Green Beauty Report: 75% of Sunscreens Are Harmful

During the summer months, I love being outside and enjoy the sun. When I was Younger I tanned too frequently, but as I grew older, I became more cautious of wrinkles, and even worse, skin cancer. whether you are at the beach or at a baseball game, we have been taught to wear sunscreen. but what happens when the sunscreen you wear for protection is actually bad for you? For the past decade, the Environmental Working Group has compiled a list of the best and worst products for protecting the skin against the sun's harsh rays.

Here are some great takeaways, followed by the best of 2016 list.

75% offer poor protection. This year, the group looked at more than 750 products and concluded that nearly 75 percent of them offered poor protection or had ingredients the group found "worrisome." For example, oxybenzone is a sunscreen additive that the working group says is a hormone disrupter and allergen.

We are still waiting for those SPF 50+ rules. While we no longer see claims like "sweat proof" and "waterproof" on sunscreen (the FDA said they were too far-reaching), the agency's proposed regulation that would cap SPF numbers at 50+ hasn't kicked in yet. In 2011, the FDA stated that anything higher than that number is "inherently misleading." In this year's report, the Environmental Working Group found that 61 sunscreen products had an SPF higher than 50, as opposed to just 10 products in 2007.

Spray-on sunscreen may offer less protection. Because spray-on sunscreens evaporate quickly it's hard to tell if you've covered your whole body.

The important thing to remember, the group says, is that sunscreen alone won't do the job, and that we tend to give it more importance than we should. Hats, sunglasses, time in the shade and other essentials are also key for protecting against sun damage.

Here's is the group's list of the best sunscreens of 2016:

The Best Beach and Sport sunscreens

The organization rated sunscreens from 1 to 10 (products with 1's were excellent and ones with 10's were the worst). Just over 60 brands received a score of 1 or 2. These were designated "low hazard" for their ingredient list and because they had a good balance of SPF and UVA protection. Find the full list here.

  • All Good Sunscreen and Sunstick, SPF 30 and 50
  • All Terrain Aqua and TerraSport Sunscreens, SPF 30
  • Babo Botanicals Clear Zinc Sunscreen, SPF 30
  • Badger Sunscreen Cream and Lotion, SPF 25, 30, and 35
  • Bare Belly Organics, SPF 34
  • Beauty Without Cruelty, SPF 30
  • Kiss My Face Organics Mineral Sunscreen, SPF 30
  • Nature's Gate Face Sunscreen, SPF 25
  • Tropical Sands Sunscreen and Facestick, SPF 30
  • Releve Organic Skincare, SPF 20
  • Star Naturals Sunscreen Stick, SPF 25