Only 25 percent of sunscreens offer strong protection
How many products—sunscreens, lip balms, makeup products—have you bought because you thought they could protect you from the sun? Turns out that the majority of them don’t live up to their promises, according to a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG.) It analyzed more than 1,400 products and found that only about 25 percent of them were as effective in protecting people from sun exposure as they claimed to be.
The biggest risk of exposure to the sun is skin cancer, including the most deadly form: melanoma. Melanoma rates have tripled in the past 35 years, with an annual increase of nearly two percent. The researchers concluded that false advertising claims may partially be to blame for this rise because people often misuse sunscreens and stay in the sun longer than they should because of deceptive marketing claims.
The EWG says the Food and Drug Administration should urge companies to take high-SPF sunscreens (above 50+) off the market because people assume that using these products allows them to stay out in the sun for long stretches of time, but they don’t provide that level of protection. The report also advises consumers to avoid products containing vitamin A, products with oxybenzone and spray sunscreens because they generally provide inconsistent coverage of the skin.