Tuesday, May 29, 2012

If You Do One Thing Today....

If you do one thing today, do this-- go to the Environmental Working Group's Sunscreen Guide. Search for the brand of sunscreen that you usually use (for both you and your kids), and read about it.

Now tell me--what rating does your sunscreen have? (0-2 is a low hazard, 3-6 is a moderate hazard, and 7-10 is a high hazard). Did any of the info you saw surprise you?

I'm not affiliated with the EWG at all, nor did I receive compensation for this post--I was shown this list a few years ago by my dermatologist after I mentioned to her that I seemed to be getting burnt more when I was wearing sunscreen than when I wasn't wearing any at all. It turns out that I'd actually been experiencing chemical burns from the sunscreen I was using--many of which appear on the EWG's "Hall of Shame" and/or had high hazard ratings due to the fact that they contained ingredients that commonly cause allergic reactions, and that researchers are finding actually make you more likely to develop melanoma rather than less. Or that they contained Vitamin A, which can actually make skin tumors grow more quickly when coupled with sun exposure. Hello, isn't sunscreen usually coupled with sun exposure? So why in the world do many sunscreens contain Vitamin A, which is BAD for you when coupled with sun exposure?! I was angry. Why didn't more people know about this info?

So, now I simply try to share it once a year. I hope it helps someone else the way it has helped me. Because since I switched to this sunscreen, which was suggested by my derm and has a rating of 2, I haven't been burnt once, unless I just plum forget to put it on. And, I feel a lot better about what I'm slathering on my skin several times every day. It's a bit more expensive, but worth every penny.

Source: amazon.com via Meredith on Pinterest

That's what works for me. I have no doubt that there are hundreds of other options that work just as well. But the point is, that we care what we put in our bodies in terms of food, but what we put on our bodies (i.e. sunscreen) is just as important!


  1. Oh my gosh, the sunscreen I have been using for YEARS is a 7?! Luckily I haven't bought any this year so I will most definitely be changing. Thanks Mere!

  2. I've been using the same sunscreen for years and it's rated for a 7. Thanks for posting this. I'm going to finding us a new one.

  3. Thank you SO MUCH for this!! This explains why I burn so often! I am extremely pale and am VERY cautious about being in the sun. Gah, I'm so aggravated right now at sunscreen companies!!!

  4. Ugh, i have been up and down that list. We used Nuetrogena and a few other low rating ones last summer but some little boy was very allergic to those...we finally found one that doesn't break him out in hives....i think! Its a 2...whew!

  5. Ours is a 4. This is such great info that I had no idea about!

    Thanks for posting.

  6. I'm OBSESSIVE about sunscreen, because of this list that I remember you posting last year (or the year before). I spent hours that time, looking for the right one for our family.

    Anything over a 2 doesn't touch us.

  7. Good for you! And thank God for that site! The health/organics community has been ranting about the supposed "safety" of sunscreen for years, but it was called a crock by so many. I am so glad to see this getting more mainstream coverage. We use a 1 for Ella and a 2 for me.

  8. I've been making my own or using one called Umbrelle (which I don't see on that site), but it uses the Mexoryl that the one you listed about has too, as the sun blocking agent, so I'm assuming its also pretty safe!


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