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Although the FDA says there isn’t enough evidence to suggest products containing Vitamin A or its derivatives are harmful, Canadian health authorities and groups such as the EWG (Environmental Working Group) are concerned that the additives increase sun sensitivity. In particular, they have proposed sunscreens containing retinyl palmitate, a Vitamin A derivative, to carry a warning saying they can increase the possibility of sunburn for up to a week.
Furthermore, Canadian health authorities go on to say to “please limit sun exposure while using this product and for a week afterwards.”The sunscreen industry adds Vitamin A to beach and sport sunscreens, daily face sunscreens, and SPF-rate makeup products and lip balms. Vitamin A is an anti-oxidant that is believed to slow skin aging and studies of Vitamin A’s carcinogenic properties raised the possibility that is may speed the growth of tumors on the skin when exposed to sunlight.
Despite evidence that Vitamin A can trigger carcinogenic activity, the FDA has delay taking action on restricting retinly palmitate in sunscreens in favor of ordering additional studies. Thus, regulatory action may be postponed indefinitely.
Be safer than sorry - take EWG’s advice and “avoid sunscreen and skin products with retinyl palmitate until the industry can prove it is safe for sun-exposed skin.”