Think your skin has escaped those summer sun rays safely? Well, this year’s Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) evaluation of hundreds of chemical sunscreens and the new FDA sunscreen regulations may make you think again. The EWG has reviewed the toxicity of physical and chemical sunscreens across the board, and the results are shocking, with just 39 out of 500 products making the grade for safety.
Currently, their are only 17 individual sunscreen ingredients that are FDA approved, with nine ingredients known to be endocrine disruptors. Fifteen include clear chemicals that absorb UV light and two are minerals that physically block UV rays. The two minerals include zinc oxide and titanium dioxide and are gaining popularity since they are not absorbed into the bloodstream and potentially a safer option. They are also both inorganic filters and are considered less irritating to the skin than chemical ingredients by several health experts, including Dr. Jay L. Hoecker, MD of the Mayo Clinic.
The 2013 EWG list and FDA criteria help health conscious consumers weed out which products may have significantly harmful ingredients and are the most natural. Although the EWG site ranks all of the sunscreens tested, here are five of the top brands to try with the lowest hazard ratings and the fewest ingredients.