this article, “Consumer Reports tested sunscreens in the past and found that those containing titanium dioxide and zinc oxide could have nanoparticles — particles known for causing developmental issues in animals.”

Why are animals wearing sunscreen? Seriously. Have you even seen a cat lather it on before catching some R&R?

I don’t believe they offer bottles of titanium dioxide and zinc oxide at our local pet store … but if they do, I’ll be sure to avoid it. (Okay, yes – I understand animal testing is a thing. But it's not a thing we'll get into right now.) 

Sunscreen Irritates Your Lungs and Triggers Asthma Attacks.

This claim is directly related to spray sunscreens; and it has a bit more validity than the accusations listed above.

“The question there is what's bad about it? Is it chemicals directly, or is it the fact that the chemicals irritate the lungs, the spray, can it trigger asthma attacks?” said Dr. Jeffery Simon, a pediatrician.

Despite The Food and Drug Administration’s lack of a decision-making conclusion, it’s been investigating spray sunscreen safety since 2011. But do not sit there, fretting in anticipation, any longer. The American Academy of Dermatology says that verily, thou shalt renounce thine sprayed protection; and Consumer Reports also recently instructed parents to toss those misting bottles.

“We now say that until the FDA completes its analysis, the products should generally not be used by or on children,” says Consumer Reports. “We have also removed one sunscreen spray — Ocean Potion Kids Instant Dry Mist SPF 50 — from the group of recommended sunscreens in our sunscreen Ratings, because it is marketed especially for children.”

I stopped using spray sunscreens about a year ago, due to the “Avoid Open Flame” warning labels on most bottles. But if you decide to continuing spraying sunscreen for its ease and unceasingly speedy deliverance of a sun-protected child, spray the stuff into your hands first, and then rub it onto your child.

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I won’t completely ignore the advice and warnings leveled at my resolve for a tanned body … but, as I look outside and take in the beautiful afternoon, the sun is calling out to me, promising hours of sunshine. I think I’ll accidentally on purpose forget my sunscreen, just in case I have a bit of vitamin D deficiency lurking within. I won’t completely avoid sunscreen from this moment on, but perhaps I’ll try to reign in my panic over the hazards of each hot, sunny day.


What do you think? Comment below!

What do you think?

The Latest Poison Causing Skin Cancer Is … Sunscreen?

Kimberly Shannon is a wife, a mother, an editor, a writer ... She is always working to find the perfect balance¹! After Kimberly received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism, she worked on two master’s degree programs (Creative Writing, and Marriage and Family Therapy). At various times in her life she has signed up to study Naturopathy, only to back out at the last minute, and humored the idea of returning full-time to the world of dance. Kimberly has also started 10 different children ... More

Tell us what you think!


  1. Elizabeth says:

    For those of you all who keep mentioning the vitamin d sups the article referred to the fact that the reports stated that the sun was still the most easily absorbable form of vitamin d. I know I was deficient in pregnancy living in an area that was always raining and I took fish oils and vit sups and was still terribly low in the vitamin. I ended up moving to California towards the last part of the pregnancy and always go out without sunscreen and never had any other issues. Not necessarily saying that it won’t work for some, but supllememts don’t work for everyone’s bodies. Sometimes good old-fashioned sunlight is the answer. And for all of those who doubt that sunscreens are cancer causing go online with a breakdown of each of the ingredients on the bottle and investigate each one by one. You’ll be amazed at what they will tell you about each seperate chemical but not about the whole bottle. Some will never believe though until it happens directly to them, and even then…. There was a reason tuberculosis retreats used to require their patients to spend time sunbathing at noontime.

  2. nancy says:

    This makes sense, but I still want to factor in the sunburns. There has to be a degree or a time spent outside that sunscreen is actually a good thing. But at what point is that and how much? Or even, what times of the day… Also, below is a coment from someone regarding suplements…this is a good question.

  3. mommy nhoj says:

    On my last lab test, results shown I am having Vit D defiency. Maybe because I don’t like going out in the sun. Now, I am trying to go out and play with the baby for couple of minutes; preferably in the morning.

  4. nancyk says:

    This doesn’t surprise me. I will admit that about 3 months ago I would have been skeptical about this claim, however i attended a seminar that really opened my eyes about a lot of things. Do you know how many cancer causing agents are in everything that we use? Toothpaste, deoderant, body wash and even baby wash has formaldehyde in it. The most toxic chemical in your home is your laundry detergent. Scary, huh? I started working with a company called Melaleuca shortly after attending this seminar. They offer a full line of products that are all-natural and non-toxic. I feel so much better about using their products, and I swear I’ve seen a drastic difference in my overall health. Plus you can use their products for other uses, such as mixing 2 ingredients together to make your own non-toxic bug spray, clearing up warts, ridding the dog of fleas, cleaning your driveway, etc. It’s been a blessing.

  5. Todd says:

    I never use sunscreen. Used it once and got burnt twice as bad as I usually did. Will I develop skin cancer? Most likely if I haven’t already. When I was younger growing up on a farm, from the time you could put on shorts until it was time to put on long pants, that was all I wore. A pair of shorts, no shoes, no shirt, and I worked in the sun all day. I got burnt the first day but turned brown shortly after and stayed that way until late in the winter. I have always told my wife and daughter they shouldn’t use the stuff, it will kill them one day. It’s chemicals that get absorbed into the skin, can’t be good for you.

  6. Eddie says:

    Or you could, I don’t know, use a Vitamin D supplement? More fear mongering.

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