HOME > Journals > Pharmaceutical Journal of Kenya, Volume 22, No. 3 (2015) > Sunscreen Creams

Sunscreen Creams

Author: Mungoma M.
Is Part Of: Pharmaceutical Journal of Kenya, Volume 22, No. 3 (2015)
Background: Sunscreen creams contain varying concentrations of UV filters in their formulations inhibiting direct exposure to damaging UV radiation which have a potential for toxicity, raising concerns over their safe use. Environmental toxicity from sunscreen creams is emerging with evidence of toxic ingredients reaching aquatic life, soil and possibly the food chain to man.
Aims of the study: This is a review highlighting the pros and cons of sunscreen use. It explores the controversies surrounding the use of sunscreen creams eliciting the benefits as well as the doubts around their efficacy in skin protection. By examining controversies, recent developments and the array of approaches surrounding the suncream use, this review confronts these opposing views and explains the contribution of ingredients and individual use as a stratified and very context-sensitive subject and provides a comprehensive picture on the potential toxicity of suncreams.
Search Methods: An electronic search of PUBMED database was undertaken on suncream articles. Cohort studies, retrospective studies, in vivo and in vitro studies and randomized controlled clinical trials referring to potential toxicity were evaluated.
Data Collection and Analysis: Data was extracted from articles and significant findings filtered to highlight the controversies surrounding the use of suncreams.
Main Results: Suncreams contain organic compounds known as UV filters which absorb UV radiation, reducing the adverse effects of sunlight exposure. Benzophenone-2 (BP-2) has an increased potential for ecological toxicity particularly on marine life. It similarly is toxic to both male and female reproductive systems. However the use of suncreams for protection against photodamaging effects of sunlight has been proven.
Conclusions: This review suggests that suncream potential toxicity to humans requires further exploration. There are several layers of arguments that are confounded by variation in use of end users. However its use in vulnerable people including those suffering albinism and those exposing themselves to long hours under the sun is supported.

Keywords: Ultra Violet (UV) filters, zinc oxide, nano particles, reactive oxygen species
Publisher: The Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya