Ask the Expert: The Truth about Sunscreen


In our “Ask the Expert” series at Innovative Medicine, we have assembled experts in various medical, health, and scientific fields who will answer interesting frequently asked questions sent to us. Feel free to submit your medical and health related questions to

Q: How do you feel about Sunscreen?

To help answer this question, we’ve enlisted renowned integrative physician Thomas K. Szulc, MD, Medical Director of The New York Center for Innovative Medicine.


Most sunscreens today contain a number of synthetic chemicals. These chemicals are absorbed through the skin. Depending on which chemicals and the properties of these chemicals, some may be carcinogenic, some can affect the function of the liver or kidneys, and most generate harmful free radicals in the body.

We have to use common sense when talking about sun exposure. The sun sends a full spectrum of radiation – both positive and negative. Those that are fair skinned should not prolong exposure to the sun during hot summer days. That said, sunlight is very effective in stimulating our body positively (vitamin D production, elevated mood, etc.). Most people who have problems relating to exposure to the sun also have problems with lymphatic flow under the skin itself. Stimulating the skin of such people may bring toxins to the surface and may create some undesirable effects. These people should drink more fluids, exercise more and naturally eliminate toxins while controlling exposure to sunlight depending on their constitutional ability.

There are some very good natural sunblockers that are effective and do not use harmful petrochemicals. Increased consumption of anti-oxidants (think berries and vegetables) is also helpful.

Everybody worries about UV exposure and the relation to melanoma and other cancers. But when looking at many developing countries that are close to the Equator and are exposed to intense sunlight, they do not have high levels of skin cancer (compared to developed countries with less sun exposure and intensity). It is the developed countries like the US that have the highest incidents of skin cancer. The reason for this is unlike most modern developed countries inhabitants of poorer developing countries normally eat and live a more natural lifestyle, avoiding processed foods and chemicals. When you introduce more chemicals, toxins and pollutants into your lifestyle, the risk of health issues such as skin cancer from UV exposure increases.

Update: What sunscreen does Dr. Szulc recommend? After testing numerous sunscreens, the LureLux Organic and Natural Biodegradable Minerals Sunscreen showed to be of high quality and one that does not contain harmful ingredients.

About Dr. Szulc

Thomas K. Szulc M.D. is board certified in Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and had been Chief of Pain Services at North Shore University Hospital in Plainview, N.Y. for over 12 years. He has been using biological medicine as part of an integrated medical practice since 1985. Dr. Szulc has obtained thousands of hours of special training, working directly with world leaders in many medical fields. Dr. Szulc was also a visiting professor at Yale University Medical School conducting clinical research studies of the efficacy of Pulsed Electromagnetic Therapy and Low Level Energy Laser Therapy. His practice, the New York Center for Innovative Medicine, attracts patients from around the world. He is the author of The Art of Medicine which is currently available on Amazon.

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