A common ingredient in sunscreens, the vitamin A derivative retinyl palmitate, may actually increase skin cancer growth.

An American Food and Drug Administration study applied retinyl palmitate cream to lab animals and then exposed them (and control group animals) to the equivalent of about 10 minutes of sunshine daily for one year.

Skin cancer lesions and tumours developed about 20% faster in the retinyl group, especially among animals that received higher doses.

The alternative? Supplement with Astaxanthin, Vitamin D and plenty of Essential Fatty Acids, use a natural sunscreen and stay out of the midday sun.