Sunscreen Safety.

Via Lindsey Wolf
on Jul 24, 2008
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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.


About Lindsey Wolf


6 Responses to “Sunscreen Safety.”

  1. marin says:

    Thanks, Lindsey! As one of the fair-complected, I’m constantly balancing the need to protect my skin from the sun and my desire to avoid the chemicals found in so many products. Thanks for the great reference! I’ve used California Baby products before, and I love them…might be time to switch back.

  2. lauren says:

    this is awesome! book marked it as a reference! thanks

  3. DaveRogers says:

    I just spent twenty minutes on those links and am equally confused. Should we be buying foreign sunscreen?
    Aren’t most of the “FDA Unapproved” ingredients things you don’t want to absorb?
    I am no scientist but why is Titanium or Zinc OK for me to absorb?

    I am going to get some SPF clothing and stay in bed with Badger Sunscreen all over myself.

  4. Ariana Saraha says:

    I’m a big fan of sunhats and [partially dampened to keep cool] white shawls… Umbrellas work great too – it’s raining sunshine!!!


  5. via FB
    Jillaurie Crane likes this.

    Kyna Saam Katz at 8:24pm June 7
    i believe there were zero cases of skin cancer BEFORE sunscreen. I do not have the source, but read somewhere along the line.

    Alakananda Ma at 8:43pm June 7
    You can make Ayurvedic sunscreen using coconut oil neem and shatavari. Not only will it give sun protection, it will also have anti cancer properties.

    Ella Hall at 8:45pm June 7
    the one i've been using is almost at the bottom of the list, yipe.

    Chrystos Minot at 8:48pm June 7
    Alakananda—Seriously? Has this been backed up by peer-reviewed research? This is wonderful. I would like to learn more if you would be so kind!

    Kyna Saam Katz at 8:49pm June 7
    alakananda, where do you find neem and shatavari? do i just add it to the oil..going to mexico this week, will make some. thanks!!

    Alakananda Ma at 9:06pm June 7
    You can get it from us…Alandi Ayurveda. 303 786 7437. ( Boulder) You could mix it in the oil, I don't think we would have time to make you a medicated oil as such before you leave.

    Lori Linzmier at 9:07pm June 7
    Zinc Oxide!! Earliest and best natural sunscreen. Sanitas makes a wonderful all natural product

    Deborah Knox at 10:15pm June 7
    Alakananda, does it smell with the neem?

    Alakananda Ma at 10:52pm June 8
    Chrystos, the anti-cancer properties of neem are well established with peer-reviewed studies. Here's just one citation. Journal of Ethnopharmacology
    Volume 92, Issue 1, May 2004, Pages 23-36

    Alakananda Ma at 10:53pm June 8
    Sephira, it doesn't smell bad because we use neem leaf .It's neem seed oil that smells.

    Chrystos Minot at 7:18am June 9