Summer’s near, but are all sunscreens safe?

May 24th, 2011

The sun is peaking out, and with it sunscreen sales are once again on the rise, but according to the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) 5th annual guide to sunscreen products, not all sunscreens are created equal.  In fact, out of the 600 sunscreens the EWG evaluated, only one in five were considered safe for use.

The reasons why certain sunscreen’s failed the to make the grade varied from one product to the next, but there were some overarching themes.  “We recommend people avoid sunscreen sprays,” said Sonya Lunder who co-authored the guide.  This is due to the worry that the chemicals within the sunscreen might be inhaled. 

Other warnings were against any sunscreen which contains “retinyl palminate”, a form of vitamin A contained within about a third of all sunscreens, as it may lead to skin lesions.  Another chemical to keep an eye out for is Oxybenzone.

So which ones do the EWG recommend?

  • Alba Botanica Mineral Sunscreen, Fragrance-Free, SPF 30
  • Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick SPF 50
  • Climb On! Mineral Sunblock SPF 30
  • Karen’s Botanicals Simple Sunblock Lotion, Unscented, SPF 30
  • Loving Naturals Sunscreen, SPF 30 plus
  • Sun Putty Face SPF 30
  • Vanicream Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin, SPF 30

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