Sunscreen

April 3, 2008

Sunscreens

by Shena Turlington

Summary

Studies show over 80% of sunscreens on the market are unsafe. One out of eight do not protect from UVA and UVB radiation, and some offer good protection but contain toxic ingredients or become unstable in sunlight. Many offer protection at first but rapidly break down, soon exposing the consumer to risk of cancer. The FDA does not regulate claims like “all day protection” or “blocks all harmful rays”, and studies have found over half the products on the market to advertize false claims.

Ingredients of Concern

Some sunscreen ingredients absorb into the blood and may have toxic effects. Some release skin-damaging free radicals in sunlight, some act like estrogen and could disrupt hormone systems, several are strongly linked to allergic reactions, and still others may build up in the body or the environment. FDA has not established rigorous safety standards for sunscreen ingredients.

Low Health Hazard Active Ingredients

Avobenzene (Parsol 1789 I Butyl Methoxydebenzoylmethane)

Titanium Dioxide

Micronized Titanium Dioxide

Menthyl Anthranilate

Zinc Oxide

Tinosorb S

Mexoryl SX

Polysilicone-15

Cinoxate

Medium to High Health Hazard Active Ingredients

Octinoxate (Octyl Methoxycinnamate)

Oxybenzone (Benzophenone-3)

Octisalate

Micronized Zinc Oxide

Octocrylene

Homosalate

Ensulizole (Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid)

Nano Zinc Oxide

Nano Titanium Dioxide

Padimate O (Octyl Dimethyl Paba I Paba Ester)

Sulisobenzone (Benzophenone-4)

Drometrizole Trisiloxane

4-Methylbenzylidene Camphor

Common Stable Ingredient Combinations

• AVOBENZONE (PARSOL 1789 | BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE); HOMOSALATE; OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OCTISALATE; OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3)

• MICRONIZED ZINC OXIDE; OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE)

• HOMOSALATE; OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OCTISALATE; OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3)

• AVOBENZONE (PARSOL 1789 | BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE); HOMOSALATE; OCTISALATE; OCTOCRYLENE; OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3)

• TITANIUM DIOXIDE

• MICRONIZED ZINC OXIDE; TITANIUM DIOXIDE

• MICRONIZED ZINC OXIDE; OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OCTISALATE

• MICRONIZED ZINC OXIDE

• AVOBENZONE (PARSOL 1789 | BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE); OCTOCRYLENE; OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3)

• MICRONIZED ZINC OXIDE; OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OCTISALATE; OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3)

Common Instable Ingredient Combinations

• vOCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OCTISALATE; OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3)

• OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3)

• AVOBENZONE (PARSOL 1789 | BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE); OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OCTISALATE; OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3)

• OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OCTISALATE; OCTOCRYLENE; OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3)

• OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); TITANIUM DIOXIDE

• AVOBENZONE (PARSOL 1789 | BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE); OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3)

• AVOBENZONE (PARSOL 1789 | BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE); OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE)

• OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OCTISALATE; OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3); TITANIUM DIOXIDE

• AVOBENZONE (PARSOL 1789 | BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE); OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OCTISALATE

• OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3); TITANIUM DIOXIDE

• AVOBENZONE (PARSOL 1789 | BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE); OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); OCTISALATE; OXYBENZONE (BENZOPHENONE-3); TITANIUM DIOXIDE

• AVOBENZONE (PARSOL 1789 | BUTYL METHOXYDIBENZOYLMETHANE); OCTINOXATE (OCTYL METHOXYCINNAMATE); TITANIUM DIOXIDE

The best sunscreens (starting with best):

Badger SPF 30

This sunscreen is rated high because it has no high hazard or unstable ingredients, and extremely high score on UVA/UVB protection. Ingredients included micronized zinc oxide (active ingredient), olive oil, shea butter, essential oils ylang ylang, lime, orange, lavender, and blue tansy flower, cacao butter, and beeswax. This company does not test its products on animals.

Keys Soap Solar RX Therapeutic Sunblock, SPF 30

This sunscreen is rated high because it has no high hazard ingredients, or ingredients which may cause allergies/developmental or immunotoxicities. It also has an extremely high score on UVA/UVB protection. Ingredients included nano zinc oxide (active ingredient), vegetable glycerin, carrot, avocado, and black cumin oils, shea butter, and beeswax. This company does not test its products on animals.

