Whether you’re heading to the beach or just planning on spending some time outside, you’re going to want to make sure you put on some good sunscreen to protect your skin. But unfortunately, not all sunscreen is created equal, and not all of these kinds of products on the market will do what they claim to do. If you encounter any of these kinds of sunscreens at the store, move right along down the aisle:
- Sunscreens with an SPF over 50:
These types of sunscreen trick you into believing that they’ll protect you for a lot longer than other sunscreens. However, since SPF coverage tops out at 30 – 50, sunscreens that boast SPF 70 or 90 are just flat out lying to you.
- Spray Sunscreens:
Since these can potentially (and easily) be inhaled, they’re not ideal for you. They also rarely cover your skin completely, so when you use them, you’re likely not getting even coverage.
- Sunscreens with Oxybenzone:
This stuff, which is an active ingredient in many beach and sport sunscreens, can actually disrupt your hormone system. It penetrates your skin, gets into your bloodstream and actually acts like estrogen in the body. This can trigger allergic reactions and cause a number of other disorders in women.
- Sunscreens That Contain Retinyl Palmitate:
What is retinyl palmitate? It’s a form of vitamin A that is present in just about 20% of sunscreens on the market. And even though it can help skin to look more youthful, it also has negative side effects. According to EWG:
[O]n sun-exposed skin, retinyl palmitate may speed development of skin tumors and lesions, according to government studies. Why does the FDA allow this “inactive ingredient” in sunscreens intended for use in the sun? The agency has been studying the chemical for years but hasn’t made a decision. We have. The definitive study may not have been done, but we think we know enough to believe you’re better off without sunscreens with retinyl palmitate.
Take a look at some of the worst rated sunscreens on the market over at EWG.