Sunscreen: Which is best?

As you’re stocking up on sunscreen this season beware: not all sunscreens are created equal.  A watchdog group recently examined the ingredients in sunscreen and put out a consumer list of the best and worst sunscreens.

The Environmental Work Group says only one in five of the more than 600 bottles the group looked at meet their standards.

“Nearly 90 brands, including CVS, Neutrogena, Banana Boat, Walgreens and Aveeno now offer sunscreens with zinc and titanium. These are the right choice for children, people with sensitive skin and others who want the best UVA protection without potentially hormone-disrupting chemicals like oxybenzone or vitamin A, which may be carcinogenic on sun-exposed skin,” the group’s website said.  “None are sprayed or powdered, so they don’t pose inhalation dangers.”

The researchers also warned consumers about buying sunscreens with high SPFs.  “Studies show that high-SPF users are exposed to as much or more ultraviolet rays than people who use lower SPF products. Why? Those big numbers give people a false sense of security. They wait too long before reapplying and stay out too long.”

While not everyone agrees with the group’s statements, they do offer consumers a list of the sunscreens they believe are the best:

*Alba Botanica Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30
*Aveeno Baby Natural Protection Mineral Block Face Stick SPF 50
*Climb On! Mineral Sunblock SPF 30
*Karen’s Botanicals Simple Sunblock Lotion, Unscented, SPF 30
*Loving Naturals Sunscreen, SPF 30 plus
*Sun Putty Face SPF 30
*Vanicream Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin, SPF 30

They also list the following sunscreens on their Hall of Shame:
*Hawaiian Tropic Baby Stick Sunscreen SPF 50.
*Baby Blanket SunBlankie Towelette SPF 45+
*Coppertone Water Babies Sunscreen Lotion SPF 70+
*Banana Boat Sport Performance Active Max Protect, SPF 110
*Elizabeth Arden–Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face, SPF 50
*Rite Aid Kids Sunscreen Spray Lotion SPF 45
*Anthony Logistics for Men Sun Stick SPF 15

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