Environmental Working Group has put out an updated Guide to Sunscreens, and this year, they have also launched a Sun Safety campaign. The reason? Two-thirds of the sunscreens they assessed did not work well enough, or contained ingredients that are toxic. Meanwhile, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the U.S. Big takeaways to have a safe, sunny summer (and here in the Bay Area, these tips apply most of the year):
- Sunscreen helps, but the best defenses against getting too much harmful ultraviolet radiation are protective clothing, sunglasses, shade and timing your exposure.
- Sunscreen ingredients matter. Avoid spray sunscreens, since sunscreens belong on your skin, not in your lungs or dispersed in the air. Also avoid Vitamin A and Oxybenzone on sunscreen ingredient lists.
- High-SPF products are misleading. A label higher than SPF 50 can tempt you to stay in the sun too long, and higher SPFs do not protect equally against both UVA and UVB rays.
If you’re heading to our Family Fun Festival this Saturday (forecast is for sun!), visit the Ecology Center Store booth. We’ll be providing samples of our favorite sunscreens, with ingredients approved by the Environmental Working Group. Try one out on us!
[Photo by Robert Wallace on Flickr]