How to stay away from toxic sunscreens this summer

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HEALTHY LIVING  |  5.20.15  |  by Julie Rhodins

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flower-468x468Environmental Working Group has just released its 2015 Guide to Safer, More Effective Sunscreens.  More than 30 products landed in EWG’s 2015 Sunscreen Hall of Shame because of potentially toxic ingredients, inhalation risks from sprays, and excessive SPF claims.

1,700 products, including sunscreens, SPF-rated moisturizers and lip balms were tested and rated.  And just in time.  Because with Memorial Day and summer just around the corner, families tend to spend a lot of time in the sun and want to avoid sunburn.

So we’ve got some of EWG’s top choices and a primer on its free shopping app to help you and your family stay safe with sunscreens.

▼ Keep scrolling to find out what to avoid,
recommended products, and info on its FREE shopping app▼

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Avoid these sunscreen products:

  • Spray sunscreens — you can inhale them by accident.  No good.
  • Suncreens with the ingredients oxybenzone (potential hormone disruptor) or retinyl palmitate (this is basically Vitamin A and might trigger skin damage and, later, skin cancer)
  • Above 50+ SPF — according to EWG, “SPF values above 50+ try to trick you into believing they’ll prevent sun damage. Don’t trust them. SPF protection tops out at 30 to 50.”

▼ Keep scrolling for top sunscreens to buy

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Most of the nontoxic and effective sunscreens are not going to be your well-known brands.  And many of them you have to order online or go to a store like Whole Foods because they come from companies that don’t have as wide a distribution or ability to compete for store shelf space in, let’s say, Target.  Here are several of the top sunscreens recommended by EWG, all with links of where to buy —

SHOPPING TIP: If you want a store near you to carry a particular product, then just ask them!  We’ve found that going on a store’s website to give feedback to to let the store manager know often provides you with the product in stock.

▼ And here’s our QUICK primer on EWG’s free shopping app

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EWG's Shopping App Primer

This is a screen capture of what the EWG Skin Deep FREE shopping app looks like.  If you’re out shopping, this is when it comes in most handy.  If you’re at home, just use the desktop version (it’s faster).  You type in a product name or scan a bar code (the app will ask to use your camera).  We noticed a little app glitch when scanning a bar code (it didn’t always work), and the app had no easy way to return to the main screen if the scanning didn’t work or you wanted to back out.  But, typing in a name is easy, which helps you make a better choice.

We can’t stressed enough that most all of the brands EWG recommends are not your mainstream brands.  So, look for the natural shelf, the brands we recommended above, EWG’s app or Skin Deep site, or here’s also the main 2015 sunscreen site to sift through and find more nontoxic brands to buy.

What sunscreen brand did you purchase this year for your family?

▼ Let us know in the comments below ▼

Find out more tips

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FIND MORE: Healthy Living, summer, nontoxic, Environmental Working Group, SPF, Memorial Day, California Baby, Alba Botanica, Sunology, California Naturel, Goddess Garden, BullFrog, Badger, Shopping Tips, sunscreen

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2015-08-24T13:28:58+00:00