By Jorge Campos
Consumers trust information on sunscreen labels more than they should, according to the Environmental Working Group 2015 Sunscreen Guide.
The report found that 80 percent of 1,700 products tested offer inferior protection or contain toxic ingredients. The most common sunscreen additive is Vitamin A, which could speed development of skin cancer.
The EWG estimates that about half of sunscreens available in the U.S. would not make it to shelves in Europe.
Four things to be wary of are spray sunscreens, SPF values over 50+, oxybenzone, and retinyl palmitate, according to the EWG. Sprays can be inhaled and don’t completely cover the skin. SPF protection tops out at 30 to 50. Oxybenzone can disrupt the hormone system. On sun-exposed skin, retinyl palmitate, which is vitamin A palmitate, may speed the development of skin tumors and lesions.