I’m a fan of the Environmental Working Group, and today they’ve released their annual sunscreen report (here). The San Francisco Chronicle featured a write-up on it (here) that succinctly explains the issues and allowed industry insiders to give their predictable response.
A few things concern the EWG:
- More than half the sunscreens on the market don’t provide the protection they promise. There is very little oversight on this and high SPFs give people a false sense of security.
- Questionable ingredients like retinyl palmitate (shown to produce skin lesions and tumors in animals) and oxybenzone (a hormone disruptor).
Most Primal folk love us some Vitamin D and spend a good amount of time in the outdoors trying to get it. But there’s no doubt that we need a good sunscreen from time to time, especially for kids. And what’s particularly scary is that many sunscreens marketed for children are amongst the worst offenders.
So what does a responsible consumer do? Check out their list of the best sunscreens. In general, you’re looking for physical sun blockers, like Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, instead of chemical ones, like oxybenzone.
I recently found All Terrain’s TerraSport SPF15 sunscreen and I love it (click here to see what EWG has to say about it). It doesn’t leave a gunky white mess on my skin, it doesn’t smell obnoxious, it’s not greasy, and it works. I’ve noticed, though, with physical sunscreens that they tend to lose efficacy when exposed to sweat or water. I use a moisturizer with a physical sunscreen on my face during the day, and I often get a lovely stripe of pink on my forehead where I’ve been wiping sweat. So while this one is billed as water/sweat resistant, I’d reapply to be on the safe side.