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Sunscreens to avoid PDF Print E-mail
Written by 3K Admin   
Friday, 27 May 2011 06:13

By Lori Bongiorno and Sarah B. Weir

Shopping for sunscreen? The Environmental Working Group's (EWG) newly released 2011 sunscreen guide can help you make smart decisions.

This research and advocacy group recommends a mere 20 percent of the 600-plus beach and sport sunscreens it evaluated. To score high marks in the rankings, a product must be effective -- adequately protect skin from both UVA (which causes premature aging, skin cancer, and other skin damage) and UVB (which causes sunburn) rays. It must also be safe, meaning free of potentially harmful chemicals.

The 2011 products to avoid list contains some popular brands.

EWG's Sunscreens to Avoid:

    Aveeno Active Naturals Hydrosport Sunblock Spray, SPF 85
    Aveeno Sunblock Spray, Continuous Protection, SPF 70
    Banana Boat Kids UltraMist Sunscreen, SPF 110
    Banana Boat Kids UltraMist Sunscreen, SPF 85
    Banana Boat Sport Performance Active Max Protect Continuous Spray Sunscreen, SPF 110
    Banana Boat Ultra Defense UltraMist Sunscreen Continuous Clear Spray, SPF 85
    CVSExtreme Sport Clear Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70+
    CVS Sheer Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
    Neutrogena Fresh Cooling Sunblock Lotion, Body Mist, SPF 70
    Neutrogena Spectrum+ Sunblock Spray, SPF 100
    Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunblock Spray, SPF 100+
    Neutrogena Ultimate Sport Sunblock Spray, SPF 70
    Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock Lotion, SPF 100+
    Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunblock Lotion, SPF 70
    Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Sunblock Spray, SPF 70
    Neutrogena Wet Skin Sunblock Spray, SPF 85+
    Walgreens Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen, SPF 70

How did EWG come up with this list? Each of the products to avoid meets all of these criteria:

    SPF values above 50-plus. Higher SPF products are not necessarily best. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration says these numbers can be misleading. There's a concern that high SPF products may give people a false sense of security and encourage people to stay out in the sun for too long without reapplying sunscreen. It's also important to note that the SPF is based solely on UVB protection.
    Sunscreen sprays. They can fill the air with tiny particles that may not be safe to breathe in, according to EWG.
    Contains oxybenzone and vitamin A. Oxybenzone is a concern because it penetrates the skin, is associated with allergic reactions, and is a potential hormone disruptor. Retinyl palmitate is a form of vitamin A that may not be safe when exposed to sunlight. EWG recommends choosing products with one of these ingredients instead: zinc, titanium dioxide, avobenzone, or Mexoryl SX.

Which products does EWG recommend? Here's a list of its best beach and sport sunscreens.

Unfortunately, some of the safest and most effective sunscreens on store shelves can be expensive so it's worthwhile to shop around for deals. Here are the most affordable products that performed well in EWG's ratings (calculated by Yahoo! based on price per ounce).

Safer, Affordable Sunscreens:

    Alba Botanica Sun: Mineral Sunscreen Fragrance Free, SPF 30
    Alba Botanical Sun: Mineral Sunscreen Kids, SPF 30
    Aubrey Organics Natural Sun Saving Face Sunscreen, SPF 15
    All Terrain Aquasport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30
    All Terrain KidSport Sunscreen, SPF 30
    BabyGanics Cover Up Baby Sunscreen for Face & Body, Fragrance Free, SPF 50+
    Carribean Solutions Natural/Biodegradable SolGuard, SPF 25
    Carribean Solutions Sol Kid Kare Natural Sunscreen, SPF 25
    Earth's Best: Sunblock Mineral Based, SPF 30+
    Goddess Garden Kids Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
    Goddess Garden Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
    Jason Natural Cosmetics Sunbrellas: Mineral Natural Sunblock, SPF 30
    Johnson & Johnson's Baby Daily Face & Body Lotion, SPF 40
    Mexitan Products Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50 and SPF 30
    MelanSol Natural Sunscreen for Face and Body, SPF 25
    Nature's Gate Mineral Sportblock, SPF 20
    Purple Prairie Botanicals SunStuff, SPF 30
    Solbar Zinc Protection Cream, SPF 38
    Sunbow Dora the Explorer Pink Sunscreen, SPF 30
    Tropical Sands All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 50 and SPF 30
    Vanicream Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin, SPF 30
    Vanicream Sunscreen Sport, SPF 35

EWG also includes ratings for best moisturizers, lip balms, and makeup with SPF.

It's worth noting that using sunscreen is only one part of smart sun protection. Limit your time outside in the middle of the day when the sun's rays are most intense. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and protective clothing (dark and tightly-woven). Get more sun safety tips from EWG.

Last Updated on Friday, 27 May 2011 06:16