ColoreScience Sunforgettable Rock and Roller Ball, SPF 30

This sunscreen is rated high because it has no high hazard ingredients, or ingredients which may cause allergies/developmental or immunotoxicities. It also has an extremely high score on UVA/ UVB protection. Ingredients include micronized zinc oxide, titanium dioxide (active ingredients), dimethicone, mica, iron oxides, manganese violet, and calcium silicate.

Lavera Sun Screen Neutral SPF 40

This sunscreen is rated high because it has no high hazard ingredients, or ingredients which may cause allergies or immunotoxicities. Some ingredients are linked to cancer, skin irritations, or developmental /reproductive toxicities. It also has an extremely high score on UVA/UVB protection. Ingredients include titanium oxide as active ingredient, ethanol, stearic acid, vitamin e, castor oil, glycerin, vitamin c, canola oil, jojoba, sea buckthorn, sweet almond, evening primrose, sunflower and soybean oils, aloe vera, yeast extract, licorice, and polyglycerin-3.

Vanicream Sunscreen Sport, SPF 35

This sunscreen is rated high because it has no high hazard ingredients. Some ingredients are linked to allergies/immunotoxicities, cancer, or skin irritations. It also has an extremely high score on UVA/UVB protection. Ingredients include micronized zinc oxide, octinoxate (active ingredients), polyethylene, vitamin e, glycerin, PEG-30 dipolyhydroxystearate, triethoxycarprylsilane, castor oil, PPG-10/1 dimethicone, and magnesium chloride.

• UV Natural Sport SPF 30+ New Formula 2007

• UV Natural Adult SPF 30+ New Formula 2007

• UV Natural UV Golf / Ultra

• UV Natural Baby SPF 30+ New Formula 2007

• Vanicream Sunscreen SPF 35

• Peter Thomas Roth Titanium Dioxide Sunblock, SPF 30

• Mustela Bebe High Protection Sun Lotion, SPF 50

• Peter Thomas Roth Titanium Dioxide Sunblock, SPF 30

• Vanicream Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin, SPF 60

• Blue Lizard Australian Suncream, SPF 30, Sensitive

• Vanicream Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin, SPF 30

• Blue Lizard Australian Suncream, SPF 30, Baby

• Blue Lizard Suncream, Sensitive Skin, SPF 30

• Jason Natural Cosmetics sunbrellas SPF 30+ Mineral Based physical sunblock

• OBAGI NuDerm Nu-Derm Physical UV Block Step Six, SPF 32

• Glycolix Elite Sunscreen, SPF 30

• Total Block Cover-Up SPF 60 Tinted

• Total Block Sun Protection SPF 65 Clear

• Fallene Total Block Cotz Waterproof Sunblock, SPF 58

• Sea & Ski Platinum Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 50

• Elta Gold UV Sport Waterproof, SPF 50

• ProCyte Z-Silc Sunblock, SPF 30

• Elta UV Shield Daily Protection Oil Free, SPF 45

• Fallene Cotz Water Resistant Sunscreen for Sensitive Skin, SPF 58

• ProCyte Z-Silc plus SPF 30&

• OBAGI NuDerm Healthy Skin Protection, AM, SPF 35

• OBAGI NuDerm Healthy Skin Protection -Step Six, SPF 35

• Fallene Cotz Water Resistant Sunscreen, SPF 58

• CVS Sunscreen With Zinc Oxide SPF 45+

• California Baby SPF 30+ Sunblock Stick No Fragrance

• Lotus Moon Sage Sun Protective Creme – spf 25

• California Baby SPF 30+ Sunblock Stick Everyday/Year-Round

• KINeSYS KIDS Sunscreen Spray with Parsol 1789, SPF 30+

• California Baby SPF 30+ Sunscreen Lotion Everyday/Year-Round

• California Baby SPF 30+ Sunscreen Lotion Natural Bug Blend

• California Baby SPF 30+ Sunscreen Lotion No Fragrance

• Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces Sunblock SPF 60+ With Travel Size

