If you’re one of those parents who depends on sunscreen for your child’s skin protection, that may not be enough this summer -- especially considering how many sunscreens marketed for children are more harmful than helpful.
In the 13th annual sunscreen guide by nonprofit organization Environmental Working Group (EWG), researchers evaluated the UV-ray protection, the toxic ingredients and any other health hazards in approximately 650 sunscreens, 250 SPF-labeled moisturizers and 115 lip products.
EWG has studied sunscreens and released a guide every year since 2007. The nonprofit continues to find that “there is little scientific evidence to suggest that sunscreen alone reduces the risk of cancer, particularly for melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.”
According to this year’s study, sunscreen products “unambiguously marketed for children” -- that is, products using terms like “baby,” “kids” and “little” -- scored too low to be fully effective.
Additionally, two-thirds of the products examined offered “inferior sun protection” or have “worrisome” ingredients, the study revealed, like oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin. (Learn more about the trouble with sunscreen ingredients.)
The study also noted that parents should steer clear of shopping for sunscreen with an SPF of more than 50. The higher the SPF, or sunburn protection factor, does not mean the better the protection.
Here are the 10 worst sunscreens on the market today, according to EWG’s 2019 report:
Walgreens Dry Touch Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100
Walgreens Age Protection For Face Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 110
Sun Bum Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
Panama Jack Sunscreen Spray, SPF 70
Panama Jack Sport Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 85+
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 100+
Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100+
Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 60+
Neutrogena CoolDry Sport Sunscreen Spray, SPF 100
Find the EWG Guide to Sunscreens here.
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