Interview with Dr. Brian Diffey about Sunscreen

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By now I’m sure you’ve heard some of the hype regarding a recent study on sunscreen that was released last week in JAMA. With coverage usually using bold titles like “SUNSCREENS ABSORB ALL THE WAY INTO YOUR BLOOD”, there’s no shortage of bad journalism on this study. In response to all of this, I decided to reach out to Dr. Brian Diffey from Newcastle University - a prolific sun care researcher who has published more than 450 papers as well as a recent book, Sun Protection: a risk management approach. He also invented both the UVA Star Rating for sunscreens in conjunction with Boots in the UK, and the Critical Wavelength adopted by the Food & Drug Administration in the USA as the sole measure of broad-spectrum protection. In our conversation, we talked about how sun protection works, SPF, UVA & UVB rays, the current understanding regarding environmental and health impacts, and of course, what this recent study actually said and take-homes from these results. I was so grateful to have the opportunity to speak with Dr. Diffey; an information packed conversation about sun protection.

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