Many women rely on SPF moisturisers to keep their skin hydrated, reduce the risk of cancer, and make them look young.
But a study suggests that these lotions cannot protect us against skin cancer.
Researchers from the UK suggest that 16.6% of the face is missed when we apply creams with added SPF.
This is compared to only 11.1 percent of the face that is missed when using conventional sunscreens.
A difference in the consistency of the cream or packaging between the products may be to blame, the scientists said.
They worry that many of us sit in the sun too much without realizing that vulnerable parts of our face are unprotected.
The image on the left shows one of the study participants after applying sunscreen, being exposed to ultraviolet rays, and photographed with a UV-sensitive camera. The dark areas are areas that are better protected. The same participant is seen immediately after applying a moisturizer with the same SPF added to his formula
The photo shows the same women as in the photo above, but the photo on the left is taken with a normal camera, while the photo on the right is taken with a UV-sensitive camera
The research was conducted by the University of Liverpool.
It was co-led by Kevin Hamill, an eye and vision science teacher, and Austin McCormick, an ophthalmologist who advises ophthalmic and oculoplastic.
& # 39; Participants covered a smaller area of the face when using moisturizer compared to sunscreen & # 39 ;, wrote the authors in the PLOS ONE magazine.
& # 39; Moisturizer has not been used as well as sunscreen; That is why we recommend using sunscreens for prolonged sun exposure. & # 39;
Skin cancer is on the rise despite global initiatives to stimulate the use of SPF, the scientists wrote.
Although daytime moisturizers are useful with added SPF, the researchers fear that they will not be applied in a way that & # 39; provide adequate protection & # 39; offers.
To test this, 21 men and 62 women were told to apply Olay Regenerist 3 Point Moisturizer SPF 30 or Soltan sensitive hypoallergenic sunscreen SPF 30.
Both products recommend that users avoid their eyes but do not mention eyelids.
WHAT IS SQUAMOUS CELL CARCINOMA?
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells in the upper layers of the skin.
It often looks like flaky red spots, open sores, raised growths with a central dip or warts, all of which may have crust or bleeding.
They can become unsightly or life-threatening if they are allowed to grow.
Every year in the US more than one million people are diagnosed with SCC. The British prevalence is unclear.
SCC is mainly caused by excessive exposure to UV light from the sun or tanning beds.
People are more likely to suffer if they:
- Have blond hair or skin
- Work outdoors
- Are older than 50
- Have a personal or family history of the disease
- Have a suppressed immune system, such as chemotherapy or AIDS patients
Although SCC can occur anywhere on the body, it is most common in places exposed to the sun, such as the face and hands.
SCCs that are detected at an early stage and removed immediately are usually curable and cause minimal damage.
Treatment usually includes surgery to remove growth, as well as radiotherapy and topical medicines.
People can reduce their risk of developing the condition by:
- Wearing a sun cream with a high factor that is reapplied at least every two hours, or more when swimming
- Cover up with clothing
- Looking for shade between 10:00 and 16:00
- Do not use UV sunbeds
Source: Skin Cancer Foundation
The participants – who were between 18 and 57 years old – were then exposed to ultraviolet radiation and photographed via a UV-sensitive camera.
The experiment was repeated with the participants who initially wore the sunscreen with moisturizer and vice versa.
The results showed that the participants did not apply the moisturizer on 16.6% of their face.
This was compared to only the 11.1 percent that was missed when using sunscreens.
Eyelids were the most forgotten, with 20.9 percent of the sensitive area missing when moisturizer was applied and 14 percent missed when using sunscreen.
The findings were relevant as skin cancer is most common on the head and neck, the researchers wrote.
And eyelids have the highest incidence of the disease.
Squamous cell carcinoma – the second most common form of skin cancer in the UK – is also increasingly affecting the patient's eyelids.
& # 39; We conclude that special attention must be paid to the eyelid area when applying an SPF cream & # 39 ;, wrote the authors.
And 78 percent of the participants failed to protect the area between the corner of their eyes and their nose, regardless of whether they applied sunscreen or moisturizer.
In fact, only five of the participants covered this area in both experiments.
This is worrying because the area between the eyelid and nose is particularly vulnerable to basal cell carcinoma, which accounts for more than 80 percent of cases.
A questionnaire filled in by the participants after the experiment was revealed, it was not known that they had insufficiently applied the sunscreen or moisturizer.
When I was confronted with the statement & # 39; I applied (sunscreen or moisturizer) to all parts of my face & # 39 ;, & # 39; I agreed to & # 39; or & # 39; I totally agreed & # 39; as for sunscreen.
And 73 had the same reaction with regard to the moisturizer.
But when the participants received the photos that exposed their UV exposure, more than half responded that they didn't even & # 39; or & # 39; strongly disagree & # 39; were with the statement.
The researchers are concerned that while NICE recommends moderate sun exposure to keep track of our vitamin D levels, we believe we have applied SPF enough to encourage us to spend too much time in the sun.
Unprotected areas then receive & # 39; increased cumulative UV doses & # 39 ;, they wrote.
She added: Altern Alternative methods of protecting the eyelids should be considered, such as UV filter sunglasses.
& # 39; If you use a moisturizer, we recommend an SPF, each SPF is better than none, but it should not be considered as sunscreen. & # 39;
The scientists hope that their study will lead to public health messages that encourage us to protect our delicate eyelids.
An Olay spokesperson said: & # 39; At Olay we use SPF in our skin care for daily protection and we recommend that it be applied to the entire neck and face including eyelids.
& # 39; However, we do not recommend replacing the higher protection products from SPF that are available if you plan to spend extended periods of time in the sun, such as sunbathing.
& # 39; For those situations, we would recommend a specialized sun care product, along with a daily moisturizer for optimum skin health. & # 39;
WHAT IS BASCELCELCINOMA?
Basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is a type of skin cancer without melanoma.
Non-melanoma means that it does not include skin pigment cells.
BCC often appears as scabs that bleed
BCC constitutes more than 80 percent of all skin cancers in the UK, with more than 100,000 new cases diagnosed every year.
It is mainly caused by excessive exposure to UV light from the sun or tanning beds.
BCC can occur anywhere on the body, but is most common in places exposed to the sun, such as the face, neck and ears.
The following people are most at risk:
- People with fair skin or hair
- Those who work outside the home
- People who use sun beds
- Those with a personal history of the condition
BCC is usually painless. Early symptoms often only include a crust that occasionally bleeds and does not heal.
Some appear as flat, red, scaly spots or have a pearly edge. The latter can then erode in a stomach ulcer.
Others are lumpy with shiny nodules crossed by blood vessels.
Most BCCs can be cured, but the treatment is complex if they are left behind for a long time.
Treatment usually involves removing the cancerous tumor and a portion of the surrounding skin.
Source: British Skin Foundation and NHS Choices
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