Sunscreen Facts for Summer 2017
Beware of the summer sun: a new report released today by an independent advocacy group suggests nearly 75 percent of sunscreens on the market are either ineffective or contain harmful chemicals. More than 1,500 products—sunscreens, as well as moisturizers and lip balms containing SPF (sun protection factor)—were reviewed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in Washington, D.C. for the annual report. Only about one-fourth of the products met the group’s strict guidelines.
Researchers focused on factors such as whether the products contain harmful substances or could cause harm during application, how well the products block UVA and UVB rays, how quickly the products’ active ingredients breakdown, etc. About 300 sunscreens, 100 moisturizers, and 40 lip balms complied with recommendations.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t set specific criteria for children’s sunscreen, but the EWG report identifies 19 products it deems best for kids and babies. Products that contain harmful ingredients and spray-on products—which apply unevenly and may be inhaled during application—score the lowest, according to the EWG.