How Safe and Effective Are Sunscreens?
Scientists from EWG developed a "best" list for sunscreens, lip balms, and moisturizers. On the 10 best sunscreens list (many sold online):
- Soleo Organics Sunscreen Organic chemical-free sunscreen, SPF 30+
- Badger Sunscreen, SPF 30
- UV Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
- Mexitan Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50
- Lavera Sunscreen Neutral, SPF 40
- California Baby Sunscreen Lotion No Fragrance, SPF 30+
- Trukid Sunny Days Facestick Mineral Sunscreen UVA/UVB Broad Spectrum, SPF 30+
- Kabana Skin Care Green Screen Organic Sunscreen, SPF 22, Skin Tone Tinted
- Obagi Nu-Derm Physical UV Block, SPF 32
- Elta MD UV Physical, SPF 41.
On the top 10 lip balm list:
- Fallene cotz LipCotz, Ultra High Sun Protection, SPF 45
- Jane Iredale LipDrink, SPF 15
- Badger Lip Balm, SPF 15
- Caribbean Blue-natural basics Lip Shield, SPF 15
- Shady Day Shady Kiss Lip Balm, SPF 30
- Bare Escentuals Lip Guard, SPF 15
- Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Lip Butter, SPF 15, Pure Vanilla, SPF 15
- Jack Black Intense Therapy Lip Balm Lemon & Chamomile, SPF 25
- Rx Suncare Lip Balm Sunblock, SPF 45
- Crabtree & Evelyn Naturals Protective Lip Balm, SPF 8, Cocoa butter & Cardamom
And the top 10 SPF moisturizers, according to EWG:
- Keys Soap Solar Rx Cosmetic Moisturizing sunblock, SPF 30
- Marie Veronique Organics Crème de Jour Tinted, SPF 30,no nanoparticles
- Devita International Daily Solar Protective Moisturizer 30
- SanRe Organic Skinfood Supple Sunshine, Organic Rosemary and Lavender Day Creme (Dry to Normal), SPF 30
- Lotus Moon Sage Sun Protective Crème, SPF 25
- Institut Dermed Sun Protective Cream Oil Free, Untinted, SPF 28
- N.V. Perricone M.D., Targeted Care Solar Protection Face with DMAE, SPF 26
- Sue Devitt Promarine Tinted Moisturizer, SPF 30, Capri
- Sun Science Organic Daily Wear, SPF 30
- Karen's Botanical Lovely Lavender Cream, SPF 15
Failures and Improvements
Among the failings of the sunscreen products and industry, according to EWG:
- Only 5% of products overall met their criteria for safety and sunscreen effectiveness -- and that includes blocking UVA and UVB, maintaining stability, and having no or few ingredients with health hazards.
- Product claims are overstated, promising such things as "all day" protection.
- Many spray and powder products contain tiny "nano-scale" ingredients that could be absorbed more easily in the lungs and cause problems.