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2011 Sunscreen Guide


The Washington-based research group Environmental Working Group (EWG) released its 2011 Sunscreen Guide on Monday, May 23, listing the best sunscreens that prevent sunburns and other damage caused by UV rays and sun exposure. The environmental group noted only 20 percent of sunscreens safely and effectively offer protection, despite their ubiquity on the shelves. .

They tested a total of 600 Beach & Sport Sunscreens, with only 128 of them ranking well. The 600 are broken up into three categories: Top Sunscreens, Non-Mineral Options and All Sunscreens. They tested other categories of sun care as well, including: Best Lip Balms with SPF, Best Moisturizers with SPF and Best Makeup with SPF. They also have a Hall of Shame, basically calling out some companies—Hawaiian Tropic Baby Stick Sunscreen SPF 50, Aveeno Baby Continuous Protection SPF 55 and Elizabeth Arden – Eight Hour Cream Sun Defense for Face, SPF 50—on their untruthful and misleading claims regarding chemical usage and UV protection factors.

Each product is rated on two scales—Hazard Score Key: low, moderate to high hazard on scale from zero to 10; and Data score key: rated from none, limited, fair, good or robust. The data availability rating is the scope of ingredient safety data contained in Skin Deep, and the number of studies available in the open scientific literature.

Some companies that made the best Beach & Sport Sunscreens are Aubrey Organics, Alba Bontanica, California Baby, Eco Skin and Lavera. Lip Balms? Alba Botanica, Badger, Jack Black and the Green Beaver Co. Moisturizers? Dermagenics, OBAGI and SanRe Organic Skinfood. Makeup? ColoreScience, CoverBlend by Exuviance, eau thermale Avene, Jane Iredale and Organic Wear.

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