The Environmental Working Group released its 15th annual Guide to Sunscreens and the findings are not much better than last year. The EWG tested more than 1,800 sunscreen products and found that thee-quarters of them either do not offer adequate 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.”
The 2021 report includes listings of the 63 best sunscreens for kids, best 250 recreational and sport sunscreens, and best 162 daily use SPF products.
Read the full report here.
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.
Related: Our Favorite Family-Friendly Beaches in Tampa Bay
The EWG shares these 5 tips on how to choose the right protection 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 some of the best scoring sunscreens for kids according to EWG’s 2021 report:
- Adorable Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
- All Good Kid’s Sunscreen Butter Stick, SPF 50+
- Badger Baby Active Sunscreen Cream, Chamomile & Calendula, SPF 30
- Burt’s Bees Baby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
- California Baby Everyday Year Round Sunscreen stick SPF 30 and Super Sensitive Sunscreen Stick SPF 30
- Coppertone Water Babies Pure and Simple Sunscreen Stick SPF 50
- Earth Mama sunscreen products
- Erbaviva Organic Skincare Baby Sun Stick, Lavender Chamomile, SPF 30
- Just Skin Food Baby Beach Bum Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
- Olita Kids Mineral Sunscreen Sunstick, SPF30
- Raw Elements Baby + Kids Sunscreen Lotion Tin, SPF 30
- Star Naturals Baby Natural Sunscreen Stick, SPF 25
- SunBioLogic Kids Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30+
- Suntribe Kids Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, Vanilla Yum Yum, SPF 30
- thinkbaby Body & Face Sunscreen Stick, SPF 30
- thinkbaby Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
- TruBaby Water & Play Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
- TruKid Sunny Days Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
- UV Natural Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+
- Waxhead Sun Defense Baby Zinc Oxide Vitamin E + D Enriched Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 35
Read the full list of best sunscreens for kids here.