BBC Word Services:Sunscreen under the microscope

Sunscreen is a multi-billion dollar industry. We’ve long been encouraged to apply it daily, to block out the sun’s rays. But one dermatologist argues some sunlight is necessary and sunscreen could be preventing our skin from carrying out a vital function. Dr Richard Weller explains what happened when he took his findings to sunscreen manufacturers. Also in the programme, Holly Thaggard, founder and chief executive of Supergoop, tells us why US regulators are taking a closer look at common sunscreen ingredients.

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Is sunshine good for us?

Sorrel Bunting

High blood pressure affects around 16 million people in the UK, and 7 million of us don’t even know we have it. Researchers around the world are looking for ways to help lower high blood pressure, including one BHF-funded team in Scotland investigating if a sunny day could do more for our health than we previously thought.

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What if avoiding the sun is bad for your health?

It was around 15 years ago that Dr. Matt Zirwas, an Ohio-based dermatologist, first noticed something curious about the people he was treating at his clinic.

“The older patients I was seeing [who had] lots of sun damage and lots of skin cancer would be very robust, very energetic people,” he says. These were people who, apart from their skin cancers, tended to be in excellent health and taking very few prescription drugs.”…

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Michael Finnen