It’s that time of year again. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has just released its 10th annual guide to sunscreens. EWG rates thousands of sunscreens from 0 to 10. This is known as the ingredient hazard score and reflects known and suspected hazards of ingredients. The safest products are rated 0 to 2 (green). Products that are rated 3 to 6 (yellow) have moderate hazards to health, and from 7 to 10 (red) are considered high hazards to health.
In the 10 years since EWG published their first guide, there has been much progress. This year alone, there are over 200 beach and sport sunscreens with a green rating in EWG’s 2016 Sunscreen Guide. Forty-nine baby and kid sunscreens score a 1 in their database, most of those being lotions.
Although there has been a lot of progress, there are still many concerns. One concern is the misleading high SPF values. High SPF values do not necessarily offer greater protection and may lead consumers to spend too much time in the sun. In 2007, only 10 sunscreens in the guide claimed SPF 70 and higher, but this year there are 61 products making such claims, including 15 products advertised as SPF 100 or higher.
Another concern is that use of sunscreen sprays are on the rise. Although they may seem to offer convenience, they may pose an inhalation risk and may not provide a thick and even coating on skin. In 2011, the FDA raised similar concerns. Lotions, creams and sticks may seem messier, but they provide better coverage and are safer to use, especially with children.
So check out where your sunscreen rates, and visit Village Green Apothecary for more safe sunscreens.
Also check out this link for more tips on summer safety.