Wednesday, May 25, 2011

2011 EWG's List of Safe and Unsafe Sunscreens

Great news, the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) just released the 2011 sunscreen guide. They recommend  only 20 percent of the 600-plus beach and sport sunscreens evaluated. To score high marks in the rankings, a product must be effective -- adequately protect skin from both UVA (which causes premature aging, skin cancer, and other skin damage) and UVB (which causes sunburn) rays. It must also be safe, free of potentially harmful chemicals. Here is a great summary:
EWG's Sunscreens to Avoid:
How did EWG come up with this list? Each of the products to avoid meets all of these criteria:
  • SPF values above 50-plus. Higher SPF products are not necessarily best. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration says these numbers can be misleading. There's a concern that high SPF products may give people a false sense of security and encourage people to stay out in the sun for too long without reapplying sunscreen. It's also important to note that the SPF is based solely on UVB protection.
  • Sunscreen sprays. They can fill the air with tiny particles that may not be safe to breathe in, according to EWG.
  • Contains oxybenzone and vitamin A. Oxybenzone is a concern because it penetrates the skin, is associated with allergic reactions, and is a potential hormone disruptor. Retinyl palmitate is a form of vitamin A that may not be safe when exposed to sunlight. EWG recommends choosing products with one of these ingredients instead: zinc, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, or Mexoryl SX.
Safer, Affordable Sunscreens: 
Sources: EWG and Yahoo

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