"Only 15% of 952 products analyzed met EWG's criteria for safety and effectiveness, blocking both UVA and UVB radiation, remaining stable in sunlight, and containing few if any ingredients with significant known or suspected health hazards."
-The Environmental Working Group's 2008 Sunscreen Report-
Yikes! Lately I feel like I'm spreading more unhappiness than happiness with all this news about toxins in our plastics, food and sunscreens. Please forgive me.
The EWG's scientists looked at almost 400 peer-reviewed studies of the 17 sunscreen chemicals approved for use in the U.S. Turns out that "some sunscreen chemicals actually break down when exposed to sunlight. Others penetrate the skin and pose health concerns including allergic reaction, hormone disruption and skin damage."
And as for the sun protection--the SPF rating only refers to protection against UVB rays. A good sunscreen should also protect against UVA radiation--which penetrates the skin more deeply and can cause skin cancer & wrinkles. Only 7% of the SPF 30+ sunscreens had UVA protection.
What's Wrong with Our Sunscreens?
- Most lack UVA protection
- Most contain unsafe chemicals
TOP 5 Sunscreens for Safety & Effectiveness
1. Keys Soap Solar Rx Therapeutic Sunblock
2. Trukid Sunny Days Facestick Mineral Sunscreen UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum
3. California Baby Sunblock Stick No Fragrance
4. Badger Sunscreen
5. Marie Veronique Skin Therapy Sun Serum
Recommended Common Brands
1. Blue Lizard - anything without oxybenzone
2. California Baby - anything with SPF 30+
3. CVS - with zinc oxide
4. Jason Natural Cosmetics - Sunbrellas Mineral Based Sunblock
5. Kiss My Face - "Paraben Free" series
6. Neutrogena - Sensitive Skin Sunblock
7. Olay - Defense Daily UV Moisturizer with zinc
Some of the Worst Offenders
1. Coppertone--none of their 41 sunscreen products met EWG's safety & effectiveness criteria
2. Banana Boat--only 1 of its products met the standards
3. Neutrogena--only 1 of its products met the standards
How Did My Long-Time Favorite Sunscreen Measure Up?
Not so well. I've used Coppertone Sport Sunblock Lotion for years because it's waterproof & ultra-sweatproof. Good thing I only use it when I'm out in the sun for a long time, because it's an 8 out of 10 for safety. NUMBER 0 is the safest in the EWG's rating scale.
Here's why my sunscreen is rated poorly
- Oxybenzone (benzophenone-3) - developmental/reproductive toxicity; allergies/immunotoxicity; persistence & bioaccumulation, enhanced skin absorption, biochemical or cellualr level changes.
- Triethanolamine - Cancer, allergies/immunotoxicity, organ system toxicity (non-reproductiove)
- Fragrance - Neurotoxicity, allergies/immunotoxicity, miscellaneous
- There are 10 other questionable ingredients in this sunscreen
- No UVA protection
- 56% of the 952 sunscreens are better than what I've been using!