July 24, 2008

Sunscreen Safety.

I’m confused about sunscreen. Between UVA and UVB rays, questionable marketing claims, and reports on bloodstream absorption, it’s no wonder.  Add to those considerations that so-called natural alternatives may not be safer, and then I’m really confused. I am just finishing up my bottle of Alba Botanica’s aloe vanilla mineral sunscreen, which I had bought before I heard of the California lawsuit that Alba, Avalon and others are named in regarding the chemical 1,4-Dioxane which is found in some body washes and soaps.  I try to look at the full picture before I buy anything these days, and although this chemical may not be found in the sunscreen product, it makes me wonder if I want to support this company. So what should I try next?

Enter the Environmental Working Group. I have been using the organization’s cosmetics safety database for a few years, and they just released a newly updated sunscreen report. The report lists common misleading claims on bottles, reports on potentially concerning nano-scale ingredients, and where the U.S. is at formulating products that work and are safe (you can also send an email to the FDA’s Commissioner on this topic through the site). The best tool is the searchable database, that lists and describes the over 900 products that EWG tested. Also listed are recommended products from ten popular brands.

Looks like I may be a California Baby for the rest of the summer.

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Lindsey Wolf  |  Contribution: 7,660