As the summer season rolls out, with its long days, heat waves, ice cream treats and icy drinks, people everywhere are getting ready to hit that golden beach that they’ve been dreaming about all winter long.
What’s more essential in your bag than that shinny new sunscreen you just bough from the supermarket last week? A good sunscreen that actually protects your skin and the skin of your loved ones.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) released their 2015 sunscreen guide this past Tuesday and revealed that roughly 80 percent of all sunscreens available on the market either don’t work well (“offer inferior sun protection”), or simply have ingredients that are worrying scientists (“ingredients like oxybenzone and vitamin A”).
The sunscreens aren’t safe as oxybenzone is a chemical compound that can disrupt a person’s hormone system. To make matters worse, some scientists believe that putting vitamin A on your skin will only serve to heighten sun sensitivity. Rather than protect your skin, it might increase its chances of being harmed by the sun.
For their study, the Environmental Working Group tested and reviewed more than 1.700 SPF products such as sunscreens, lip balms and moisturizers.
They found that the least effective and most dishonest brand is Neutrogena, which contains a preservative called methylisothiazolinone that the European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Consumer Safety has long deemed unsafe for use in leave-on products. In fact, the EWG believe that about half of the sunscreens available in the US would not be allowed in European stores.
And baffling enough, Neutrogena claims to have a SPF 70 or SPF 100+, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that that notable sun protection only goes up to SPF 50, anything higher that is most likely misleading.
Out of all the products tested, the Environmental Working Group said that the better options out there are Walmart’s Equate Sport Continuous Spray SPF 30 and Equate Ultra Protection lotion SPF 50.
Equally alarming, is that most Americans don’t feel compelled to wear sunscreen. A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, informs that many United States residents don’t use sunscreen nearly as much as they should.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) researchers asked people how often they use sunscreen when spending an hour or more out in the sun. When they reviewed the answers, they found that only 14 percent of men said that they regularly applied sunscreen on their skin.
The total percentage of women who regularly use sunscreen was 30. While it would appear to be a significant improvement, since it adds up to more than twice the number of men, the overall number of women who consider the dangers of skin cancer still remains small.
Men even proved to be more likely than women to admit to never having used sunscreen.
Dawn Holman, a behavioral scientist with the CDC’s Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, theorized that the high cost of some sunscreens may be what prevents people from using them. Another hypothesis suggests that, in the case of men, they might see the product as being too feminine.
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