Whether you’re headed for a tropical getaway, a stroll in the park or just a trip to an outdoor mall this summer, you should always be wearing one important thing: Sunscreen. Our skin is our bodyguard and acts as a barrier to harmful enemies like germs and UV radiation, but sometimes our ‘bodyguard’ needs a bodyguard too and that’s where sunscreen comes to play. When you’re choosing your sunscreen this year, know that not all sunscreens are created equal. In fact, a shocking amount of sunscreen isn’t doing its job at all.
A new study by the EWG or Environmental Working Group – a nonprofit environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. – recently tested 1,700 different SPF products. A whopping 80 percent of the products tested offered little to no sun protection and contained harmful ingredients like oxybenzone and Vitamin A (which is safe in some products, but can actually speed up the development of tumors and lesions when exposed to the sun, yikes!). Researchers considered a number of factors when testing each sunscreen: the UVA protection, UVB protection, UVA/UVB balance and the active ingredients used. The findings resulted in a sunscreen ‘Hall of Shame‘ and includes a lot of familiar names including Banana Boat, Neutrogena, and Coppertone.
Don’t start freaking out yet, though! It’s important to know why these particular products made the ‘worst’ list. For one, any sunscreen that offers an SPF of 50+ is a fraud. SPF tops out at 30 to 50. Spray sunscreens are also bogus sun protectors because they don’t cover the skin completely and can be inhaled. Check out EWG’s ‘Hall of Shame‘ to knowledge yourself on what products to avoid this summer and check out their ‘Best’ list if you’re looking for superior sun protection.