It is that time of year again, when the cold winter months have come to a close. The mornings are brighter and summer is on the way. Many people try to refresh their habits in line with the season, and one that we have been advised to be extra vigilant about is of course…..wear sunscreen!
So we listen to what we are told, we slather on the expensive sun protection and can then relax in the knowledge that we are protected against the harmful ultra violet rays of the sun? As with many things, that is not the whole story.
The Truth About Sunscreen
The EWG recently analyzed a large selection of U.S. sun protection products, around 1,700 in total, and their results were damning. A staggering 80% of those tested either contained harmful ingredients, or failed to offer adequate UV protection – or both!
Among the products tested were sun-screens, SPF moisturizers and lip balms. You can view the entire list of products and their results here.
Dave Andrews, a senior scientist at EWG said “Our research confirms that not all sunscreens are created equal. Many products do not provide enough UVA protection. Some contain hazardous chemicals such as the hormone disruptor oxybenzone or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A linked to skin damage. Shoppers who use our guide can find sunscreens that are not only more effective but safer for themselves and their family.”
The Biggest Losers
Over 30 of the scrutinized products were even categorized as belonging to the so called ‘Sunscreen Hall of Shame’. EWG stated that these were not only a waste of money, but were actually also harmful to humans.
These were chosen for four main reasons, which are discussed below.
Some products relegated to the hall of shame were spray sunscreens. The reason that this is a problem, is because it makes it very easy to inhale to product. They are quick and easy to apply, but unfortunately the shott cut comes with a cost. It becomes very easy to miss a spot, leaving no sun protection at all. Their safety therefore comes into question – they are less effective and pose an inhalation risk. The real worry with these is that they are very popular for use on children, the most vulnerable amongst us.