With summer around the corner, and two years of pandemic life, families are excited to get outside and enjoy the sunshine. Summer also means it’s time to stock up on sunscreen, but how do you know which ones are safe for you and your little ones? The nonprofit Environmental Working Group just released their 16th annual Guide to Sunscreens, which rates the safety and efficacy of more than 1,850 SPF products.
EWP’s sunscreen guide revealed that most of the SPF products they evaluated rated poorly for skin protection from the sun, have harmful ingredients or heightens sensitivity to the sun. “Some ingredients commonly found in sunscreens have been linked to both human and environmental concerns,” said Carla Burns, EWG senior director for cosmetic science. “We slather these ingredients on our skin, but many of these chemicals haven’t been adequately tested. EWG has been advocating for the Food and Drug Administration to review these ingredients for 16 years.” For instance, The National Toxicology Program in the U.S. published a study on oxybenzone, an ingredients still found in some sunscreens, which raised concerns about its long-term health effects.
Although 75% of more than 1,850 SPF products tested poorly, more than 280 sunscreens
measured up to EWP’s rigorous standards. The best-scoring sunscreens contain zinc oxide, titanium dioxide or both, which the FDA has determined are safe and effective in protecting skin from the sun. With so many products on the shelves, it can be challenging to determine which offer the best protection and don’t have harmful chemicals. You can find the sunscreen that suits your family by checking out EWP’s 2022 report below: