Sunscreens: a review of health benefits, regulations, and controversies

Dermatol Clin. 2014 Jul;32(3):427-38, x. doi: 10.1016/j.det.2014.03.011.


Ultraviolet radiation plays a major role in the development of nonmelanoma and melanoma skin cancers. Photoprotection by sunscreens has been shown to prevent the development of actinic keratosis, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and photoaging. However, these benefits are only derived if the users apply sunscreen appropriately and practice other sun protection measures. This review discusses the health benefits provided by sunscreen use, updates the latest regulatory landscape on sunscreen, and addresses the controversies and limitations associated with sunscreen use.

Keywords: Photoprotection; Skin cancer prevention; Sunscreen controversies; Sunscreen regulations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Health Status*
  • Humans
  • Skin Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Sunscreening Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*


  • Sunscreening Agents