The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) fourth annual Sunscreen Guide reveals the truth about many products that claim to protect you from the sun, but may be harmful to your health. The newest trend for sunscreens is an exaggerated SPF, which promises to protect from harmful rays, but can be detrimental to your health. SPFs greater than 50 can create a false sense of security for users, who think they can stay out in the sun longer without reapplication. In addition to higher risk for sunburn, high SPF users are at risk for absorbing high levels of vitamin A compound. This compound, called retinyl palmitate, is found in 41 percent of sunscreens and is currently being investigated for having photocarcinogenic properties. This could mean your sunscreen could be elevating your risk for skin damage and skin cancer rather than protecting you from harmful rays.
Out of the 500 sunscreens on the market, only 8 percent are recommended for you and your family. In the Environmental Working Group’s investigation, it was found that all the 39 “green” sunscreen products, including moisturizers, make-up and lip balm, contained the minerals zinc or titanium. The minerals in these products may be the key to keeping you safe from the sun. To find out which products are more helpful than harmful, check out the full report at the 2010 Sunscreen Guide. For a quick list of the top rated sunscreen products, visit Top Sunscreens.
For more information about harmful chemicals in other personal care products, visit Skin Deep, a guide to safe cosmetics.