The shocking truth about sunscreen

The shocking truth about sunscreen

Grabbing a sunscreen with a high SPF? You may be buying the wrong product entirely.

It’s summertime, and that means a trip to the beach or some other outdoor outing — so make sure to break out the sunscreen to protect your kids from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. And the truth about sunscreen may surprise you.

Skin cancer rates are rising throughout the United States, and the Skin Cancer Foundation is predicting more than 76,000 new cases of invasive melanoma this year, making protection from the sun more important than ever for the whole family.

The Environmental Working Group recently released its 2016 report evaluating 750 sunscreens, focusing on products aimed at babies and young children.

The results were alarming: a full three quarters of products had inferior protection or ingredients that were not ideal, or both.

The EWG evaluates the many products on the market today to see what was different about them and which ones are best for children. There was actually relatively little different between children and adult products, despite the marketing, which means there’s really no reason to buy more than one product for your family.

The report recommends using products that use zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as UV filters, offering solid protection against ultraviolet rays.

Don’t pay too much attention to SPF values, as they can be misleading, the report states.

“Since 2007, when EWG published its first Sunscreen Guide, many sun protection products sold in the U.S. are safer and federal regulators have cracked down on some of the worst phony marketing claims. But our investigation of more than 750 beach and sport sunscreens for our tenth annual guide found that serious concerns remain,” the statement reads. “Almost three-fourths of the products we examined offer inferior sun protection or contain worrisome ingredients like oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin. And despite scant evidence, the government still allows most sunscreens to claim they help prevent skin cancer.”

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