It's that time of year again (finally!) when we need to load up on sunscreen. But with the myriad products lining store shelves, how do you know which ones will be safe and effective for your family?
As part of its new Sun Safety campaign, the Environmental Working Group released its list of "NO's" when it comes to sunscreen — as in, what you don't want to see in the sunscreen you choose for your family. Here is a sample of the group's suggestions:
NO spray. Yes, I know they are easy to use, but the EWG points to inhalation risks and the possibility of missing a spot as reasons for asking folks to put down the spray sunscreen.
NO super-high SPF. High SPF sunscreens give people a false sense of security — as in ... sure, you can stay in the sun all day ... you've got SPF 500 on. But that's not how it works. You're better bet is to keep the SPF at 50 or below and limit sun exposure whenever possible.
NO endocrine disrupters. Chances are, if you purchased your sunscreen off the shelf of your favorite big box store, it will have oxybenzone, or some other kind of endocrine-disrupting chemical listed in the ingredients. These chemicals mimic estrogen in the body and could potentially lead to a slew of health risks.
No sunscreen/bug repellent combos. There's just too much that can go wrong when you try to combine two products that have two very different uses. For instance, you don't need bug repellent on your face, but you definitely do need sunscreen on your face. One substance might also need to be reapplied more frequently than the other, depending upon the time of day and the conditions. Want to know which bug spray to buy? Check out this list of safe bug spray ingredients.
So which sunscreen should you buy? You can find out how your favorite brand ranks on the EWG Guide to Sunscreens.
Related posts on MNN:
- Why I don't wear sunscreen
- Teens more likely to use sunscreen when they learn the sun could affect their looks
- 5 surprising things you don't know about sunscreen