Report: Suncscreens – Some Work, Some Don’t, Some are Outright Dangerous

by MyDadBlog on June 1, 2010

in Advice,Health

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It’s that time of year again where you’ll need to start lathering up the kids and avoid those nasty sunburns and ward off cancer risk years into the future.  The problem is, you may not be getting what you paid for – and you may actually be harming your children in the process.  While I don’t subscribe to every naturo-whack news article on how everything man-made is a scheme or evil, but based on multiple studies I’ve seen from legitimate sources, there are in fact many sunscreens on the market that should be avoided.

The most prominent recent report comes from the Environmental Working Group in their 2010 sunscreen report.

Some notable sunscreen findings:

  • While many sunscreens prevent sunburns, that may be little help in warding off dangerous rays or even harming you due to presence of other chemicals.
  • The FDA can’t even back up the claims of manufacturers: “FDA is not aware of data demonstrating that sunscreen use alone helps prevent skin cancer”…sunscreens should not be the first choice for skin cancer prevention and should not be used as the sole agent for protection against the sun” (IARC 2001a).
  • Overuse of sunscreen can actually impeded your body’s ability to produce vitamin D – the law of unintended consequences.
  • The vitamin A that many brands have in their formulations has recently been found to be harmful in animal studies and may actually increase your risk of cancer (source)

The Best Sunscreens:

Aside from actual clothing and hats which are your best bet, when going full monty, the report suggests the following as top picks for combination of effectiveness with safety in mind as well:

All Terrain
Aquasport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30
TerraSport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30
KidSport Performance Sunscreen, SPF 30

Sunscreen for Face and Body, Unscented, SPF 30
Sunscreen for Face and Body, SPF 30 Lightly Scented
Sunscreen for Face and Body, SPF 15 Lightly Scented

Beyond Coastal
Lip and Face Screen, SPF 30

California Baby
Sunblock Stick No Fragrance, SPF 30+
Sunscreen Lotion No Fragrance, SPF 30+
Sunscreen Lotion Everyday/Year-Round, SPF 30+
Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30+, Citronella
Sunblock Stick Everyday/Year-Round, SPF 30+

Caribbean Solutions
Natural/Biodegradable SolGuard, SPF 25
Sol Kid Kare Natural Sunscreen, SPF 25

Desert Essence
Age Reversal SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreen


Sunny Sunscreen, SPF 35


Sunscreen with Zinc, SPF 38

Jason Natural Cosmetics
Sunbrellas: Mineral Based Physical Sunblock, SPF 30+
Sunbrellas: Chemical Free Sunblock, SPF 30+
Earth’s Best: Sunblock Mineral Based, SPF 30+

Kabana Skin Care

Green Screen Organic Sunscreen Fragrance Free, SPF 20
Green Screen Organic Sunscreen, SPF 22, Skin Tone Tinted

L’uvalla Certified Organic

SPF 20 Sunscreen Face/Body

La Roche-Posay
Anthelios 40 Sunscreen Cream

Little Forest

Sunscreen Lotion For Babies and Kids, SPF 30+

Loving Naturals
Sunscreen, SPF 30+


Reflect Outdoor Balm, SPF 15

Purple Prairie Botanicals
SunStuff, SPF 30
Sun Stick, SPF 30
SunStuff, SPF 15

Soleo Organics
All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Soleo Organics/Wyland Organics All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Soleo Organics/Atlantis Resort All Natural Sunscreen, SPF 30+

thinkbaby and thinksport

Sunscreen, SPF 30+


Sunny Days Face and Body Stick, SPF 30+

UV Natural

Baby Sunscreen, SPF 30+
Sunscreen Sport, SPF 30+
Sunscreen, SPF 30+


Sunscreen Sport, SPF 35

There are other criteria; the list above looked at the popular sport category.  I was surprised to see that major brand names didn’t make the list, but in looking at major brands like Coppertone, many of them got an intermediate ranking, so at least they weren’t on the worst-list.  But forward this around, it’s a good independent resource to protect your kids from the dangers of both the sun and chemical exposure.

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