The Environmental Working Group (EWG) have released their 2017 sunscreen guide. Let’s take a look and see what it covers, so you can then explore it further and make some choices.
You’ll know from previous posts that I like the EWG. They put out some great information and do extensive research into the safety of different products. The same goes for their sunscreen guide.
Sunshine without sunscreen
First of all, we do need some sunshine on our bodies – without sunscreen slathered all over us. Try to have some time in the sun/outside every day – when the sun is not at its peak – and with more than just your face and hands exposed. The benefits of vitamin D are wide ranging. The research continues to show us all that it can do. So make sure you aren’t always covered in sunscreen/suntan lotion.
By the way, if you want to know when is the best time of day to be outdoors – check out the EPA’s Sunwise UV index app. You can enter your location, and it will show you the UV index at different times of the day, to help you choose when to get your un-suncreened sun! Download the free app on your phone, and you’ll always have that information with you.
EWG’s 2017 Sunscreen Guide
But for those times when you are in the peak sun, and/or outdoors for extended periods of time, yes, using sunscreen can protect us from damaging rays of the sun. But which one to choose? And should you use the same one for yourself and your kids? This is where the EWG’s 2017 Sunscreen Guide comes into play.
EWG scientists investigated nearly 1,500 sun products. The main guide is all on the website. There is an email sign-up part but that just gives you the following information:
Ingredients to avoid: oxybenzone, Vitamin A (retinyl palmitate), added insect repellant
Ingredients to look for: zinc oxide, avobenzone, Mexoryl SX
Types of products to avoid: sprays, powders, SPF above 50
Types of products to look for: cream, broad-spectrum protection, water resistant, SPF to suit your needs (15- 50)
Approximately 75% of the products they investigated provided inferior sun protection or contained some concerning ingredients like hormone-disrupting oxybenzone.
They have many articles as part of the guide – like 8 little-known facts about sunscreen. Here you’ll learn, for example, the sunscreens in Europe are better than US ones – so if you are going to Europe on vacation – wait and buy your sunscreen there.
Best and worst sunscreen for kids
Check out the best scoring sunscreens for kids. These all have a “green” rating and are marketed for use on babies and kids. You get lots of information on the safety of all the ingredients, the UV protection, and a score of 1-10, with 1 being the best score. This guide helps you make sure you aren’t putting toxic ingredients on your children’s skin while trying to protect them. You can also check out the worst scoring kids sunscreens. Some of these score 10 on the 1-10 scale!
Take time to explore
There is also the standard search box on the website where you can enter the sunscreen you already have to see its rating and whether you want to keep using it or switch.
It’s worth spending a little time on the website to find out what is important and what you should look for in a suntan lotion or sunscreen.
Get over to the EWG website now, and then get outside and enjoy the sunshine, safely. And remember – there are lots of other benefits to the sun too beyond vitamin D – like improvement in mood – so have a happy, safe, sunny summer!