While we are constantly being told that skin must be protected against sun exposure and damage to prevent skin cancer as well as premature aging, the kind of sunscreen or sun block that you use can be a matter of concern.
According to Suzanne Condon, director of the state’s Bureau of Environmental Health, it is the sunscreen – mosquito repellant combination products containing DEET that could be a healthy hazard.
Most sunscreens require to be periodically re-applied or refreshed to sustain their protective factor. This is particularly the case on a hot day when one may sweat a lot or if one is going to be in the water or on the beach, because the moisture can negate the protection offered by the product.
However if it is a combination product containing DEET, then this periodic reapplication is hardly a good idea, because it is the same as applying and reapplying pesticide to the skin’s surface.
In particular parents will end up giving children a high dose of DEET in this way.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also advises against using this product. If you must use insect or bug repellant, apply it to your clothes rather than your skin. And wearing long sleeved clothes and full trousers will protect against both the sun as well as the bugs.