The Environmental Working Group released its 12th annual Guide to Sunscreens and the findings are not much better than last year. The EWG tested more than 1,000 sunscreen products and found that nearly two-thirds of them either do not offer adequete protection or contain ingredients they say could be harmful to your health.
The primary ingredient raising red flags is oxybenzone which the EWG says is a hormone disruptor.
David Andrews, a senior scientist at EWG also warned consumers to be wary of SPF values over 50.
“SPF values of 75, 80, or 100 lull Americans into thinking their skin is fully protected from the sun’s harmful rays for extended periods of time,” said Andrews. “People tend to misuse these high SPF products, spending more time in the sun without reapplying, putting them and their families at greater risk of UV damage.”
It’s not just sunscreen you need to use daily to protect yourself and your family. Protective clothing, hats and sunglasses are equally as important. Shade isn’t just a good way to cool off, it’s a great way to stay protected from the sun’s rays as well, so consider purchasing a beach tent or canopy for your family trips to the beach.
The EWG shares these 5 tips on how to choose a sunscreen for your kids and keep them sun safe:
- Avoid products with oxybenzone. This chemical penetrates the skin, gets into the bloodstream and block the male sex hormone androgen.
- Stay away from sunscreens with SPF values higher than 50+. High SPF values do not provide increased UVA protection and may fool you into thinking you’re safe from sun damage.
- Avoid sprays. These popular products don’t provide a thick and uniform coating on skin. They also pose inhalation concerns.
- Cover up with clothing, hats and sunglasses.
- Avoid intense sun exposure during the peak hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Here are the best scoring sunscreens for kids according to EWG’s 2018 report:
Adorable Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30+
All Good Kid’s Sunscreen, SPF 30
Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection Lotion Sunscreen, Sensitive Skin, SPF 50
Badger Kids Sunscreen Cream, Tangerine & Vanilla, SPF 30
Bare Republic Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Baby, SPF 50
Blue Lizard Australian Sunscreen, Baby, SPF 30+
BurnOut Kids Sunscreen, SPF 35
California Baby Calendula Sunscreen, SPF 30+
COOLA Suncare Baby Mineral Sunscreen Stick, SPF 50
Equate Baby Zinc Sunscreen Mineral Lotion, SPF 50
Goddess Garden Organics Kids Sport Natural Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Hawaiian Sol Sol Kid Kare, SPF 50
Kiss My Face Organics Kids Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
MDSolarSciences KidCreme Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 40
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunscreen, SPF 50
Nurture My Body Baby Organic Sunscreen, SPF 32
Sunology Mineral Sunscreen, Kids, SPF 50
thinkbaby Sunscreen, SPF 50+
thinksport Kids Sunscreen, SPF 50+
Tom’s of Maine Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
TruBaby Water & Play Sunscreen, SPF 30+
TruKid Sunny Days Sport Sunscreen, SPF 30
Waxhead Sun Defense Baby Zinc Oxide Sunscreen, SPF 35