Tips for Consumers
For its part, the Environmental Working Group says it isn't trying to discourage the use of sunscreens. It just wants consumers to be better educated about what they're getting and how it should be used.
"We have two general tips for consumers," says Leiba. "Although sunscreen is an important part of a full sun-protection routine, it cannot be taken in isolation. Continue to seek shade. Avoid the midday sun. Wear sun-protective clothing in addition to using sunscreens. It's only part of a full routine," she says.
Part of proper usage, she says, is proper application. She says it's important to apply the sunscreen every two hours. It's also critical to apply an adequate amount. That's a palmful for adults.
Second, she says, because they can lead to a false sense of security in the sun, "We suggest you avoid SPFs higher than 50."