The Environmental Working Group has released its annual guide to sunscreens, and what they’ve discovered will encourage you to partake in the important summer ritual of staying inside. Their research, as reported by TIME, claims 80% of sunscreens offer “inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients like oxybenzone and vitamin A.”
Oxybenzone is a chemical that can disrupt the hormone system, and some evidence suggests—though not definitively—that adding vitamin A to the skin could heighten sun sensitivity.
So some sunscreens don’t even work, some contain “worrisome” ingredients that could actually increase your risk for skin cancer, and all sprays are bad. Great news to begin your summer with.
The report points to Neutrogena as the brand most at fault for promising sun protection without delivering. The EWG says that Neutrogena claims its baby sunscreens provide “special protection from the sun and irritating chemicals” and is labeled “hypoallergenic,” but it contains a preservative called methylisothiazolinone that has been deemed unsafe for use in leave-on products by the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety. The company also boasts of high SPF levels like SPF 70 or SPF 100+, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there’s only notable protection up to SPF 50, the report adds.
But before canceling plans for Memorial Day weekend, visit the EWG’s site to find the sunscreens that actually do what sunscreens are meant to do. Otherwise, don’t leave for any weekend barbecues without wearing your most fashionable hazmat suit.
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