In its new report, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group says that 85 percent of sunscreens either inadequately protect from the sun’s rays or contain ingredients that may be unsafe. They say that the problem is worsened by the fact that the Food and Drug Administration has not passed standards for testing and labeling sunscreens — meaning that makers often have carte blanche when it comes to making claims about their products.
This sounds essentially identical to this group’s sunscreen report from last year. The report says (once again) that around 80% of sunscreens are either “not effective” or “hazardous.”
However, they suggest that only 50 of 1043 sunscreens were ineffective. So, it seems the EWG is much more concerned with what they deem to be potentially “hazardous” sunscreens.
However, you need to know that they have NO proof that the chemicals in sunscreen are actually harmful to humans.
Nevertheless, to ere of the side of safety, I’d recommend you consider purchasing products from the group’s recommended list of 142 sunscreen products.
Compared to last year’s report, which listed several recommended brands that were expensive and only available online, this year’s report includes a list of the top 10 recommended brands that are widely available, including picks from CVS and Walgreens.
You can search the list here.
One reminder in the report is that old sunscreens “just won’t do.” In other words, “Last summer’s sunscreen isn’t good anymore, generally.”
Regarding application, remember DrWalt’s 20/20 rules. Sunscreens with an SPF of at least 20 should be put on at least 20 minutes before stepping outside. Also don’t forget that it should be applied without clothes on, so as not to miss any spots that might be exposed to the sun.
Also, reapply sunscreens frequently. Remember, even waterproof and sweatproof sunscreens only last up to two hours.