Doctors and public health officials have long recommended that people use sunscreen to protect against the sun’s ultraviolet rays. But how safe are the sunscreens that so many people now use regularly?
For many years, the Food and Drug Administration has been investigating the safety of over-the-counter sunscreen products, since people are applying them more frequently, and sunscreen makers are increasingly using stronger ingredients to ensure maximal protection from the sun. “When sunscreens were first evaluated by the FDA back in the ’70s, we all thought the ingredients sat on the surface of the skin and didn’t do anything,” says Dr. Theresa Michele, director of the division of nonprescription drug products in the office of new drugs at the Center for Drug Evaluation Research at the FDA. “But we’ve learned over the years that’s not actually the case, so we started looking at them more closely.”
Excerpted from Time