Choosing a sunscreen that is perfect for your skin and health is just that, your choice. With so many sunscreens on the market these days how do you decide which one is the best one? There are so many rumors going around about sunscreens that it could all get a little confusing. There are two kinds of sunscreens; chemical or mineral. A chemical sunscreen has the main ingredient, oxybenzone, that absorb into the skin to block the uv rays. The second kind is a mineral sunblock that uses titanium dioxide or zinc oxide to physically protect your skin from uv damage. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends that the public use the second kind of sunscreen; mineral. Mineral sunscreens are recommended and are becoming more popular because the chemical sunscreens are potential hormone disruptors.

Hormone Disruptor: Endocrine disruptors are exogenous substances that act like hormones in the endocrine system and disrupt the physiologic function of endogenous hormones.

For EWG’s 5th annual sunscreen report, they analyzed more than 600 beach and sport sunscreens and found that they could only recommend one in five sunscreens for this summer! The rest either don’t protect enough or contain hazardous ingredients that don’t belong on your skin. The safe sunscreens get a score of 1 and 2, while the ones deemed harmful get 4’s and 5’s.

What’s makes my sunscreen so bad?

  • It contains two chemicals  that don’t belong on a baby’s (or anyones) skin – the hormone disruptor oxybenzone and a form vitamin A called retinyl palmitate.
  •  High-SPF products may tempt people to stay in the sun too long, suppressing sunburns but upping the risks of UVA damage. EWG recommends that consumers avoid products labeled higher than “SPF 50+” and reapply sunscreen often, regardless of SPF.
  • If you see the seal; beware. The Skin Cancer Foundation lends its logo to hundreds of sun protection products. Traditionally SCF approval has been easy: just document that your product has an SPF of at least 15 and provide results of basic tests for SPF, skin reactions and water and sweat resistance, if such claims are made. The Skin Care Foundation requires that companies seeking product approval pay a $10,000 donation to join the Foundation’s “Corporate Council.”

What makes my sunscreen so AWESOME?!

  •  Provide broad-spectrum (UVA and UVB-sunburn) protection with fewer hazardous chemicals that penetrate the skin; contain the minerals zinc or titanium.
  •  None of the products contain oxybenzone or vitamin A and none are sprayed or powdered.

To see if the sunscreen you are using made the Hall of Shame list or the Best Beach & Sport Sunscreens visit the EWG website. They even have a feature where you can type in your sunscreen name and receive instant feedback and scoring. I was happy to see that the sunscreens that I have reviewed for UV Skinz and posted on the blog made it on the “good” list!

TruKid (with six sunscreens), Kinesys Sunscreen Ointment and MiEssence Reflect Outdoor Balm all scored well!