Vail Daily letter: This Friday is ‘Don’t Fry Day’ | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: This Friday is ‘Don’t Fry Day’

What follows Wednesday and Thursday? This, week, it's "Don't Fry Day" — an occasion to raise awareness for sun safety and encourage everyone to protect their skin.

An estimated 5.6 million Americans will confront skin cancer in 2017. Unfortunately, the "all natural" movement puts millions more at risk by advocating against common sunscreens.

In its sunscreen guide released this week, Environmental Working Group attacks oxybenzone, one of our most effective broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB) protectants, and Vitamin A, an antioxidant that prevents the sun's aging effects. But dermatologists say it would take 200 years of regularly applying either of these ingredients before you'd ever see a health effect. Conversely, just 15 minutes of fun in the sun can damage your skin.

Fear over sunscreen "nanoparticles" is also far-fetched. The tiny particles clump together, which prevents your body from absorbing them. Plus, when natural mineral ingredients such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are small enough, they don't leave that annoying white residue on your skin (goodbye lifeguard nose!).

In reality, sunscreens face the same rigorous safety screenings as over-the-counter medications. So as you splash your way into warmer months, remember to lather up and trust the science of SPF for a sunburn-free summer.

Dr. Joseph Perrone

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Chief science officer, Center for Accountability in Science, Washington, D.C.