Sun Safety 2012: Best Sunscreens and Those to Avoid

Sun Safety 2012: Best Sunscreens and Those to Avoid

Alisa Opar
Published: 05/30/2012

Non-mineral Sunscreens
(None received EWG’s top rating, as they all contain at least one chemical “considered to be a potential hormone disruptor.” All scored between 2 and 5.)
 
Australian Gold
Sheer Coverage Lotion with InvisiDry, SPF 15
 
Beyond Coastal
Active Face Stick Sunscreen, SPF 30
Daily Active Sunscreen, SPF 30
Active Sunscreen, SPF 15
 
Bull Frog

Water Armor Sport Face Lotion Sunblock, SPF 30
Ultimate Sheer Protection, Body, SPF 30
Ultimate Sheer Protection, Face, SPF 30
 
COOLA
Suncare Sport Classic Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 45
Suncare Body Classic Sunscreen, Unscented, SPF 30
 
Coppertone
Oil Free Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 15
Sport High Performance Ultra Sweatproof Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
UltraGuard Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 15
Sport Ultra Sweatproof Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 15
 
NIA24
Sun Damage Prevention UVA/UVB Sunscreen, SPF 30
 
Ocean Potion
Suncare Anti Skin Aging Quick Dry Lotion, SPF 15
Suncare Sunblock Lotion, Anti-Aging Quick Dry, SPF 50+
Suncare Anti Skin Aging Face Potion Daily Lotion, SPF 45
 
Sunbow
Sunscreen Stick, SpongeBob Square Pants, SPF 45
Dora the Explorer Pink Sunscreen Stick, SPF 45
 
Vichy
Laboratoires LiftActiv Retinol HA Day Sunscreen, SPF 18
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9 products EWG says typify what’s wrong with sunscreens
 
Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 70+ – 6% oxybenzone
Why: One of 65 sunscreens for kids/babies that contains oxybenzone, a synthetic chemical that’s a suspected hormone disruptor and can cause allergic reactions.
 
Banana Boat Baby Tear Free Sunblock Lotion, SPF 50+
Why: Contains retinyl palmitate, a derivative of vitamin A that may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions.
  
Neutrogena Wet Skin Kids Beach & Pool Sunblock Stick, SPF 70
Why: Under new FDA regulations, companies will no longer be allowed to label their products higher than SPF 50 because while they may protect from sunburn caused largely by UVB rays, they leave people vulnerable to UVA rays, which can damage skin and possibly increase a person's risk of skin cancer.
  
CVS Kids Fast Cover Continuous Clear Spray, SPF 50
Why: Spray sunscreens not only make it easy to miss a spot, there are also growing concerns that they may damage lungs, which is why the FDA will soon require that they carry labels with warnings including “use in well ventilated area.”
 
GO!screen Natural Mineral PowderBlock Brush-On Sunscreen, SPF 30
Why: “Some brands of loose powder sunscreens contain particles of titanium dioxide, which the International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” when inhaled. Powdered sunscreens may also contain nanoscale and micronized zinc oxide, which can cause lung inflammation and worse,” says EWG’s website. Instead, the group recommends using creams or lotions.
 
Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
Why: No different from adult sunscreen. EWG found 16 brands in this season’s crop whose products labeled as baby sunscreens list the exact same ingredients—and amounts—as adult sunscreens.
 
Baby Blanket SunBlankie Towelette SPF 45+

Why: EWG says, “In its 2011 sunscreen rules, FDA says it doesn’t have data to know if wipes are safe and effective sunscreens.”
 
Lavera Baby & Children Sun Screen, Medium, SPF 20
Why: While the front of the box claims the sunscreen is “effective immediately,” the side panel warns “apply… 15 minutes before sun exposure.” EWG recommends skipping the claims on the front of the box and instead following the directions and heeding warnings.
 
La Prairie Cellular Radiance Emulsion, SPF 30
Why: Pricier isn’t always better. This product retails for $267 per fluid ounce. But EWG warns: “Consumers who shell out the bucks for pricey SPF-labeled moisturizers rarely get the sun protection they expect.” Click here for EWG’s top-rated moisturizers with SPF.
 
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