• Hawaiian Tropic Kids Sunblock SPF 60+ With Travel Size

• Hawaiian Tropic Baby Faces Sunblock SPF 50+

• Hawaiian Tropic Ozone Sport Sunblock SPF 60+ With Travel Size

• Hawaiian Tropic 45 Plus Sunblock

• Coppertone Endless Summer Ultrasheer Sunscreen Stick

• South Beach Sun Sport Zinc Extreme Sunblock, SPF 50+

• Estion Sunscreen with Zinc, SPF 38

• Baby Blanket Sunscreen Stick for Babies, SPF/FPS 45+

For a more complete list: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/browse.php? sunscreens=1&best=1

The Worst Sunscreens (starting with worst):

• Ombrelle Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 15

• Rachel Perry Calendula-Cucumber Oil-Free Moisturizer Sunblock with Echinacea, SPF15

• Dermalogica Multivitamin Hand & Nail Treatment

• Avon Multi-Boost Daily Vitamin Moisturizing Cream, SPF 15

• L’Oréal Dermo-Expertise Line Eraser, Pure Retinol, Daily Treatment, SPF 15

• B. Kamins Chemist Bio-Maple day cream, SPF 15

• Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion, SPF 15

• B. Kamins Chemist Day Cream, SPF 15

• Coppertone Sunblock Lotion, UVA/UVB Protection, Waterproof, SPF 15

• B. Kamins Chemist Day Lotion, SPF 15

• Avalon Organics Active Organics Vitamin C Moisture plus Lotion, SPF 15

• Coppertone Ultra Sweatproof UVA/UVB Sunblock

• Zia Natural Skincare Daily Moisture Screen, SPF 15

• Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Time Complex Moisture Cream, SPF 15

• Walgreens Sunscreen Lotion

• Caren et Cie Face Treatment, French Vanilla, SPF 15

• Gillette Complete Skin Care, Facial Moisturizer, SPF 15

• Coppertone Sunblock Lotion

• Alba Hawaiian aloe vera sunscreen, SPF 15 Formula 405 Aha Day Face Cream, SPF 15

• Banana Boat UVA & UVB Sunscreen Lotion

• Banana Boat Protective Tanning Spray, SPF 15

• Buzz Away Sunscreen Lotion with Citronella, SPF 15

• Exuviance Essential Multi-Defense Day Cream, SPF 15

• Neoteric Oxygenated Therapeutic Moisturizer Lotion, SPF 15

• Exuviance Essential Multi Defense Day Cream, SPF 15

• Neoteric Diabetic Oxygenated Therapeutic Moisturizer Lotion, SPF 15

• Exuviance Fundamental Multi-Protective Day Fluid, SPF 15

• Avon beComing BRIGHTER DAYS moisturizers, SPF 15

• Nivea Visage Q10 plus Wrinkle Control Lotion, SPF 15

• Coppertone Ultra Sweatproof Sport Sunblock Lotion

• Nivea Visage All Around Protection Daily Moisturizer, Oil Free, SPF 15

• Lubriderm Daily Moisturizer Lotion with Sunscreen SPF 15

• Banana Boat Suntanicals Sunscreen Lotion

• Exuviance Fundamental Multi-Protective Day Fluid

• Nivea Visage All Around Protection Daily Moisturizer, Oil Free, SPF 15

• Nivea Visage All Around Protection, Oil-Free Cream, SPF 15

• Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion, SPF 15

• Earth Science Almond-Aloe Facial Moisturizer, SPF 15+

• Nivea for Men Daily Protective Lotion, SPF 15

• Palmer’s Sunless Tanner & Instant Bronzer, SPF 15

• Coppertone Sport Sunblock Lotion, Ultra Sweatproof

• Nivea Visage All Around Protection Creme Spf

• Coppertone Continuous Sport Sunblock Spray, SPF 15

• Coppertone Sport Sunblock Spray, Continuous

• Ti-Silc Scalp Defense, SPF 20

• Coppertone Dry Oil Tanning Spray, SPF 15

• Alba Bath & Body Care Body Lotion, SPF 16

• Coppertone Sport Sunblock Lotion, Ultra Sweatproof

• Banana Boat Waterproof Sunblock Lotion with Aloe Vera & Vitamin E, SPF 15

• Kiss My Face Everyday Moisturizer, SPF 15

For a more complete list: http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/browse.php?sunscreens=1&worst=1&order=webscore+DESC

Sources:

Skin Deep Cosmetic Safety Database: www.CosmeticDatabase.com

Environmental Working Group Sunscreen Study

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