Sunblock Blockers


The red-haired, fair-skinned Amy Alkon, who calls herself "perhaps the whitest person in Los Angeles," complains that the most effective sunblock cream, containing Mexoryl, is still not legally available in the U.S. because the FDA considers it a drug, whereas European regulators treat it as a cosmetic. The stuff has been available in Europe and elsewhere since 1993, but the FDA has been dragging its feet so long that L'Oreal, the cream's manufacturer, had to seek an extension of its patent. Alkon reports that the product's worst side effect is "skin inflammation and an itchy rash," reported in a tiny percentage of users and quite tolerable, you'd think, compared to the risk of skin cancer.