Chemical Characterization of Sunscreens Composition and its Related Potential Adverse Health Effects
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Although the sun is very beneficial and essential for life, exposing ourselves too much to sunlight might lead to detrimental health effects such as skin cancer. Eight percent of the total different electromagnetic radiation that regularly irradiates the earth is classified as ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The ozone layer absorbs the most energetic UV rays; consequently, UV-A and UV-B reach the earth surface. UV-A rays heavily contribute to both premature skin aging and skin cancer, while UV-B rays cause sunburn. Hence, the use of sunscreen is strongly encouraged by many healthcare practitioners in order to minimize or possibly eradicate the harmful effects of UV rays on our skin, keeping in mind, that about 90% of all skin cancers are associated with exposure to the sun's harmful radiation. Unfortunately, inaccurate information is currently roaming the media and the Internet regarding the safety, toxicity, and acute side effects of the active ingredients currently used in sunscreens, therefore discouraging people from using sunscreens. In this review article, it is concluded based on the scientific published literature that the sunscreen ingredients are safe and there are no related potential hazardous health risks associated with their use. In addition, at present, sunscreens are very useful in preventing sunburn and probably skin cancer and photoaging and their regular use can have a positive and a significant impact on public health as means or instruments implemented to reduce exposure to UV radiation.