Now that we've all finally gotten around to incorporating sunscreen and SPF 50 facial moisturizer into our morning routines, The Institute of Cancer Research has released a statement saying that sunscreen cannot be relied upon alone to prevent malignant melanoma. Oh, good!
Researchers at the ICR looked at the molecular impact of UV light on the skin of mice at risk of melanoma and tested whether or not disease formation was inhibited by sunscreen. (It probably looked like this.) The test revealed that while sunscreen can significantly lower the amount of DNA damage caused by UV, it didn't offer complete protection. UV light could still cause problems in the p53 gene, which, the study explains, typically helps protect the skin from the impacts of DNA damage caused by UV light.
Professor Richard Marais, study author and Cancer Research UK scientist, based at the University of Manchester, said:
"UV light has long been known to cause melanoma skin cancer, but exactly how this happens has not been clear. These studies allow us to begin to understand how UV light causes melanoma.
UV light targets the very genes protecting us from its own damaging effects, showing how dangerous this cancer-causing agent is. Very importantly, this study provides proof that sunscreen does not offer complete protection from the damaging effects of UV light.
He continued with how we might protect ourselves, if not by using bullshit sunscreen alone:
This work highlights the importance of combining sunscreen with other strategies to protect our skin, including wearing hats and loose fitting clothing, and seeking shade when the sun is at its strongest."
[image via Shutterstock]