The Scary Truth Hiding In Your Sunscreen

As we all get pumped for summer and outdoor activities, the biggest skincare product on our minds is sunscreen. Although we should be slathering ourselves in SPF all year round, we’ll admit that it’s easier for us to remember when the temps start to rise. And while we hate being the bearers of bad news, we feel obligated to inform you that your trusty bottle of sunscreen may actually not be doing the work it promises. A recent study conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), concluded that roughly 73% (!!!) of tested sunblocks aren’t as effective as they claim to be.

The research states that a majority of the sunscreens were formulated with “worrisome” ingredients, and actually don’t offer the amount of protection that’s on the label. Ingredients causing concern include retinyl palminate, a form of vitamin A that can speed the production of lesions and increase the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. In the past, consumers have expressed concern over reports stating that active ingredients found in sunscreens with SPF levels higher than 50 actually offer the same protection as SPF 35.

On a more positive note, the EWG did conclude that the mineral sunscreens tested actually did live up to their expectations. The report specifically stated that sunscreens using zinc oxide and titanium dioxide scored higher and offer a good amount of protection. Our advice is to be very conscious when reading the ingredient list on products, and continue to do your own research prior to soaking up the sun.