It won't be long until we're sitting at the pool or by the beach again. The good news is that sunscreen has gotten a lot safer in the past decade. The bad news is that a whopping 75% of sunscreens tested by the consumer watchdog Environmental Working Group still offer inadequate protection and/or harmful ingredients, including retinyl palmitate and oxybenzone.
Some new regulations passed by the FDA have banned false claims like “waterproof” and “sweatproof”. Don’t be duped by false marketing claims, of which there are many in the skin care industry!
My FAVORITE sunscreen is endorsed by the Environmental Working Group, safe for kids, adults, and coral reefs! Find it here.
Packing your swim bag doesn’t need to cause you stress, though. Here are some guidelines:
- The convenience is unbeatable, but avoid spray sunscreens due to proven inhalation risk and inadequate coverage.
- Go for mineral-only sunscreen featuring zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.
- Avoid sky-high SPF claims, which do not offer superior protection.
- Choose both UVA AND UVB protection.
- Avoid Vitamin A in the form of retinal palmitate, a common sunscreen additive thought to actually increase skin tumors and lesions.
- Avoid Oxybenzone, which is linked to hormone disruption and potentially to cell damage that may lead to skin cancer.
- Avoid the ingredient “Fragrance”, which is often used to mask the chemicalized odor of sunscreen. Fragrance is a very dangerous ingredient in any skin care product.
Here are all of the sunscreens recommended by the Environmental Working Group. Among them, THIS is my favorite brand. The lotion and stick both give excellent protection, glide on easily, won't leave a pasty, white, or chalky residue. Plus, you’ll love the light, fresh scent.